• ITVI.USA
    15,615.260
    270.480
    1.8%
  • OTLT.USA
    2.852
    -0.002
    -0.1%
  • OTRI.USA
    19.840
    0.040
    0.2%
  • OTVI.USA
    15,608.360
    280.700
    1.8%
  • TSTOPVRPM.ATLPHL
    2.890
    0.070
    2.5%
  • TSTOPVRPM.CHIATL
    3.540
    -0.040
    -1.1%
  • TSTOPVRPM.DALLAX
    1.290
    0.030
    2.4%
  • TSTOPVRPM.LAXDAL
    3.660
    0.010
    0.3%
  • TSTOPVRPM.PHLCHI
    2.360
    0.030
    1.3%
  • TSTOPVRPM.LAXSEA
    4.100
    0.080
    2%
  • WAIT.USA
    129.000
    2.000
    1.6%
  • ITVI.USA
    15,615.260
    270.480
    1.8%
  • OTLT.USA
    2.852
    -0.002
    -0.1%
  • OTRI.USA
    19.840
    0.040
    0.2%
  • OTVI.USA
    15,608.360
    280.700
    1.8%
  • TSTOPVRPM.ATLPHL
    2.890
    0.070
    2.5%
  • TSTOPVRPM.CHIATL
    3.540
    -0.040
    -1.1%
  • TSTOPVRPM.DALLAX
    1.290
    0.030
    2.4%
  • TSTOPVRPM.LAXDAL
    3.660
    0.010
    0.3%
  • TSTOPVRPM.PHLCHI
    2.360
    0.030
    1.3%
  • TSTOPVRPM.LAXSEA
    4.100
    0.080
    2%
  • WAIT.USA
    129.000
    2.000
    1.6%
American ShipperIntermodal

Dollar Tree selects S.C. for massive distribution center

The discount variety chain’s 1.5 million-square-foot facility in Upstate, South Carolina is expected to generate major trade growth for the Port of Charleston, according to South Carolina Port Authority CEO Jim Newsome.

   Discount variety chain Dollar Tree is investing $104.4 million to build a new 1.5 million square-foot distribution center in western South Carolina to better reach its 100-plus stores in the state, the South Carolina Department of Commerce announced Monday.
   Dollar Tree, which last week completed its merger with Family Dollar, creating a $19 billion retail giant with more than 13,600 stores in the United States and Canada, currently operates regional distribution centers in Chesapeake, Va., and Matthews, N.C.
   The Upstate facility in Cowpens, S.C., will be located in a corporate park off of I-85 in the vicinity of the South Carolina Port Authority’s inland port in Greer, which essentially brings the Port of Charleston 212 miles closer to importers and exporters by providing an intermodal rail terminal where trucks can transfer cargo. The Upstate area is gaining interest as a prime location for warehousing activity because of the inland port, the proximity to major highways and the Greenville-Spartanburg airport, and the relatively short distance by truck from population such as Atlanta, Memphis and Charlotte, N.C.
   Last year, the inland port carried out 42,555 lifts of containers and is on pace to blow past that number with 26,244 transfers so far between January and May.
   “Dollar Tree has been extremely impressed with the South Carolina transportation infrastructure which will support the Upstate distribution center. The current Interstate 85 widening project and the efficiencies associated with the Greer Inland Port were instrumental in our site selection process. We also look forward to the recruiting and training assistance offered by the State’s Ready SC program as it will position us well in attracting and retaining long-term distribution center associates,” Dollar Tree Chief Logistics Officer Stephen W. White said in a statement.
   South Carolina Port Authority CEO Jim Newsome said the distribution center will generate “significant” container business for the Port of Charleston, which is expected this week to announce record volumes for the fiscal year ended June 30. 
   Dollar Tree’s top import gateway is the Port of New York/New Jersey, followed by the ports of Los Angeles, Savannah, Oakland, Long Beach, Seattle and Norfolk, according to figures from Zepol, a Minneapolis-based trade data and analytics provider.
   The Fortune 500 company imported 59,102 TEUs of merchandise last year and has shipped in 28,719 TEUs through June 24, 2015, Zepol said. The 2015 import data will be higher this year when Family Dollar’s import volume are included.
   Dollar Tree currently has 10 distribution centers across the country, plus 11 more it picked up with the Family Dollar acquisition, spokesman Randy Guiler said. The new South Carolina facility is expected to be completed in the second half of 2016.
   The South Carolina Port Authority board two weeks ago approved a $500,000 investment to fund an unspecified public infrastructure project. Officials at the time did not explicitly identify the project as related to Dollar Tree because the site selection had not been announced, but South Carolina Port Authority spokeswoman Erin Dhand confirmed that money will be spent to support the Dollar Tree facility. The exact nature of the project has yet to be determined, although industrial developers typically seek some sort of road connections to existing highway networks. The expenditure fits with the port authority’s mission of promoting economic development that boosts maritime commerce.
   The retailer, which is headquartered in Chesapeake, Va., received $1.5 million in South Carolina state grants to assist with the cost of property and job development.
   South Carolina and the Port of Charleston are on a roll this year with booming cargo volumes and major corporations relocating in the state to take advantage of the port. Through May of the fiscal year, beginning July 1, Charleston had handled 1.7 million TEUs, an increase of 13.7 percent from the same period in 2013-14. Earlier this year Mercedes-Benz announced plans to build an assembly line outside of Charleston to manufacturer its Sprinter van (“Mercedes to build vans in S.C.” – p. 15, American Shipper May issue) and Swedish car maker Volvo said it will build its first U.S. plant near the port.
   The Charleston harbor deepening project is also moving ahead, with a U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ review board giving its blessing to dredge the main channel to 52 feet so bigger ships can reach the port.

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