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Virginia overcomes economic slowdown to post container growth

Virginia overcomes economic slowdown to post container growth

The VPA says its 2008 trade balance average stands at 56% exports and 44% imports. Its data show loaded exports up by 14% and imports down 5% from last year. From January through October, container volume, including loads and empties, totalled 1,759,996 TEUs.

“The (US) dollar’s value overseas works in favour of exporters, so we’re working with our domestic clients to find ways to build their business running through our port and there are some things that are lining up in Virginia’s favour,” Mr. Capozzi said.

In late November, CMA-CGM and Maersk Line announced a new service that will link the Virginia port with markets in Asia, the Mediterranean and Africa (Advisory, December 1, 2008). This service will deploy 6,500-TEU container ships, the largest to call at the Port of Hampton Roads in a regularly scheduled service.

Virginia will be the “last out” North American port, allowing the carriers, in Mr. Capozzi’s words, “to take advantage of our deep draught to load this ship to capacity on its outbound voyage”. Newark will be the other U.S. East Coast port of call in the service, which is due to start in May 2009.

In September, the VPA concluded a one-year agreement with Prologis, an owner, manager and developer of distribution facilities, to jointly market a cross-dock facility to be located at the Virginia Inland Port in Front Royal. “It is our hope that we will be able to find a user that will bring new volumes of cargo through our ports on to the Inland Port,” Mr. Capozzi said.

“This kind of facility will give us ability to sell transload services at the Inland Port, which is located in a strategically important area to serve markets in the Ohio Valley, Washington (DC), Maryland, West Virginia and central Pennsylvania.”