Walmart opens three million-sq.-ft. import distribution center

Marianne Wilson
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Walmart has opened a three million-sq.-ft. import distribution center is located in South Carolina’s Dorchester County.

Walmart continues to expand its supply chain network.

The retailer giant has opened its seventh import distribution center. The $220 million, three million- sq.-ft. facility, equivalent in size to 52 football fields, is located in Ridgeville, S.C. (Dorchester County).

Walmart said thatDorchester County was selected as an ideal location due to South Carolina’s business-friendly environment as well as the proximity to the nearby deep-water Port of Charleston. The new center will store and sort imported goods that arrive through the Port of Charleston – the country’s eighth-largest port — for delivery to 850 regional Walmart and Sam’s Club locations across the Southeast.

Once fully operational, the facility is expected to increase local port volumes by approximately 5%.

“South Carolina is home to some of the country’s most convenient and efficient modes of transportation, including the Port of Charleston and Interstates 26 and 95,” said Jeff Holzbauer, general manager, import distribution center #8980, Walmart U.S. “Being a member of this community means having the advantage of the region’s existing infrastructure as well as a pool of experienced associates familiar with it.”

Mike Gray, senior VP supply chain operations, Walmart, said that the distribution center will give the chain expanded access to seaports, “in turn allowing us to deliver a wide selection of merchandise from around the globe.”

Working alongside the Department of Commerce, Walmart expects to soon employ more than 1,300 local full-time associates at the new facility.

“Walmart is the recognized leader in supply chain innovation and performance,” said SC Ports CEO Jim Newsom. “Having this world-class company choose our market for their seventh import distribution center is the ultimate vote of confidence in SC Ports and in South Carolina, further solidifying SC Ports as a leader in retail distribution. The strategic investments we have made in port infrastructure enable SC Ports to support global retailers’ supply chains. We are thrilled to partner with Walmart to further their growth and impact for years to come.”

Walmart Inc. operates 122 stores in South Carolina.