It’s been a mission of the state’s leadership to expand the Port of Wilmington to make the port more competitive and viable for all types of products, especially agriculture. Chuck McCarthy, President of Port of Wilmington Cold Storage:
“Well, North Carolina is very high on the list of producing states in the country for things like poultry, and pork and blueberries and sweet potatoes, so all those things are produced in the state of North Carolina at a high volume, and we’re within 60 miles of most of those plants.
So, what has been happening those products have been stored at inland warehouses, and may or may not go out of the Port of Wilmington, it may go to Georgia, or South Carolina or it may go out of Virginia ports, all the ports around us. One of the things that we wanted to do was capture those products.”
Savings to food processors and growers that sell raw product could be significant as McCarthy explains:
“What we did, we felt like being inside of the gate of the port we’d save money on transportation, one, 60 miles from say a producer of poultry or pork to the Port of Wilmington, and it’s 400 miles to one of the other ports, or 200 miles, or whatever. But, you multiply that by say, $1.75 a mile for trucking, and there’s a savings there that they save by coming to this port and using this port with their production.
Also, once it’s in here, I can load a heavier container and therefore there’s a savings on that side of the shipping, also.”
McCarthy outlines the current storage capacity:
“We started out with a 100,000 square foot facility, that facility consists of two major storage rooms and a blast freezer. I’ve got about 10,600 pallet spots in the facility for storage, I’ve got about 200 pallet spots of blast, which I can turn in 24-48 hours. And in our contract with the state of North Carolina we can add on at least two more times, so, our end square footage could be somewhere around 300,000, if the business warranted it.”
President of Port of Wilmington Cold Storage, Chuck McCarthy.