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Why doesn’t Wilmington have a deepwater seaport suitable for the rapidly growing fleet of super container ships?

David Ennis

N.C. State Ports Authority officials last month put on hold plans for a deepwater megaport near Southport, but they said an international port in the state remains a possibility.

Carl Stewart Jr., chairman of the Ports Authority Board of Directors, said the board would take a fresh look at port prospects in North Carolina in light of recent events. That could mean eyeing new properties along the coast, expanding existing ports at Morehead City or Wilmington, or again considering the Brunswick County location.

The port project had encountered obstacles including the loss of a private partner, the failure of the N.C. General Assembly to pay for a feasibility study and opposition of U.S. Rep. Mike McIntyre, D-Lumberton.

For more on the port issue, go to www.StarNewsOnline.com/port.

User-contributed question by:
Sanford L. Korschun

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2 Responses to “ Why doesn’t Wilmington have a deepwater seaport suitable for the rapidly growing fleet of super container ships?”

  1. On August 9, 2010 at 9:18 pm Sanford L Korschun wrote:

    We are lucky to have the past Director (manager) of John Deere Company’s Worldwide Logistic Department living in Wallace, NC. He was recognized in his field for managing logistics in 86 countries a “just-in-time” system recognized as a leader in that field. He signed off on placing two facilities in NC, but rejected two others because of inadequate logistics (basically no deep-water seaports and only two Inland Ports (Inter-modal distribution centers).

    Contact Mr. Earl Brinkley, 910-284-1241.

    He is a NC State Alumni, and and involved NC citizen willing to work for what is best for the entire state. He has express disappointment as NC lack of adequate ports. He advises that funding of deep-water ports in neighboring states is done with private funding and taxpayers only need provide adequate infrastructure, i.e., roads and rails, that benefit not only ports but provide access for tourist, resorts, recreation, safety, and generate jobs, revenue (in the Billions), and draw industry. Last year our ports lost $6M. Who is running the shop? Compare that to profits of over a Billion in VA, SC, and GA.

    This is an opportunity begging to be seized. No long studies, we do not need to reinvent the wheel. Just copy the best of neighboring states methods and plans. Some have major investor groups bidding to manage and build berths (check Philadelphia papers). Charleston was build without a penny of taxpayer money, but yielded $1.4B last year. Georgia Atlanta Journal headlines read, “Ports Ga. Number One Economic Engine”. Ga reports a 25% increase in traffic in last 5 months. All other container ports reporting large double digit increase. Shipping companies have placed large order for new Panamax (1,300 foot with 48′ draft) ships. New and bigger Panama Canal set to be operational in 2014 to allow direct routes China to East Coast (70% of their traffic). Other state’s newspaper full of glorifying reports on front pages, but little in NC major newspapers, why? This is too big to be “Pay-to-play” politics, it is damaging our state’s economy and hurting most of our citizens. It is selfish and criminal to not move on this opportunity.

    Sanford L Korschun
    P. O. Drawer 10669
    Goldsboro, NC 27532

    Contact Mr. Earl Brinkley at 910-284-1241

  2. On October 19, 2010 at 9:06 am John Lauer wrote:

    The reason that Wilmington does not have more of the international shipping business in the Eastern part of the US has nothing to do with a deepwater port. The answer is quite simple. North carolina is too far away from the marketplace with only 3% of the total market within 250 miles of the Wilmington Port. The majority of the East Coast market is from Virginia north and Atlanta south. Those market are adequately serviced by major ports , all of which are expanding to meet the needs of the markets.

    Wilmington can build a state of the art faciliy in Southport but that will[ not bring it any closer to the markets that are the destination for the goods. At $2.00 per truck mile, they will not be competitive.

    John Lauer
    Southport, NC

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