An Unsurpassed Location on the East Coast

North Carolina

South Carolina

From bustling urban centers to miles of open spaces, North Carolina’s state of momentum is propelled by low business costs, groundbreaking university research, diverse culture, superior infrastructure, and a pace of life that attracts talented people and encourages them to refuel.


North Carolina’s prime location on the eastern seaboard means that almost half of the U.S. population is within a day’s drive. Four international airports, two deep water seaports and a strong rail system further enhance our state’s supply chain advantages.


North Carolina is one plane change away from virtually any major city in the world.

Ten airports offer commercial services, including four international airports that provide easy access to global markets:

  • Charlotte-Douglas International Airport (CLT), world’s 5th-busiest airport
  • Piedmont Triad International Airport (GSO), a premier air cargo center and home to the FedEx Mid-Atlantic Air Hub.
  • Raleigh-Durham International Airport (RDU), 3rd in passenger satisfaction among large North American Airports.
  • Wilmington International Airport (ILM), home to the ILM Business Park with easy access to highways, rail, and the Port of Wilmington

In addition, NC is home to 62 general aviation airports.


The North Carolina coast is home to two deep water seaports ports offering fast turn times with capacity to support more than 320,000 TEU and more than 4 million plus tons of general cargo annually.


Port of Morehead City

  • General cargo and bulk handling facilities
  • Channel depth of 45ft M.L.L.W
  • Direct access to I-40, I-74, I-95, U.S. 17 and U.S. 74
  • Serviced by Norfolk Southern


Port of Wilmington

  • Container and general operations
  • Channel depth of 42 ft M.L.L.W
  • Access to I-95 and I-40 via U.S. 70 and U.S. 17
  • Serviced by CSX

In addition, an inland port in Charlotte sits at the heart of the Southeast’s manufacturing and distribution sites.


North Carolina is home to two Class-1 rail carriers. These rail connections extend all the way to the coast, enabling the state ports in Morehead City and Wilmington to offer import and export services to a large market.

Highlights of our rail system include:

  • More than 3,200 miles (5,100 km) of track
  • Two Class 1 Carriers
  • CSX Transportation (CSX) and Norfolk Southern (NS)
  • Offer direct service to North American markets and to all major ports along the U.S. East Coast


North Carolina has the second-largest state-owned highway system stretching more than 80,000 miles (129,000 km). What’s more, the state’s central East Coast location offers easy access to some of the country’s most important transportation corridors.

Major controlled-access arteries include:

  • I-95, the major East Coast interstate linking New England to Florida
  • I-85, running from North Carolina through the manufacturing heart of the Southeast
  • I-40, spanning the country coast-to-coast from North Carolina to California

Area Development magazine consistently ranks South Carolina as one of the top five states to do business in the nation.


Incentive and Taxes

Aggressive incentives position industries for growth and create an exceptional economic climate that maximizes return on investment.


View South Carolina incentives and taxes.



South Carolina is home to some of the United States’ most diverse ecosystems and natural features. South Carolina is a haven for naturalists and outdoor recreationalists, alike. South Carolina business environment is no exception.


View sustainability initiatives



Interstate Highway System

Though coastal and temperate, South Carolina is just a two days’ drive from nearly 208 million Americans—that’s two-thirds of the US population. That number includes all major East Coast markets, plus Detroit, Chicago and Dallas.

Deep Water Seaports

The Port of Charleston has been at the center of global commerce and trade for three centuries. In addition to being one of the busiest container ports along the Southeast and Gulf coasts, it is also recognized as one of the most productive—averaging 40+ moves per hour, per crane—well above the US port standard of 25–27.


Each year, more than 20 different shipping lines serving 150 countries use South Carolina’s ports. Ideal for shipping, our deep water and high bridges allow the Port to serve ships of more than 8,000 twenty-foot equivalent units (TEUs). In 2016, the Port handled 1.79 million TEUs.


You are within an hour’s drive of one of our four primary airports from anywhere in the state. To the north, it only takes a few hours’ drive to arrive at Charlotte Douglas International Airport and the same is true to the west for Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport in central Georgia.


Seventy million tons of freight move through South Carolina each year thanks to our extensive rail services. Our expansive rail system includes two Class I railroads—CSX Transportation and Norfolk Southern—as well as seven independent lines to service nearly 2,300 miles of rail.


Furthermore, Palmetto Railways operates three common carrier railroads: The Port Utilities Commission of Charleston (PUCC), the Port Terminal Railroad (PTR) and the East Cooper and Berkeley Railroad (ECBR).