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The North Carolina State Ports Authority earlier this week announced the Port of Wilmington is ready to accept the world's largest container ships calling on U.S. East Coast Ports, now that the second phase of the port's turning basin expansion project has been completed.
The project widened the turning basin in the Cape Fear River form 1,400 feet to 1,524 feet. The additional feet allows 14,000 20-foot-equivalent unit (TEU) vessels to safely and efficiently turn around in the Wilmington Navigational Harbor, port authority officials said in a press release.
The completed project means the port can accommodate ultra-large container vessel with a length of 1,200 feet. The second phase was an extension of the initial project, completed in August 2016, to increase the basin from 1,200 feet to 1,400 feet.
"The completion of this project ushers North Carolina Ports and the Port of Wilmington into the big ship era," said Paul Cozza, the ports authority's executive director.
Rail service at the Port of Wilmington is provided by CSX; terminal switching is operated by Wilmington Terminal Railroad.