Wilmington, N.C. – The North Carolina State Ports Authority has added an additional SeaLand container service to the Port of Wilmington. SeaLand is the Intra-Americas regional ocean carrier of the renowned Maersk Group. The new SeaLand Atlantico service will complement the revised SeaLand SAE service that already calls the port.
“These new and improved services offer our customers greater access to an emerging market,” said Executive Director Paul J. Cozza. “Specifically, the apparel trade and the producers and exporters of perishable goods will be direct beneficiaries.”
The new SeaLand Atlantico service is an alternative to ground transportation that connects the Gulf of Mexico with the U.S. East Coast. The service will provide weekly coverage between the ports of Veracruz and Altamira, Mexico. As the last port of call on the way to Central America, the service offers an efficient six-day transit time to customers.
In addition, the revised SeaLand SAE service will deliver supplementary benefits for shippers. The SeaLand SAE service calls Manzanillo, Panama where all-water Trans-Pacific options are available. That same service also calls Freeport, Bahamas where there is a Trans-Atlantic opportunity.
“As ship sizes and TEU volumes have increased, congestion has become a major hurdle for many large ports in the U.S. Southeast,” said Chief Commercial Officer Greg Fennell. “With congestion comes additional costs and lower profitability, driving carriers and BCOs to ports with superior efficiency and customized customer service, like the North Carolina State Ports Authority.”
The Authority enjoyed a banner year in fiscal 2015 with an 18% increase in containerized cargo volumes year-over-year. By container volume growth percentage, North Carolina’s Ports are among the fastest growing on the U.S. East Coast.
The Port of Wilmington continues to see growth in containers and infrastructure. The Port of Wilmington Cold Storage (PWCS) facility, which is set to open this summer, will also play a role for customers using the new and revised SeaLand services. PWCS will provide additional capacity for the developing refrigerated foods market in the region. The Port of Wilmington Cold Storage facility will offer convenience, logistical support, expandable storage, reduced spoilage, expedited delivery time, and will allow companies to save a substantial amount on transportation costs.
In addition, the Authority is moving forward with a $100 million investment in infrastructure improvements. With new cranes, an enhanced berth, a wider turning basin and further expansion on the way, North Carolina’s Ports will improve upon its operational efficiencies to keep cargo moving and to remain congestion free. Specifically, the Port of Wilmington will be prepared to handle post-Panamax vessels up to the 10,000 TEU class by this summer.
North Carolina’s Ports in Wilmington and Morehead City, plus inland terminals in Charlotte and in Greensboro, link the state’s consumers, businesses and industry to world markets, and serve as magnets to attract new business and industry while receiving no direct taxpayer subsidy. Port activities contribute statewide to 76,000 jobs and $700 million each year in state and local tax revenues.