Port’s Portsmouth terminal opens new capacity
Monday marks a big day for the expansion of the Port of Virginia’s Portsmouth terminal, Virginia Internal Gateway.
The first three new containers stacks are scheduled to come online, increasing VIG’s capacity by 20 percent, said John Reinhart, the executive director and CEO of the Virginia Port Authority.
In June, an additional three stacks will be added, increasing the terminal’s capacity by 40 percent.
“That will help reduce congestion. That will speed up freight,” Reinhart said during a luncheon of the Virginia Maritime Association’s International Trade Symposium in Norfolk.
Also on Monday, VIG will get a new terminal-operating software, the same that is being used at its Norfolk International Terminals (NIT).
The N4 terminal operating system is already in use at NIT, Portsmouth Marine Terminal and Richmond Marine Terminal. The common terminal operating system will allow for the expansion of the port’s motor carrier reservation system and more data sharing via PRO-PASS, the port’s web-based hub for motor carrier resources and operational information.
The new container stacks are part of a more than $300 million project that will double the capacity of VIG. That project includes a total of 13 new container stacks, 26 new rail-mounted gantry cranes, four new ship-to-shore cranes, the doubling of its rail operation and four new truck lanes.
The project also will include a wharf expansion so that the terminal can handle three ultra-large container vessels — or ULCVs — at the same time. ULCVs are the largest ships visiting port terminals today.
The entire VIG expansion should be complete in April 2019.
The port is simultaneously undergoing a $350 million expansion of Norfolk International Terminals. The NIT expansion includes reconfiguring its container yards to a rail-mounted gantry crane system, which will allow the terminal to stack its containers more densely.
That project includes 60 new container-stacking cranes.
The port also announced Thursday that its volumes are up 3.6 percent in the current fiscal year. In April, the port processed 219,281 TEUs, or 20-foot equivalent units. That is a 2.6 percent dip from April 2017.