Spotlight: Manufacturing, Distribution & Logistics
Big business is booming in the South Carolina Upstate – including in the manufacturing, distribution and logistics industries. Find out a little about why Greenville County is so well positioned for success in these spotlight areas.
The South Carolina Upstate is up one of the strongest manufacturing centers in the United States, with a pro-business environment that has attracted both international and domestic firms.
In fact, Harvard Business Review called the Greenville-Spartanburg area “the model of a manufacturing community” for a few main reasons:
- Business climate
- Training opportunities
- Collaboration between government and business
Likewise, Harvard Business School professor and author Rosabeth Moss Kanter wrote the following of the Upstate in World Class: Thriving Locally in the Global Economy:
“The history of the region’s economic development is a lesson for business and community leaders seeking to understand what is required to achieve world-class status and bring local residents into the world economy.”
Some of the largest manufacturing employers in Greenville County include Michelin North America, GE Energy and the Cryovac Division of Sealed Air Corp.
Also among the top-10 manufacturers in the Upstate is aircraft manufacturer Lockheed Martin, which recently announced it is moving production of its F-16 fighter jets from Fort Worth, Texas, to Greenville for economic reasons. The move will create about 250 jobs in the area over two years. A spokesperson for the company said the F-16 workers will likely be trained in Greenville Technical College’s Aircraft Maintenance Program.
Another major benefit of doing business in Greenville County is its location along I-85, which is known as the southeast’s major freight corridor. This offers the area consistent access to trucks from several specialized trucking carriers that serve the United States. Over 70 freight lines serve the Greenville-Spartanburg area, and half of them have terminals. As a result, one-day trucking from the Upstate can reach 44 percent of the country’s population.
Additionally, an ongoing project by The South Carolina Department of Transportation and its contractor Flatiron-Zachry, called the 85/385 Gateway Project, will further improve the intersection of Interstates 85 and 385 in Greenville County.
The two largest logistics companies serving the area are AAA Cooper Transportation, based in Duncan, SC, and ABF Freight System, based in Greer, SC.