The South Atlantic Express service started by Maersk Line provides weekly connections to Central America via the North Carolina port of Wilmington. Port officials note Maersk is the third shipping container line to begin service at Wilmington since it made improvements that include a 42-foot navigation channel, berth reconstruction, four 100-foot gauge container cranes and a terminal operating system that allows tracking containers online.
The port rotation includes calls at Puerto Cortes, Honduras; Santo Tomas, Guatemala; and over-the-road service to El Salvador and Nicaragua.
“Maersk’s new service at the Port of Wilmington supports North Carolina’s textile and apparel industries,” said Carl J. Stewart Jr., Chairman, NC State Ports Authority Board of Directors, “and will help to sustain the jobs of thousands of North Carolina workers in these and related industries.”
“The cost of savings on inland transportation to Wilmington will be realized in the delivery of raw materials to the Port for export to the north Central American zone, as well as in the return of finished goods to distribution centers in North Carolina,” said Thomas J. Eagar, Ports Authority CEO.
“Our customers asked for service between the mills and manufacturing of North Carolina and the world; through Wilmington, we find strong local infrastructure and support to best serve their needs,” added Dana Magliola, spokesman for Maersk. “Distance eliminated from the transport chain through a stop in Wilmington also makes this an environmentally-responsible option for our customers," he added.