What started as a company producing fence posts in the mid-1950s has become one of the largest regional players in the lumber business. Cox Industries chemically treats lumber and then resells it for a variety of uses from fences to utility poles.
The company works in three main areas. Its residential offerings include decking, fencing, porch flooring porch columns, fire-retardant wood and more. The company also produces wood for piling uses, such as marine-treated wood for docks and other construction supplies.
Over the last decade, the company has expanded into the utility business, producing long-lasting wood products for utility poles, pole crossarms and large timbers for heavy construction.
Cox Industries is the second largest manufacturer of utility poles and the largest American-owned pole producer, selling products all over the country, explained Michael Johnson, CEO and president.
The company’s 500 employees work across 14 manufacturing facilities located throughout the United States. Cox corporate and residential product headquarters is located in Orangeburg and the utility pole headquarters is in Eutawville. Cox Industries is fully vested in South Carolina, where the chain of commerce traces from the trees grown in the state all way to the trucking company that transports the lumber to Cox Industries.
“Of the two big flagships of our economy – residential construction and infrastructure – we’re in that sweet spot where agribusiness and the larger U.S. economy come together,” Johnson said. “We’re a big part of that and it’s meaningful to our team and our investors. It may not be as sexy as something like technology, but it’s a fundamental business that’s been around a long time and hopefully will be around a lot longer.”