Griplock

California-based Griplock Systems, which makes cable suspension systems for lights such as those in this room, said it will open a distribution center near the State Ports Authority's inland port in Greer. Provided

A maker of cable-suspension rigging devices for commercial lighting fixtures plans to open a distribution center for its products near the State Ports Authority's inland port in Greer.

Griplock Systems announced the Upstate expansion earlier this month.

"With our ever-increasing customer base and high demand in product, we were poised for expansion," Todd Hemingway, the company's president and CEO, said in a written statement. "It only made sense to expand to the other side of the country to better serve our customers in the Eastern part of the United States and Canada."

The new Duncan distribution center will employ about 35 people and begin operations during the fourth quarter. The facility also will provide onsite engineering support.

The California-based company did not say how much it will invest in the East Coast expansion.

"Uninterrupted supply of products, shorter lead time and lower shipping costs, that's what our customers will gain from this development," Hemingway said.

This is the fourth major expansion for the company, most recently in 2013 when Griplock moved to a larger warehouse and headquarters in Carpinteria, Calif. Griplock started operations in 1992, building cable systems where lights can be hung for industrial and commercial uses.

The Upstate facility "allows us to get product out the door much faster, and we're closer to half our customers so delivery time is shorter and costs are lower," said Ryan Kwast, Griplock's vice president of sales and engineering.

The Greer inland port is one of offsite cargo hubs operated by the Charleston-based SPA. The other is in Dillon along the Interstate 95 corridor.

German automaker BMW is one of the biggest customers of the Upstate facility, which opened in 2013 and is connected to the Port of Charleston by Norfolk Southern rail service.

The Dillon property, which opened in April, is connected to the Port of Charleston by CSX rail service. The Pee Dee site's largest customer is Harbor Freight Tools, which operates a nearby distribution center.

Reach David Wren at 843-937-5550 or on Twitter at @David_Wren_