12 New Container Stacks Go to Work at NIT; Phase I of $375M Capacity Expansion is Complete

March 7, 2019

Contact: Joseph D. Harris Spokesman
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12 New Container Stacks Go to Work at NIT; Phase I of $375M Capacity Expansion is Complete
Project will expand NIT’s annual throughput capacity by 400,000 container units

NORFOLK, VA – The Port of Virginia® continues to expand its capacity and this month 12 new container stacks at Norfolk International Terminals (NIT) began operating as the project to reconfigure the terminal’s south container stack-yard moves forward according to schedule.

“A little more than a year ago an area the size of 30 football fields was cleared and today we’re processing thousands of containers through that same space,” said John F. Reinhart, CEO and executive director of the Virginia Port Authority. “We are forty-percent of the way through construction and are seeing good flow at the gates and are maintaining a strong, customer-focused effort during construction.”

In January 2018, construction on the $375 million NIT expansion got underway, with the project completion scheduled for 2020. The centerpiece of the expansion is the construction of 30 semi-automated container stacks at South NIT, served by 60 new rail-mounted gantry (RMG) cranes. This project will expand NIT’s annual throughput capacity by 400,000 container units, going from 850,000 to 1.25 million container units; a 46 percent increase.

Phase I is composed of 12 new stacks and 24 new RMGs. Work began on phase II (six stacks) in December 2018 and phase III (12 stacks) begins in May.

“This milestone comes on the heels of our announcement in February that we have completed the stack-yard work at Virginia International Gateway,” Reinhart said. “That project brought 13 new container stacks into service and gives us the capability to process 1.2 million lifts a year at VIG.

“The $700 million investment being made in The Port of Virginia puts it in the best position to become the US East Coast’s premiere port and a major hub for ultra-large container vessels,” Reinhart said.


  • January 2018 – Container stack construction begun
  • March 2018 – Upgraded PRO-PASS truck reservation system live at NIT
  • October 2018 – First three container stacks with new RMG cranes placed in service (beginning of Phase I)
  • February 2019 – 12 new RMG container stacks in service (12 of 30 stacks complete). PHASE I complete
  • March 2019 – 10 new shuttle trucks in service
  • May 2019 – Phase III construction begins
  • July 2019-October 2019 – Six new container stacks placed in service (18 of 30 stacks complete)
  • February 2020-June 2020 – 12 new container stacks placed in service (all 30 stacks online)

The Virginia Port Authority (VPA) is a political subdivision of the Commonwealth of Virginia. The VPA owns and through its private operating subsidiary, Virginia International Terminals, LLC (VIT), operates four general cargo facilities Norfolk International Terminals, Portsmouth Marine Terminal, Newport News Marine Terminal and the Virginia Inland Port in Warren County. The VPA leases Virginia International Gateway and Richmond Marine Terminal. A recent economic impact study from The College of William and Mary shows that The Port of Virginia helps to create more than 530,000 jobs and generated $88.4 billion in total economic impact throughout the Commonwealth on an annual basis.