October 23, 2019

SCPA makes a $7.1 billion annual economic impact in Pee Dee

S.C. Ports handled a record 30,000 rail moves at Inland Port Dillon in fiscal year 2019. (Photo/SCPA)

FLORENCE, SC -- OCT. 23, 2019 -- South Carolina Ports Authority extends its reach beyond the Port of Charleston to make a significant economic impact throughout South Carolina and in the Pee Dee.

S.C. Ports makes a $7.1 billion annual economic impact in the Pee Dee and creates 25,000 jobs in the region, according to a new Economic Impact Study from the University of South Carolina's Darla Moore School of Business.

Statewide, S.C. Ports makes a $63.4 billion annual economic impact and creates 1 in 10 S.C. jobs. The Pee Dee accounts for nearly 11% of the Port's impact across the state.

"S.C. Ports Authority has further established itself as one of our state's premier economic drivers, creating 1 in 10 jobs and a $63.4 billion economic impact on South Carolina," Gov. Henry McMaster said.

Port and port-related jobs pay 32% higher than the state average income. Port operations and all associated activities correspond to $1.4 billion in wages and salaries for Pee Dee residents that would otherwise not exist, the study found.

"S.C. Ports is one of South Carolina's most vital resources," said Joey Von Nessen, the study author and research economist at the University of South Carolina. "Port operations create high-paying jobs and attract port-dependent businesses to locate or expand throughout the state. South Carolina's success is intrinsically tied to S.C. Ports Authority's continued growth."

S.C. Ports moves record cargo volumes at oceanside terminals at the Port of Charleston, as well as at two rail-served inland ports in the Upstate and the Pee Dee. Inland Port Dillon, which opened in spring 2018, handles cargo and a CSX rail service runs to and from the Port of Charleston.

Inland Port Dillon extends the Port's reach 163 miles inland, connecting more Southeast companies to global markets. The inland terminal also creates jobs in Dillon and attracts companies to locate in the Pee Dee.

"SCPA supports businesses and manufacturers as they invest in South Carolina," Von Nessen said. "This ultimately leads to new jobs and higher wages, as well as disposable income being spent in communities and the recruitment of suppliers -- all of which propels S.C.'s economy forward."

Port operations account for 10% of the state's economy and generate $1.1 billion in tax revenue annually for the state, the study found.

Jim Newsome, president and CEO of S.C. Ports Authority, said S.C. Ports plans to further grow and diversify its cargo base, in part by supporting economic development and furthering growth at the state's inland ports.

"Over the past 10 years as CEO, I have seen the Port grow significantly, which creates a positive impact on our state's economy and on South Carolinians," Newsome said. "The Port generates revenue, creates great jobs and helps companies expand in the Pee Dee. We are grateful for our connection to this community."

SCPA remains focused on completing major infrastructure projects by the end of 2021, including modernizing Wando Welch Terminal, building the Hugh K. Leatherman Terminal in North Charleston and deepening Charleston Harbor to 52 feet.

"S.C. Ports Authority's operations increase our state's competitiveness on a global scale," South Carolina Sen. Hugh K. Leatherman Sr. said. "S.C. Ports provides customized logistics solutions for S.C. companies, which creates economic growth and high-paying jobs for South Carolinians. The success of Inland Port Dillon brings prosperity to the Pee Dee region, and we look forward to future growth."

Read the full study here and read about the statewide economic impact here.

25k jobs and 7 billion annual economic impact in the Pee Dee region

About South Carolina Ports Authority
South Carolina Ports Authority (SCPA), established by the state's General Assembly in 1942, owns and operates public seaport and intermodal facilities in Charleston, Dillon, Georgetown and Greer. As an economic development engine for the state, Port operations facilitate 225,000 statewide jobs and generate nearly $63.4 billion annual economic activity. SCPA is soon to be home to the deepest harbor on the U.S. East Coast at 52 feet, and the Port is an industry leader in delivering speed-to-market, seamless processes and flexibility to ensure reliable operations, big ship handling, efficient market reach and environmental responsibility. For more information on SCPA, please visit www.scspa.com.