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WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — A new shipping service between Wilmington, Guatemala, and Honduras will begin at the end of this month.

North Carolina Ports announced it began a new partnership with Crowley Maritime Corporation, a company that has served the maritime industry for more than a century.

“We are thrilled to welcome Crowley to N.C. Ports, they are an industry leader in the U.S. and international transportation with 125 years of experience. They will be a great addition to the Port of Wilmington and serving businesses in the Carolinas,” said N.C. Ports Executive Director Paul J. Cozza.

The partnership makes the Port of Wilmington the northernmost Atlantic Coast destination for cargo entering the United States from Central America. This will expand the Ports’ impacts on the growing textiles and legacy apparel industry across the Southeast, according to a news release.

“We have served the cargo transportation needs of our customers shipping to and from Central America for more than 50 years,” said Steve Collar, Crowley Senior Vice President and General Manager International Services. “We continue to listen to their needs, then amend or expand our offerings appropriately.”

To prepare for this new partnership and growth, North Carolina Ports has ordered three new ultra-Panamax ship-to-shore cranes. Between the new cranes, turning basin expansion project, various berth improvements, and the expansion of the container yard, North Carolina Ports says it will pump more than $200 million into its infrastructure over the next two and a half years.

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