MOREHEAD CITY, N.C. (WNCT) – With constant imports coming in by train, barge, and truck, the Port of Morehead City is looking into a new warehouse facility to help keep up with the constant demand.

Port Operations Manager Chip Killmeier said since 1952 the warehouses have served their purpose but upgrades and space are needed. 

“We’re over 100% capacity in the warehouses, so we tend to have hot seat space,” said Killmeier. “As soon as one product is in the warehouse, we’ve got to forecast when that product can be out, and we’ll go ahead and start selling that to the next customer.”

Killmeier said that each warehouse can hold around 15-20 tons of product, whether that be lumber, grain, rock or rubber.

“We’re the second largest importer of raw rubber in the country,” he said. “Those go to tire plants, both in North Carolina as well as Virginia and South Carolina, and then out to the customers from there.”

To keep up with the high demand for products, a new 75,000 square foot facility is needed to keep storing cargo.

“Every ton that comes through the port, so 1.5 million tons last year, that’s either directly loaded onto a truck or railcar by the port, employees are offloaded from a ship by the stevedores and the union labor,” said Killmeier.

Along with the facility, he said they hope to grow their team.

“Here in Morehead City, we’ve seen a growth of probably a little more than 25% of our staff overall, as we’ve grown the business,” he said. “I think that will continue with the growth of the port and expansion, whether that’s directly on the state port staff, or its other supporting staff”

He added that future developments may expand onto Radio Island as well.

“On this side of the terminal, there’s 128 acres, we’ve got another 158 acres on Radio Island,” said Killmeier. “We’ve pretty much used every ounce of space we can both inside and outside on the general terminal side with 128 acres, so we need that excess space on Radio Island for continued growth.”

Killmeier said they hope to break ground for the warehouse in the fall and be finished up in the spring of next year.