Walmart distribution center on track to be completed by end of year

Published: Sep. 8, 2021 at 2:32 PM EDT|Updated: Sep. 8, 2021 at 6:35 PM EDT
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DORCHESTER COUNTY, S.C. (WCSC) - Dorchester County officials say construction on the new 3 million-square-foot Walmart distribution center should wrap up by the end of the year.

Dorchester County Economic Development Director John Truluck says Walmart hopes to have the first goods coming into the center the first week of February, and the first goods will start being distributed out the first week of April.

He says Walmart recently told the county the space will be the company’s seventh-largest building in the country and eighth largest in the world.

Truluck says the goal is to bring more jobs to Dorchester County, which is something folks have expressed a need for.

“Economic development 101, you try to put more money in people’s pockets, so they’ve got more disposable income,” Truluck said.

The new Walmart distribution center is expected to bring around 1,000 jobs.

“I’m waiting to see the cars backed up at quitting time at that traffic light knowing all those folks are better off than they were before Walmart came,” Truluck said.

He says they’ve hired a lot of the salaried folks, and hourly positions are posted on Walmart’s website now. He adds they are ramping up the hiring process now through the holidays.

Some of those jobs include warehouse jobs, many of which he says start at $16.50 an hour, truck driver jobs, and what they call spin-off jobs. He explains those spin-off jobs as people not working for Walmart, but other companies supplying Walmart, bringing local goods to the center.

Truluck says they hope to have about 80% of the jobs filled when they open. He says Ready SC is doing some of the training programs for these jobs as well.

The distribution center plans to have 350 trucks a day coming into the center and 250 trucks a day going out.

All the goods will be coming through the port of Charleston and shipped across the southeast and midwest, thus improving the volume of the port.

Dorchester County is also currently widening Highway 78 and plans to widen Highway 27 from Highway 78 to I-26.

Truluck says the close proximity to the interstate will allow trucks easy access in and out and reduce traffic volumes.

However, he says they understand the new center will bring more business to the surrounding businesses and future developments.

“With Volvo on the other side of interchange and Walmart here, you’re seeing a lot of other related development out here,” Truluck said. “You’re seeing some single-family housing, multifamily housing, and commercial and retail will follow that. With both the Berkeley side of the interstate and on our side, there’s plenty more room for attracting companies like Walmart.”

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