Category Archives: CHS Port

Charleston’s Economic Headlines For 2016

The Post and Courier highlighted the local economy’s 2016 headlines in a single article; among the highlights:

  • Update on dredging of CHS harbor with the start of a single dollar from President Trump
  • Boeing’s new 787-10, made exclusively in N CHS, will be a major focus of the manufacturer forward as the larger plane replaces the shorter version 787-8 made in Seattle
  • More changes at CHS airport with a focus on parking to handle the increased volume
  • A strong housing outlook to handle the 35 newcomers a day moving to the region
  • A tightening labor market amid the 3.4% unemployment rate, the lowest since 2000
  • New retailers including member-clubs such as our first BJ’s Wholesale, a Costco in Mount Pleasant, the region’s second, and another Sam’s Club, this one in Summerville
  • More hotels, including the new Hotel Bennett at Marion Square downtown with rooms starting at $500/night, and another dozen hotels approved or under construction – just on the downtown Peninsula


Port of CHS Creating a Warehouse Boom

Boeing, BMW, Volvo, Mercedes, a successful inland port, new rail access, and some 1M containers a year are all creating the need for new warehouses and developers are listening and building.  David Wren has the story here for The Post and Courier.

New CHS Distribution Center for ThyssenKrupp

With linkage to the Port of CHS, large European company ThyssenKrupp will open a 39,000 SF distribution center in Palmetto Commerce Park in North Charleston.  David Wren has the announcement here.

BMW Reaches Milestone Manufacturing Mark

BMW’s Upstate manufacturing plant produced BMW #3,500,000, in the midst of expanding the plant to capacity of some 450,000 annual vehicles as they plan a new X7 model.  They made 400,904 vehicles in 2015, making it the largest BMW plant in the world, producing 1,400 SUVs a day, and the biggest U.S. auto exporter.  Some 70% of the SUVs are exported thru the Port of CHS’ Columbus Street Terminal to 140 markets worldwide.  John McDermott of The Post and Courier has the article here.

Refrigerated Cargo in CHS A Growing Trend

Since 2009, refrigerated cargo at the Port of CHS has increased by nearly 40% to about 45,000 containers.  David Wren has the story here that includes a 12-fold increase in refrigerated storage square footage in the area.  And port-deepening efforts (from 45′ to 52′) bode well for CHS for more growth as cold storage weighs lots more (30 tons in a 40′-long container) and heavier ships need deeper ports.

CHS Investment Sales Reach Record $1B

Sales of investment properties in the CHS region – apartments, office buildings, shopping centers and the like – exceeded $1 BILLION for the first time ever in 2015. A few highlights from our Colliers Year-End 2015 Investment Sales report:

  • Multi-family led the way with over $520M in sales volume, an average price per door of $114k, with newer class A communities often exceeding $200k/unit
  • Sales of shopping centers were next at $131M in 2015, averaging $133/SF, led by the Wal-Mart anchored North Pointe Plaza in N CHS at $32M, and Shoppes at Centre Pointe at $16.5M then West Ashley Shoppes at $15.5M
  • Office buildings totaled $123M and averaged $214/SF; the largest building sale, at $28.4M, was that of Parkshore in West Ashley but it was to a user, MUSC.  The biggest investment sale was that of 3955 Faber Place to a NY-based advisor at $13M or about $200/SF

Read all about it in our Colliers Year-End 2015 report.  You can request yours by pinging me at



Norfolk-Southern To Connect Rail From Port of CHS to Charlotte

A rail line to connect the Port of CHS to an intermodal facility in Charlotte has been announced to start this week for overnight service between CHS and Spartanburg then Charlotte’s international airport.  This connection “builds on the existing, high-speed intermodal network” between CHS and the South Carolina Port Authority’s inland port in Greer.  The Greer inland port opened in 2013 and is capable of 50k rail lifts (to trucks) per year while the Charlotte facility debuted in 2014 and has a capacity of 200k rail lifts per annum.  SPA also is building a rail-to-truck facility at the new container port that will open in N CHS in 2020, where CSX and Norfolk-Southern will both offer rail service.  David Wren of The Post and Courier has the story here.

400k BMWs Produced in Upstate SC

An amazing 400,000 BMWs were manufactured in BMW’s plant in Greer near Greenville/Spartanburg in 2015.  That’s almost 1,100 a DAY and 45 each and every HOUR of the year.  Incredible.  Figures for exports through the Port of CHS are not yet out, but $9.2B of autos were shipped out in 2014.  Add Daimler’s and Volvo’s exports in the next two to three years that will swell these figures to make SC one of the largest auto exporters in the nation; its already one of the largest tire exporters in the U.S.  David Wren has the story here for The Post and Courier.

CHS Harbor Dredging One Step Closer

Deepening the CHS harbor from 45′ to 52′ is one step closer with the signing of an agreement between the Army Corps of Engineers and the State Ports Authority, and $307M already set aside by the state.  The deepening would allow CHS to accommodate some of the largest container ships in the world regardless of the local tides. David Wren of The Post and Courier has the story here.

CHS Airport Projecting Significant Growth

Officials at Charleston County Aviation Authority are expecting outbound ticketholders to total 2 million in 2023, 25% higher than the record 1.5M reached just last year.  Since 2010, CHS has seen a 55% increase in passenger growth.  The airport just underwent a $200M expansion and renovation adding five new gates.   Delta has the lion’s share of the market here with 32%, American/USAir, now combined, totaled 25%, followed by Southwest at 18% which just started service here in 2010, followed by United at 13% and JetBlue at 11%, but just two years old here.  The Post and Courier’s Warren Wise has the story and statistics here.