New UPS Distribution Center in N.C. to Create 60 Driver Jobs

UPS truck and logo
Tim Boyle/Bloomberg

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Some 60 new truck driver jobs are coming to southeastern North Carolina in the largest business venture there in 40 years thanks to a new UPS distribution center.

UPS Inc. plans to invest over $12.3 million in the small town of Holly Ridge to build a distribution center in Camp Davis Industrial Park to support a higher volume of package deliveries throughout eastern North Carolina.

Mark Smith, vice president of UPS North Carolina, noted, “The investment in Holly Ridge and surrounding communities allows us to meet current volume demands while positioning us for the future.”

With a nearby Marine Corps airport training facility, Holly Ridge is between Jacksonville and Wilmington at the intersection of U.S. Highways 17 and 50.

“As the third-fastest growing state in the nation, global logistics leaders like UPS are eager to build in military communities like Holly Ridge that have the right people and the transportation infrastructure to reach their customers,” Gov. Roy Cooper declared recently. “The decision by UPS to expand in eastern North Carolina is a tribute to our growth and our dedicated workforce, which includes many veterans in this area.”

This is the largest economic development project for Onslow County in 40 years, according to the governor’s office. The town, with 1,500 residents, is 36 miles from the Port of Wilmington.

The new distribution center will add 98 jobs, offering positions for 60 drivers in addition to operations personnel, managers and support staff.

Positions for small package drivers will feature annual wages up to $95,000. “Although wages will vary depending on position, the overall expected average annual wage across all job types is $67,657, which exceeds Onslow County’s overall average annual wage of $35,576,” the governor’s office stated.

Machelle Baker Sanders, state commerce secretary, said, “I’m confident that our extensive transportation network, East Coast location and capable pipeline of talent will support UPS’ growth strategy and lead to great success in this region.”

Brokering the deal involved widespread support from key state officials. Partners in the effort to win over UPS included the state commerce department, the Economic Development Partnership of North Carolina, the General Assembly, North Carolina Community College System, Golden LEAF Foundation, Jacksonville Onslow Economic Development, Duke Energy and the Town of Holly Ridge.

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Atlanta-based UPS will receive a $250,000 performance-based grant from the One North Carolina Fund to offset the project cost. The state fund provides financial assistance to local governments to help attract economic investment and create jobs. To qualify, companies receive no money upfront, but must meet job creation and capital investment targets. All One NC grants require matching participation from local governments.

State legislators lauded the venture. State Sen. Michael Lazzara (R), who represents Onslow County, commented, “What a fantastic announcement for our community. We appreciate the diligent work of our local officials and economic development professionals that helped us prepare and solidify this win for Holly Ridge.”

State Rep. Carson Smith (R) reacted to the announcement. “The company could have expanded anywhere in the state, and they chose our community to create new jobs and investments that will make positive impacts on our economy,” he said.

UPS ranks No.1 on the Transport Topics Top 100 list of the largest for-hire carriers in North America.