TBC Opens 1.1 Million-square-foot Distribution Center

Date: 03/11/2011

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Between 30,000 and 40,000 tires roll through Jedburg each day since a 1.1 million-square-foot distribution center began operating at the Rockefeller Group Foreign Trade Zone (http://www.rockgroupdevelopment.com/sc/charleston_ftz.html) in Berkeley County.

Company officials said the distribution center isn’t at full capacity and could handle a lot more volume when the tire market shifts.

State and local economic development and government officials joined corporate representatives from Rockefeller Group Development Corp. (http://www.rockgroupdevelopment.com/), MeadWestvaco (http://www.meadwestvaco.com/index.htm) and TBC Corp. (http://www.tbccorp.com/) this morning for a coming-out party for TBC’s new distribution center.

“This is a great day for TBC, Berkeley County and South Carolina,” said Jim Markey, vice president of logistics for TBC. Markey was part of the site selection team that picked South Carolina and project manager for the site. He said the company looked from Virginia to Florida before deciding on Berkeley County. A visit from Jim Newsome, the future president and CEO of the S.C. State Ports Authority (http://www.scspa.com/) , helped the company decide on South Carolina, Markey said. “He’s the best salesman in the state of South Carolina,” he said.

Because the Port of Charleston is critical to TBC, particularly with the coming expansion of the Panama Canal, Markey expressed concern and support for harbor deepening at the Port of Charleston. He made a subtle swipe at the Port of Savannah by suggesting that it didn’t make sense to give money for other ports to be dredged to Charleston’s current depth.

“It’s important to us, and it’s important to Michelin and BMW, ” Markey said of port deepening.

“We’re certainly in a position to help any way we can.” Gov. Nikki Haley, who spoke immediately after Markey, did not mention port deepening, but she said TBC Corp.’s distribution center would be used as an example as she tries to recruit more companies to come to South Carolina. She said distribution centers and the port were part of the state’s economic development efforts. “We welcome you. You are now a part of South Carolina and our family,” Haley said. “We’re going to continue to move, and we’re going to move aggressively.”

MeadWestvaco Corp.’s Community Development and Land Management Group and Rockefeller Group Development Corp. began work on the foreign trade zone in summer 2009. The joint venture also included a partnership with Berkeley County, which worked on road improvements leading to the area. Berkeley County Supervisor Dan Davis said the county is continuing to work on improvements to roads and access in the area.

When the Sheep Island interchange is finished, it will open 18 million square feet of space for development, he said. “That’s certainly going to be a big factor in the development of the port and South Carolina,” Davis said.

The companies have three more ready-to-build sites in the trade zone, which has a total of 2.7 million square feet. MeadWestvaco said the sites are already permitted and ready to be used. TBC’s 1.1 million square feet is the largest single site, situated in two buildings. “We stay in buildings forever, so this is going to get bigger and bigger,” Markey said.

Right now TBC’s distribution center is half-filled with tires and has 70 employees, including loaders, stock lifters, checkers and dock clerks, among others. The facility has 186 truck docks, and when those are in use, the facility has yard space for 250 more trailers waiting to be loaded and unloaded.

Marty Womack, TBC’s vice president for human resources, said the distribution center was designed and built to bring in tires on one side and ship them out on the other. “This building is built for speed,” Womack said. “From a logistics point of view, it’s the right way to do it.”


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