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Wilmington Port Expanding With $16 Million Facility

The Port of Wilmington scored another boost in its quest to become a major contender among East Coast ports with a new partnership with Port City Logistics.

The Savannah-based logistics company announced plans to construct a $16 million-dollar high-velocity transload facility at the North Carolina port. The new facility will span 150,000 square feet with cross-dock doors near the Port of Wilmington. Port City also will add a brokerage transportation office in downtown Wilmington.

“We are excited to partner with Port City Logistics to provide current customers and North Carolina businesses an opportunity for greater flexibility and increased capacity,” said Brian Clark, executive director of the  North Carolina State Ports Authority. “The North Carolina State Ports Authority has made significant capital investments to enhance capabilities at the Port of Wilmington. This partnership will increase local cargo volumes, while further enhancing our state’s economy.”

A full-service logistics company with 3.5 million square feet of warehouse space, 14 distribution centers, and 90 trucks, Port City Logistics provides warehouse distribution, drayage trucking, and brokered transportation solutions for various industries.

“We are thrilled to expand into the North Carolina market so that our customers can enjoy the benefits of the Port of Wilmington with the fastest turn times in the U.S.,” said Eric Howell, CEO of Port City Logistics. “We are always looking for ways to pursue excellence and create innovative supply chain solutions and by spending time with the teams at NC Ports and Wilmington Business Development, we saw great alignment and knew Wilmington was where we needed to be.”

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The One North Carolina Fund, which provides financial assistance to local governments to help attract economic investment and to create jobs, will chip in $112,000 to help with Port City’s expansion to Wilmington. All One North Carolina grants require matching participation from local governments and any award is contingent upon that condition being met. Companies receive no money upfront and must meet job creation and capital investment targets to qualify for payment. Port City’s new facility is expected to create 75 new jobs in the Wilmington area.

Over the past five years, the North Carolina State Ports Authority has made more than $256 million in capital improvements to the Port of Wilmington in an effort to attract more container vessel traffic. Those improvements include berth renovation and expansion, growing the berth to 2,650 feet to allow operation of two ultra-large container vessels. Turning basin expansion and harbor enhancements allow for 14,000 TEU and larger ocean vessels to turn around in the Wilmington Harbor safely and efficiently. And the addition of three Neo-Panamax Cranes and the raising of power lines to a clearance of 212 feet have helped make the port friendlier to ultra-large ships.

The port also significantly increased capacity in its refrigerated container yard, opened a new container complex that doubled outbound truck traffic lanes, and launched a new operating system that allows the port to harness real-time cargo data.

State commerce and port officials said the partnership with Port City Logistics will further position the Port of Wilmington to become a viable alternative to West Coast ports.

“North Carolina is within a day’s drive of nearly half of the United States population,” said Machelle Baker Sanders, North Carolina Commerce Secretary. “Among many supply chain advantages, our efficient deep-water ports along the eastern seaboard and experienced workforce ensure that logistics companies can thrive while implementing growth strategies.”