Port Charleston Freight Tied to Averitt Express Expansion

Averitt Adds 12 Jobs, 35,000 Square Feet of Warehousing Space
Averitt Express truck
Averitt Express opened its first hybrid facility in Charleston County more than a decade ago. (Averitt Express)

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South Carolina state officials have welcomed a $4.58 million expansion by Averitt Express of its operations in Charleston County to meet freight needs from the Port of Charleston.

Congratulating the Cookeville, Tenn.-based freight transportation and supply chain service provider, Gov. Henry McMaster said, “It is great to see companies working to advance the state’s supply chain framework and providing increased services to our distribution network.”

Averitt Express added 35,000 square feet of warehousing space to its current facility at 7749 Palmetto Commerce Parkway in North Charleston near Interstate 26. Other additions are on-site parking and fuel tanks.

Harry Lightsey III, state secretary of commerce, declared, “South Carolina has the distribution and logistics infrastructure to help support Averitt Express’ expansive, supply chain services.”

Over a decade ago, Averitt Express opened its first hybrid facility in Charleston County, offering cross-dock and warehouse space. This service center remains a key location supporting its less-than-truckload and truckload distribution network.

Barry Blakely, company executive vice president and chief operating officer, said, “We are excited to grow our presence in one of the nation’s most strategic logistics hubs. From supporting the local shipping needs of our customers in Charleston County to the global supply chain needs of those across the country and around the world, our team is dedicated to ensuring that our customers and local communities succeed and grow.”

The new capabilities will create 12 jobs, and enable the company to meet greater customer demand and support from growing cargo volumes passing through the Port of Charleston.

“Averitt Express’ expansion will undoubtedly create new opportunities for employment, stimulate economic development and strengthen our local supply chain. We look forward to the continued collaboration between Averitt Express and Charleston County, as we work together to build a brighter and more prosperous future for all,” remarked Herbert Sass III, chair of the Charleston County Council.

The latest figures from South Carolina Ports, which operates the Port of Charleston, announced in late June that its ports handled a total of nearly 2.4 million 20-foot-equivalent units and 1.3 million pier containers this fiscal year.

May’s numbers show SC Ports handled 198,824 TEUs and 110,834 pier containers. “Container volumes are down about 22% year-over-year in response to a constricting economy. Imports are down as people spend less on goods, while exports continue to trend up, with a 4% increase year-over-year,” the port noted.

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Barbara Melvin, port president and CEO, said that South Carolina ports continue to be competitive in “the thriving Southeast market, despite a change from the pandemic-induced strong demand for imports.”

Melvin said, “As an owner-operator port, we are customer-focused and efficiently run. We have cargo capacity, a strong infrastructure network, available land for import distribution centers, and the deepest harbor on the East Coast to keep freight moving.”

Averitt Express ranks No. 29 on the Transport Topics Top 100 list of the largest for-hire carriers in North America.