HOME / Upstate Advantages / Transportation & Infrastructure


South Carolina’s Upstate is located along Interstate 85, which connects Atlanta and Charlotte, and is known for its ability to efficiently transport people, goods and services. The region has excellent interstate highways, convenient rail services and an Inland Port with rail connection to the Port of Charleston, and both commercial and private air connectivity. In addition, power and water capacity are plentiful, and the Upstate’s electric rates are among the lowest in the nation.

Transportation By Land

The 19th Annual Highway Report: The Performance of State Highway Systems (1984-2008) reports that South Carolina ranks 6th in the nation in state highway performance and cost-effectiveness. The state ranks 1st in total highway disbursements, 1st in capital and bridge disbursements, and 3rd in maintenance disbursements.

  • Interstates 85 and 26 span the Upstate and provide direct access to major markets and the Port of Charleston
  • South Carolina has the 4th largest state-maintained highway system
  • CSX and Norfolk Southern provide Class-I rail service to the area in addition to short-line services

By Air: Commercial and Cargo Aviation

Greenville-Spartanburg International Airport

  • Greenville-Spartanburg International Airport provides convenient air access, with commercial service by six airlines offering 100 total daily flights to 19 airports across the U.S.
  • Recently named the fastest-growing small airport in the nation
  • $125 million terminal improvement project and sustainability upgrades completed in fall 2017
  • More than 2 million passengers are served each year

For Manufacturers:

  • Currently provides cargo services from FedEx and UPS
  • Senator International recently launched twice-weekly cargo flights between GSP and Munich
  • Recently approved 1,500 acres surrounding the terminal for development, presenting major opportunity for manufacturing and logistics
  • Adjacent to the South Carolina Ports Authority’s Inland Port Greer

Additionally, Charlotte Douglas International Airport is less than 1.5 hours from the center of the Upstate, and, even closer from Cherokee and Spartanburg counties. Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport is within a 2-3 hour drive time from the Upstate.

By Sea: The Port of Charleston

The Port of Charleston is an important asset to the Upstate business community, which relies heavily on the ability to export finished products to overseas markets. The Port of Charleston is the most productive port in North America, setting the standard for turning ships and trucks. Working ships at an average of 42 moves per crane per hour, the Port of Charleston is 60 percent more productive than typical West Coast ports. The Port of Charleston is ranked the 4th most Post-Panamax Ready Ports in 2014 Business Facilities Rankings Report – Metro and Global Rankings.

Inland Port Greer

Opened in 2013 adjacent to the Greenville-Spartanburg International airport, Inland Port Greer is an intermodal rail hub serviced by Norfolk Southern mainline with direct connection to the Port of Charleston.

  • Provides direct, daily rail transportation to the Port of Charleston and offers lower costs, lower risks and greater reliability to Upstate Port users
  • Eliminates 50,000 truck trips a year on Interstate 26
  • Positions the Upstate for more manufacturing and distribution growth

By the Grid and Beyond

We know availability, capacity and redundancy of power sources are also vital assets for companies when considering relocations or expansions. Within the Palmetto State, electricity sources are diverse, with nuclear,  hydroelectric and coal sources feeding our grids. Our state also has a competitive energy pricing environment created by the presence of Duke Energy and a number of community-based cooperatives, resulting in costs far below the national average and lower than surrounding states.