Virginia port locks business in 10-year contracts

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Virginia International Terminals has signed 97 percent of its customers to a 10-year contract worth $500 million.

The contract involves The CKYHU group , which includes Cosco, “K” Line, Yang Ming, Hanjin and United Arab Shipping lines. VIT is the operating arm of the Virginia Port Authority.

“The reason we have been able to bring these ship lines to agree to these long-term deals is because of the service VIT delivers and because of the room we have for growth,” said Virginia Port Authority Executive Director Jerry A. Bridges in a statement. “We know there is more business out there and we intend to go and get it.”

Negotiations on the contract have been ongoing for two years. Joe Dorto, CEO and president of the Virginia International Terminals, said that the port’s expansion of Norfolk International Terminals North Berth and reconfiguration of the central railyard were important in the discussions.

“The important thing to remember is that our work is not done just because we have signed all of our customers to long-term contracts,” Dorto said in a statement. “We’ll continue to work with these customers to get them to expand their presence here. We have the capacity, the facilities and the natural assets and that is a good formula for growth.”

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