The North Carolina State Ports Authority is now equipped to handle more refrigerated containers, following the completion of a new refrigerated container yard at the Port of Wilmington.
The project boosts the port’s on-terminal refrigerated container (reefer) plugs from 235 to 775 with the ability to expand to more than 1,000 plugs through Phase 2 of the project, according to North Carolina Ports (NC Ports).
“The completion of the refrigerated container yard allows NC Ports to better support the growing agriculture and grocery sectors across North Carolina and the entire southeastern United States,” said Paul J. Cozza, NC Ports executive director.
The US$14 million construction project included a new reefer service area as well as 27 reefer racks to support the stacking of refrigerated containers. The new yard is positioned near the Port of Wilmington Cold Storage.
The location consolidates all refrigerated cargo into one area which helps enhance the port’s efficiency when moving perishable goods, according to the announcement.
“Supporting the refrigerated cargo sector is a strategic goal for NC Ports," said Robert A. Wicker, Chairman of the North Carolina State Ports Authority Board of Directors. "Our investment in the refrigerated container yard will help strengthen the Port of Wilmington’s position as a premier hub for perishables.”
Refrigerated container volume through the Port of Wilmington quadrupled from Fiscal Year 2014 to Fiscal Year 2019. FY20 year-to-date volumes have been trending up 30% as both export and import demand continues to grow. While the latest projections are dynamic, NC Ports is more equipped than ever to handle refrigerated cargo.
This project is another key component of NC Ports’ more than US$200 million capital improvements plan aimed at modernizing and enhancing efficiency at the Port of Wilmington.