North Carolina Governor Tours New Port of Wilmington

Governor Cooper Tours New Port of Wilmington Container Complex Increasing Port Capacity, Highlights North Carolina’s Strategic Infrastructure and Trade Investments

As national supply chain challenges continue, NC Ports increase capacity to transport goods quickly and affordably from ships to shelves

Raleigh, NC (STL.News) Governor Roy Cooper visited the Port of Wilmington and highlighted North Carolina’s strategic and long-term investments in the trade and infrastructure sectors.  The Governor toured the new South Gate Container Complex, the Port’s container berth and a NeoPanamax Crane.

“The increase in capacity at the Port of Wilmington brings North Carolina better paying jobs, helps ease supply chain problems and helps reduce the cost of goods to every day working families,” said Governor Cooper.

“As today’s tour illustrates, North Carolina is actively working to help address nationwide shipping issues,” said State Transportation Secretary J. Eric Boyette.  “Facilities like our ports, and the Carolina Connector intermodal terminal, show how important it is to invest in infrastructure that moves goods throughout North Carolina and beyond.”

“Investments from the State of North Carolina have allowed for the recent completion of several major capital improvement projects,” said Brian Clark, Executive Director, NC Ports.  “These improvements allow NC Ports to develop long-term solutions to the ongoing supply chain crisis, while concurrently strengthening port efficiency and delivering on our mission to enhance the economy of North Carolina.”

The South Gate Container Complex opened on February 14 and enables the North Carolina State Ports Authority to meet the demand of increased container volume at the Port of Wilmington and continue to improve on the best trucker turn-times on the East Coast.

The $26 million project increased the Port’s number of inbound lanes from 4 to 7 and outbound lanes from 3 to 6 for truck traffic, incorporates a new Terminal Operating System and Gate Operating System to optimize efficient and integrate security features, as well as increases the number of outbound Radiation Portal Monitoring lanes.  The Port of Wilmington has three Neo-Panamex cranes that accommodate the loading and unloading needs of some of the largest vessels on the East Coast.

With the completion of the South Gate Container Complex, container yard expansion and three Neo-Panamax cranes, annual potential shipping container capacity has increased from 600,000 twenty-foot equivalent units to 1.2 million twenty-foot equivalent units.  The Port of Wilmington currently handles both container cargo and general cargo.

The North Carolina State Ports Authority and the State of North Carolina have funded several capital improvement projects including berth renovation and expansion, turning basin expansion, air draft clearance and a refrigerated container yard.  These investments will help create long-term solutions to ongoing supply chain issues.

Under Governor Cooper, North Carolina is making investments in infrastructure across the state to move products more efficiently.  In November 2021, the Carolina Connector (CCX) intermodal transportation facility opened in Edgecombe County.  The facility’s opening enabled the North Carolina Ports Authority to launch the Wilmington Midwest Express, which provides port customers with a daily direct rail connection to the Midwest via the CCX.

The North Carolina Ports Authority generates over $60 million in annual revenue.  According to a 2018 study, the North Carolina State Ports Authority supports 87,700 jobs, $687.2 million in tax revenue and $15.4 billion in economic output.