Michelin rolling out tire distribution through South Carolina inland port

Michelin North America will export its finished tires from its South Carolina distribution center through Inland Port Greer, which connects to the Port of Charleston via overnight rail service.

The South Carolina Ports Authority (SCPA) said Michelin’s decision to move tires through Inland Port Greer builds on an existing supply chain partnership. Michelin began moving raw materials through the inland port in 2015.

Inland Port Greer is about 10 miles from Michelin’s 3 million-square-foot Southeast distribution center in Woodruff, South Carolina. Michelin’s North American headquarters is in Greenville, South Carolina.

Julie Branham, with Michelin North America’s supply chain operations, said moving tires through Inland Port Greer allows the company “to seamlessly and efficiently import materials and export tires to global markets through the Port of Charleston. Access to an efficient supply chain and port facilities is a key element of Michelin’s long-term success in South Carolina, ultimately creating more jobs for residents of our state.”

The $27 million, five-building Woodruff distribution center, which could house 57 football fields, is the Michelin Group’s largest warehouse in the world. 

Michelin’s use of Inland Port Greer also aligns with the company’s sustainability strategy, according to the SCPA, which said its analysis showed the use of rail on the route to the Port of Charleston can reduce air emissions by up to 70% compared to moving cargo via truck. 

SCPA President and CEO Jim Newsome called Michelin a valued customer and said he was “thrilled to expand on this important partnership.”

“Inland Port Greer offers customers efficiencies and speed to market,” Newsome said. “We look forward to handling increased imports and exports for Michelin through Inland Port Greer and the Port of Charleston.” 

The SCPA said Inland Port Greer extends the Port of Charleston’s reach 212 miles inland by providing overnight rail service via Norfolk Southern. The 24/7 inland terminal can serve 90 million consumers within a 500-mile radius.

Last week the SCPA celebrated another valued customer: Walmart. The retail giant announced plans to build a $220 million, 3 million-square-foot distribution center in Dorchester County, South Carolina, that is expected to increase volumes at the Port of Charleston by about 5%.

Like Michelin, Walmart was drawn by port proximity and the SCPA’s abilities, according to Newsome.

“We are experts at moving goods just in time for global companies,” he said.

Walmart picks site near Port of Charleston for distribution center

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Click for more FreightWaves/American Shipper articles by Kim Link-Wills.