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Charleston Business

#YeahTHATAgenda: ACL Airshop Opens New Factory, Free Times Get Branded, Boeing Suit, Fresh Market Partners with Instacart, Taco Bell Hotel

May 17, 2019 10:22AM ● By Chris Haire
Greenville-based air cargo firm ACL Airshop celebrates opening of its new manufacturing headquarters: In a statement released prior to today's official grand opening, Steve Townes, CEO of ACL Airshop and founder of Ranger Aerospace, said, “We could have outsourced this entire expansion to lower cost overseas locations, but instead we made a deliberate decision to build and grow right here at home.”

At a ground-breaking ceremony in August, Townes noted that he wanted the new ACL facility to stand out to drivers on the 1-85 Charlanta Corridor. "We are going to make a statement," he said. "We are going to build a landmark."

Located at 500 Park Commerce Road in the Park West Commerce Park, ACL manufacturers unit load devices such as air cargo pallets and containers and is a solely owned subsidiary of Ranger Airshop Holdings Inc.

ACL Airshop is the next-door neighbor of Softbox Systems' United States and Canadian headquarters. Softbox Systems makes temperature-control containers and pallets for the biotech and pharmaceutical industries and moved into its Park West location earlier this summer. 

A few years back, the Seattle-based logistics firm Holman Distribution opened spec-warehouse space at 2721 White Horse Road in the immediate vicinity of Sotfbox and ACL Airshop. Colgate-Palmolive currently leases more than 300,00 square feet of space from Holman as a distribution center for its Greenwood plant, according to WSPA.

Greenville Business Magazine will feature a story by John Jeter on ACL Airshop in its June issue. The following is an excerpt:

Its 90-plus employees make quarter- and half-inch-wide polyester strips for netting and use as individual straps to hold air cargo down. The operation’s just part of ACL’s overall business—leasing unit load devices, or ULDs, to 200 airliner customers in six continents. ULDs include “cookie-sheet” pallets that slide into cargo-hold tracks like seats, along with equipment such as containers, and, of course, the tie-down stuff.

“When you rent that U-Haul truck, you’re not going to just throw Mom’s china in the back and hope for the best,” says Townes, who’s also ACL Airshop’s chairman and CEO. “Right there at the cash register, every U-Haul store has boxes, padding blankets, bubble wrap—that’s us at the end of the runway.”

At a lot of them, in fact. ACL Airshop now boasts a “strategic footprint” in 52 of the world’s top airports, with its largest in Amsterdam’s Schiphol Airport.

Executive ACL Vice President Wes Tucker, who has been with the firm for 16 years, says he’s seen growth quintuple. Back in 2003, ACL had some 4,500 ULDs on lease while today there’s more than 30,000, he says. Townes believes the company eventually will have 80,000 ULDs available for lease in as many as 80 major hub airports worldwide.

That’s because, as he points to a photo of a 747 freighter, “Every piece of equipment, for cargo, on this aircraft belongs to us.”


Long-time Columbia alt-weekly Free Times now officially branded with Post and Courier logo: In 2016 the Pulitzer Prize-winning Charleston daily bought the Capital City weekly, a move that may have been the first public sign that the Post and Courier was seeking to expand its reach across the state. Since then, the P&C has expanded distribution to Columbia and Myrtle Beach, while rumors have long circulated about an eventual move to Greenville. 

In addition to its media holdings, the parent company of the Post and Courier, Evening Post Industries, has gotten into the development game in Charleston with the construction of the 12-acre Courier Square on property owned by the company. The development surrounds the newspaper's headquarters on Upper Meeting Street. 

Given the uncertain times facing the newspaper industry, the Post and Courier has stood out by not only increasing its statewide distribution, but by finding innovative ways to create new revenue while improving its digital product and editorial team. 

The Free Times, on the other hand, launched a campaign last July urging readers to contribute money to the free weekly paper they know and love. 

The Spring 2019 Leapfrog Hospital Safety Grade is out and South Carolina hospitals as a whole ranked No. 12, a sharp increase from No. 26 in Fall 2018. Oregon tops the list, up from No. 2 in the fall, while Wyoming, Alaska, Delaware, North Dakota, and the District of Columbia are tied at the bottom.  

Leapfrog bases state rankings on "the number of 'A' hospitals they have compared to the total number of graded hospitals on the Spring 2019 Leapfrog Hospital Safety Grade."

In South Carolina, 18 hospitals received an A grade out of 45, including the Medical University of South Carolina University Medical Center, Lexington Medical Center, Greer Memorial Hospital, Greenville Memorial Hospital, St. Francis Hospital (Downtown Greenville), and Oconee Memorial. Hospitals earning a C grade, include Mt. Pleasant Hospital, Palmetto Heath (Richland and Baptist), Spartanburg Regional Hospital, Mary Black Hospital, and AnMed Medical Center. Baptist Easley Hospital and the Regional Medical Center of Orangeburg and Calhoun Counties ranked the lowest with a D grade.
SC counties could benefit from Carolina Panthers move to SC (The State)

CBD, Hemp store Franny’s Farmacy opens in Westone development (Upstate Business Journal)

Greer showcases downtown streetscape project through virtual reality (WSPA)

Charleston airport passenger count soars to new record in April (Post and Courier)

 Will SC state workers get a bonus and a pay raise? Lawmakers to decide (The State)

For third time, Charleston pushes for federal funding to build pedestrian bridge over Ashley River (Live 5 News)

NC Sues E-Cigarette MakerJuul, which is opening an new plant in SC (Manufacturing.Net)

Lawsuit claims Boeing SC supervisors lied about bird strike to plane, then fired flight line worker (WIS)

Greensboro-based Fresh Market brings Instacart delivery to all stores (Supermarket News)

Trump delays car tariffs for 6 months (Business Insider)

Innovation, economy to be discussed at Upstate SC Alliance event (SCBiz)

B-52 bomber removed from 'boneyard' to return to service (Stars & Stripes)

NASA Selects 11 Companies For Lunar Lander Studies (Aviation Week)

Walmart Warns that Higher Tariffs will Mean Higher Prices (Manufacturing.Net)

I. M. Pei Dies at 102 in New York (Architectural Record)

Nearly Half of Americans Make Purchases Based on Influencer Recommendations. But 30.4% don't trust them. (AdWeek)

Taco Bell is opening a hotel and resort in Palm Springs because this is the world we live in now (Fast Company)

The Wire
Elliott Davis And Columbia Fireflies To Host “Light Up Business Downtown”

Big Success For Inaugural Food For Thought Benefitting Brian Injury Association of SC

RockBox Fitness Announces South Carolina Expansion

SCRA Announces Five New Client Companies

South Carolina ETV Nominated For Two Emmy Awards



Transforming Water From The WASTE Up: Operators Unlimited is sponsoring a free CEU Workshop for water & wastewater professionals at University Center of Greenville. This 2-day event is designed to provide education on various topics related to water and wastewater treatment from experts in the industry. Up to 12 CEUs are available.

Some of the companies presenting include Operators Unlimited, Clearwater Inc, Hach, Harper Corp, and Rogers & Colcott.

The event will take place from May 23-24, from 8:30 a.m.-4:00 p.m. each day, at University Center in Greenville.

To register, click here or call 864-228-1131.

SCAGPO Reverse Trade Show Event: The South Carolina Association of Governmental Purchasing Officials (SCAGPO) is currently accepting registrations for its annual Reverse Trade Show Events. It has a Lexington event and a North Charleston event. The Lexington event is May 22, 2019 at Lexington Municipal Complex, 111 Maiden Lane, Lexington, S.C. 29072.

Guest registration is $65 per person for one event or $100 per person. You can register for the event here. (Vendors do not need a username and password to register. Select to "Continue as a Guest" to complete the registration.)