A new day at the port

Rejection of competing bids doesn’t mean business as usual

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Testing uncharted waters was tempting, but in the end the Virginia Port Authority’s Board of Commissioners decided to stick with the familiar. After considering bids from private firms to operate the Port of Virginia, the board opted to keep Virginia International Terminals at the helm.

Nonetheless, it won’t be business as usual as VIT and VPA embark on a process to streamline their operations and eliminate duplicate functions.

“It’s a more efficient way for us to do business,” says Joe Ruddy, the new CEO of Virginia International Terminals. “There will be a more defined role for each of the organizations so there isn’t that sort of spillover. There’s a lot of work to do in fleshing out the process. We’ve come a long way, and we want to get this right.”

The port already has lost some employees recently because of attrition and retirement.  Ruddy says VIT will evaluate positions as it moves through the restructuring process. “We’ll deploy human assets where they’re most needed, put people in the most streamlined functions and assess what the best use of manpower is,” he says.

Ultimately, port customers can expect improved service, including better dissemination of information, Ruddy says. He expects all port users, including labor, to benefit as the port undergoes realignment and reorganization. “We will do all these things to just come up with a better mousetrap,” he says.

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