As the North Carolina Ports Authority completed the expansion project of its turning basin at the Port of Wilmington, the port is now capable of accommodating post-Panamax vessels with a length of 350 meters and a breadth of 48 meters.
Undertaken over a period of six months, the expansion, which was conducted as part of the ports authority’s ongoing infrastructure investment plan, will provide for the accommodation of vessels in the 8,000 to 10,000 TEU range, depending on the vessel’s profile.
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.
The Yang-Ming Unity became the largest vessel to utilize the expanded turning basin and call the Port of Wilmington on August 7, 2016.
Carrying some 8,200 TEUs, the vessel arrived to the Wilmington port after it transited the new locks of the recently expanded Panama Canal.
After a banner year in fiscal year 2015, North Carolina Ports saw its best-ever financial year in fiscal 2016.
“Fiscal year 2017 is off to an impressive start as well with the completion of the turning basin and the recent return of intermodal rail service to the North Carolina Ports,” the authority said.