The company leasing the Port of Wilmington is starting to deliver promised improvements at the facility.
The Emirati company Gulftainer pledged to invest more than $580 million into the port when it signed a 50-year lease agreement with the state of Delaware last fall.
Gulftainer’s subsidiary, GT USA Wilmington, says it plans to invest $100 million in its first year and has begun by ordering new fully electric cargo handling equipment.
CEO Eric Casey says the nine 41-ton Rubber Tired Gantry cranes and three 45-ton Reach Stackers will allow the port to take control of its own terminal operations—work that had previously been outsourced at the port.
“So with us taking over and actually assuming some of that role as the terminal operator, we’ve had to purchase new equipment, not replace old, but purchase new, in order to change the dynamic of the work that’s actually going on here,” said Casey.
Casey adds the rest of this year’s investment will mostly go towards capital improvement projects including new warehouses, new railing for the gantry cranes and a terminal operating system with wifi support.
“We are repairing the berth, we are putting in new rail for our gantry cranes to be able to run all the way down the berth length and utilize all of our berth space,” said Casey. “We have been repairing and rehabilitating refrigerated warehouses, we are putting in new container stacks.”
And planning is underway for a 1.2 million TEU terminal at the old DuPont Edgemoor site accessible by truck and rail.