Cargo moving through The Port of Virginia’s world-class facilities is transported from and to markets around the globe, carrying the goods and supplies that manufacturers, businesses, retailers, and individual consumers use every day. This cargo is moved by way of:
The port’s deep water harbor, the deepest on the US East Coast, shelters the world’s largest naval base; a robust shipbuilding and repair industry; a thriving export coal trade and the sixth largest containerized cargo complex in the United States.
The port offers 50-foot channels, inbound and outbound, and is the only US East Coast port with Congressional authorization to dredge to 55 feet. In an era where container ships are carrying tens of thousands of twenty-foot equivalent units per voyage, deep water and the absence of overhead restrictions is a significant competitive advantage.
The Port of Virginia is a hub port; an important distinction for the shipping public. Nearly 30 international shipping lines offer direct, dedicated service to and from Virginia, with connections to 200+ countries around the world. In an average week, more than 40 international container, breakbulk and roll-on / roll-off vessels are serviced at our marine terminals.
Two Class I railroads, CSX and Norfolk Southern, serve the Port via on-dock intermodal container transfer facilities at Virginia International Gateway and Norfolk International Terminals. The service offered by the Class I’s is augmented by vital short line rail partners including the Norfolk & Portsmouth Belt Line and the Commonwealth Railway. Virginia’s unrivaled intermodal rail connections allow the Port to reach customers in the Ohio Valley and the upper Midwest with scheduled daily service. A new intermodal rail market in North Carolina bodes well for the future of additional market penetration in the Southeastern U.S.
Craney Island, the largest fully-permitted port expansion project in the United States, represents the future of The Port of Virginia. The terminal will be planned as a state-of-the-art automated container terminal with the capability to handle up to 50% of its total container volume by rail. The existing Commonwealth Rail Line will be extended from State Route 164 to Craney Island through a project known as the Port of Virginia Gateway. This will create dual rail access on-dock with Norfolk Southern and CSX. The terminal will be designed to serve super post-Panamax class vessels via a 50-feet navigation channel, direct interchange to the interstate highway system, and double-stack intermodal rail service. The terminal will be planned as a semi-automated operation, with a mix of manual and automated container handling equipment.
The construction of Craney Island will increase container throughput on the west side of the Elizabeth River, away from the region’s most congested tunnels and bridges, and in close proximity to rail facilities and distribution locations.