Following nearly two years of negotiations with HU, the new consortium was created after the previous contract VIT held with CKY was incorporated into the ten-year HU agreement. Five carriers make up the newly formed ‘CKYHU’ consortium: Cosco, “K” Line, Yang Ming, Hanjin Shipping and United Arab Shipping Company.
“This cements our relationship with 100 percent of our customers for the next decade,” said Jerry A. Bridges, executive director of the Virginia Port Authority.
“The reason these shipping lines agreed to long-term deals is because of the service VIT delivers and the room we have for growth. We know there is more business out there and we intend to go and get it,” he said.
Expansion of the north berth at Norfolk International Terminals (NIT) and the reconfiguration of the terminal’s central rail yard were important factors during the negotiation, explained Joe Dorto, VIT’s president and chief executive officer.
Operational efficiencies created at NIT with the addition of three new Suez-class cranes and a central rail yard, to be served by highly-efficient shuttle carriers and double-stack rail services to the Midwest’s most important markets, were both factors in the negotiations.
“The important thing to remember is that our work is not done just because we have signed all our customers to long-term contracts. We’ll continue to work with together to get them to expand their presence in the port. We have the capacity, the facilities and the natural assets and that is a good formula for growth,” said Dorto.