Wilmington, N.C. – North Carolina Ports set an all-time high for container moves in calendar year 2018. The Port of Wilmington recorded a year-over-year container volume increase of 23 percent.
“The increase in container moves at the Port of Wilmington is a testament to the commitment North Carolina Ports has made in improving its infrastructure to meet and exceed customer demand,” said NC Ports Executive Director Paul J. Cozza. “We are proud that we could maintain this annual growth especially after the impact of Hurricane Florence.”
The accomplishments of 2018 can be contributed, in part, to the organization’s model of best in class gate truck turntimes and high crane productivity rates as well as NC Ports’ investment in terminal improvements in Wilmington.
“The Port of Wilmington received two of its three new neo-Panamax cranes during 2018 and the port welcomed its largest container vessels to date. The installation of our larger cranes allow us to accommodate larger vessels which in turn contribute to higher volume through the port,” noted Cozza. “We expect North Carolina Ports to continue to see this type of record growth as we advance our aggressive $200 million expansion plan.”
NC Ports’ capital improvements plan will enable the organization to tailor its growth to meet customers’ needs and better facilitate long-term plans. Improvements include a wider turning basin, berth enhancements and new neo-Panamax cranes – a third is scheduled to arrive this spring. In addition, NC Ports has embarked on a massive overhaul of its container terminal which will double its annual throughput capacity to 1.2 million TEUs and triple its refrigerated container capacity to 1,000 plugs.
The increase in container moves also follows a tumultuous hurricane season. The Port of Wilmington was forced to suspend vessel operations for a week and commercial truck operations for nearly two weeks because of Florence.
“The fact that NC Ports was still able to record significant growth following a devastating storm says a lot about the port’s resilience. We were able to resume operations and begin the necessary cleanup and repairs because of the hard work of our employees and partners at the local, state and federal levels,” added Cozza.
About North Carolina Ports
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 more than 87,700 jobs and $678 million each year in state and local tax revenues.