Harbor Freight Tools’ South Carolina Expansion To Create 500 Jobs

The national tool retailer is expanding its Dillon County distribution center for the third time, with the help of job development tax credits and a rural infrastructure grant.

Harbor Freight Tools is planning a one million-square foot expansion of its East Coast distribution facility in Dillon County, SC. The expansion is projected to create more than 500 new jobs, bringing the company’s total investment in South Carolina to more than $200 million.

Dillon County South Carolina
Photo: Red Rock Developments

“Since we opened our first facility here in 2001, the company has continued to grow and so has our need for a larger distribution center,” said Harbor Freight Tools Founder and CEO Eric Smidt. “We’ve made an investment in Dillon, becoming part of the community, and we’re proud to expand our presence in this region. Dillon County, along with leaders from Marion and Marlboro County, were instrumental in our decision to expand here.”

This is the third expansion of the company’s distribution center; the first occurred in 2006, and another took place in 2014. Harbor Freight currently employs 650 people at its Dillon facility in positions ranging from managers to warehouse stockers; and, with this new expansion, the company will hire 500 more from Dillon County and the surrounding region. Work on the new project is expected to break ground by the end of 2017, with completion expected in early 2019.

South Carolina’s Coordinating Council for Economic Development has approved job development credits related to this project. A $5 million Rural Infrastructure Grant was also awarded to Dillon County to assist with the costs of site preparation.

“Harbor Freight Tools’ continued investment in Dillon County and in our people is a testament to our approach to creating a competitive business environment where companies of all kinds can thrive,” said Gov. Henry McMaster. “The 500 jobs this great company is creating will make a difference in the lives of South Carolinians, and for that, we couldn’t be more grateful.”

“The significant expansion of Harbor Freight Tools is exciting news for the Port and state,” said South Carolina Ports Authority President and CEO Jim Newsome. “They served as a catalyst for the development of Inland Port Dillon and will be the launch customer of that facility, further driving jobs and growth opportunities for the Dillon area. The Port values our role in Harbor Freight’s international supply chain and looks forward to a strong continued partnership with them.”

“We are proud that Harbor Freight Tools has chosen to expand for the third time in the NESA region,” said North Eastern Strategic Alliance (NESA) Executive Committee Chairman Sen. Luke Rankin, Esq. “Their ability to thrive here reflects well on the reliability and productivity of our workforce, our many logistical advantages and the support of our partner counties. We wish Harbor Freight continued success and look forward to working with them in the years to come.”

Founded in 1977, Harbor Freight Tools is a family-owned national tool retailer based in Calabasas, CA. With more than 800 stores nationwide and a new store opening approximately every three days, the company has more than 40 million customers.

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