Wilmington is joining the big leagues in terms of shipping capabilities. The North Carolina Ports Authority completed the Turning Basin Expansion Project at the Port of Wilmington. This project means the port can accommodate ultra-large container vessels, known as ULCVS, according to the North Carolina Ports Authority.

“This is a significant milestone for North Carolina Ports. The completion of this project ushers NC Ports and the Port of Wilmington into the big ship era,” Paul J. Cozza, Executive Director of North Carolina Ports, said. “We recognize the importance of this project to our ocean carriers and are thrilled to offer expanded capabilities to better support their business needs.”

The project expanded the turning basin in the Cape Fear River. The extension allows larger vessels to navigate the harbor.

More than $200 million in capital improvements have gone toward modernizing the Port of Wilmington and enhancing efficiency, according to the North Carolina Ports Authority. The renovations will improve capacity and bring North Carolina in line with other shipping hubs on the East Coast.

According to their website, North Carolina Port activities contribute to more than 87,700 jobs and $678 million annually in state and local tax revenues for North Carolina.

Read the full story on the Port of Wilmington expansion from the North Carolina Ports Authority website.