New services benefit NC State Ports Authority

By: | at 08:00 PM | Ports & Terminals  

Container shipping companies contribute to business performance The two new container shipping companies that began service to the Port of Wilmington in March, Independent Container Line and Maersk Line, plus steady volumes from Wilmington’s two weekly CKYH transpacific container services, helped bring total fiscal year 2009 container moves through the North Carolina port to within 4% of the container moves recorded in fiscal year 2008. The prolonged and deep economic recession, however, continued to erode general cargo tonnage volumes at Wilmington and the Port of Morehead City, with lumber, woodpulp, rubber and cement recording the largest declines. “Since cargo handling at the Ports of Wilmington and Morehead City mirrors the State’s economy, it is no surprise that the prolonged economic recession affecting virtually every business continues to impact our Ports,” said NC State Ports Authority Board Chairman Carl J. Stewart, Jr. at the Authority’s Board of Directors meeting today. “In addition to securing the new container lines, the Ports Authority’s work this year with the CKYH Alliance allowed the shipping lines to realize significant inland transportation cost savings by rerouting cargo through Wilmington that is destined for North Carolina, away from ports to the north and south,” said Thomas J. Eagar, CEO, NC State Ports Authority. General cargo volumes for fiscal year 2009 at North Carolina’s Ports fell 8% over fiscal year 2008, continuing the downward trend first seen in early 2007 with the softening of the housing market. The declines in general cargo commodities largely account for the Authority’s fiscal 2009 year end loss of $4.3 million. Broad cost containment initiatives initiated in 2007 that remain in effect helped to reduce expenses by $700,000 in fiscal year 2009, and are projected to realize an additional cost reduction of $700,000 in fiscal year 2010. “While there are no signs of recovery any time soon and many experts are now saying it will come several years beyond 2010, the Ports Authority is demonstrating that it can operate efficiently and effectively in response to fluctuating cargo volumes, and that it can control costs while delivering unparalleled customer service,” Eagar said. “During these uncertain economic times, the NC State Ports Authority continues its mission to enhance the economy of the State of North Carolina,” Stewart said.


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