The addition of cranes will increase the port's capacity for loading and unloading cargo. (Photo by Vince Winkel)
The new addition of shipping lines with Europe will soon increase the export and import capabilities of the Port of Wilmington, officials said Thursday.
The N.C. Ports Authority on Thursday announced another new partnership with Mediterranean Shipping Company (MSC) and Maersk Line, by adding the TA2/NEUATL2 Europe-U.S. East Coast container service.
The enhanced TA2/NEUATL2 service will provide increased shipping access between Bremerhaven (Germany), Felixstowe (UK), Le Harve (France) and Wilmington.
“An optimized transatlantic trade network allows us to align our services with North Carolina’s business needs,” said Paul Cozza, ports executive director, in a news release. “As we continue to invest in our facilities we’ll see even more activity at our Port of Wilmington, thus furthering our economic contribution to the state.”
The trans-Atlantic network has a record of market leading transit times to the U.S. East Coast and will begin calling the Port of Wilmington in April, according to the port statement.
As part of its ongoing infrastructure investment plan, the N.C. Ports Authority recently announced
the order of two New Panamax ship-to-shore cranes with an option to purchase two more from designer Shanghai Zhenjua Heavy Industry Co. Ltd. (ZPMC). The cranes will allow more ships to be loaded and unloaded simultaeneously.
Between the new cranes, turning basin expansion project, berth improvements and the expansion of the container yard, the ports authority will pump over $120 million into its infrastructure over the next few years.
“This service opens up capacity for supplementary imports and exports from markets in Northern Europe,” said Chief Commercial Officer Greg Fennell in the release. “To have the top two container carriers in the world come together and provide service options for us on the transatlantic and transpacific side is pretty special.”
Meanwhile the Queen City Express rail service, delivering freight directly from the Port of Wilmington to a transportation hub in Charlotte, is expected to begin in March.
N.C. State Ports Authority spokesman Cliff Pyron said the trains will arrive in Wilmington at 3 a.m. on Fridays and depart Wilmington at 2 p.m. on Saturdays.