SC Ports: A Major Economic Driver for South Carolina

November 7, 2023
Posted by
Peggy Masterson

South Carolina ports significantly impact the state’s economy, according to a new impact study conducted by the University of South Carolina.

The study found SC Ports generate nearly $87 billion in annual economic activity and support more than 260,000 jobs. It also concluded that SC Ports are a key driver of economic growth in the Pee Dee region, generating a $9.7 billion annual economic impact.

Here are some of the key findings of the study:

  • SC Ports generate $86.7 billion in annual economic activity in South Carolina.
  • SC Ports support 260,020 jobs statewide, or one in nine jobs.
  • Port-supported jobs pay an average of $67,836 per year, which is 22.8% higher than the state's average annual wage.
  • SC Ports generate $9.7 billion in annual economic activity in the Pee Dee region.

The economic impact of South Carolina's ports is not limited to the state itself. In fact, the ports generate an additional $10 billion in economic activity and support more than 38,000 jobs across the neighboring states of North Carolina, Georgia, Florida, Alabama, Tennessee and Kentucky. This is because businesses in these states rely on SC Ports to import and export goods, and they also benefit from the jobs and tax revenue that the ports generate.

Overall, the 2023 S.C. Ports Economic Impact Study demonstrates that SC Ports are a vital economic engine for South Carolina and the region. Port operations and related activities create jobs, generate income, and support businesses throughout the state and beyond.

Read the full report authored by Dr. Joseph Von Nessen, a research economist and professor at the University of South Carolina Moore School of Business at:

About Partnership Grand Strand
Partnership Grand Strand is a 501c3 foundation launched in 2022 by the Myrtle Beach Area Chamber of Commerce to fund a five-year economic and community development initiative. Through investments from local businesses and partnerships with community organizations, the foundation leads and supports efforts related to four pillars of success: prosperity, talent, place and infrastructure. Through their focused endeavors, Partnership Grand Strand works to accelerate economic prosperity and enhance quality of life across Horry and Georgetown counties. 
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