About That “Inland Port”

IS IT NOTHING BUT A $46.5 MILLION INCENTIVE FOR BMW? South Carolina leaders broke ground last March on an “inland port” in Greer, S.C. – a $46.5 million taxpayer-funded facility run by the S.C. State Ports Authority (SCSPA). In launching this “port” last October, S.C. Commerce Secretary Bobby Hitt hailed…


South Carolina leaders broke ground last March on an “inland port” in Greer, S.C. – a $46.5 million taxpayer-funded facility run by the S.C. State Ports Authority (SCSPA).

In launching this “port” last October, S.C. Commerce Secretary Bobby Hitt hailed it as “a key piece in the economic development puzzle.”

“The Upstate in particular has a high concentration of companies that are heavy exporters,” Hitt said. “This facility will help streamline their supply chains and encourage additional growth and investment.”

Hitt – a former BMW executive – also boasted that the inland port would capture business from surrounding states.

What is this “port” in reality, though?

So far, it’s nothing but a taxpayer-funded hub for Upstate automaker BMW – a terminal enabling the company to use rail instead of trucks to import materials to its Greer, S.C. facility. In other words volume isn’t being increased, it’s simply being shifted.

Other business doesn’t appear to be booming …

“Charleston is struggling with Greer,” one regional source explained to FITS. “They cannot convince the region’s exporters to shift from truck since the rail rate is not competitive, nor is the service frequency … we hear Charleston is offering BIG subsidies to potential exporters to shift to rail, something their financials indicate cannot be sustained.”

Hmmmmm …

So … is it time to label South Carolina’s “inland port” as nothing but the latest in a long line of taxpayer-subsidized incentives for BMW?

It’s sure looking that way …

UPDATE: And here’s some additional competition to make things even tougher … 

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Uh Huh February 7, 2014 at 9:03 am

…and because Bobby Hitt used to work for BMW it all makes perfect sense. Especially in the context that his ass will probably be bounced out of his job once Haley’s out of office….so he better do them some crony favors so he has someplace to go afterwards.

Crony powers activate! Form of, a GIANT TAX MONEY EATING DOUCHEBAG! (that’s you Bobby)

ThreePalms February 7, 2014 at 9:37 am

Will South Carolina EVER get any benefit frm BMW coming here?

Will Folks aka Sic February 7, 2014 at 9:40 am

No one is arguing BMW does not provide a benefit. But with all due respect to the company – and every other company that receives taxpayer-funded incentives – we should not have to spend our money to pad its profits.

Jackie Chiles February 7, 2014 at 10:45 am

Just so we’re clear, on one hand, taxes you and I pay to the government is OUR money. On the other hand, taxes paid by BMW to the government is also OUR money.

Really? February 7, 2014 at 11:04 am

lol…you really believe that?

Jackie Chiles February 7, 2014 at 11:12 am

Apparently sic does.

euwe max February 7, 2014 at 8:48 pm

If you don’t give incentives to businesses, they won’t create jobs!

Jackie Chiles February 7, 2014 at 10:43 am

Excellent post.

west_rhino February 7, 2014 at 10:08 am

past senator that sat on commerce that gave bigger bones to the ports of Georgia, NC and Virginia with AMTRAK and high speed rail corridor infrastructure has more to blame, but he’s retired now

venomachine February 7, 2014 at 10:48 am

Don’t forget the railroads. Doesn’t just benefit BMW.

That being said, I’m not really against it, but I don’t really like taxpayer funding for a large part of it.

Anyone know what the total price is? $46 million sounds low.

Philip Branton February 7, 2014 at 1:15 pm

Dear SPAWAR Atlantic “viewers”, what information does Wil Folks leave out of this article just like the Post and Courier would do.? How would a Google Earth Map of the real estate rail swaps look between Charleston and North Charleston and Westvaco and Post publishing “Square Developers”..?

How would this article be used in a court of law to illustrate US Aid dollars going to Iraq and Afghanistan..?

Spawar “viewers”….Mr. Wil FOlks can also use a Google Earth Map to place a GOLD Toilet on Biedler National Forest and the Norfolk Southern “inland” bribe cabin. Can he not…? Carer to wager if Truck-meister Summey can see a Norfolk Southern and CSX cabin..?

Torch February 7, 2014 at 3:43 pm

Maybe Nikki can give it to Georgia.

euwe max February 7, 2014 at 5:09 pm

We should give over all our ports to the highest bidder – say, al Qaeda.

Meh March 25, 2014 at 3:58 pm

Getting businesses to locate in a state requires competition by any means necessary, and infrastructure lasts a long time, particularly rail.
If States want jobs, they must approach that goal with humility and willingness to PAY for them because that is what competing requires. Tough shit, too bad, so sad.
If you want to see what happens to areas too proud to compete, go visit the wreckage of Detroit. Business is war.

savesc May 13, 2014 at 2:07 pm

The Jasper County port on the Savannah River opposite the Port of Savannah has lingered and been left out of planning – by nothing other than a former BMW exec.

Savannah is a busy port competing with Charleston. An SC Ports Authority on the SC banks of the Savannah River which is being dredged to accommodate mega ships from the Panama Canal would bring huge jobs to the two state region.

Why is nothing being done to fast track this ports completion?

Simple. The good ‘ol boys club of Sc would rather destroy economic development than have Charleston have to compete. The inmland port is a waste in contrast to the Jasper port on the Sc side of the Savannah River.

Once again the good ‘ol Sc boys take care of business and screw SC citizens.


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