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  April 15th, 2014 | Written by

Port of Virginia

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Joe Harris, Spokesman & Media Relations Manager

FTZ No. 20 • 1,000+ total acres 1,000,000+ sq. ft. warehouse space • 50-ft. channel • ICTF

Rail: NS, CSX, Beltline, Commonwealth Rail

Highways: I-64, I-264, I-564, I-464 , I-95

Top export destinations: China, Germany, Brazil

Top export commodities: Machinery, Pharmaceutical Products, Plastic


Joe Harris: The Port of Virginia is the only port on the U.S. East Coast that has 50 feet of water at all of its berths. The Port of Baltimore has a single 50-foot berth, but we are served by the deepest water on the East Coast and we’re 18 miles from open ocean. We’re in a very advantageous position. We’re blessed with these natural assets. We have no bridges, so we don’t have any overhead draft issues. We don’t have any depth issues and we’re 18 miles from open water. In addition, this port is served by very modern container terminals. In the last couple years we took control of the most technologically advanced container terminal in the Western Hemisphere, which is APM Terminals in Portsmouth. In addition to that, across the river we also have Norfolk International Terminals. We have the necessary infrastructure in place, both man-made and natural to serve the biggest ships afloat. So we’re in a very good spot. In addition, we’re a day’s drive of two-thirds of the nation’s population. All those things line up very nicely for us. We are served by double-stacked rail on dock and that rail is provided by both of the East’s Class I railroads, which would be CXS and Norfolk Southern. We have a very good working relationship with both those railroads. In addition to our assets I just talked about, we have three inland destinations that help the trucking and rail community in that they don’t have to send their stuff all the way to water’s edge. They can stop at midpoint, have it loaded to a truck or to a train and then that will bring it to water’s edge, if that makes sense. One of them is in northwestern Virginia. It’s called Virginia Inland Port, and it is an intermodal ramp where truck and rail come together, coming down south from that on Interstate 95, which is the busiest north/south corridor in the nation. We have Port of Richmond, which is a barge, rail and truck facility, and then you come south of that in Greensboro, North Carolina, we have the Greensboro Inland Port, which is run in conjunction with our rail partner Norfolk Southern.

So we have a lot of assets at the ready to serve our customers. We’re in a very, very good position. A lot of these people are talking about getting ready for the Panama Canal and getting ready for this and getting ready for that. Our investment is made. We are ready. We’re in the process of looking at our operation and making these very necessary operational tweaks, but we’re in really good shape for the big ships. We’re already seeing them. We’re seeing ships that are pushing the 10,000-TEU size, and they’re coming into Virginia fully loaded, needing every inch of that 50 feet of water.