Shipping firm Frontier Logistics is investing $35.5 million in a project that will allow for more plastic resins to be shipped from North Charleston, S.C.
Frontier, which is based in La Porte, Texas, recently purchased 26 acres at a former U.S. Navy base in North Charleston, where the firm has existing operations. In a news release, officials said Frontier now plans to build a 400,000-square-foot, rail-served warehouse to support transloading of resin pellets for export through the Port of Charleston.
Rail service will be provided by Palmetto Railways, providing connections to both CSX and Norfolk Southern. The project is expected to create 34 new jobs, with hiring beginning in the fourth quarter of 2018.
Frontier was founded in 1997 and provides supply chain management services to a wide range of industries. Those services include warehousing, packaging and transportation. In addition to its South Carolina operations, Frontier serves customers from several locations in Texas.
In the release, Frontier CEO George Cook said that Charleston "has significant logistical advantages that reach the entire world market, enough so that it compels us to make Charleston a comprehensive launching pad for future export/import and domestic logistics needs."
The release also included a statement from South Carolina Gov. Henry McMaster, who said that his state "is growing as a leader in global connectivity" and that Frontier's investment "will only bolster our credentials."
The new Frontier location "will support considerable increases in expected growth within the plastics segment over the coming years, which is a key component of the Port's planned above-market volume growth," S.C. Ports Authority president and CEO Jim Newsome added in the release.
Materials firms are adding resin capacity in North America, mostly for polyethylene, as a result of newfound supplies of natural gas in shale deposits throughout the region. At least 3 billion pounds of new PE capacity have been added on the U.S. Gulf Coast since 2016. Several more projects are expected to come online in the next few years.