3M has opened a new shipping center in Charleston, South Carolina, the company announced Aug. 25.
The shipping center, known as 3M’s East Coast Consolidation Center (ECCC), is focused on shipments to Asia, according to a news release. 3M decided on a Charleston location due to ongoing congestion delays shipping through usual ports of export such as Los Angeles and Long Beach.
The ECCC takes truckloads of goods from 3M plants around the country and reloads them into large seagoing containers, the release said. It’s 3M’s third consolidation center, with the others in Ontario, California, and DeKalb, Illinois. The Ontario location serves Asia while the DeKalb facility focuses on Europe and Latin America.
The Charleston site is already contributing to one- to two-week reductions in average cycle times in initial shipments to Singapore, Australia and New Zealand, according to the release. 3M eventually plans to diversify ECCC operations to include exports to Europe and Latin America to improve reliability in shipping to those regions as well.
“This new operation now provides 3M the ability to mitigate risk for our customers from potentially massive disruptions if there were to be a labor disruption on the West Coast,” 3M VP of Global Logistics Junli Yamada said.