Post-Panamax Preparation for North Carolina


North Carolina Ports has ordered two New Panamax ship-to-shore cranes as part its plan to invest $120 million over the next few years to accommodate a majority of larger ships transiting the Panama Canal. 

The authority's Port of Wilmington can handle a 10,000 TEU class vessel with its expanded turning basin, post-Panamax berth and post-Panamax cranes, but is expanding through new projects to provide for larger vessels. It will receive the crane order in the spring of 2018 and could have a total of 10 container cranes operating over 2,650 feet.

This is currently estimated to cost $27.4 million in total but an option to add two more cranes from designer Shanghai Zhenjua Heavy Industry Co. (ZPMC) could see this figure increase.

North Carolina Ports will allocate further funding to a turning basin expansion project, various berth improvements, the expansion of the container yard and the addition of new cranes.

Paul J. Cozza, Executive Director, said: “This investment ensures that our best-in-class efficiencies will continue well into the future. Our high vessel and terminal productivity will be enhanced with this addition, thus keeping vessels on schedule and reducing inventory and logistics costs.”

Tom Adams, North Carolina Ports Chairman, said: “North Carolina Ports’ expansion enables shippers to gain unprecedented access to the US East Coast. The work underway will allow the Port of Wilmington to accommodate multiple post-Panamax container ships and to increase the speed and efficiency of loading and unloading the vessels.”

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