The contract, valued at more than $125m, guarantees that CMA CGM will have an annual throughput at the VPA terminals of at least 55,000 containers. Joe Dorto, CEO and general manager at VIT, expects the company eventually to exceed this minimum requirement. “The people at CMA CGM know that as their cargo volumes increase, they will not have any capacity issues in Virginia – they’ve got it in writing,” he said.
The port now has 11 ten-year contracts in place, accounting for around 70 per cent of its business. Other signatories include the Grand Alliance, CKY, China Shipping, Turkon, MSC and ACL. In 2005, the Port of Virginia had its most successful year ever, handling 1.98m teu.
CMA CGM is the world’s third largest steamship line and is headquartered in Marseilles. It began calling in Virginia in 2000 where, until, now, it has recorded an annual throughput of 15,000-30,000 containers. The vessels call at Norfolk International Terminal and Portsmouth Marine Terminal.