Metal Trades Expanding Operations in Charleston County

For Immediate Release

Dec. 2, 2022

COLUMBIA, S.C. Metal Trades, Inc., a family-owned steel and metal manufacturer, today announced plans to expand its operations in Charleston County. The company’s $14.4 million investment will create 64 new jobs.

Founded in 1962, Metal Trades, Inc. is a heavy steel fabricator that serves the marine industry, specializing in steel and sheet metal fabrication for commercial and government markets. The company’s broad portfolio includes steel processing, fabrication, welding, piping, machining, electrical installation, blasting, and painting.

Located at 4194 Highway 165 in Meggett, Metal Trades, Inc.’s expansion includes the construction of a new facility on its existing campus. The expansion will allow the company to build components and fixtures in-house for the United States Navy. The new building will be located near the company’s 1,000-ton marine railway, accommodating the fabrication and transfer of large steel structures directly to the Intracoastal Waterway. This project will also allow the company to expand its capabilities in manufacturing expertise, heavy lift capability, and direct barge access.

The expansion is expected to be complete by the second half of 2023. Individuals interested in joining the Metal Trades, Inc. team should visit the company’s careers page.


MTI Chairman and CEO R.B. Corbin

“Metal Trades, Inc. is excited for the positive impact this expansion will have on rural Charleston County as we continue to increase our capacity to support the defense industry, as well as our private sector customers. As one of the few major fabricators located on deep water in the state, this expansion will allow us to expand our tradition of delivering quality-built, heavy-steel products from the Lowcountry to the rest of the world.”-Metal Trades, Inc. Chairman and Chief Executive Officer R.B. Corbin

Gov. Henry McMaster

“With the expansion of Metal Trades, Inc., South Carolina’s manufacturing industry continues to lead the charge in bringing new jobs and investment to our state. Congratulations, and we look forward to celebrating your success for many years to come.”-Gov. Henry McMaster

Sec Commerce Harry M. Lightsey III

“South Carolina’s strategic location and infrastructure assets are ideal for companies like Metal Trades, Inc. to find continued success. We appreciate Metal Trades, Inc.’s ongoing commitment and look forward to the positive impact this expansion will have throughout the state.”-Secretary of Commerce Harry M. Lightsey III

Charleston County Council Chair Teddie Pryor

It’s always gratifying to see family-owned businesses continue to expand and create opportunities in their community. We congratulate Metal Trades, Inc. on expanding and creating new jobs in the southern part of Charleston County.”-Charleston County Council Chairman Teddie Pryor


  • Metal Trades, Inc. is expanding operations in Charleston County.
  • The company’s $14.4 million investment will create 64 new jobs.
  • Metal Trades, Inc. is a family-owned steel and metal manufacturer.
  • Located at 4194 Highway 165 in Meggett, S.C.
  • Individuals interested in joining the Metal Trades, Inc. team should visit the company’s careers page.

*Banner image Live 5 News Charleston


Metal Trades: 60 Years of Community Involvement!

Metal Trades, Inc. was founded by the late Ted Corbin in 1962. Sixty years later, MTI is still owned and operated by second-generation members of the Corbin Family, and it continues to thrive.

A Positive Community Impact

All their lives, the Corbin Family has lived in the Meggett/Yonges Island Community. From the inception of Metal Trades, the company has continually sought to make a positive impact in the community. We have long supported local businesses, from the subcontractor to the corner store. We have fostered local talent in the surrounding areas as we built our workforce and apprenticeships, helping to generate jobs in FIVE surrounding counties.

MTI Supports Our Schools

Metal Trades Inc. has regularly found ways to support our area schools. Recent efforts include sponsoring student athletics at Lowcountry Leadership Charter School. We have also made donations to support the Sunshine Committee at Baptist Hill Middle High School. This is a program that strives to create a positive working environment for teachers and staff that, in turn, positively impacts the students.

mti community involvement
Metal Trades supports enrichment programs at Baptist Hill Middle High School
mti community involvement
MTI supports athletic programs at Lowcountry Leadership Charter School

Community Beautification

Over the last couple of years, Metal Trades has organized trash pickups on Highway 165 and participated in Meggett Town Hall Clean Up events as well. MTI owners and staff share a very real commitment to our surrounding community. After all, we not only work here, but we also call it Home.

mti community involvement
Metal Trades participates in Route 165 cleanup events

Individual Opportunity

Metal Trades, Inc. wants to be recognized as a leader in the surrounding community, as well as a great place to work. We continually encourage local talent to apply for open positions with our company and join the generations of welders, fitters, machinists, and electricians who have enjoyed long and fulfilling careers as part of the Metal Trades family.

MTI’s Ongoing Community Commitment

Over the many decades, Metal Trades has maintained a commitment to helping our people, our communities, and our schools to grow and thrive. It is a commitment we reaffirm, now and in the future! We invite you to learn more about Metal Trades, Inc at our website.

MTI Blast and Paint: Adding Value in the Home Stretch

What makes the Blast and Paint operation such a vital part of MTI’s production capability? Well, without paint, a manufacturing process is simply incomplete. If contractors want their plants to be known as “turnkey” operations – a highly coveted label – they must be able to consistently deliver according to customers’ paint requirements. Painting is often the final item of successful delivery (not including testing, of course). The topcoat not only “finishes” the end-product, but multi-part paint systems also ensure the quality of the application protects the customers’ investment for years to come. So it is critical to ensure metrics are in place to meet compliance with our customers’ technical specifications. Metal Trades, Inc. promises quality and compliance to meet the customers’ requirements from delivery of raw steel to final testing and delivery.

MTI: Investing in Blast and Paint Talent…

Metal Trades, Inc. recognizes the importance of coatings, establishing relationships with multiple paint vendors, creating relationships with subcontractors to assist on time-critical projects if needed, and we invest in Blast and Paint Infrastructure to support this critical aspect of the job’s life cycle. MTI offers exceptional in-house Quality Assurance oversight on every project. We have on-staff certified NACE Inspectors and an expert team that repeatedly accomplishes painting quickly, efficiently, and in compliance with specified requirements. When required, our crew works day and night to meet critical deadlines.

…And Blast and Paint Technology!

Metal Trades, Inc. boasts one of the largest indoor blast and paint booths on the East Coast—in total our main blast and paint building is 200 feet x 40 feet wide. This capacity is due to the width of the door opening, which will accommodate structures 35 feet wide. Each booth (blast and paint) is 100 feet long with accordion doors that allow products to easily move from one bay to the next. The doors open in a way that allows the flexibility for overhang when necessary. Our heavy lift equipment can easily drive through the building to transit large structures and modules in and out of our booths.

“Small” Booth, Big Production Flexibility!

MTI also has a “small” blast and paint booth that is 20 feet x 40 feet (each booth). This smaller booth is great for jobs such as hoppers and platforms. This booth also helps MTI accommodate various product lines that are in high-volume production. Our “small” blast and paint booth connect to our main fabrication building, which also allows our heavy lift equipment and MTI’s own tractor trailer access for easy loading. MTI can accommodate delivery by land or deep-water from our heavy lift loading pier and/or our marine railway. Our “small booth” stays busy supporting our Power Generation Division but is ready to support additional capacity and our “big booth” is ready for more work too!

blast and paint

blast and paint

The Final Step of a Turnkey Operation

After all the assemblers, welders, fitters, and crane operators have done their job, your MTI structure has been transformed from raw iron and steel into something that closely resembles the vessel you ordered. But it’s not done yet. The talent and technology of MTI’s Blast and Paint operation provide the finishing touch that brings it all to life. Now THAT’S turnkey skill, convenience, and quality!

MTI specializes in new construction and maintenance and repair. Think of Metal Trades when you have a large blast and paint job! We would love to support your next project.

Visit the MTI website or call 843-889-6441 and ask for Business Development or Estimating Department.

MTI 2020 Year in Review

MTI 2020 – what’s the story? Metal Trades Inc. is like most companies; the calendar flips to a new year and we look back on the past 12 months. We take stock of the big wins, the little ones, and the bumps in the road. When the stats and trends are fully digested, we might pen a report like this one. Pretty standard stuff in a typical year.

Of course, this was anything BUT a typical year! The story of MTI’s 2020 was one of thinking on our feet, adaptation, and soldiering through. Despite the obstacles, though, we got our share of wins. We’d like to tell you about some of them now!

Pandemic Plan: Keep the Lights On and the Employees Healthy!


If we had to choose MTI’s major accomplishment in 2020, it would be the way we adapted and survived in a vastly altered COVID-19 landscape. As a manufacturer, an essential business, and a DoD contractor supporting critical power grid infrastructure, MTI had to find ways to keep our people safe and to keep working. So we invested in plexiglass, disinfecting fog machines for the facility, thermometers for standard daily temperature checks, and masks for our employees. We also strengthened our onsite cleaning protocols as well as facility access protocols.

Of course, our employees played a huge role. While on the job, our employees had to learn how to get the job done while practicing social distancing.

We have had full support from our team and they have done a great job practicing all COVID precautionary measures that we have implemented. Their team spirit didn’t falter!

Thankfully, due to our substantial workload and minimal COVID cases, MTI was able to retain the majority of our workforce and currently we are increasing our manpower in several skilled trades.

CMMC: Becoming a Cyber-Certified and Compliant Contractor!

When Ted Corbin first parked his welding truck on a job site in 1962, he never could have imagined that someday his company would be cramming for advanced cyber security certification from the DoD. But that’s the price of success!

In January 2020, the DoD introduced the Cybersecurity Maturity Model Certification (CMMC) standard.  Basically, this ensures that DoD contractors have the proper measures in place so that their electronic documentation is safe from espionage. There are levels of certification, each more intense than the last.

This year, MTI set its sights on Level 3. Getting there would require an investment of time, talent, and money.  So we were gratified to win an SCMEP (South Carolina Manufacturing Extension Partnership) SC-Cybersecurity Assistance Program Grant! We have put a lot of focus on updating security and compliance with CMMC to certify to a Level 3 and this grant award propelled us into the process by focusing on a Gap Assessment and policy updates. We are currently working with our managed IT Service Partner to implement the new program.

MTI 2020 Capital Improvements: The Tools to Get the Job Done!

Picture of Grove Crane Delivered

The client asks, can you do the big jobs? The complicated jobs? Multiple jobs at once? In our business, success means answering ‘yes’ to these questions.

And it means maintaining a railway that is constantly growing and improving, gaining new capabilities and equipment to handle whatever the client throws at us.

In 2020, MTI was awarded a MARAD Shipyard Grant Awardee for three Skytrak Telehandlers and a 55 Ton Grove Crane. With this new capital equipment, MTI’s expert team of riggers and handlers are able to execute big, complicated moves like never before.

Additional updates and upgrades around the Metal Trades facility include:

    • Railway (dry dock) upgrades and reinforcements
    • Increased fabrication capability- new, larger door on Fab Building allows for larger-scale components and structures
    • Machine Purchases- New 160 Ton Kobelco crawler Crane (Big Bird), Edge Breaker 4000 Deburring Machine, Kinetics K5000 Processing Machine
    • Approved for Zoning Request for a potential new building.

MTI intends to keep our Drydocking and Transfer System filled with numerous ships and barges on land at one time to keep our guys busy with simultaneous repairs on multiple vessels. That means competing for every contract out there, and that requires maintaining a facility with capabilities that are second to none!


MTI 2020: Looking Back, Looking Ahead

MTI 2020 Year in Review

“2020: may we never see another one like it.” It’s a popular sentiment, and one we share. But we also have to look back with some pride at the way MTI adapted and carried on, thanks to the efforts of the folks in the office, the shop floor, and the railway. Together we celebrate our shared successes and we begin 2021 in a position of strength.

In fact, Metal Trades, Inc. closed out the month of January 2021 with two major IDIQ/MATO awards from the US Army! We will tell you all about those in our next edition. There’s nothing like celebrating the New Year with new opportunities. Now, let’s get to work!

Metal Trades Delivers Construction Barge

Shipbuilder and Heavy Steel Fabricator Metal Trades, Inc., located on Yonges Island, SC has announced the launch of its largest-ever built new construction barge.

This barge is 370’ x 59’ x 14’. It is designed to hold a total of 18- 60 foot rail cars capable of carrying cargo for up to 2298 Long Tons for New York New Jersey Rail, LLC (NYNJR), a short line railroad and wholly-owned entity of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey.

Metal Trades’ first-ever tug is a nimble little boat that will deliver

It’s a little 850-hp pushboat with a big job. It’s also the first tug its shipyard has ever built. 

Capt Cooper, under construction since December 2015 at Metal Trades Inc., soon will serve North Carolina’s Bald Head Island as a vital link for supplies residents need in their daily lives. The existing boat’s crew is eager for the safer and more reliable replacement they will use to navigate the 4 nm across the Cape Fear River.

Pushboat a first for Metal Trades

In the 55 years since Ted Corbin found Metal Trades, Inc., Yonges Island, S.C., the family-owned company earned a well-established reputation for ship repair and building barges. The company marked a milestone when it launched its first newbuild twin screw pushboat, the 50’x24’x5.5’ Capt Cooper for Bald Head IslandLimited, LLC.

Metal Trades, Inc. (MTI) is a family owned business located just south of Charleston, South Carolina operating with deep water access on the intracoastal waterway. We have been in business since 1962 and have extensive past performance in Heavy Steel Fabrication, Manufacturing, Machining, Vessel Construction and Vessel Maintenance and Repair for both commercial and Government customers.

” J.E. Corbin, Jr. founded Metal Trades, Inc. in 1962 with a pickup truck, a welding machine, and years of metal fabricating experience. Since that time MTI established a solid reputation for its multi-skilled work force and strong commitment to high quality.”


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