Walmart Breaks Ground on Distribution Center in South Carolina

Monday, December 7th, 2020

Walmart broke ground on its nearly 3-million-square-foot Walmart Ridgeville Import Distribution Center in Dorchester County, South Carolina. 

Walmart is investing $220 million to build the direct import distribution center, creating approximately 1,000 full-time jobs. Construction is underway on the new storage and cross-dock facility in the Ridgeville Industrial Campus, which sits along Interstate 26. The distribution center, which was announced in July, will take approximately 14 months to build.

“Walmart’s $220 million investment is a vote of confidence in the hardworking people of South Carolina and our state’s business-friendly approach that attracts the world’s top companies,” Governor Henry McMaster said. “This investment and the 1,000 jobs that come with it will help continue our state’s tremendous economic success and change the lives of South Carolinians.”

The Walmart Ridgeville Import Distribution Center will supply several regional distribution centers, which will support approximately 850 Walmart and Sam’s Club stores across South Carolina and beyond.

“We found great partners in South Carolina, Dorchester County and SC Ports for our new, $220 million distribution center in Dorchester County, South Carolina,” said Greg Smith, Walmart’s executive vice president of supply chain. “SC Ports’ business mindset, efficient operations and shovel-ready site at the Ridgeville Commerce Park helped make this project a reality. SC Ports’ proven track record of handling high-demand supply chain needs for the automotive industry gives us full confidence in their ability to meet our retail distribution and e-commerce needs. We are excited about the impact this new distribution facility will have on the regional economy and how it will help us better serve customers across the Southeast.”

Walmart’s new distribution center in the Charleston region will grant access to the booming Southeast market and a world-class port. Once fully operational, the distribution center is expected to increase volumes at the Port of Charleston by 5%.

“We are thrilled to celebrate the groundbreaking of Walmart’s seventh import distribution center in Ridgeville, South Carolina,” SC Ports President and CEO Jim Newsome said. “We will support the investment by efficiently handling Walmart’s imported goods. Walmart is at the cutting-edge of supply chain sophistication and performance, and their confidence in us speaks volumes. This investment is a signal to the major retailers that we’re prepared to be a force in retail distribution and that we can handle their requirements.”

Gov. Henry McMaster, Walmart executives, SC Ports leaders, elected officials and other partners celebrated the groundbreaking of the Walmart Ridgeville Import Distribution Center today at a small, socially distant event held outside at SC Ports headquarters in Mount Pleasant.

This successful project was made possible with great partners, including Walmart, SC Ports, Gov. McMaster, the S.C. Department of Commerce, Dorchester County, the S.C. Legislature and the Congressional delegation.

“Walmart’s $220 million investment into a new, near-port distribution center is tremendous news for the Charleston region and SC Ports,” SC Ports Board Chairman Bill Stern said. “Having this world-class company choose our market for its retail distribution center showcases South Carolina as an ideal place for retail companies to do business.”

SC Ports purchased the 1,000-acre Ridgeville Industrial Campus in 2018 with the goal of creating a site for port-dependent businesses to locate. The U.S. Department of Transportation recently awarded SC Ports a nearly $22 million grant to build infrastructure at the site for current and future tenants. Walmart is the site’s first tenant.

In support of the Walmart project, SC Ports preserved a 325-acre parcel of land within the Timothy Creek and Four Holes Swamp Watershed, both of which have been identified as priority areas for conservation. This important conservation project was done through a partnership between SC Ports, Lowcountry Land Trust and Open Space Institute.

Notable quotes:

“I am very appreciative of Walmart locating a new distribution facility in Dorchester County. We have much to celebrate as construction begins on their 3-million-square-foot distribution center, which will boost port volumes by 5%. It is yet another example of how the Port of Charleston drives South Carolina’s economy. Bringing in more cargo through the Port of Charleston is crucial to our state’s growth. The SC Ports Authority is the backbone of our state’s economy, with port operations creating 1 in 10 jobs for South Carolinians. This new facility will create even more positive economic activity in the region and is terrific news for all of South Carolina. Walmart represents a business model breakthrough for the port, enabling the port to harness growth opportunities that, just months ago, didn’t seem possible. This growth reinforces the importance of deepening Charleston Harbor to 52 feet, which we will achieve in 2021.” — U.S. Sen. Lindsey Graham

“I am thrilled to celebrate the groundbreaking of Walmart’s 3-million-square-foot distribution center in Dorchester County. This investment and the 1,000 new jobs it creates are more results of 25 years of work to fund and expand the Lake Marion Regional Water Agency. I look forward to Walmart’s continued investment in this community for years to come.” — Congressman Jim Clyburn

“It is an exciting day as South Carolina partners with Walmart, the world’s largest retailer, on its new distribution center in Dorchester County, South Carolina. This $220 million investment will create nearly 1,000 full-time jobs for South Carolinians and boost volumes at SC Ports by 5%. We are proud of the role South Carolina will play in Walmart’s supply chain, bringing goods to communities across the Southeast.”— U.S. Sen. Tim Scott

“Folks should understand that this is not a typical distribution facility. Walmart has only a few of these large hubs in the entire country, and when completed, this one will be among its largest. These are quality jobs in a dynamic and important industry, jobs that improve employees’ quality of life, and in turn provide other Americans with everyday necessities — and during the pandemic we’ve all come to appreciate just how necessary these goods are.” — Sen. Larry Grooms, Chairman, Senate Transportation Committee and Port Oversight Commission

“During what has been a challenging year, I am happy to be celebrating a $220 million investment that will bring economic prosperity to the region and further support growth at South Carolina Ports. Walmart’s new distribution center in Dorchester County will create 1,000 full-time jobs for Lowcountry residents.” — S.C. Sen. Sean Bennett

“It’s a banner day in Dorchester County as we celebrate the groundbreaking of Walmart’s new direct import distribution center. With our state’s prime geographic location, superior infrastructure assets and strong partnerships, South Carolina offers unparalleled logistical advantages. Congratulations to Walmart on this exciting milestone, and we look forward to watching them succeed within our borders for years to come.” — Secretary of Commerce Bobby Hitt

“We are thrilled to welcome Walmart’s 3-million-square-foot distribution center to western Dorchester County. A project such as this would not have been possible without the county’s long-term commitment to infrastructure improvements and our strong relationship with SC Ports. We are grateful for Walmart’s faith in the county, and excited for the new jobs this project will bring to our community.” — Dorchester County Council Chairman George Bailey

“Walmart’s $220 million investment into a new distribution center is a monumental win for the Lowcountry, especially during an economically difficult year. Walmart will create 1,000 jobs — a huge win for Dorchester County. Walmart’s confidence in South Carolina, Dorchester County and SC Ports sends a great message to companies looking to do business here.” — Dorchester County Economic Development Director John Truluck