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Distribution center expansion means new jobs

  • Thursday, June 19, 2014

Berkeley County officials have announced plans for AGRO Merchant Group’s expansion into Berkeley County.

The international distribution company owns and operates nearly two million square feet of temperature-controlled warehouse and distribution space in the United States, Austria, Ireland, Spain, and the Netherlands.

The move is expected to create 63 new jobs and put some former Piggly Wiggly employees back to work.

“The unfortunate closure of the Piggly Wiggly distribution center left many of the company’s employees searching for jobs,” said Dan Davis, Berkeley County Supervisor. “We are thrilled AGRO Merchant Group has not only chosen to expand its operations into Berkeley County, but is willing to provide some of these hard working individuals with gainful employment. I am looking forward to working with ARGO and am prepared to offer support and resources to help them put people to work.”

AGRO will invest approximately $8 million to upgrade the existing warehouse.

When complete, the facility will be equipped with on-site flash freeze capabilities and 14,000 frozen pallet positions. ARGO also plans to offer USDA meat import and export inspection services.

According to a company press release, Chris Hughes, Partner and President of AGRO Merchants U.S. said, “We are extremely excited to offer a new, state-of-the-art solution for our customers that will provide them excellent access to the Port of Charleston, and a cost-effective alternative to move product into and through the Southeastern U.S.

“We have an excellent relationship with the Port of Charleston and look forward to working together to optimize our customer’s import and export supply chain options in the market.”

“We will be connecting AGRO with readySC for job training services,” said Davis. “In all, AGRO qualifies for about $1 million in state and local incentives, includes training and tax credits.”

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