Governor McAuliffe announced in July that the Port of Virginia will receive $350 million in state funding to expand cargo capacity at Norfolk International Terminals’ (NIT) South Berth, the Port’s largest terminal. Funds will go toward reconfiguring the South Berth to increase capacity by 46 percent, allowing for nearly 700,000 more standard 20-foot containers, in addition to improving the speed at which cargo moves through the area.
With the recent $5.4 billion expansion of the Panama Canal, East Coast ports are expected to see larger ships and more cargo. A 2015 study by The Boston Consulting Group and the transportation company C.H. Robinson concluded that the three largest ports on the East Coast—Georgia, New York and Virginia—were most likely to see a positive effect from the canal’s expansion.
The Port has long played a vital role in Virginia’s economy, helping attract both domestic and international businesses to the Commonwealth. The three-year project, which Virginia Port Authority CEO and Executive Director John Reinhart deems an “historic event,” will commence construction this fall. “This investment by the Commonwealth puts the Port on the path to long-term sustainability, and in turn, that means jobs, investment and revenue for the Commonwealth.”
The Governor included the $350 million investment in his 2016 budget.