Charleston region attracts major player in Latin American textiles industry

For Immediate Release
January 1, 2000

HANAHAN, SC – A new company has set up shop in the Charleston region after intensive study found this area to provide the best available access between North American and Latin American operations. IDEA, an acronym for Interconnexion: Distribuir y Enviar para las Americas (the distribution and shipping connection of the Americas), announced today that it will open a new operation in Berkeley County, employing 15 workers and investing $850,000 in the region. Today’s announcement was facilitated by the Charleston Regional Development Alliance.

IDEA, a third-party inventory management and logistics provider, consolidates, packs and ships American goods to manufacturers in Central America and Mexico. Initial clients are multiple locations of a major apparel manufacturer and its subcontractors throughout the Caribbean Basin. The new Charleston operation will serve as the hub of the company’s distribution network as well as its U.S. consolidation point, connecting to IDEA warehouses in San Pedro Sula, Honduras; San Salvador, El Salvador; and Saltillo, Mexico. IDEA also has offices and warehouse operations in Louisville, KY and Cincinnati, OH.

“We scoured the Eastern Seaboard and found that Charleston reduced our inland freight the most, offered the highest productivity among container ports and provided the best access to world markets” said Tom DeMuth, President of IDEA. “Partnering with a port and a region as committed to quality as this one is important to our continued growth.”

According to DeMuth, IDEA is known for just-in-time delivery and its highly accurate, real-time inventory control and reporting system. The IDEA inventory information system has allowed the growing company to secure long term commitments with large, global companies. The company has aggressive growth plans and expects to attract additional clients within the year.

“Our region’s access to world markets again proves to be a critical factor in the area’s industrial investment,” said Elizabeth I. “Sis” Marshall, chairman of the Charleston Regional Development Alliance. “We welcome IDEA and the fine jobs and solid investment the company will bring to our region.”
Hanahan Mayor William L. Cobb noted that the company’s new operation will contribute to the steady growth of the Trident Industrial Park. “We are committed to helping IDEA achieve the highest productivity and profitability levels in the industry. We take pride in this fine company’s decision to establish its hub facility in our city.”

Jim Rozier, Berkeley County Supervisor, noted that the warehouse and distribution facilities of IDEA bring additional diversity to the county’s business community. “South Carolina has long been a leader in the textiles industry. This highly automated, globally-connected company represents the future focus of this industry, and we welcome their investment in this region.”

Each Alliance announcement is made possible through the coordination of many organizations. One key player in most tri-county recruiting successes is the South Carolina Department of Commerce, whose mission is to diversify and strengthen the entire state’s industrial investment portfolio.
“Once again, South Carolina’s unique location and efficient port system have attracted an exciting new company. We welcome this dynamic company that uses technology to solve complex business challenges and knows that South Carolina is the right place to grow,” said Commerce Secretary Charles S. Way, Jr.

Governor Jim Hodges noted that economic development continues to grow strong in the region, as evidenced by figures recently released which showed that 1999 was a record year for investment. “The investment announced by IDEA is wonderful news for our state. Clearly South Carolina offers new businesses the support they need to reach their business goals. We welcome this and all companies that bring high paying jobs and strong investment to our state.”

The Charleston Regional Development Alliance has worked since 1995 to bring new and diversified business investment to Berkeley, Charleston and Dorchester counties. Since that time, the organization has surpassed two major milestones ahead of schedule: the recruitment of $2 billion in capital investment and the addition of 10,000 new direct jobs to the region.

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