“Signing our customers to long-term contracts is a part of the strategy to secure the future of the port (and) equally important is continuing the relationship with a customer, like Wallenius Wilhelmsen that has been calling here for such a long time,” said Jerry A. Bridges, the VPA’s executive director
The contract will carry the VPA-WWL relationship through to 2012 and at that point WWL will have the option to sign for five more years. The contract value is estimated at a minimum of US$20m and the primary cargoes will be machine tools from Japan and natural rubber from Indonesia.
Presently, WWL vessels in its Far East Service call at Norfolk International Terminals three times a month. In summer 2008, those vessels will be shifted to Newport News Marine Terminal (NNMT). The move allows Virginia International Terminals Inc., the VPA’s private terminal operating company, to begin implementing its plan of turning NNMT into a dedicated breakbulk cargo terminal.
Wallenius Wilhelmsen Logistics also operates a vehicle processing center at NNMT where it processes vehicles imported from Japan.