North Carolina’s Eastern Region Gives Businesses Vital Access
A strong transportation infrastructure can help drive success in any area, but this is especially true in North Carolina’s Eastern Region.
Transportation assets in the 13-county region include a deepwater seaport at Morehead City and easy access to the Port of Wilmington and the Port of Virginia at Hampton Roads. Class I and short-line rail carriers haul cargo for local businesses, while airports in Greenville, Jacksonville and New Bern accommodate commercial travelers with daily jet connections to Atlanta, Charlotte and Washington D.C. hubs. Raleigh-Durham International Airport and Wilmington International Airport are also located within a 45-minute drive from the region.
Well-maintained highways and secondary roads are critical to shipping and distribution companies, and North Carolina's Eastern Region offers a good mix of both. Interstates 40, 95 and 795 run through the region, along with U.S. highways 70, 64 and 264. The region is also conveniently situated halfway between Boston and Miami, within a day’s driving distance of two-thirds of U.S. commercial facilities.
Transportation from TransPark
Intermodal transportation is vital to the tenants of the North Carolina Global TransPark, a 2,500-acre airport industrial park in Kinston with a 5.8-mile rail spur under construction that will connect to a Norfolk Southern mainline that accesses the Port of Morehead City and western markets.
“Also on TransPark property is the Kinston Regional Jetport, with an 11,500-foot airfield runway that can accommodate any cargo plane," says Jim Fain, North Carolina Global TransPark President and CEO. "The airport is in Foreign Trade Zone 214, a designation that means companies can export and import products through the TransPark without many of the usual customs restrictions and tariffs.”
The TransPark has shovel-ready sites available, and is equipped with telecommunications infrastructure and energy costs below national averages.
“Our vision is to mainly serve the aerospace and defense emergency response industries, along with advanced manufacturing and business agriculture,” Fain says. “Current tenants include Delta Private Jets, Spirit AeroSystems, North Carolina State Highway Patrol and the North Carolina Division of Forest Resources.”
Transportation assets are also spurring growth among many distribution and third-party logistics companies in the region. QVC Inc. recently announced plans to expand its facility in Edgecombe County by 1 million square feet, while logistics companies such as DB Schenker, Kanban Logistics and Longistics thrive in the region. New Bern-based SOS Global Express Shipping provides cost-effective freight shipping for companies with high distribution costs.
Another regional distribution company that has taken off is Transportation Impact, an Emerald Isle business that specializes in logistics consulting to help companies lower their shipping costs. Some of the company's staff members are former senior sales and pricing managers from international shipping parcel/express companies, with Keith Byrd and Travis Burt serving as the company’s co-founders and partners.
“We show companies how to negotiate competitive contracts with small parcel carriers, thereby saving our clients money by finding hidden areas of opportunity where cost savings are overlooked,” Burt says. “If we don’t reduce costs for a client, we don’t get paid.”
Transportation Impact negotiates best-in-class shipping contracts for companies coast to coast, lowering the costs of 175 clients that ship small parcels, Burt says.
“We have several big-name corporations as customers, but I won’t mention their names because it’s a competitive business,” he says. “Our company contributes very well to the economy of the Eastern Region, and we enjoy being headquartered in such a beautiful part of North Carolina.”
Eastern Region's Transportation Network
Roads: I-40, I-95, I-795 and U.S. highways 70, 64 and 264
Rail: Class I service from Norfolk Southern and CSX carriers, plus short-line rail
Air: Kinston Regional Jetport, Pitt-Greenville Airport, Coastal Carolina Regional Airport and the Jacksonville-Albert J. Ellis Airport, plus close proximity to Raleigh-Durham and Wilmington-New Hanover County airports
Ports: Port of Morehead City and close proximity to the Port of Wilmington and the Port of Virginia at Hampton Roads
Multimodal infrastructure: North Carolina Global TransPark, a 2,500-acre industrial site with a 11,500-foot runway at the Kinston Regional Jetport and a 5.8-mile rail spur under construction