International Paper named Virginia ‘Shipper of the Year’

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The Port of Virginia has presented its Shipper of the Year award to International Paper at its annual Virginia Maritime Symposium.

"This award recognizes a company that has gone above and beyond the course of normal business to help the port grow both commercially and operationally," Thomas D. Capozzi, vice president of global sales and customer service for Virginia International Terminals Inc., said in a statement. "International Paper has worked well with our operational staff and has been very open to ideas and discussions about how to better process its cargo coming through here."

Last June, International Paper reopened part of its mill near Franklin to produce fluff pulp. The company closed its Franklin mill in 2010, laying off 1,000 workers.

"Container volume since the mill has reopened has grown dramatically and there are exploring opportunities to ship pulp via breakbulk ships as well," Capozzi said. "Breakbulk shipments can be handled by the port's network of on-dock warehousing."

The Port of Virginia also noted International Paper’s”

• Impact to the Hampton Roads/Franklin community for job creation both at the plant and for vendors serving the plant.

• Reinvestment in the community.

• Multiple spinoff opportunities that include the attraction of new transportation vendors – trucking companies, for example -- to handle export cargo.

The mill is producing about 800 tons of fluff pulp each day, and is pursuing overseas exports where the demand is great. When the mill closed in 2010, it had been operating in the town for more than a century.

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