Many companies are continually investing and relocating to South Carolina. The reasons why are abundant. The state has a business-friendly environment with many incentives including workforce and education programs, community development, and a great location uniquely positioned halfway between New York and Miami. South Carolina’s integral transportation and logistics network make it easy to reach East Coasts markets as well as overseas. And the state houses a diverse collection of companies in technology, medical, R&D, aerospace, renewables and engineering from around the world that meet the needs of industries throughout the Southeast and Mid-Atlantic states.
Transportation and Logistics
South Carolina’s location is unique, situated near the mid-point on the East Coast of the United States and just a two-days’ drive from nearly 208 million Americans. In addition to its ideal location, the Palmetto State also boasts five interstate highways and nine commercial airports. Additionally, 70 million tons of freight move through South Carolina each year thanks to the state’s extensive rail system, which includes two Class I railroads – CSX Transportation and Norfolk Southern – as well as seven independent lines, servicing nearly 2,300 miles of rail.
South Carolina offers seamless connectivity amongst its various ports, railways, highways and airports. Each mode of transportation contributes to a vast network that can keep a business moving its products or raw materials smoothly. The state’s extraordinary market access and quality infrastructure have led to an increase in distribution and logistics operations.
One of the state’s most attractive features for manufacturers and distribution and logistics operations is the Port of Charleston – the seventh largest container port in the nation. With deep waters and high bridges, the Port of Charleston averages 40 or more crane moves per hour with only a 23-minute turnaround time for truckers, making it the most productive port in the U.S.
Inland Port Dillon, located with a 3,400-acre industrial site that fronts I-95, gives importers and exporters in the eastern Carolinas a powerful advantage in connecting supply and demand. With the help of CSX Class-I rail, Dillon connects directly to the deep-water Port of Charleston and gives its clients the ability to control costs with maximum flexibility and minimal cost. Inland Port Dillon is strategically located at a railroad “T” with mainline access north/south and west and can service markets in the Northeastern and Midwestern sections of the country. For exporters, the advantage offered by Inland Port Dillon is especially attractive, as the need to fill empty containers at the port for their return journey to Charleston and beyond has resulted in competitive shipping rates you won’t find anywhere else.
The Palmetto State supports a plethora of incentives from workforce development, programs and university research to world-class facilities technologies. South Carolina offers SCLaunch® which was created for research, product development and commercialization programs by strengthening the state’s workforce to help create high wage jobs. It also provides business owners with resources to build new businesses in the state. Other programs include readySC™ which provides well-trained employees to companies investing in South Carolina including recruiting, screening and training as well as a tailored curriculum to fit a company’s specific needs, and the SmartState™ Program which is three public research institutions working to create Centers of Economic Excellence to advance research in the state in areas such as energy, nanotechnology, medicine and optics.
With its second-to-none business environment, solid transportation infrastructure and diverse supply chain, the Palmetto State has succeeded in attracting substantial capital investment from around the world. More importantly, the workers across the state have built an undeniable reputation; they’ve proven, time and time again, that they’re capable of making any product, and making it well. While the Palmetto state has proven time and time again to be the go-to-destination for business in the southeastern U.S. with success stories like BMW, Boeing, Volvo, LG, Giti Tire and countless others over the years. It’s easy to see why, given the sizable pool of skilled labor, top-notch training programs and facilities, the most business-friendly climate in the country, and a competitive incentives program are just a few of the things that make the state attractive.
Stable and competitive property tax and state corporate income tax rates, comprehensive incentives programs, and a cooperative regulatory environment lets companies focus on running their operations in South Carolina. In fact, many of the state’s economic development agencies are dedicated to making sure that companies receive high level help in completing the permitting process and that they understand the requirements. While it may appear that South Carolina’s global success happened overnight, those on the economic development frontlines know this growth has been hard-fought, crafted by the skilled and talented hands of the state’s workforce and created by the commitment to developing a business-friendly climate. More than just a leader in advanced manufacturing, South Carolina’s diverse economy continues to attract companies from all corners of the globe, further boosting the state’s reputation of being ‘just right.’