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  April 4th, 2016 | Written by

South Carolina Ports Authority Exports Two Millionth South Carolina-Made BMW

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  • The port of Charleston handled over 250,000 BMW export vehicles in 2015.
  • SCPA serves BMW's containerized shipping needs, handling import engines and transmissions from Germany.
  • BMW's cargo commitment was a significant factor in the decision to open an inland port in Greer, SC, in 2013.

The South Carolina Ports Authority exported the two millionth BMW manufactured in South Carolina, a milestone celebration of the port’s longstanding partnership with the nation’s top vehicle exporter.

The two millionth vehicle, a BMW X5 M50d, was loaded for export onto the ELEKTRA vessel operated Wallenius Wilhelmsen Logistics for delivery to a customer in Germany.

“The South Carolina Ports Authority has a strong history with BMW Manufacturing, and their operations are a tremendous asset to our port and region,” said Jim Newsome, SCPA president and CEO. “Today we commend a talented, committed workforce at BMW on this achievement and celebrate their continued trust in us to deliver South Carolina-made BMWs to the world.”

The port exported over 250,000 BMW vehicles in 2015, driving SCPA’s 13 percent year-over-year increase in finished vehicle volume last year. SCPA also serves BMW’s containerized shipping needs, handling import engines and transmissions from Germany and export maintenance parts as well as vehicle kits for emerging markets.

“Together with such partners as SCPA, BMW has become part of the fabric of South Carolina and is a wonderful illustration of what can be achieved when federal, state, and local government work hand-in-hand with business,” said Manfred Erlacher, President and CEO, BMW Manufacturing. “I am honored to celebrate the two millionth BMW exported through the South Carolina Ports.”

SCPA played a key role in BMW’s decision to locate in South Carolina, and its first import vehicles were handled through Charleston in 1994. In 2011 SCPA completed a $23 million renovation of Columbus Street Terminal as a state-of-the-art breakbulk facility with adequate capacity for growing vehicle volumes, and BMW is the largest user of that terminal today.

BMW’s cargo commitment was a significant factor in SCPA’s decision to open the inland port in Greer, South Carolina in 2013. With BMW as the launch customer, the inland port has since added numerous users and far surpassed volume expectations, with over 75,000 rail moves handled last year.

“As the gateway to the global marketplace, the Port plays a critical role in supporting our state and region’s manufacturing economy,” Newsome said. “SCPA is proud to serve BMW’s just-in-sequence supply chain needs through our Charleston and Greer facilities, and we look forward to supporting their continued future growth.”