Somewhere beyond all the impressive numbers contained in the economic impact study on the S.C. Ports Authority is one subtle truth: We, as South Carolinians, have reinvented ourselves and are no longer at the behest of King Cotton and international trade deals.
“We saw a major decline in textiles throughout the nineties and really because of that a decrease in manufacturing through 2007, even though automotives were coming on with the arrival of BMW in 1994,” University of South Carolina Moore School of Business Professor Joseph Von Nessen said. “Now, we’re beginning to see gains since 2010 as the automotive cluster and as more advanced manufacturing industries have begun taking off.”
DUNCAN – S.C. Ports Authority President and CEO Jim Newsome expects the next five years to include much investment and development for the organization, including imminent expansion to Greer’s Inland Port facility.
“I predict that we’ll have to add to that physical footprint in the next fiscal year,” Newsome said Wednesday after a SCPA meeting and announcement of details from an economic-impact study produced by the University of South Carolina’s Moore School of Business.
Spire, a compressed natural gas (CNG) fill station for trucks and other vehicles, has opened at Hwy. 101 South and 85 Freeman Farm Road.
The Greer CNG station is one of the five largest in the nation, a Spire official said.
“Don’t you love it when a plan comes together,” City Administrator Ed Driggers gushed.
Greer received another economic jolt of optimism today as Mitsubishi Polyester Film (MTF), Inc., announced it is investing $100 million in the expansion of one of the world’s largest suppliers of polyester film.
The announcement coincides with the 51st anniversary of the plant in Greer. MTF officials at the 50th anniversary celebration last year (Sept. 25) hinted the expansion announcement would be announced this month.
The vehicles are following the same route as the original 1920 Transcontinental Motor Convoy route.
The MVPA 2015 Bankhead Convoy left Washington, D.C., last Saturday and is expected to arrive in San Diego, Calif. on Oct. 17.
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What will be the largest speculative industrial facility ever built in Greer is breaking ground at Velocity Park.
Beacon Partners and Cullum Interests are partnering on a 240,020-square-foot venture at 545 Brookshire Road with a completion date set for January 2016.
The lure of the Greer Inland Port has another company investing in the upstate because of the proximity to intermodal infrastructure.
Moderna Products, a family-owned company headquartered in Izegem, Belgium, will locate in an existing 116,000-square-foot building in Gaffney. Modern specializes in creating, producing and distributing plastic products for pets such as litter boxes, food bowls and “traveling solutions for both dogs and cats, as well as other small animals.”
The Greer Inland Port surpassed initial annual volumes projected five years into the terminal operations.
The South Carolina Port’s Authority’s 2015 fiscal year showed the inland port’s first full fiscal year of operations concluded with 58,407 rail moves. The monthly volumes peaked in June, with 6,736 rail moves handled during the month. The inland port opened in October 2013.
Greer-manufactured BMWs continue to propel the company’s brand to its second consecutive record month in June.
Sales for Greer-produced BMW X5 SAVs increased 89 percent in June compared to one year ago to help BMW brand vehicles to a second consecutive record month. The X6, although on a smaller scale, tripled its sales last month to 1,448 compared to 567 in 2014 for a 155 percent increase.
BMW brand sales increased 6.5 percent in June for a total of 32,176 vehicles compared to 30,201 sold in June 2014.
The Greer Inland Port set record volumes in May, with 5,845 rail moves.
The facility has handled 51,671-rail moves fiscal year to date, already surpassing initial volume projections for five years of terminal operations.
Russia will assemble the Greer-manufactured X4s, BMW confirmed.
BMW Manufacturing will ship parts from the Greer production facility to Russia where the kits will be completed at Russia’s Kaliningrad plant.
Site preparation is underway for a 675,000-square-foot body shop, the third on Greer’s BMW Manufacturing Co. campus, off of Brockman McClimon Road. The new road has been completed and suppliers are already making deliveries using that entrance.
“The body shop is part of BMW’s $1 billion expansion,” Steve Wilson, spokesman for BMW Manufacturing, said. “We’ve just completed our second paint shop.”
The Greer Inland Port handled its highest ever monthly rail moves, with 5,513 moves completed in April, according to the S.C. Ports Authority at its board meeting today.
Fiscal year to date, the Inland Port has handled 45,826 rail moves.
Greer’s Inland Port continued its record-setting pace in rail moves and is 52 percent ahead of planned volumes, according to the S.C. Ports Authority.
The Inland Port handled 5,187 rail moves in March, achieving its highest volumes since the facility opening in October 2013, according to the S.C. Ports Authority. Fiscal year to date, the Inland Port has handled 40,313 rail moves.
It was another great day, month and quarter in Greer, according to BMW March sales figures released Tuesday.
In fact production by BMW Manufacturing Co., of the popular X5 and X6 in Greer, helped make March and the first quarter of 2015 a record.
Greer is rated the fourth-best place to start a business in South Carolina, according to NerdWallet, a personal finance website.
Jeff Chu, the analyst who conducted the study, cited business climate (average revenue of businesses, percentage of businesses with paid employees and number of businesses per 100 people, and local economic health (median annual income, median annual housing costs and unemployment rate).
Just like clockwork, another special ceremony was held at the Greer plant this morning, as BMW celebrated its three millionth vehicle to roll off the assembly line.
The vehicle, a Donington Grey Metallic X5 M with Mugello Red Full Merino leather seats and carbon fiber interior trim, was driven by associate Dawn Burgess, hired in 1994. Burgess presented the keys to the vehicle to Manfred Erlacher, President and CEO of BMW Manufacturing.
The Greer Inland Port saw gains in February result with 4,631 rail moves completed during the month. The port has handled 35,126 rail moves fiscal year to date and is nearly 50 percent ahead of plan, according to the South Carolina Ports Authority (SCPA).
The SCPA announced February is the second consecutive month of 18 percent container growth at its ports, bringing fiscal year container volumes totals to 1.23 million twenty-foot equivalent units, or TEUs.