Greer Port's impact is a boom to the state's economy

By Jim Fair, Editor
Published on Monday, October 28, 2019

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Greer Port's impact is a boom to the state's economy

South Carolina Port Authority

Greer Mayor Rick Danner described Inland Port Greer as a “game-changer” when it was in its planning and building stages in 2012 until its opening in October 2013.

Six years later with year over year growth – Greer Inland Port handled a record 143,204 rail moves in fiscal year 2019 – Greer is a “Community of Opportunity,” Danner said Monday as he welcomed South Carolina Ports Authority leaders, legislators and the author of an Economic Impact Study to Greer City Hall.

Rail moves averaged 400 a day in FY 2019. BMW was the major player in that category exporting about 70 percent of its vehicles to 175 countries.

The Economic Impact Study from the University of South Carolina’s Darla Moore School of Business on the Greer port’s impact in the Upstate indicated:

• Economic impact, $32.8 billion,

• Total jobs, 116,561,

• Labor income, $6.6 billion,

• Percentage of total impact statewide, 51.8%. 

“Because of the port, it makes a big difference in our community,” Danner said. “It’s an opportunity for the people, opportunity for change and for the trajectory of lives.”

Port operations facilitate 225,000 statewide jobs and generate nearly $63.4 billion annual economic activity. Charleston is on pace to be home to the deepest harbor on the east coast at 52-feet. Federal funding will have paid for the deepening when it’s finished, according to SCPA President and CEO Jim Newsome.

Port operations (Greer, Charleston, Dillon and Pee Dee region) account for 10% of the state’s economy and generates $1.1 billion in tax revenue annually for the state, according to the economic study.

“South Carolina Ports is one of South Carolina’s most vital resources,” said Joey Von Nessen, the study’s author and a research economist at USC. “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.”

Greer has a reach of 94 million people within 500 miles, according to the SCPA’s demographics. The Greer Port’s 5-year growth plan was reached after its fourth year.

The Greer Port employs 58 people. Expansion is overdue at the Greer Port and officials said expansion to the east is accommodating chassis for the cargo and the concrete is virtually full with containers stacked seven high, at times, extending west to Moore Street. The operation building and full-service center will be moved and expanded. SCPA owns property west on Moore Street and expansion will occur there in the future.

“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.”

The intermodal facility, located off Highway 290 and 81, is bordered by BMW Manufacturing, Greenville-Spartanburg International Airport and is served by the Norfolk Southern Railroad adjacent to the property.




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