PTI is proud to introduce our esteemed Host Partner for the upcoming Container Terminal Automation Conference North America (CTAC) 2023: The Port of Virginia. As we gear up for the event on 14 and 15 November, let’s delve into what sets the port apart as a state-of-the-art maritime gateway.
The Port of Virginia is among the most modern maritime gateways in the Western Hemisphere and its success is attributable to several factors: technology-driven efficiency, a diverse port complex, a worldwide reputation for adaptability and a long-term investment strategy.
Underpinning these attributes and assets is the Virginia Model. The Port of Virginia owns, leases, and operates five cargo terminals: two general cargo terminals, Norfolk International Terminals and Virginia International Gateway; a multiuse terminal, Newport News Marine Terminal; and two inland operations, Richmond Marine Terminal and Virginia Inland Port.
Additionally, the port owns and operates Hampton Roads Chassis Pool II, the largest wholly-owned chassis pool on the US East Coast – 16,000 assets.
“This Virginia Model is important because it allows for thoughtful, in-house decision making that clears the way for rapid implementation of operational changes, which is to the benefit of our customers and cargo owners,” Stephen A. Edwards, CEO and Executive Director of the Virginia Port Authority, told PTI.
“As we craft strategic plans and budgets, we can take a holistic, long-term look at our needs. From the inland ports to the chassis pool to our deep-water marine terminals our business model allows us to determine what is best for the whole.”
The launch of the $1.4 billion Gateway Investment Program was announced in spring 2022 and it focuses on continued modernisation, expansion, and greater use of technology across the port’s terminals.
In this effort, the port is expanding its overall rail capacity, modernising a legacy container terminal, widening the channel to allow for safe two-way passage of ultra-large container vessels and dredging the commercial channels and Norfolk Harbor to at least 55 feet. The result will be the US East Coast’s deepest container port.
The port’s continuing investment strategy and efficiency are resulting in sub-50 minute turn-times for motor carriers, short dwell times for rail-ready cargo and highly-productive berths.
In fiscal year 2023 (ended 30 June), the port processed 3.4 million TEU. All of the port’s metrics, from turn-times to volumes, will improve once all of the Gateway Investment Program’s projects are fully-operational in 2027.
The ongoing growth is bringing more port users to Virginia. Across the state there is more than 14 million square feet of development in various stages of construction, announced or planned. To a degree, each of these projects will leverage the port’s access to world markets.
Furthermore, the port has committed to a sustainability goal that will attract customers and cargo owners that want to work with a like-minded global gateway. The Port of Virginia’s objective is for all the port’s power to come from sustainable sources by 2040, with the overall goal of becoming carbon neutral by then.
“The sustainability movement is gaining traction and the Port of Virginia is going to be leader in this arena. We see this as a business opportunity and another step in the development of the nation’s leading maritime global gateway,” Edwards added.