- The Port of Virginia opened four new truck gates at Virginia International Gateway (VIG) as part of a $320 million project to increase capacity and efficiency at the terminal, according to a press release.
- Each new lane can process 800 transactions per week, altogether raising the terminal's capacity by 30% and easing the strain of more than 13,000 weekly truck transactions.
- The VIG project is part of a $700-million expansion of the Port of Virginia’s two primary container-handling terminals, the other being Norfolk International Terminals (NIT). Other improvements will include rail-mounted gantry cranes, berth construction, ship-to-shore cranes and container stacks.
When the expansion is completed, the port will have expanded its annual overall throughput capacity by 40%, or 1 million containers, Joseph Harris, Port of Virginia Spokesperson, told Supply Chain Dive via email. "We developed this expansion plan in anticipation of growth in all trade lanes and are creating the necessary additional capacity to be sustainable for decades to come."
There was no single factor that led to the 2014 decision to expand, or that drove its aggressive timeline for completion by 2020, Harris added.
"The port’s natural assets, combined with the investment being made here position us to be the East Coast’s leading global gateway. We also knew that to be sustainable and competitive, we were going to have to make a significant investment in infrastructure," Harris said.
The plan was created and presented to Virginia’s governor and legislature which understood that, in addition to moving containers and cargo, port expansion also would move the economy. "In short," Harris noted, "we had the vision and support that helped set the stage for positive long-term change at the Port of Virginia."
According to a 2015 survey conducted by the Raymond A. Mason School of Business at the College of William & Mary, the Port of Virginia generates $88.4 billion in total economic impact annually throughout the Commonwealth. The report also indicated that more than 530,000 jobs were created related to the ports.
With a view to the future, the plan calls for a modern port that has the capacity for further growth, is efficient, can handle a diverse cargo mix, capitalizes on the area’s natural assets and is prepared to handle — whether on landslide or at sea — the biggest ships afloat. It also includes, Harris said, a sustainable business model that positions the port for success decades to come.
VIG, which was commissioned in 2007, entered a 20-year lease agreement under which the VPA operates the terminal. It’s a U.S. Customs-designated port of entry and sits on a 576-acre footprint.