The North Carolina State Ports Authority owns and operates the facilities in the Port of Morehead City. The port authority is tasked with managing ports as self-sustaining operations, protecting the environment, providing a skilled and efficient workforce, assuring well-maintained modern port facilities and equipment, and satisfying customers. Because the mission of the North Carolina State Ports Authority is to enhance the State's economy, the port authority is managed like a business striving to meet and exceed the needs of its customers.
The Port of Morehead City boasts is one of the deepest ports on the East Coast. Just 6.4 kilometers (four miles) from the Atlantic Ocean, the Port of Morehead City primarily handles bulk and breakbulk cargoes. The Port of Morehead City is within 1126 meters (700 miles) of over 70% of the United States' industrial base. It is the second biggest importing port in the United States for natural rubber. It is also a leading exporter of phosphate, and the Port of Morehead City has a 225-thousand ton capacity warehouse and additional open storage for dry bulk cargoes.
The ocean bar channel for the Port of Morehead City is about 137 meters (450 feet) wide with a depth of 14.3 meters (47 feet) MLLW. The depth of the inside harbor channel is 13.7 meters (45 feet) with width ranging from 122 to 244 meters (400 to 820 feet). The east turning basin in the Port of Morehead City has a diameter of 411.5 meters (1350 feet) and a depth of 13.7 meters (45 feet). The west turning basin in the Port of Morehead City has a diameter of 335 meters (1100 feet) and a depth of 10.7 meters (35 feet).
The Port of Morehead City has 1676 meters (5500 feet) of wharf frontage and nine berths. The alongside depth at the Port of Morehead City's Berths 1, 2, and 3 is 13.7 meters (45 feet). The alongside depth of Berths 4 through 9 in the Port of Morehead City is 10.7 meters (35 feet). Two berths are equipped with a modern shiploader with a capacity to load three thousand ton of dry bulk cargo per hour. The Port of Morehead City feature covered dry bulk facilities with export conveyor systems that can move as much as one thousand tons per hour. The Port of Morehead City terminal is well-lit, and the North Carolina State Port Police provide 24-hour security.
The Port of Morehead City also has a 1.6 hectare warehouse near the ocean berths for high-value cargoes like lumber, steel, and paper. The Port of Morehead City offers more than 23 acres of covered and sprinklered storage. There are 30 acres of paved and nine acres of improved open storage areas. Across the Newport River from the Port of Morehead City is Radio Island which has a 150-acre site with municipal water and sewer for industrial development.
The Port of Morehead City is accessible to Interstate Highways 40 and 95 via US Highways 70 and 17. While rail service is provided by the Norfolk Southern Railway, the Port of Morehead City's terminal switching railroad is operated by the Morehead & South Fork Railroad. The port has rail access to the berths and transit sheds, warehouses, and open storage areas. It is capable of direct transfer for heavy lift and irregular loads between vessel and rail or truck. The Port of Morehead City has one secured gate entry and two certified truck scales with weighmasters that are available 24 hours per day.
The Port of Morehead City is equipped with one multi-purpose 40-ton bridge crane with 35-meter (115-foot) outreach and 19-meter (63-foot) backreach. The Port of Morehead City also has two 5-ton capacity gantry crane and a 125-ton mobile crane. The Port of Morehead City has 39 35-ton lift trucks that can handle a range of cargoes with special handling needs.
Foreign Trade Zone (FTZ) 67 in the Port of Morehead City consists of two sites. Site one has a 4.4-acre warehouse in the main terminal, and Site two has 40 acres of open storage. The FTZ provides space for storage, exhibition, and manipulation of cargo as well as limited manufacturing.