WILMINGTON — North Carolina Ports has reached an agreement with Sun Valley, Idaho-based Cold Summit Development to further expand its cold chain and cold storage capabilities at the Wilmington port.

According to a release from N.C. Ports, plans are for the development of a 280,000-square-foot, multi-suite cold storage facility located on the port’s Raleigh Street property. The facility would offer 40,000 pallet positions and could house a broad range of product categories, including pork, poultry, produce and grocery, as well as life sciences at temperatures ranging from negative 20 degrees Fahrenheit to 57 degrees Fahrenheit.

Phase two of the agreement calls for an additional nearly 160,000 square feet of warehousing options with 17,000 pallet positions for goods that are stored in the negative 70 degrees Fahrenheit to 57 degrees Fahrenheit range, the release continues.

“This partnership represents continued investments in our strategy to become a leader in cold chain logistics,” N.C. Ports Executive Director Brian Clark said. “We are particularly excited that this announcement gives more options and capacity to North Carolina’s significant and rapidly expanding cold business sectors, including agriculture, food processing, grocery and life sciences.” 

According to the release, Cold Summit Development is the industry’s leading cold chain logistics developer, focused on delivering cold storage real estate solutions. Scott Pertel, president and CEO of Cold Summit Development, is a former Wilmington resident.

“We are thrilled and humbled to be partnering with North Carolina Ports to bring a Cold Summit Development Cold Campus to the Port. Having graduated from New Hanover High School, I carry tremendous pride in bringing jobs, needed cold storage solutions and greater visibility to my former hometown of Wilmington,” he said. “The Port has made significant capital contributions to bring this port on par with other leading Eastern Ports. With the delivery of our multi-functional cold storage campus, we look to facilitate additional growth of the import and export capabilities of the NC Ports.”

Recent investments and upgrades as a part of its more than $200 million infrastructure investment campaign have enabled N.C. Ports to gain a competitive edge in the cold chain logistics market, demonstrated by more than 250% growth in the port’s refrigerated import/export volumes during the past five years. 

“This, in addition to other recent area announcements, demonstrates that this area is an attractive market for cold chain logistics,” chief commercial officer Hans Bean said. “Ideal ocean trade economics involve import/export balance and a fluid, congestion free gateway. With North Carolina’s tremendous refrigerated export base, the ability to cater to more exports as well as significant import programs while delivering best in class service will further unlock the potential of cold chain logistics.”

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