Business. Brief.

Inland Port Now Open, Accepting Cargo

Also: SC Loses Out on Daimler Headquarters, Korean Tire Plant

By Elwood Hamilton
Thursday, October 17, 2013

With BMW’s commercial operations beginning this week, the S.C. Inland Port is now open for business, GSA Business reported, citing S.C. Ports Authority CEO Jim Newsome.

Construction began last year on the facility, which will cost approximately $51.4 million after building is wrapped up later this year. The Inland Port, which is located in Greer, links the Upstate to Charleston’s docks through overnight rail services via Norfolk Southern. In addition to BMW, Newsome said that he’s received around 200 inquiries from companies similarly interested in using port facilities. He added that he expects it to become a “major distribution hub” over time.

Daimler Won’t Move Headquarters to SC

Despite receiving millions in grant money, Daimler won’t be building headquarters in South Carolina.

Five years ago, Daimler Trucks received $2 million from a South Carolina grant in hopes that the auto manufacturer would move its headquarters to South Carolina.

Now, the land that Daimler bought with the grant money is up for sale after the company chose to expand its headquarters in Oregon instead, The Associated Press reported. And although the company’s relocation plans were abandoned, it won’t have to pay back the money. That’s because Daimler met the original requirements of the grant, which required a sizable dollar investment and the creation of 300 jobs or more. Accordingly, Daimler met these requirements when it bought nearly 400 acres in York County and opened a sales and marketing center that currently has around 500 workers.

South Carolina Fails to Land South Korean Tire Maker

South Korean tire manufacturer Hankook Tire decided against building its first North American plant in the Palmetto state, it was announced earlier this week. Instead, the company chose Clarksville, Tenn., where it will invest more than $800 million and create 1,800 full-time jobs over the next several years, according to The State. Company officials stated last month that they were considering sites in South Carolina, Tennessee and Georgia.

The decision comes even as South Carolina holds the title as the top tire exporter in the U.S. and is closing in on Oklahoma as the nation’s leading tire producer.

South Carolina and Israel Enter into Business Partnership

South Carolina and Israel agreed this week to establish a joint research and development partnership, which is expected pave the way for the two entities to work collaboratively on projects in biomedical and life sciences, advanced materials, and sustainable energy, among others.

“South Carolina is the first state in the Southeast region to forge this kind of partnership with Israel,” said Commerce Secretary Bobby Hitt. “As our state continues to foster innovation, collaborative relationships such as this one will keep us on the cutting edge.”

“Israel, the ‘Start Up Nation,’ is very pleased to join South Carolina, the ‘Smart State,’ in this new stage of business, academic, and governmental relations for the benefit of our two peoples,” said Israeli Consul General Aviran.

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