Insights on the South Carolina Logistics Industry


Spartan Logistics was proud to be honored in the 2024 SC Biz News Logistics Industry Power List. Below is the transcript of our responses to some of the most pressing questions facing the South Carolina logistics industry.

What is the biggest challenge facing the supply chain in South Carolina, and how can we overcome it? I think the biggest issue in South Carolina’s supply chain is the challenge for the ports to stay relative, cost-effective, and efficient. They’re competing against all kinds of different ports up and down the eastern seaboard for that type of revenue flowing from Europe and other countries as an import. To be relevant, efficient, and cost-effective, you have to be competing against a bunch of other ports in Georgia, North Carolina, and Virginia. And without that revenue coming in, it’s harder to attract that warehousing business to South Carolina.

What emerging technology has been most beneficial to the logistics industry, and why? The biggest thing that we have seen is the emergence of AI and how it has made our jobs easier – not just on the operational side, but for our sales, marketing, and other support teams. The ability to generate content to market to manufacturers has become significantly more convenient and cost-effective. AI has also been useful in generating things such as contracts for our customers, BOLs, and other documents for operational level tasks, and assisting in notetaking for meetings companywide.

How did the COVID-19 pandemic change the logistics industry for the better? When the supply chain got disrupted, we saw a ton of growth in inventory and more products being pushed back to the U.S. The cost of containers went through the roof, and they had to start thinking of different solutions for their supply chain solutions. We had a customer at one of our facilities who had to source all their raw materials from overseas because they couldn’t source in America during COVID, which required a new warehouse close to a port to store all the goods. The decision was either to do all of that at a much higher cost or lose the business to a competitor who was storing more goods. That time has switched the way manufacturers utilize their supply chain where they actually have more inventory on hand.

How can South Carolina’s logistics industry become more sustainable? The most important thing is better infrastructure. There are many areas in South Carolina where it’s not easy to get from one point to another and you must drive through long and narrow roads instead of large highways that take you from point A to point B easily. If we’re trying to recruit truck drivers to South Carolina and make it a more attractive career, more infrastructure when it comes to highways, bridges, and road construction is conducive to large over-the-road trailers.

Finish this sentence: In the next five years, South Carolina’s logistics industry will…grow tremendously! We are very bullish on this market as a company, and we have continued growth plans throughout the coming years. We acquired an existing company in 2023 that has allowed Spartan more space and facilities to continue to grow and bring more distribution and warehousing business to South Carolina. We operate 700,000 SF throughout three different cities in South Carolina and are looking to open new locations on a yearly basis to continue to grow in this market. The keys to this growth will be ensuring manufacturers continue to use the Port of Charleston and providing the necessary infrastructure for years to come.

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Topics: Common 3pl Questions, Rise of 3PL Services, Supply Chain Strategy