SC Ports drives big economic impact in Pee Dee region

October 24, 2023

South Carolina Ports generates a $9.7 billion economic impact in the Pee Dee region. (Photo/Walter Lagarenne)

South Carolina Ports generates a $9.7 billion economic impact in the Pee Dee region by supporting port-dependent businesses, according to a new economic impact study.

“South Carolina Ports is a port system for the entire state, and you can see that impact in every region,” SC Ports President and CEO Barbara Melvin said. “In the Pee Dee, we move cargo for agricultural producers, advanced manufacturers and retailers. We are proud to connect their products to international markets, further supporting their growth.”

This economic impact correlates to supporting — both directly and indirectly — 29,000 jobs in the Pee Dee region, according to the study authored by Dr. Joseph Von Nessen, a research economist and professor at the University of South Carolina Darla Moore School of Business.

Looking at South Carolina overall, port operations support 260,000 jobs, meaning 1 in 9 jobs in South Carolina are tied directly or indirectly to SC Ports.

“Port operations attract port-dependent businesses to locate or expand throughout the state, generating billions in economic impact and supporting thousands of jobs for South Carolinians,” Von Nessen said. “Our state’s economic success is directly linked to SC Ports’ continued growth.”

SC Ports opened Inland Port Dillon in 2018 to provide importers and exporters with a direct connection to the Port of Charleston via CSX. The rail-served inland port has continued to grow this year with strong volumes.

“Having a well-run port system and rail-served inland ports in South Carolina attracts port-dependent businesses to invest in our state and create new jobs,” Melvin said. “We make bold investments with big impacts. SC Ports is proud to play a role in supporting the Pee Dee region’s economy and creating opportunities in our communities. We look forward to growing together for years to come.”

Read the full report here.


About South Carolina Ports

South Carolina Ports owns and operates marine terminals at the Port of Charleston and two rail-served inland ports in Greer and Dillon. As the 8th largest U.S. container port, SC Ports connects port-dependent businesses throughout the Southeast and beyond to global markets. SC Ports proactively invests in infrastructure ahead of demand to provide reliable service, efficient operations, cargo capacity, an expansive rail network and the deepest harbor on the East Coast at 52 feet. SC Ports is a vital economic engine for South Carolina, with port operations supporting 1 in 9 jobs statewide. Learn more: