The North Carolina State Ports Authority welcomed the largest containerships calling on the East Coast following the completion of Phase II of the Turning Basin Expansion Project at the Port of Wilmington. The expansion allows the port to accommodate ultra-large container vessels (ULCVs) with a length of 1,200 feet.
“This is a significant milestone for North Carolina Ports. The completion of this project ushers NC Ports and the Port of Wilmington into the big ship era,” says Paul Cozza, executive director, North Carolina Ports. “We recognize the importance of this project to our ocean carriers and are thrilled to offer expanded capabilities to better support their business needs.”
The expansion project widened the turning basin in the Cape Fear River from 1,400 feet to 1,524 feet. The additional 124 feet allows 14,000-TEU vessels to safely and efficiently turnaround in the Wilmington Navigational Harbor. Phase II is an extension of the initial expansion project completed in August 2016 which increased the turning basin from 1,200 feet to 1,400 feet.
“This project would not have been possible without the support and collaboration of our local, state and federal partners,” adds Brian Clark, chief operating officer, North Carolina Ports. “Their efforts helped us ensure the project remained on track especially throughout the uncertainty surrounding the Coronavirus.”