Editor’s note: Join the NC Chamber and national and state infrastructure experts on Thursday, Dec. 9 from 10 a.m. – 11 a.m. for a complimentary webinar, “What the Infrastructure Bill Means for NC.” Together, we’ll unpack the impacts of generational federal infrastructure legislation on our state, our job creators, and our communities. This webinar is free and open to the public.
North Carolina’s ports in Wilmington and Morehead City provide the fastest ship-to-rail access on the East Coast, thanks to highly efficient ship servicing, robust links to rail and highway infrastructure, and a $265 million commitment from the North Carolina Ports Authority to invest in critical growth and productivity assets. Last week we learned that our ports are about to become even stronger, as Gov. Cooper and the Ports Authority jointly announced the launch of a new daily direct rail connection between the Port of Wilmington and important markets in America’s heartland: the Wilmington Midwest Express.
The new service will make use of CSX Transportation’s new Carolina Connector Intermodal Rail Terminal in Rocky Mount to accelerate the movement of cargo from the Port of Wilmington to three important Midwestern markets, supporting a 5-day connection to markets in Chicago and northwest Ohio and a 7-day connection to the St. Louis market. Beyond expediting shipping times, the Wilmington Midwest Express will also create about 1,500 new jobs while reducing transit costs and carbon emissions for customers using the service.
“The Wilmington Midwest Express will positively impact our customers by providing a more direct connection between shippers and consumers,” said NC Ports Authority Executive Director Brian E. Clark in a recent press release. “This new service provides a competitive advantage at a time when supply chain issues are impacting ports across the United States.”
In a time of persistent economic uncertainty, North Carolina must take steps to proactively modernize our transportation infrastructure and nurture more flexible, more resilient supply chains. The NC Chamber applauds the NC Ports Authority and other stakeholders involved in the development of the Wilmington Midwest Express for this bold investment in the future success of our state and its people.