Panama Canal Expansion Good News for Upstate

With the completion of the Panama Canal expansion, nearly six million square feet of warehouse is under construction in the Greenville-Spartanburg area. Why exactly? Bigger ships double the number of containers a vessel can transport, and that’s good news for the Port of Charleston and the Inland Port in Greer.

Panama canal inland port greer countybank scA wider and deeper Panama Canal allows easier transport of Asian-produced goods to the Eastern U.S. The Port of Charleston is spending $1.6 billion to dock the world’s largest container ships. Once completed, South Carolina will be home to the deepest port on the East Coast, and is expected to get a lion’s share of the import/export activity.

The Port of Charleston is directly or indirectly responsible for providing nearly 95,000 jobs and $26.8 billion in economic output in the Upstate, bolstering the region’s thriving manufacturing industry. The 2.5-year-old Inland Port in Greer has reached a volume of 100,000 “rail lifts” – providing overnight rail service to the Port of Charleston for the likes of BMW Manufacturing Co., Michelin NA and others.

These developments are just the start of an exciting new phase for manufacturing in the Upstate. As new manufacturers move in, they’ll bring their suppliers, who will ultimately bring more people to the area. The lasting effect of this growth is something the Upstate area will be feeling for quite some time.