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port of virginia


As the fifth busiest container port in the U.S., the Port of Virginia obviously provides a financial boost for Virginians—but also Missourians as well.

You see, the Port of Virginia is one of the St. Louis region’s primary gateways to the world. Dedicated rail service provided by two Class I railroads–Norfolk Southern and CSX–connect the St. Louis region to the East Coast port, where more than $900 million has been invested within the past three years. 

That investment has doubled the Port of Virginia’s capacity and increased efficiencies for getting freight on and off both rail and ocean carriers. That translates into time and cost savings for importers and exporters in the St. Louis region who utilize the Port of Virginia and its ocean carrier services for global connectivity. 

“We have 30 weekly services with our ocean carrier customers, and that gives shippers in the St. Louis community or any of our inland connections a lot of options,” explains Aaron Katrancha, director of Breakbulk, Ro-Ro & Rail Sales for the Port of Virginia. “You can get basically anywhere in the world from the Port of Virginia—Asia, Africa, Caribbean, Central America, Europe, India, subcontinent, Middle East, Mediterranean, South America, you name it. We have those global connections to offer the St Louis market.” 

Katrancha likens the rail connections between the intermodal yards of the St. Louis region and the Port of Virginia to commercial airline service.  “Our rail services run on a very concrete schedule that our customers can set their watches to,” he boasts.  

Bi-State Development, which operates the St. Louis Regional Freightway, has taken the lead in ensuring local shippers are aware of the scheduled rail services and the benefits they offer, Katrancha explained in a talk at May’s FreightWeekSTL 2021 with Mary Lamie, executive vice president of Multi Modal Enterprises at Bi-State Development.

“Everything that Aaron has shared today,” Lamie said, “reinforces the global significance of the Port of Virginia and opportunities for growth between our two regions.”