North Carolina Economic Development Guide

2014

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supply Charlotte-based Nucor Corp.'s Hertford County recycling mill. Beaufort County's largest private employer, Saskatoon, Saskatchewan-based Potash Corp., ships fertilizer to overseas buyers and receives fuel for its mining operations through the port, which is 4 miles from open sea and has a 45-foot channel. As container handling has increased, other East Coast ports have decreased bulk and break-bulk operations. Morehead City is taking that business: In 2012-13, bulk materials made up about 88% of the nearly 2 million tons of cargo handled there. Finished products use the port, too. In April 2012, a 70-foot-long, 57,000-pound aircraft fuselage sailed from Morehead City bound for France. Made of carbon fiber, it was the first Airbus A350 XWB jetliner fuselage built at Wichita, Kan.-based Spirit AeroSystems Inc.'s plant at the North Carolina Global TransPark in Kinston, The Leading Provider of Higher Education in the Triangle North Region A leader in economic development through dynamic partnerships with the people of Vance, Granville, Franklin and Warren counties, VGCC educates, inspires and supports a diverse community of learners in their pursuit of professional and personal success. Ever striving for educational excellence, VGCC seeks to improve our world at home and the world beyond. (252) 492-2061 • www.vgcc.edu which is accessible by air, road and rail. The port handles one fuselage section per month, though Spirit expects to send 10 per month once production ramps up after the model is certified and delivery begins later this year. When it selected the TransPark for its 500,000-square-foot $570 million advanced-manufacturing plant in 2008, Spirit cemented eastern North Carolina's place in the aviation and aerospace industry. DB Schenker USA, a logistics and transportation provider based in Germany, set up a 40-person operation at the TransPark in 2010, the same time Spirit launched operations. Schenker routes, stores and inventories raw materials and components for Spirit's plant and moves product for final assembly elsewhere. North Carolina is home to many other innovative third-party-logistics companies. When Danny McComas founded MCO Transport Inc. in 1975 to serve Wilmington and southeastern North Carolina, few recognized how emerging technology and customer trends would revolutionize the industry. Information technology, for example, makes logistics safer and more reliable. "All these modes are very active and very critical. Things such as GPS, wireless tracking and satellite-based technologies now enable customers to pinpoint their freight," says McComas, a former state legislator who now heads the Ports Authority board. MCO employs about 200 and serves customers from Virginia to Florida. "Today's businesses depend not only on truck freight, but maritime, air freight and rail," he says. "It's a global economy now, not a domestic economy. Time is money, and if you can't relate to that you're not going to be able to keep up." New regulations and the need for better-educated logistics workers are spurring the rise of secondary, communitycollege and university programs. Part of Edwards' job at the Center for Global Logistics is reaching out to mentoring programs such as Futures for Kids, which N C ECO N OMI C D E V E LO P ME N T G UI D E

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