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Greenville Business Magazine

#YeahTHATAgenda: SC Ports, Plastic Pellets, and China; Carl Sobocinski; Lexington Medical; BMW; Tyson's Part-Beef, Part-Pea Burger; KFC's New Mountain Dew flavor

Jun 13, 2019 04:37PM ● By Chris Haire
SC Ports Authority sets May record, but TEUs down for second month in a row, while Inland Port Greer Sets Another Record: Following March's second highest month moving TEUs (20-foot equivalent container units, i.e. your typical cargo container), it shouldn't come as a shock that the number of TEUs is down from that near-record high of 214,123.

Although TEUs fell from March and April's 204,621 TEUs moved, SCPA still posted its best May ever: 204,457. However, fiscal year-to-date TEU volume fell from a 10.4% increase in April to a 9.7% increase in May. 

Regardless of the down-tick, the Ports Authority still has plenty to crow about. “Our container volumes this fiscal year have been strong compared to FY2018,” Jim Newsome, SCPA president and CEO, said in a release. “We look forward to continuing this momentum as we wrap up FY2019 at the end of June.” 

Another promising stat: the number of rail moves at Inland Port Greer continues to rise, up to May's 15,563 rail moves from April's 13,724, both figures that would have broken the previous record of 13,060 set in June 2017. 

In other Ports Authority news, a ground-breaking ceremony was held in North Charleston at a new 550,000 square foot warehousing facility for Frontier Logistics, a Texas-based firm. Located on 26 acres at the former Navy base near the revitalized neighborhood of Park Circle, the historically African-American neighborhood of Chicora-Cherokee, and new Palmetto Railways rail yard, Frontier Logistics will be primarily focused on the shipments of plastic resin pellets to China.

Since 2017, China has curtailed plastic waste imports -- think tossed away bottles and the like -- from the U.S. The ban is called National Sword, and it was ostensibly instituted for security reasons -- the apparent motivation for the U.S. Commerce Department's tariff threats on imported Japanese and European automobiles.

Despite the plastic scrap ban, China has increasingly been important plastic pellets, according to Recycling Today.

Further up from the Port of Charleston, Orangeburg is home to Ecomelida, a Chinese recycling firm that turns plastic waste into pellets.

The ground-breaking of the Frontier Logistics site was attended by the Chicora-Cherokee Neighborhood Association and the South Carolina non-profit corporation Metanoia, two groups representing the predominately low-income African-American residents who live in the area. 

The residents of Chicora-Cherokee will be the most impacted by the new rail yard being constructed on an 118-acre piece of property on the Navy base between the neighborhood and the Cooper River. To a lesser extent, the rail yard will adversely affect Park Circle, which is largely encircled by rail lines.

North Charleston Mayor Keith Summey initially opposed the new rail yard, but has since embraced it following a compromise giving the City of North Charleston land and removing at least one rail line in Park Circle.

Summey was in attendance at the ground-breaking, along with SCPA, Palmetto Railways, the Chicora-Cherokee Neighborhood Association, Metanoia, the Reynolds Avenue Area Merchants Association, and the Lowcountry Alliance for Model Communities.
Carl Sobocinski, the Greenville Restaurateur Who Built An Empire And Is Selling It To His Staff (Forbes)

Developer pitches $200 million, 870-home Upstate subdivision on Hollingsworth land near Piedmont (Greenville News)

Lexington Medical Center to open 225,000-square-foot facility in Northeast Columbia (The State)

Charleston airfares lowest in 23 years, down nearly $100 from 20 years ago (Post and Courier)

Hub City Scoops moving to new downtown Spartanburg location (GoUpstate)

First Speculative Logistics Center Coming To Market Near Dillon Inland Port (Press Release)

SCE&G customers will split up to $146 million in VC Summer lawsuit settlement (The State)

Senior living, multi-family development plans at Haywood, Pelham return with no Spinx gas station  (Greenville News)

 Charleston port could face $36 million tariff bill on new crane purchases (Post and Courier)

Vulcan Materials Donates $30,000 To Benefit At-Risk Teens (Press Release)

BMW opens Mexico plant as Trump threatens tariffs (GoUpstate) 

Cottontown business closes after offensive Facebook posts (The State)

Hyatt Place Mount Pleasant Towne Center Celebrates Official Opening (Press Release)

Getronics Establishing Global Service Center In Greenville County (Press Release)

Crawford Strategy Earns Recognition From International Creative Award Competitions (Press Release)

Boeing Airliner Deliveries Tumble Amid Problems With 737 Max (Manufacturing.Net)

AMA says yes to strengthening ACA, no to single-payer reform (Fierce Healthcare)

NIH Director Francis Collins, MD, PhD, declared June 12 he will no longer speak on "manels," or all-male panels (Becker's Hospital Review)

Medtronic unveils Karl Storz team-up before surgery robot reveal (Fierce Biotech)

Connecticut Mandates State to Buy 2GW of Offshore Wind Energy by 2030 (ENR)

Businesses Showing Discontent With Trump's Trade Policies (Manufacturing.Net)

Hard sell ahead for BB&T-SunTrust as ‘Truist’ lands with a thud (American Banker)

Buyout Won’t Solve Saks Owner’s Big Issue: Department Stores Are Dying (WSJ)

Facebook collected device data on 187,000 users using banned snooping app (Tech Crunch)

7 tips for getting out of a bad vendor contract (CIO)

Stores like Barnes & Noble used to be the bad guys. Now I’m nostalgic for them. (WaPo)

Big meat giant Tyson is launching a new part-beef, part-pea burger (Fast Company)

Dave & Buster’s says fast-casual venture T&T Tacos is off to slow start (Nation's Restaurant News)

KFC debuts a customized Mountain Dew flavor and it's peachy (Ad Age)