Freight forwarder will expand, create 100 jobs in Spartanburg County

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Global freight forwarder Senator International plans to invest nearly $7.4 million over five years to establish a new facility in Spartanburg County and create 100 jobs.

The company, headquartered in Hamburg, Germany, has signed a lease on 181,440 square feet of Spartanburg-based Johnson Development Associates’ more than 362,000-square-foot speculative, or spec, building at 769 Flatwood Industrial Drive.

Senator International signs were placed near the property’s entrance Monday.

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The building sits on 53 acres of Johnson Development’s 1,400-acre Flatwood Industrial Park in northern Spartanburg County beside Rite Aid’s 900,000-square-foot distribution center.

In its fourth quarter report, Greenville-based commercial broker Lee & Associates said it represented Senator International Freight Forwarding LLC, the tenant, and the landlord in the transaction.

Property records showed Flatwood Farms II LLC, a subsidiary of Johnson Development, owns the site.

Sources familiar with the project confirmed Senator International is the company behind the economic development project codenamed “Project Senator.”

Spartanburg County Council is expected to discuss the first reading of the incentives agreement for Project Senator at its meeting today.

Spartanburg County Councilman David Britt said he could not comment on projects that are still under development.

In the incentives agreement, Project Senator refers to “a limited liability company organized and existing under the laws of the State of Florida.”

Senator International Freight Forwarding is registered with the S.C. Secretary of State’s office.

The company’s filing said it was incorporated in Florida. Its address is listed as 769 Flatwood Industrial Drive in Spartanburg and its registered agent is Michelle Gouldebourne.

Gouldebourne serves as Senator International’s automotive branch manager.

Property records revealed the tax pin number for 769 Flatwood Industrial Drive matched the number for the site listed in the project’s incentives agreement.

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Uwe Kirschbaum founded Senator International in 1984.

In November 2016, the company officially launched its “Atlantic bridge” between Greenville-Spartanburg International Airport and the German cities of Munich and Frankfurt.

Kirschbaum and his son and the company’s CEO, Tim Kirschbaum, were aboard the company’s maiden flight from Munich.

The elder Kirschbaum said the service will primarily support Spartanburg County-based BMW Manufacturing Co. He said his company began doing business with Germany-based BMW Group in 1986.

The Atlantic bridge flights include two round-trip flights per week from GSP to Germany.

According to Senator International’s website, the company specializes in “international freight, shipping and logistics,” with a focus on “air and sea freight, as well as logistics, packaging and custom services.”

The company said it has 1,000 employees at 250 locations worldwide. Its network includes North and South America, Africa, Europe, and Asia.

When reached by email, Gouldebourne referred requests for comment to the Kirschbaums. The Kirschbaums could not be reached for comment.

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