Deeper Ports and More Industrial Plants is Good News for South Carolina Manufacturing

Business is about to be booming for manufacturers in South Carolina. With the deepening of Charleston Harbor and the arrival of some major factories, the Palmetto State is seeing a very bright future. One new plant is expected to create at least 1,300 jobs, while two other plants are expected to create around 2,000 jobs a piece. Demand for industrial buildings and products are on a steady rise, but the South Carolina ports are ready to support manufacturer’s needs.

Sea ports on the East Coast have long been taking a backseat to the bigger West Coast ports, like the Port of Los Angeles, but the East Coast is finally catching up. With large sums of money being invested in the Port of Charleston, the Port of Savannah in Georgia and renovating the Bayonne Bridge in New York. Bigger ships will be able to unload in the ports of South Carolina, Georgia, New Jersey and New York, it won’t be long until the battle for port supremacy between the East and West coast gets competitive.

Allowing for bigger ships to port in South Carolina is such a big deal because South Carolina is in a prime location, the state is within 1,000 miles of 75 percent of the U.S. population. That is a manufacturer’s dream, being able to ship your goods to 75 percent of the population without going over 1,000 miles.

With the additions of an inland port in Greer, South Carolina in 2013 and ground being broke on another in the town of Dillon, the sea ports are not the only ports allowing South Carolina to handle more shipping containers than ever before. In 2016, the inland port in Greer handled 103,000 cargo moves and the new port in Dillon is expected to handle around 40,000 moves its first year, which should start around March 2018.

World trade has been growing and shipping lines are using bigger vessels after the Panama Canal expansion, bigger ships are now delivering goods every day. This has not only contributed to port expansion, but also the construction of speculative industrial space taking off. Around 750,000 square feet of speculative industrial space was constructed in the first quarter of 2016. The speculative industrial space is helping to prepare for the expected boom in South Carolina, the state wants to be as prepared as possible for anything the future can throw at it.

Ports in South Carolina are a huge part of the state’s economy, it is estimated the South Carolina economic output from their ports is around $53 billion annually, or around 9 percent of the state’s annual gross state product. Those numbers are likely to rise in the future as bigger and bigger vessels keep arriving in South Carolina ports.

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