More On SC “Inland Port” Scam

HOW BMW “GREENS” ITS SUPPLY CHAIN AT TAXPAYER EXPENSE We’ve gotten some angry feedback from industry leaders in the aftermath of our recent story on South Carolina’s “inland port” in Greer, S.C. (Missed that post? Click HERE). We’ve also received some constructive feedback, though, including a letter from a businessman…


We’ve gotten some angry feedback from industry leaders in the aftermath of our recent story on South Carolina’s “inland port” in Greer, S.C.

(Missed that post? Click HERE).

We’ve also received some constructive feedback, though, including a letter from a businessman whose company is being placed at a competitive disadvantage due to the gratuitous government-funded sop being given to BMW – the prime beneficiary of this $46.5 million boondoggle.

As this businessman explains, “BMW is using this inland port to feed its appetite for IMPORTS (the components shipped from Germany and other countries in Mediterranean Shipping Company containers into the port of Charleston).”

So who pays to ship the empty containers back to Charleston, S.C.?

Not BMW … which has the S.C. Department of Commerce (whose secretary was its former PR man) and the rest of state government in its back pocket.

“(The S.C. State Ports Authority) and the steamship lines are working with regional exporters like Michelin, Tennessee Eastman, and grain exporters in the Midwest to use these same containers and rail them (loaded) back to Charleston,” the businessman explains. “It’s a great concept, unless you have to maintain a profit and loss statement on the practice.”

Basically BMW (along with other European Union exporters) is receiving a “greener” supply chain – without having to pay for it. That cost is being passed on to other businesses – and taxpayers!

“BMW has become so large, and our state ‘leaders’ so used to saying YES to anything they ask,” the businessman laments. “It’s a terrible position we find ourselves in, due to our leadership void.”

Indeed … much like the subservient relationship South Carolina “leaders” have with Boeing, this is crony capitalism at its worst – another example of government picking winners and losers in the economy (with our money).

We’ll have much more on this scam in future posts. Specifically, we’ll be assessing the cost overruns associated with this particular project as well as the dubious environmental benefits used as a justification for the expense.

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venomachine February 10, 2014 at 10:57 am

You know, it only makes good business sense to fill up these containers for a return trip to Europe…I don’t see the problem.

This goes on world wide. As I recall, empty containers became a problem in either the port of LA or Long Beach, because they couldn’t fill them, so they leave them at port waiting on product.

GreenvilleLwyr February 10, 2014 at 11:07 am

Can we load the containers up with Haley appointees for shipment out of the country?

Frank Pytel February 10, 2014 at 11:14 am

Why did you set your activity to private?

euwe max February 10, 2014 at 12:11 pm

He’s active on porn sites with Disqus?

Frank Pytel February 10, 2014 at 12:29 pm

Not cool. :( -1

euwe max February 10, 2014 at 12:32 pm

It was a WAG!

Frank Pytel February 10, 2014 at 12:32 pm

I don’t know what WAG means. I’m old.

euwe max February 10, 2014 at 12:40 pm

wild ass guess… and I’m old too. Sucks, doesn’t it? Try to tell someone you used to watch “The Rebel” in black and white on tv, and you get a blank stare.

You know you’re *really* old if you remember the phonetic alphabet for Z as Zebra.

Frank Pytel February 10, 2014 at 1:14 pm

Copy that

GrandTango February 10, 2014 at 1:52 pm

Frank: most liberals, like em, assume that because that is what they do. Of course, no matter how low they sink in their dangerous, child-corrupting filth and depravity, they always reserve the right to condemn you for (and accuse you of) the same immoral activity they celebrate.

It’s like FITS: He swears he’s a devout Liberal-Tarian, not wanting gov’t to EVER impose in his secret vice-filled life. Yet he castigates the gov’t for not telling him to stay his stupid @$$ off of snow-covered roads. Or he spies on and condemns a gov’t employee for parking outside the lines of a parking space.

When you have Horrible leadership…you get all idiots under every rock, claiming they can do it better than anyone and anything.

That’s just a downside of the miserable gov’t Obama has fostered…

Frank Pytel February 10, 2014 at 1:59 pm

I’ll vote for you T. What party ticket are you on?

John Boy February 10, 2014 at 2:08 pm

Bobby Jindal would say The Party of Stupid…

GrandTango February 10, 2014 at 4:40 pm

Just stay tuned. I’ll tell you who to vote for when the time comes. But NEVER vote ‘D’ or ‘L’…all that does is push the country toward the crapper (see Obama)….

Frank Pytel February 11, 2014 at 5:31 am

Never mind T. I changed my mind.

GrandTango February 11, 2014 at 7:58 am

Have core values. If you believe something stick with it. Don’t be so wishy-washy.

Some of the same people who voted for the prosperity of the Bush years twice, (I guess anyway) put the fiscal disaster that we now have in office…

Have principles and adhere to them. Otherwise good people lose…like we are under Obama.

Frank Pytel February 11, 2014 at 8:46 am

T, I’m going to tell you the exact same thing I tell my girlfriend. You’re Right!

ELCID February 10, 2014 at 11:10 am

This inland port was supposed to be located in Orangeburg County along I-95.
A place that could use the jobs and is best situated to move traffic from Charleston Ports. There was supposed to be a middle eastern country investor, supposedly Saudi.
That was the only justification for this inland port.

How the heck it got turned around into this boondoggle needs to be investigated. So far, BMW has become a major problem for SC. Nearly all it’s employees are temporary (17+ years for some) with SC taxpayers picking up the tab for BMW temporary employees with no health insurance, zero benefits, low pay, and etc. Further, BMW has actively run off Volkswagen, and Audi factories that wanted to be located in the upstate. Instead, they were forced to go to Tenn. BMW continues to threaten SC with moving it’s jobs to Mexico if we don’t give them what they want.

I say: cut off BMW from any more help until they make the vast majority of their workers full time, and stop trying to control SC manufacturing jobs. If they move any jobs to Mexico, then SC should push for massive tariffs on any BMW cars that come from Mexico into the USA. In other words: deny BMW access to the US Auto markets. Also, stop letting BMW use SC as just a screw driver factory. Where all the parts come from Germany. BMW should be forced to use majority American made parts or pay taxes on everything they bring into the USA that’s not made in the USA.

Smirks February 10, 2014 at 11:36 am

Do you have some links in regards to some of this? I’m not familiar with some of it. Thanks in advance.

venomachine February 10, 2014 at 12:03 pm

Google orangeburg inland port. The one I linked isn’t the middle easterne, I don’t think.

The inland port idea has been going on forever. At one time, they were pimping Columbia as an inland port in the early 1900s.

Jackie Chiles February 10, 2014 at 1:53 pm

Besides, what company would want to locate in Orangeburg?

venomachine February 10, 2014 at 3:12 pm

Heck, dude, I’m surprised anyone does.

dwb619 February 10, 2014 at 6:33 pm

He is right about the temps.
They are sourced from a temp agency in augusta, Georgia.
MAU, Inc.

ELCID February 12, 2014 at 8:02 pm

Temp agencies have been destroying jobs all across America.
Not just in SC. How they get around the wage and hour laws is beyond me (bribed politicians).

SC politicians look the other way, while companies like BMW make wage slaves out of our citizens. Yes, at least they have wages. But, if we enforced the Tariff laws and actually had fair trade, which actually does not exist except in foolish USA; American Citizens wouldn’t be forced into these type 3rd world wage situations.

venomachine February 10, 2014 at 12:00 pm

That was some middle eastern deal that fell through. Not in any way connected with this.

west_rhino February 10, 2014 at 2:15 pm

yup, was supposed to be a feather in Clyburn’s cap, tho’ SC State issues and customs enforcement that close to I-95 mighta made it just a little difficult for cartels and covens of several sorts to swallow… like that Saturn plant ILA didn’t want in Goose Creek, cause UAW would show the longshoremen up on contracts.

Rufus February 10, 2014 at 8:48 pm

The inland port was a dream of a Dubai investor. The location was in Santee at hwy 301. They have done nothing because there is no business reason to be there. GSP makes the most sense. You have critical mass of users on the I-85 corridor. Also once you connect a train, you need to run it as far as you can. Yes BMW is the biggest user but not the only.
Your logic is suspect. BMW has been a blessing for the Upstate and SC. Can you imagine GSP without textiles and BMW?? Maybe BMW should be forced to provide benefits? That will solve all our problems? Oh wait, Obama-care will fix that! Thank

mike traynor February 10, 2014 at 10:01 pm

The Problem was a charlatan named Lucy Duncan Sheman (check spelling of the last name). She promised big plans with a company called Jafza, which was a Dubai company. The only problem is that the reveue model never worked and LDS had nothing but BS in her repertoire. This is basically the same time thing that happened to American LeFrance–a charleston developer named Blanton promised big things and left LeFrance and Charleston Southern holding the bag. Time for these local yokels to let some people with real ability to work on deals.

Jackie Chiles February 10, 2014 at 11:17 am

BMW pays $27 million a year in state taxes, yet Fits complains that the government spending “our” money to benefit BMW.

Philip Branton February 10, 2014 at 2:00 pm

Dear SPAWAR Atlantic workers and contractors, sit back and think about this article and how it impacts the WAR effort..? Nothing about Dubai Ports is mentioned and the tap dance in Djibouti. Nothing is mentioned concerning the new technology that this Inland Port should be expanding. ZERO. Talk about informational dominance on a battlefield to kill taxpayers. Well, at least Wil Folks keeps more smoke on the rail than any other publication. This article should be required reading for all students in social studies classes at all levels. This should also be required reading for new recruits coming into Parris Island before bed at night to “train” them on points of thought.

This is class civilian Psyops tactics 101…..

Philip Branton February 10, 2014 at 2:03 pm

Dear Leader of the daughters of the Confederacy, Lindsey Graham, we highly suggest you pull up the BBC website today and do some Sochi reading. Dare to ask yourself if Nancy Mace will..??

Thomas February 10, 2014 at 2:30 pm

The reality of doing business in SC as a foreign international corporation is taxes and administrative costs levied by the U.S. Customs & Border Protection (CBP). The real savings is a duty free inland port in Greer that is designated a Foreign Trade Zone.

“How can global companies realize the benefits of importing goods without carrying the financial burden associated with foreign trade? By bringing goods into the country without bringing them into the country.

If that sounds like exploiting a legal technicality, that’s the idea. The technicality is known as a foreign trade zone (FTZ), and using it to avoid paying duties and fees is exactly what was intended when FTZs were created in the 1930s.”

“Goods brought into the country via an FTZ can be used in manufacturing, and can be assembled, tested, repackaged, warehoused, processed, relabeled, and manipulated in a variety of ways. They can even change form completely. As long as they stay inside the FTZ, they are not subject to any import duties.

The National Association of Foreign Trade Zones reports receipts into FTZs totaled $495 billion in 2006—the last year in which complete records are available, according to Will Berry, the group’s executive director. That represented an increase of approximately $100 billion compared to 2005.”

The trade off is while corporations receive incentives for locating into our FTZ’s, SC makes theirs on a 7% income tax from workers (BMW employs 6000) and Use Taxes at around 7%.

Bill Meyer February 13, 2014 at 8:45 pm

It’s nice that they have this new inland port. Too bad all of the state roads around it are falling apart. US 29, SC290, SC80, SC101 & I-85. Maybe if they got the roads fixed around there along with all of the state secondary roads that citizens have to drive on to get home from work would be a good start for the proper expenditure of tax dollars for the citizens of South Carolina.

Harrison Williams February 15, 2014 at 6:40 pm

What do you expect?


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