New cranes bring economic opportunity to the Port City


WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — After more than two months at sea and thousands of miles traveled, two new cranes are docked at the Port of Wilmington. These cranes are meant to be game changers for the economy of the area.

“These cranes are the latest generation. So they’re being deployed in ports up and down the east coast, through the west coast, wherever these large vessels are calling and right now the demand, the growth is on the east coast,” North Carolina State Ports Authority Chief Operating Officer Brian Clark said.

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So far, only two cranes are at the port and the third one will come next year. The cranes cost more than $30 million, but they are supposed to help the port with imports and exports from across the world.

“As Wilmington becomes a bigger gateway with more and more options to connect globally, it allows that many more alternatives for our customers to use,” North Carolina State Ports Authority Trade Development Vice President Hans Bean said.

According to Bean, in the past, different customers would rely on other ports for certain needs. Now, different industries will rely on the Port of Wilmington.

“Today it’s all about speed. Speed and user friendliness of port users. This just allows us to deliver more. I mean, Wilmington has a good reputation for performance already. This will take us up another twenty to thirty percent when the third crane comes later. So it’s just a huge boost for us to be able to do more,” Bean said.

He also said Savanna and North Charleston were the typical spots for many imports and exports. These cranes mean Wilmington is trying to reclaim the title.

Port officials say these cranes have already attracted hundreds of other customers for future business. Some of the businesses that rely on the cranes are major companies like Walmart and Lowes. It also handles different industries like pork and poultry, fresh produce, textiles, furniture and more.