The best countertops make a statement in your home that other features cannot. You've worked hard to incorporate unique designs and flavors throughout your home, so why should your countertops be any different?
At Real Deal Countertops, we aspire to combine the beauty and durability of natural stone with unrivaled, personalized attention to all customers. With the highest quality materials and the most helpful customer service, we give our clients the opportunity to make informed decisions that they feel good about for years. Our story in the countertop fabrication and manufacturing industry began more than 19 years ago, when Rafael Quedevez started out as a sales representative in Massachusetts. Working his way up through the ranks, Rafael soon made his way to South Carolina to open and manage his own companies. In 2013, we created real Deal Countertops. Since that time, we are proud to have served more than 5,000 customers in South Carolina and beyond.
Our leadership team combines more than 40 years of experience in the home remodeling service industry. Always striving to create a better product for our customers, we use the latest in robotics technologies and the sharpest minds in the business to craft countertops of unparalleled quality. Unlike other countertop companies in Ladson, SC, we only source the finest stone slabs in the world.
At Real Deal Countertops, we offer a wide range of styles and materials to choose from, including:
We are committed to ensuring that granite, marble, and other unique, exotic stones are attainable to all who desire them. If you're in search of a trustworthy counter company with a team of knowledgeable, helpful experts, you have come to the right place!
Most Popular Countertops in Ladson, SC
Choosing the best countertops for your kitchen is an important decision, but it doesn't have to be a hard one. One of the best ways to narrow down your search is to find out what kind of countertop material you'd like to use. While it's true that material and style trends change over time, there are several counters that have always been top sellers.
Some of the most popular countertops we sell include:
Marble Countertops in Ladson, SC
There's no way around it - marble adds jaw-dropping beauty to just about any room and is known for its good looks. It is a dense stone that comes in many different hues like greens, browns, pinks, greys, whites, and more. While marble countertops often have otherworldly beauty, they can be susceptible to stains and cracks. Marble is also considered one of the most expensive counters to choose from, though the truth is marble comes in a wide range of qualities and prices.
- Pros: Stunning beauty, plenty of beautiful choices.
- Cons: Not always used in kitchens due to chance of staining.
- Popular Colors: Portinari, Shadow Storm, Super White, Lumen, Calacatta Linconni, Nobulato Honned, Shadow, Grey Imperiale Honed.
Granite Countertops in Ladson, SC
When it comes to popularity, granite countertops take the cake. Granite countertops usually contain a blend of quartz, feldspar, mica, and other minerals. Granite can add an edge of elegance and even a country-chic feel to your kitchen, making it a well-rounded stone. Granite is durable and scratch-resistant, though it can require sealing and DIY chip repair.
- Pros: Luxurious, rich look featuring natural stone that is durable, heat resistant, and scratch-resistant.
- Cons: Hard material that may require DIY chip repair and sealing.
- Popular Colors: Blue Jeans, Creama Pearl, Alure, Galaxy White, Luna Pear, Steel Grey, Ubatuba, Oro Brazil.
Quartz Countertops in Ladson, SC
Quartz is a manufactured material that represents one of our favorite four-letter words: easy! If you're looking to add a high-end feel to your kitchen or bathroom, quartz is an excellent material to consider. Like granite, quartz countertops can add a decadent vibe to any room. Unlike granite, you may not have to seal quartz quite as often (if ever).
- Pros: Quartz countertops come in plenty of colors to choose from and are easy to clean. They are also strong, scratch-resistant, and don't require sealing.
- Cons: Quartz is not as heat resistant as other materials like granite counters. Sharp corners tend to crack, but that can be remedied with rounded corners.
- Popular Colors: Noble Grey, Raw Concrete, Frosty Carrina, Shitake, Pebble, Pietra Grey, Sierra Madre, Arctic.
Silestone Countertops in Ladson, SC
A manufactured material made from quartz crystals, Silestone countertops are equal parts gorgeous and practical. Known for being a durable, non-porous choice, Silestone is resistant to stains, scratches, and even some forms of bacteria. Homeowners who choose Silestone do so because they can get a high-end look without having to worry too much about maintenance. Silestone counters look great in many different homes, from contemporary abodes with modern accents to vintage-looking kitchens.
- Pros: Silestone countertops are non-porous, meaning germs and bacteria can't lodge themselves inside this material. This makes Silestone counters great for kitchens and bathrooms alike. This material also comes in a wide variety of colors and resists scratches and chips. Overall, Silestone is an excellent choice if you want to make a solid long-term investment without much upkeep.
- Cons: While Silestone is great if you're looking for a low-maintenance counter option, it can be sensitive to harsh chemicals like bleach and ammonia. Silestone is also not recommended for outdoor use since the resins used to make the material do not do well with UV light.
- Popular Colors: Daria, Gray Expo, Lagoon, Calacatta Gold, Arctic, Blanco City, Gris Expo, Desert Silver
Quartzite Countertops in Ladson, SC
Not to be confused with quartz countertops, which are manmade, quartzite is a naturally occurring stone that is quarried much in the same way that granite is. If you're a fan of marble counters, quartzite mimics its looks without as much upkeep. Like granite, it is a very durable choice and adds an upscale feeling to almost any room you choose.
- Pros: Since it doesn't require any special cleaners, quartzite looks great without much maintenance. When it gets dirty, soap and water should be all you need to clean. Quartzite is also a great long-term option since it doesn't wear down quickly at all.
- Cons: Heat is required to form quartzite. However, you should avoid putting hot pots and pans on your quartzite countertops. Because quartzite comes in many different varieties, some forms of quartzite need to be sealed more often than others.
- Popular Colors: Maya, Fusion, Locomotion, Callacata, Airy Concrete, Cocada White
Which Countertop is Right for You?
If you're just beginning your search for new countertops, it can be a little overwhelming trying to whittle down your options. We've got good news - with over 19 years in the industry, our team of experts has learned a thing or two about countertops. When you come to the Real Deal Countertops showroom, one of our goals is to educate you about our products and your countertop options, so you can make an educated purchasing decision.
How Will You Use Your Countertops in Ladson?
The first and perhaps most crucial part of your countertop choice should stem from how you and your family use your countertops. For example, if you have kids, your counters will probably see a lot of activity. Between standard eating times and "in-between" meals that teens are known for, your counters might double as food prep stations. As such, you might need a countertop material that is resistant to most food and beverage stains. If you own a rental property that sees a lot of foot traffic from strangers, you might want to consider an economical material that is also durable.
- Do you cook a lot?
- Do you host a lot of parties?
- How long will you be living in your home?
- How long will you be living in your home?
Once you figure out exactly how you'll be using your countertops, you can begin to narrow down your choices.
How Much Upkeep Is Too Much?
Be realistic and honest with yourself about this question. Before you fall in love with how a countertop material looks, be sure you understand how much upkeep is needed. Some materials require more care, while others don't need much at all.
Keep these points in mind:
- Materials like quartz only need to be wiped down occasionally.
- Materials like granite, marble, and limestone will need to be sealed at least once a year.
- Some materials may be durable but aren't stain resistant.
The bottom line is this: Assess the maintenance demands that come along with the materials you're looking at. Marble countertops in Ladson, SC are elegant, but if you'e unwilling to keep them looking their best, why bother buying the material?
You should be aware that most countertop materials will require some form of upkeep, even if it' minimal. To help keep your counters in pristine condition, consider these care and precaution tips:
- Many common foods contain acids that will dull or even damage the surface of stone countertops.Use coasters to protect your counters, especially if you'e drinking something with citrus juices or alcohol.
- Do not place scalding hot pots or pans directly on your countertops.
- Use mats or trivets to place under hot dishes.
- If you spill liquid on your countertops, blot the spill with a paper towel ASAP. Wiping the spill will cause it to spread.
- Use mild soap and plain water to clean up stains.
Which Colors and Materials Match Your Home's Aesthetics?
For many homeowners, this question is almost always top-of-mind. After all, you want to choose colors and materials that fit well with other features in your home. When selecting your countertop materials, try to choose a tone that contrasts with your other amenities, like your cabinets. Don't go for a perfect match. As an example, black granite is a beautiful contrast to white cabinets.
Consider these questions when choosing your countertop materials:
- Are there one or two colors that you love more than others?
- Does your choice go well with the color of your kitchen's walls?
- Do you want to switch up your kitchen's style or keep it the same?
- Will you be painting your kitchen a different color in the future?
- Will you be replacing your appliances soon?
Real Deal Countertops Pro Tip:
Because your home's accessories and paint job may change with time, your countertops should have a versatile color. That way, you won't have problems matching them with new paint colors or appliances.
Countertop Remodeling Done Right
At Real Deal Countertops, our #1 priority is your satisfaction. Unlike some countertop companies in Ladson, we make it a point to exceed our customer's expectations. We strive for excellence with every transaction we complete and pledge to faithfully implement innovative techniques to ensure that our products remain affordable. With the help of Real Deal Countertops, remodeling your kitchen and bath will be painless and easy.
The appearance of a kitchen or bath depends on the right countertop selection, proper fabrication, and expert installation. Are you interested in granite countertops in Ladson, SC? Maybe quartzite is a better choice for your family. Whatever you choose, know that our skilled installers and fabricators will make a template so that all custom pieces fit perfectly in your home.
What Clients Say About Us
Countertop Installation for Sue Gregory
Custom Countertops for Ellen Bowdon
Granite Countertops for Holly Washington
Kitchen Countertops for CFR Williams
Quartz Countertops for Judy Galuppo
Countertop Installation for Emma Fitzpatrick
Laminate Countertops for Carla Greene
Countertop Replacement for Barbara Piper
New Countertop for Daney Herrera
Custom Countertops for bob shafer
Granite Countertops for MrMunsters1313
Kitchen Remodel for Barbara Piper
Kitchen Countertops for Carol Moura
Quartz Countertops for Shoshanna Richek
Marble Countertops for David Glunt
Latest News in Ladson, SC
Coastal Carolina Fair continues through Sunday
LADSON, S.C. (WCSC) - With over 30 rides, 60 food vendors, special events and concerts, Coastal Carolina Fair officials are expecting a large group of visitors from across the Lowcountry.Fair representatives say they have rules in place to help ensure a fun and safe experience for visitors.Those attending the fair are asked not to bring weapons, alcohol, drugs, glass containers or coolers to the event.In addition, people will pass through metal detectors as they enter the fairgrounds.Officials say officers from th...
LADSON, S.C. (WCSC) - With over 30 rides, 60 food vendors, special events and concerts, Coastal Carolina Fair officials are expecting a large group of visitors from across the Lowcountry.
Fair representatives say they have rules in place to help ensure a fun and safe experience for visitors.
Those attending the fair are asked not to bring weapons, alcohol, drugs, glass containers or coolers to the event.
In addition, people will pass through metal detectors as they enter the fairgrounds.
Officials say officers from the Aviation Authority and Charleston and Berkeley County Sheriff’s Offices will be on hand along with a private security firm to assist at the gates.
The fair is also enforcing a clear bag policy for a second year.
Allowed bags include clear plastic, vinyl or PVC bags that do not exceed 12 inches by 6 inches by 12 inches, one-gallon freezer bags and small clutch bags without a handle or strap that does not exceed 4.5 inches by 6.5 inches.
The fair has added new food and ride options this year as well.
Officials say visitors will be able to find Brazilian foods at the fair for the first time. Visitors will also still be able to find the high-demand turkey legs, candy apples, elephant ears and funnel cakes.
This year’s fair also features three new rides, the Dutch Wheel, the Banshee and the Beast. The rides add to the traditionally popular Ferris wheel, roller coasters, swings and tilt-a-whirls
The Coastal Carolina Fair features a full slate of live entertainment opening up with Neal McCoy at 7:30 p.m. Thursday.
A full list of live music can be found here.
In addition to all the food, fun and music, the fair includes longtime staples like the fine art show, youth art show and chili cook-off.
Tickets for the fair can be purchased at the gate or from participating Circle K stores.
Online sales through the Coastal Carolina Fair website have been temporarily halted as of Thursday morning. Fair officials say they are waiting to find out if the service will return this year. Anyone who purchased tickets online will still be able to use those tickets.
Gates open at 3 p.m. Thursday and runs through Nov. 6. Click here for a full list of operating hours.
Copyright 2022 WCSC. All rights reserved.
Groundbreaking Thursday on 'state of the art' mental health facility in Ladson
LADSON, S.C. (WCIV) — Officials with Trident Medical Center are officially breaking ground on a new, standalone behavioral hospital!It will be the first the first freestanding ...
LADSON, S.C. (WCIV) — Officials with Trident Medical Center are officially breaking ground on a new, standalone behavioral hospital!
It will be the first the first freestanding behavioral hospital to open in the Lowcountry in over 30 years.
The nearly 58,790-square-foot facility in Ladson will include a single-story hospital and interior courtyard with space for recreation and therapy. The facility will have “state of the art” inpatient and outpatient services for Lowcountry residents.
The main difference this building will provide in comparison to general hospital care is more of a focus and extended resources for geriatric and adolescent care. The behavioral hospital will continue adult care as well.
The medical director for behavioral health at Trident, Jeffrey Culver, says he starts every day in the emergency room.
Currently, there are only 250 beds for mental health patients in the Lowcountry, and without a dedicated space for them — in most cases — a lot of them must go to the emergency room.
But with the construction of this new facility, Culver hopes it will help provide a safe space for real change and will get more people the help they need.
“I fully expect when this facility opens, that the dialogue both locally and nationally will continue to help chip away at that stigma. I think we're still a long way from where we need to be, where we can talk about mental health and mental illness the same way we talk about things like heart disease and cancer, but we're getting there. And I think being able to open up a brand-new facility and have people see that what we're doing is part of medicine,” Culver said.
ABC News 4's Sean Mahoney spoke with longtime mental health advocate Kelly Troyer, who works with the National Alliance of Mental Illness - Greater Charleston area.
She says the Lowcountry has come a long way in providing mental health services, but that there is still more work to be done and she hopes this will help kickstart that change.
Troyer also says the need for mental health services has drastically increased over the course of the pandemic.
The City of Charleston reported a 78.1 percent increase in the number of suicides from 2020 to 2021.
Troyer also has a personal connection to mental illness, as her son, Alex, was diagnosed with schizophrenia at a young age. She says finding resources in the Lowcountry was nearly impossible in the beginning, as she had to go out of state for care.
However, she says the construction of this new facility is a step in the right direction.
“As far as access to service, no, there's not enough in our state, especially in the rural areas. Then also, even here in the Lowcountry, we have great resources and we have people. But look at the Latino community and the African-American community, there's more [of a ] stigma around mental health conditions, so they don't reach out as much to the access that's here,” Troyer said. “So this groundbreaking of this hospital is very good news for us in our community. And we want to celebrate that.”
The hospital is expected to start out with 60 inpatient beds with the ability to expand and also will provide outpatient resources.
Construction started on the $30.4 million facility started in December, but officials with Trident waited until Thursday to hold the ceremony because of the weather.
Work is expected to wrap up in spring of 2023.
The groundbreaking ceremony and celebration is taking place at 11 a.m., at the construction site, which is about two miles from Trident Medical Center and right off highway 17 in Ladson, at 3445 Ingleside Boulevard.
Ladson Road Streetscape Project draws feedback, concerns from locals
Dorchester County citizens had an opportunity to offer feedback and voice concerns about streetscape improvements planned for Ladson Road at the Aug. 22 public meeting held at the Dorchester County Council Chambers.Dorchester County personnel and consultant representatives from SeamonWhiteside, a local engineering and design firm, were on hand to discuss the project with citizens as a group and individually, as requested.The well-attended meeting showcased a lively discussion during which citizens expressed their concerns, fear...
Dorchester County citizens had an opportunity to offer feedback and voice concerns about streetscape improvements planned for Ladson Road at the Aug. 22 public meeting held at the Dorchester County Council Chambers.
Dorchester County personnel and consultant representatives from SeamonWhiteside, a local engineering and design firm, were on hand to discuss the project with citizens as a group and individually, as requested.
The well-attended meeting showcased a lively discussion during which citizens expressed their concerns, fears and frustrations over the project plans to date, as well as what is seen by many present as current problems that could be made worse going forward.
Construction of dedicated turn lanes at key intersections and installation of raised, landscaped medians with plantings and street lights are the key elements of the project. Video displays and print handouts were provided at the meeting to illustrate the plans under consideration. The project will impact the section of Ladson Road from the termination of the South Carolina Department of Transportation (SCDOT) Dorchester Road Safety Improvement project to Coopers Ridge Boulevard.
“Last night’s meeting was the first step in soliciting public input, and we received many good comments that will be considered as we continue to move the design forward,” said Daniel Prentice, Deputy County Administrator. The meeting followed the DOT public comment requirements, according to Prentice.
The Ladson Road Streetscape Project is part of the Oakbrook Redevelopment Plan which was established in 2019. The plan outlines a comprehensive, multi-agency plan to revitalize the Oakbrook area. Funding comes from Tax Increment Financing (TIF), a method for financing redevelopment in blighted, conservation and sprawl areas of counties. TIF utilizes incremental increases in assessed value and property taxes to fund projects.
The price tag for the overall Oakbrook Redevelopment Plan now stands at $5 million, but county officials insist that it is not represented by a tax increase or impact fee.
“A TIF district is not a tax increase,” said Prentice. “The entities that levy millage (the rate at which property taxes are levied) partner to send tax dollars resulting from growth in assessments of new or improved buildings to the TIF fund which funds the public improvements. The public improvements, in turn, are used to continue to spur new private growth, increasing the overall vitality of the area.”
County personnel and officials projected their belief that by making the area more attractive for retail and restaurant activities, improving pedestrian and bike safety, improving infrastructure, reducing traffic and increasing safety and other upgrades, investment dollars will increase; new business and development will be established.
Presentation of the project leaned heavily on the aesthetic and beautification benefits to be realized, but county officials and staff also stressed improvement in safety as a major goal. “Data shows that safety will be improved by closing off the current open medians and guiding traffic through the use of dedicated turn lanes and restricting other turning movements due to the proposed medians,” said Prentice. “While one of the goals of the TIF district is beautification, the County believes that an additional positive outcome will be the function and safety of the corridor.”
Not everyone in attendance was convinced. Several citizens expressed frustration in their view that the county is giving priority to aesthetics over safety and functionality. Concerns voiced included existing poor access to certain businesses, which could increase under the plan; traffic load; difficulty of large and service vehicles to navigate turns; challenges of cyclists; maintenance costs associated with the use of plants versus other materials for division; and problems arising out of the overlap of traffic routes between counties.
One business owner, whose business requires drop-off traffic, complained that attracting new business and traffic, when existing businesses are negatively impacted by current road and traffic design, is not in the best interest of businesses along Ladson Road.
Proponents of the plan defended medians as a more modern design consideration for roadway construction and advocated for guiding traffic to dedicated turn lanes.
“Access management studies show that the true overall impact is not negative, although acclimation to the changes is required due to new traffic patterns,” said Prentice.
Construction on the Ladson Road Streetscape Project is slated to begin mid-2023, according to county personnel. Additional information on the Ladson Road project, Oakbrook Redevelopment Plan and TIF can be found on the Dorchester County website at https://www.dorchestercountysc.gov.
Public comments, written or oral, are invited.
Ladson mom fights against district trying to split up twins, shows larger problem in IEPs
LADSON, S.C. (WCIV) — A little over a week ago, ABC News 4 brought you the story of one Mount Pleasant mother fighting the Charleston County School District in what she says was a forced school placement change.Since then, ABC News 4 has received dozens of reports of families going through si...
LADSON, S.C. (WCIV) — A little over a week ago, ABC News 4 brought you the story of one Mount Pleasant mother fighting the Charleston County School District in what she says was a forced school placement change.
Since then, ABC News 4 has received dozens of reports of families going through similar situations.
One involves a Summerville mom stuck with a school district's choice looking to move her two sons to different schools.
The mother, Leslie Jackson, is described as a mom’s mom.
“I'm on top of my kids, you know, with their schooling a lot. A lot of people tell me that I’m probably the most involved parent when it comes to the kids,” she explained.
Jackson said that her love for her children resonated when she watched Olivia Rose-Walker’s story.
“When I did see [the] story about Olivia, I mean, I cried my eyes out. I felt for a mom, I felt for Olivia,” she said.
Jackson’s sons, Elijah and Xavier, also have learning disabilities. Both twins were born at 24 weeks old, with each spending numerous months in the hospital after birth. Both were diagnosed with autism with Elijah also having expressive language disorder.
While the two twins have a different disability than Olivia does, they do face a similar battle ahead.
“We had Eli’s IEP in May,” Jackson said. “They decided to place him at Malcom C. Hursey Montessori school. When we did Xavier’s IEP that next week, [it was decided] he is to go to Ladson. And I was like, well, why are they being separated from schools?”
While Olivia’s battle dealt more with the disability placement change, this challenge focuses more on the process of school placement. By the time Jackson found out about Xavier’s placement, the deadline for school choice in CCSD had already passed, leaving her with many questions.
“It kind of threw me for a loop that, they're brothers, you know, they're twins, you know? How did one get placed somewhere and one get placed somewhere else? And no one can really give me an answer for that,” she stated.
She's another mother feeling the same pain that Olivia’s mom did, while going through a school change they don’t want to do.
“This whole thing, honestly, it's made me feel emotional about it. You know, during the meeting, I almost felt like a failed parent. I was like, how did this happen?
But just like Olivia’s mom did, Jackson searched for help.
“Charleston Autism Parents [Facebook group], I put out a post on there and let them know the situation was like, [has] this happened to anybody else?” Jackson explained.
After her message was posted, she received dozens of comments in response, informing her that she was not alone. Up to 20 families reached out claiming they are in a similar situations.
“There are a lot of people that responded that [I was like] wow, I guess this happens a lot,” she said.
After seeing the responses to Jackson’s post and the messages we have received at ABC News 4, we tried to find out how often situations like these happen.
The answer is that they happen more than you might think.
“This is something that we see often.” Director of Youth Transition Program at Able SC Paige Winget said. “We have the seasons of calls from parents.”
Representatives with Family Connection South Carolina say referrals for a program which helps families navigate the IEP process have skyrocketed in the past year, with over 5,000 referrals overall to all of their programs.
“Our referrals for this program have gone up by 65% since last year,” CEO of Family Connection SC Amy Holbert said.
So the question that remains is why is this so common?
These experts say it may be the stress the pandemic has put on these families or the lack of all-around resources at every school, which forces these placement changes to specific programs.
“Ideally, you know, inclusion we know is best practice,” Winget said. “But sometimes, there's a lot of lack of training for our general education teachers, and for just our school administration, and those that are in the school that aren't necessarily always working with students with disabilities.”
These experts say it could also be the system of IEP placements, which sometimes may not meet the needs of a specific student.
“The I in an IEP is individualized, and it needs to be for that student, and not because of a specific diagnosis or something else that's determining that factor,” Director of Education and Family Support for Family Connection SC Sally Baker said.
While these experts say a lot of the times the schools or IEP administrators do have good advice for these students, in situations where they may be disagreements like in Jackson’s case, they are here to help.
We are working in school districts. We might know someone and might be able to say, let me, you know, chat with this person. Or let's get the full picture,” Winget explained.
“We've talked to all the different people that can potentially help you answer the questions along the way,” Baker said. “[We] talk about what's kind of next, what's coming. Who are you going to meet? Are you going to see how to use your voice and how to use the things that you see at home that you know your child can do? Find their strengths and how to communicate that over to their educational team?”
Able South Carolina is a disability-led organization that helps push for change in systems and communities surrounding people with disabilities.
Family Connection SC has many programs that do the same thing, including its Education Partner program, which helps families communicate with schools and gather more information on their specific IEPs to help parents make informed decisions.
It's something Jackson said is important to continuing the fight.
“If you're not okay with this, you don't have to accept that you can’t fight this. You have options,” she said.
We reached out to CCSD for a statement on Jackson’s situation. In response, the district said:
“While we can't comment on a specific student matter related to this topic, we want to emphasize we are committed to providing the best possible resources available for all of our students, and we work collaboratively with all parents and guardians. IEP teams make determinations regarding services and placement for students with disabilities based on the individual needs of each child.”
Tickets on sale for Lowcountry's 1st Trucking Expo; event aims to ease industry challenges
LADSON, S.C. (WCIV) — For the last two years, the trucking industry has struggl...
LADSON, S.C. (WCIV) — For the last two years, the trucking industry has struggled with an all-time high in truck driver shortages. Amid this crisis, a Charleston trucking company is looking to change the narrative right here in the Lowcountry.
In exactly four months’ time, the Coastal Carolina Fairgrounds will be full of truck service companies, operators and vendors taking part in the first-ever trucking expo in the Lowcountry and South Carolina.
The expo is hosted by the trucking agency CM Transportation. The event will serve two main purposes:
One is to connect prospective drivers with current operators, vendors or agencies to provide the first step into entry in the trucking industry and open doors to those who haven’t had the opportunity before. It also looks to connect these prospective drivers with resources on how to get certified and obtain a commercial driver’s license.
The second is to connect operators with vendors in an attempt to improve supply chain management and look at ways to increase revenue.
With the current driver shortage totaling nearly 80,000 drivers nationwide, according to the American Trucker Association, leaders with CM Transportation say they felt the need to step in to try and make a change.
“With there being so many changes, like the cost of diesel fuel right now increasing the rates, we have a lot of people who are interested in entering into our industry,” CM Transportation owner and operator Carisa Carter said. “The lack of knowledge is why we peril. So, they don't really have the information that a lot of people don't have. The information that they need when they begin their journey in trucking. So, I think that this will change the face, because now they'll see that there is a support system.”
Carter said another focus of hers is to increase the female presence in the trucking industry. She hopes to use her connections within female-owned small businesses to help connect truck drivers with big players in the industry.
Truck drivers are in high demand, but there are many more factors that contribute to some of the struggles within the trucking industry.
One is the hike in diesel fuel prices over the last few months. Mix that with supply chain delays, and trucking companies like CM Transportation say it has completely changed the cost analysis for many companies and even caused many financial struggles.
Entry into the industry has also become harder over the last few months. New federal laws passed in February increased prices to obtain a CDL, which is required to be able to become a truck driver, by thousands of dollars.
To combat this, trucking officials say they have seen the highest salaries for drivers in almost 23 years, and with Charleston’s roots in shipping and ports, CM Transportation leaders hope this expo will drive more people into the industry.
“From East Coast to West Coast, there's just not enough truck drivers to deliver the amount of cargo that came in after the world opened back up after COVID,” Carter said. “That is one of the foundations, the biggest industries, that we have here locally, and so we're, you know, with this being a port city, the value is increased nationwide, which has allowed us to increase the value of our drivers here.”
The official date of the expo is set for Sept. 17 at the Coastal Carolina Fairgrounds. There will also be food, a DJ and a raffle for an estimated $6,000 set of tractor tires.
Tickets officially go on sale Tuesday for the first-of-its-kind expo. General admission starts at $25, with a professional package with more amenities starting at around $50.