Four new cranes are almost up and running at the Port of Wilmington. And port officials are hoping to turn them into major moneymakers. Every day, each crane at the Port of Wilmington unloads about forty containers an hour, filled with just about every type of consumer product and raw material you can think of. But officials say forty containers is not enough to stay competitive. "It's really all about economic development." Port CEO Tom Eager says by 2012, there will be a significant shortage of port capacity in the south Atlantic region of the US. And the Port of Wilmington is hoping to fix that. "Our plans over the next three to four years are to more than double the through-put capacity at the port of Wilmington," said Eager. The first phase -- four new, larger cranes -- totaling more than $35 million. The reason for the new cranes is to service ships like this. This one is more than 950 feet in length. And the new cranes will also be able to service cranes even larger than this one. "These guys are mammoth. The weight on these things is 1300 tons. The height is 345 feet." The cranes will act as a marketing tool, of sorts, for attracting larger container ships to Wilmington. Currently, the port generates more than 85,000 jobs and $300 million in tax revenue. With greater capacity, the port will have an even greater economic impact on the state of North Carolina.
- Video Central
- About WWAY