Wilmington's Port welcomes another new shipping line

Reported by Max Winitz - bio|email
Posted by Debra Worley - email

WILMINGTON, NC (WECT) - The Wilmington Port is now doing business with a shipping line that is expected to bring more than $1 million to the area.

Independent Container Line (ICL) made its first stop along the Cape Fear River Thursday morning.

ICL will connect Wilmington internationally to northern Europe, Liverpool, and Antwerp in addition to Chester, Pennsylvania in the United States.

"We are putting North Carolina in touch with 255 million European consumers," said CEO John Kirkland.

Wilmington Mayor Bill Saffo was on hand to see the first containers unloaded from the ship.

"Today is a great day for the City of Wilmington because of jobs - J-O-B," said Saffo.  "If you look behind me today, you have about 100 people that are servicing this line that's coming into the Port of Wilmington."

Before coming to Wilmington, ICL operated out of Richmond, Virginia. Kirkland says that the decision to move their business was a no brainer.

"Today, in this very difficult commercial world, you need business partners that are truly investing in the future and giving you state of the art equipment," said Kirkland.  "This is what the port authority has been doing."

The ships, carrying primarily automotive parts, will arrive in Wilmington every Wednesday and leave every Thursday.

Earlier this month, the Wilmington Port welcomed Maersk, the world's largest container shipping company.

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