The N.C. State Ports Authority announced this week the start of a new service between Central America and the Port of Wilmington.
Seaboard Marine, with a fleet of over 20 vessels serving about 40 ports, will take weekly trips to and from Wilmington’s port starting in early December, a news release stated. The announcement Wednesday means North Carolina’s ports will connect to high-traffic deepwater and inland ports in Central America that deal in apparel and textile supply chains and produce.
The first weekly service will depart from Santo Tomas de Castilla, Guatemala, on Nov. 26 and is expected to Wilmington on Dec. 5.
Two container vessels will provide dry and refrigerated container service to the Port of Wilmington, according to the Ports Authority.
“This announcement further demonstrates that Wilmington is the optimal gateway supporting North Carolina’s core industry segments, including apparel and textiles, agriculture, pork and poultry,” Ports Authority Executive Director Brian Clark said in the release.
The Wilmington port recently completed its second phase of a refrigerated container yard expansion, providing 1,500 reefer plugs, specialized outlets for refrigerated containers, for the incoming cargo. The port has the ability to add plugs as needed, according to the release.
Dry containers may soon be able to use the port’s intermodal rail services, included in a project planned to break ground in 2024. The port’s rail service is planned to have daily service to Charlotte, Rocky Mount and Midwest markets including Chicago, according to Clark.