N.C. Ports Adds New Service, Advances Refrigerated Container Yard Expansion

By Christina Haley O'Neal, posted May 12, 2021
N.C. Ports is slated to expand its refrigerated container yard at the Port of Wilmington. (File photo)
As the Port of Wilmington opens up to another shipping service that's adding to its cold chain businesses, N.C. Ports is moving forward with a project to expand its refrigerated container yard.

N.C. Ports is working to start on phase 2 of the refrigerated container yard project, port officials announced in a news release Wednesday. Port officials anticipate the opening of the expanded yard in April 2022.

N.C. Ports opened its new refrigerated container yard last year, expanding the Port of Wilmington's on-terminal refrigerated container plugs from 235 to 775.

The expansion would be up to roughly 1,200 plugs, said Amy Passaretti, spokeswoman for N.C. Ports.

"We are currently in the middle of engineering design work now, which we would expect to be complete over the next several months," Passaretti said in the email. "We would be looking at starting construction toward the end of this year."

Port officials attributed its progressing of the expansion project to the growth they are seeing in the refrigerated cargo business.

The Port of Wilmington will soon become more connected in the cold chain market with the addition of a new service that will add shipments between Wilmington and ports in Central America and the Caribbean.

Sealand – A Maersk Company, will run a weekly stop of a new service to the Port of Wilmington, officials said in the release. The first ship to run this new service to the port is anticipated to arrive on June 24, officials said.

“This is a strong indication of our customers’ desire and confidence to expand trade here with this growing market. Our recent expansion projects will certainly be put to good use," said Brian Clark, executive director of N.C. Ports, in the release.

The added service will provide importers and exporters in the state with a route between Wilmington and key ports in Central America and the Caribbean, including Cartagena, Colombia; Turbo, Colombia; Manzanillo, Mexico and Puerto Moin, in Costa Rica, officials said in the release.

The markets expand gateways that serve the port's refrigerated cargo business, including those in fresh produce.

The Port of Wilmington recently had a record in its refrigerated container moves, as well as its overall container moves at the port. April was the ports' second biggest month in refrigerated cargo moves.

​Some of the leading exports for North Carolina farmers are sweet potatoes, which go to Europe, and pork and poultry, which are shipped to the far East and Latin America, officials said.

“We have seen significant cold chain growth and demand over the past year with our increased capabilities in Wilmington,” said Hans Bean, CCO of NC Ports, in the release. “While the COVID-19 environment has certainly brought new challenges, we have also seen new opportunities across our customers’ supply chains as they look for solutions NC Ports and its partners provide.”

Ico insights



The Impact of a Growth Mindset

John Monahan - Vistage

It’s Child’s Play

Jane Morrow - Smart Start of New Hanover County

The Wilmington Construction Market: Trends, Recognition, and Challenges

Jim Hundley - Thomas Construction Group

Trending News

Passenger Rail Study Offers New Details About Proposed Wilmington To Raleigh Route

Emma Dill - Apr 22, 2024

Severe Weather Postpones Trump Rally In Wilmington

Emma Dill - Apr 20, 2024

Will NC Be CNBC's Three-time Top State For Business?

Audrey Elsberry - Apr 22, 2024

In The Current Issue

Surf City Embarks On Park’s Construction

“Our little town, especially the mainland area, is growing by leaps and bounds. So having somewhere else besides the beach for kids to go an...

With Coffee And Cocktails, Owners Mix It Up

Baristas are incorporating craft cocktail techniques into show-stopping coffee drinks, and bartenders are mixing espresso and coffee liqueur...

Bootstrapping A Remote Option

Michelle Penczak, who lives in Pender County, built her own solution with Squared Away, her company that now employs over 400 virtual assist...

Book On Business

The 2024 WilmingtonBiz: Book on Business is an annual publication showcasing the Wilmington region as a center of business.

Order Your Copy Today!



2024 Power Breakfast: The Next Season