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NC Ports welcomes Seaboard Marine, new weekly service to Central America

Posted on November 13, 2023

“North Carolina Ports is pleased to announce a new partnership with Seaboard Marine that will add a new Central American service to the Port of Wilmington’s growing rotation of connections to Latin America. Seaboard Marine’s Wilmington, NC – North Central America service will commence with a weekly Wilmington port call in early December.

This service will expand NC Ports’ connectivity to key deepwater and inland ports in Central America, including Santo Tomas, Guatemala, Puerto Cortes, Honduras, San Salvador, El Salvador and Managua, Nicaragua. These gateways cater to significant apparel and textile supply chains, as well as refrigerated cargo flows, including fresh produce.

“We are excited that Seaboard Marine has launched this new Wilmington, NC – North Central America service, providing our customers greater access to growing markets,” said Brian E. Clark, Executive Director, North Carolina State Ports Authority. “This announcement further demonstrates that

Wilmington is the optimal gateway supporting North Carolina’s core industry segments, including apparel and textiles, agriculture, pork, and poultry.”

This new weekly service will be supported by two container vessels and will provide both dry and refrigerated container service to and from the Port of Wilmington.

With the recent completion of Phase 2 of the Port of Wilmington’s refrigerated container yard, Seaboard Marine customers will have access to more than 1,500 reefer plugs. NC Ports also has the ability to increase that number as the Port of Wilmington’s terminal expands.”

“Similarly, customers shipping dry containers will benefit from the Port of Wilmington’s express intermodal rail services and new intermodal facility, breaking ground in early 2024. As NC Ports expands its rail network and inland reach as the East Coast’s fastest ship-to-rail service, this new facility will position the Port of Wilmington for continued growth following a record year for intermodal volume.

With high vessel productivity and no rail dwell times, the Port of Wilmington delivers the convenient access to North Carolina and beyond that customers require.

“Not only will Seaboard Marine customers benefit from expanded refrigerated capacity with the completion of Phase 2, but shippers will have access to our express intermodal rail products, providing daily rail service to Charlotte, Rocky Mount, and Midwest markets including Chicago,” Clark said.

This new weekly service will commence on Sunday, November 26, 2023, departing Santo Tomas de Castilla, Guatemala, before calling Puerto Cortes, Honduras, on Monday, November 27, 2023. The first Port of Wilmington call from Seaboard Marine’s Wilmington, NC – North Central America service will be Tuesday, December 5.

“The launch of this direct ocean transportation service presents new trade opportunities, offering cost savings, faster deliveries, and improved supply chain efficiency,” said Jose Concepcion, Seaboard Marine Regional Vice President of Central America. “It benefits importers and exports by introducing fast transportation solutions to facilitate trade between Latin America and the United States.”

NC Ports’ best-in-class productivity aligns well with Seaboard Marine’s mission of providing customers with the highest levels of service. In fact, Wilmington’s container terminal is the most productive port in North America, according to The World Bank and S&P Global Market Intelligence’s Container Port Performance Index (CPPI).

This efficiency, in addition to ongoing infrastructure investments, means transporting cargo through the Port of Wilmington is faster and more cost-efficient than ever. It has also led to meaningful near-port industry investment with over 1.5-million-square-feet of new cold storage space set to come online in the Greater Wilmington area.”


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