The coffee bean market is shaping up to be a robust business for the Port of Charleston.
New Orleans-based Dupuy Storage and Forwarding LLC said Tuesday it has opened a 100,000-square-foot warehouse and distribution center to handle the imported commodity on Palmetto Commerce Parkway in North Charleston.
"We are very excited to be in the dynamic and growing Port of Charleston and hope we can contribute to the area's growth and prosperity by expanding our business there," said Allan Colley, Dupuy's president. "Establishing a location in the Charleston area will allow Dupuy to serve a growing number of traditional coffee customers in the Southeast."
The company dates back to 1936, when it opened its first coffee warehouse near the New Orleans riverfront. It now has 1.5 million square feet of storage space in the Big Easy and near the ports in Houston, Jacksonville and Miami.
The Charleston-bound beans primarily arrive in containers at the Wando Welch Terminal in Mount Pleasant and at Veterans Terminal in North Charleston. Both the Arabica and Robusta varieties are shipped in primarily from Latin America and Africa.
The beans are then distributed throughout the Southeast and Gulf Coast regions, Dupuy said.
The company is one of several that import coffee through the local port.
The volume of beans moving through the State Ports Authority's terminals is up 60 percent over the last two years, fueled by rising demand from U.S. roasters and by growing consumption in the Southeast, the SPA said.
Some of the larger companies that bring in beans through Charleston include Starbucks, which has roasting plant in St. Matthews, and Continental Terminals of South Carolina, which has a warehouse in Goose Creek.
"Coffee is a highly specialized type of cargo, and S.C. Ports welcomes Dupuy's newest coffee warehouse to Charleston," SPA CEO Jim Newsome said in a written statement. "Their opening is a significant addition to our local coffee storage capacity, enabling our port to continue growing coffee import volumes through Charleston."