Largest ship to ever dock in Wilmington arrives at the State Port

WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) – The North Carolina Ports has finished the expansion project of its turning basin at the Port of Wilmington.  That means, the port can accommodate post-Panamax vessels 1,150 feet long and 158 feet wide.

On Sunday, the Yang-Ming Unity became the largest vessel to utilize the expanded turning basin and dock at the Wilmington port.

“This is an incredible accomplishment for us at North Carolina Ports. We made a promise to our customers that this project would be done on time and we met that goal,” said Executive Director, Paul J. Cozza. “For this expansion to finish in just over six months and give us the capabilities it has is unprecedented in our business.”

The turning basin project included the removal of an existing bulk pier and dredging along the port’s side of the Cape Fear River to expand the turning basin from 1,200 feet to 1,400 feet.  This expansion will typically accommodate vessels in the 8,000 to 10,000 TEU range, depending on the vessel’s profile.

The Yang Ming Unity transited the new locks of the recently expanded Panama Canal on its way to the Port of Wilmington. The vessel measures 1,101 feet in length and 140 feet in width. Carrying around 8,200 TEUs, the Unity is the largest vessel to call on North Carolina’s Ports.

“This is a commitment of support to our existing and future customers,” said Chief Commercial Officer, Greg Fennell. “We are making the necessary investments, we are big-ship ready and we will continue to handle these larger vessels deployed to the U.S. Southeast.”

According to a Port of Wilmington spokesperson, recent announcements at the Port of Wilmington reflect ongoing growth at North Carolina Ports.  After a banner year in fiscal year 2015, North Carolina Ports saw its best-ever financial year in fiscal 2016.


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