More than half of the S.C. Ports Authority’s 2014 economic impact is concentrated in the Upstate, clocking in at $26.7 billion in economic output, 95,000 jobs and $5.2 billion in labor income, according to a study by the University of South Carolina’s Moore School of Business.
The figures imply that one in eight Upstate jobs can be attributed to the ports authority, along with $461 million in annual tax revenue from Upstate activity alone, according to the study. Comparatively, the S.C. Ports Authority generates a $6.3 billion economic impact in the Lowcountry and 23,000 jobs, or 11.9 percent of the authority’s total statewide impact.
The authority also claimed responsibility for a portion of the success of the manufacturing and automotive clusters in the Upstate, some of which use the Greer-based Inland Port, as part of its supply chain and distribution channels.
“The ongoing success of South Carolina’s automotive cluster – a primary driver of statewide economic growth since 2010 – is largely due to the SCPA,” according to a study summary provided by the ports. “In the last three years alone, the dollar volume of total cargo exported from SCPA port facilities sourced at South Carolina businesses in transportation equipment manufacturing increased from 33.0 percent to 40.9 percent.”
The study analyzed the total economic impact associated with port operations and port users during the 2014 calendar year. The impact study includes business activities at S.C. Ports Authority facilities in Charleston, Georgetown and Greer, as well as business activities of port users that require the port facility to be completed.