Charleston, the E-Commerce Distribution Hub of the East Coast?

Harbor with cargo ship under expansive bridge.

The Charleston Harbor is set to become the deepest port on the East Coast by mid-2022. Upon completion, the 11 year, 2 Billion dollar project will take the port from its current 45ft to 52ft.

Post-Panamax vessels will add Charleston to their port of calls at the new depth, opening up significant commerce opportunities for Charleston and the surrounding areas. The South Carolina Port Authority is using this project and the exponential increase to capacity to court retail giants and notable e-commerce players to the region. Historically, the SPCA has focused on attracting manufacturing, but with “Tangible Consumption” accounting for 30-35% of GDP, vs. manufacturing at 11%, the shift is supported, and the big box corporations are taking notice.

In July, Walmart announced that it would build a three million-square-foot distribution center near Ridgeville in Dorchester, County, 35 miles from the port, with the groundbreaking set to take place March 2021. Walmart’s presence alone is estimated to increase Port Volume by 5%, and we all know where Walmart leads, others will follow.