Wilmington, N.C. – North Carolina Ports welcomed its first ever 10,000 TEU vessel to the Port of Wilmington over the weekend. The Ocean Network Express’ Seaspan Elbe arrived in Wilmington on Sunday carrying approximately 10,000 TEUs, making it the largest vessel capacity-wise to call the Port.
“The arrival of the Seaspan Elbe continues to prove that North Carolina Ports is big ship ready and capable of handling the largest container vessels calling East Coast Ports,” said Paul J. Cozza, NC Ports Executive Director “This is only the beginning for NC Ports, our recently expanded capabilities continue to make the Port of Wilmington an attractive global gateway for shippers.”
The milestone visit comes on the heels of record-breaking container volume performance at the Port of Wilmington. Year-to-date volume is currently up 55% and the Authority saw a record number of containers move through Wilmington during the month of March.
“We are seeing unprecedented growth due to the Port of Wilmington’s landside and waterside efficiency. Wilmington has some of the fastest truck turntimes and crane operating times on the East Coast,” said Greg Fennell, Chief Commercial Officer, NC Ports. “Couple those highlights with our aggressive infrastructure improvement plan and North Carolina Ports is on pace for its best year yet.”
To maintain this monumental growth, North Carolina Ports will pump more than $200 million in infrastructure improvement projects including the order of three new neo-Panamax cranes – two of which arrived in March, major berth renovations and container yard and turning basin expansion.
The recent investments along with the Authority’s operational efficiency have led, in part, to the addition of four new container service lines. NC Ports has further opened itself to the global market by joining the USDA’s Southeast In-Transit Cold Treatment Pilot program and embarking on a year-long commitment to receive weekly banana imports.
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 to the State of North Carolina. Port activities contribute statewide to 76,000 jobs and $700 million each year in state and local tax revenues.