Wilmington, N.C. – North Carolina Ports has welcomed two new neo-Panamax cranes built by Shanghai Zhenhua Heavy Industry Co., Ltd. (ZPMC). The new cranes arrived to the Port of Wilmington Thursday following a two-month journey from Asia.
“The arrival of the new neo-Panamax cranes to the Port of Wilmington marks a historic day not only for North Carolina Ports but the entire state,” said North Carolina Ports Executive Director Paul J. Cozza. “The cranes are a catalyst for growth. They will allow the Port of Wilmington to service the largest vessels calling the United States East Coast.”
Currently, Wilmington can accommodate 10,000 TEU class vessels, but with the $33.8 million neo-Panamax cranes the Port of Wilmington can now handle vessels carrying upwards of 14,000 TEU. The new cranes have the capability to reach up over 10 containers above the deck of a vessel and out over 22 containers.
“The addition of the neo-Panamax cranes represents a massive infrastructure investment in the Port, its customers and the North Carolina economy,” Brian Clark, NC Ports Chief Operating Officer said. “There is a significant trade base in North Carolina, both import and export, and the new cranes provide North Carolina Ports more tools to service that growing market.”
North Carolina Ports has committed more than $200 million in infrastructure improvements which will enable shippers to gain unprecedented access to the East Coast. Those improvements include the purchase of three neo-Panamax cranes – the third crane will arrive in 2019, berth renovations and container yard and turning basin expansion.
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.