- The Commonwealth of Virginia inked a $217 million deal with Finland-based Konecranes to purchase 86 automated stacking cranes, Transport Times reported Thursday.
- The cranes are set to assist with the expansion of the Virginia International Gateway and the Norfolk International Terminal over the next five years.
- The port hopes to double the capacity of the two terminals, which would be approximately 2.6 million containers, as well as increase to 40% of the new volume through the double-stack Norfolk Southern and CSX trains, according to port officials.
East Coast ports are working hard to increase their ability to accommodate larger ships, which will continue to involve heavy investment on shipping technology.
The Panama Canal expansion, with its focus on larger vessels, will have a substantial effect on East Coast ports. While the impact will not be overwhelmingly transformative at first, it will have balance out U.S. cargo between the East Coast and the West Coast.
While many logistics experts are taking a wait-and-see approach, some ports, such as in Florida are already seeing increased volume due to shippers attempting to diversify their business between coasts. The Port of Virginia is one of the few East Coast ports with channels already deep enough for fully loaded neo-Panamax vessels, making the new investment in automated stacking cranes a harbinger of expected future business.