Bigger Port, Bigger Industrial Buildings In South Carolina

Key Takeaways

  • The market is maturing to a point that is sustainable for the development of larger speculative buildings.
  • Growing demand for two-day delivery is causing a shift from West Coast to East Coast shipping.

Maturing Market Means Bigger Spec

The South Carolina industrial market is seeing demand for larger warehouse and distribution facilities between 200,000 and 700,000 square feet. Driving the demand is expansion of the e-commerce market, expansion of major manufacturers and low vacancy in the region. To capitalize on this, investors and developers are expanding their portfolios across the state.

To meet the demand of the e-commerce market, retailers need larger distribution centers capable of holding a larger supply of product to fulfill customer orders quickly. Many of the distribution centers need 36- to 40-foot clearance heights and cross-docked loading to allow products to be stored and moved through the facility more efficiently. Access to a deep-water port, an inland port and five major interstates attract these types of companies to the state. South Carolina has access to more than 78% of the nation’s population within a 16-hour truck drive of Columbia, the geographic center of the state, providing a strong opportunity to e-commerce platforms and other distributors to fulfill customer orders and provide last-mile delivery in a much shorter time frame.

The recent announcements and expansions of manufacturers such as Volvo, Daimler, Boeing, Michelin, BMW and five major tire manufacturing companies are creating a wave of demand for industrial buildings in the region from automotive and aerospace suppliers and distributors. This demand, coupled with low vacancy, has increased the need for new and larger developments.

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