Walmart opens up its new SC-based Import Distribution Center

Last week, global retail giant Walmart heralded its most recent initiative focused on e-commerce growth and supporting its supply chain network, with the opening of its new $220 million Ridgeville, South Carolina-based Import Distribution Center (IDC), which is located 35 miles northwest of Charleston.

The opening of the 3 million square-foot IDC follows a July 2020 announcement, in which Walmart first stated its plans to build it, with Walmart and the South Carolina Ports Authority (SCPA) saying, at the time, it was the culmination of an effort supported by state, county, and local officials to strengthen Walmart’s supply chain network.

Walmart officials said that the new IDC will store and sort imported goods arriving through the Port of Charleston, which is the eighth-largest port in the U.S., for delivery to 850 regional Walmart and Sam’s Club locations throughout the Southeast, with the expectation that when the IDC is fully operational, it will increase the port’s volume by around 5%.  

“Walmart is the recognized leader in supply chain innovation and performance. 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,” SC Ports CEO Jim Newsome said at the IDC’s grand opening celebration on April 22. “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.”

As for the benefits the new IDC will provide for Walmart customers, a company spokesman told LM that Walmart is always striving for ways to better serve its customers where and how they want to shop, including having a broad assortment of the goods its customers want to buy in-stock at its stores.

“The regional distribution center will support approximately 850 Walmart and Sam’s Club stores across South Carolina and the Southeast,” he said. “Locating the facility in close proximity to the ports helps us continue to quickly move merchandise throughout our supply chain network.”

When asked how Walmart previously handled Southeastern-bound imports prior to the establishment of the new IDC, he said Walmart leveraged its existing supply chain facilities, including its other six import distribution centers, as well as its expansive network of regional distribution centers.

From a labor perspective, the IDC is expected to soon employ more than 1,300 local full-time associates (exceeding its original goal of 1,000) across various positions, including: Administration and Clerical, Engineering, Freight Handler, Management roles, among others.

About the Author

Jeff Berman, Group News Editor

Jeff Berman is Group News Editor for Logistics Management, Modern Materials Handling, and Supply Chain Management Review. Jeff works and lives in Cape Elizabeth, Maine, where he covers all aspects of the supply chain, logistics, freight transportation, and materials handling sectors on a daily basis. Contact Jeff Berman

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