The Port of Virginia’s Winter Weather Plan – 2017-2018

December 5, 2017

The winter season is upon us, and with it comes the uncertainty of severe weather. However, what is certain is that the colleagues at The Port of Virginia are guided by our core values to make The Port of Virginia the safest, strongest and most successful port on the East Coast. We will continue to be mindful of terminal and freight accessibility issues that are critical to our customers and the economy. We will continue our proactive, community-focused strategy of hosting conference calls, using our corporate website (www.portofvirginia.com) and multiple digital and social media platforms, as well as our innovative text alert system, in order to be as helpful and transparent as possible.

Four years ago, The Port of Virginia designed and deployed a new, phased approach to inclement weather.  During the 2016 and 2017 winter seasons, our snow and winter weather mitigation strategy was successful in returning the port to operating status as swiftly and safely as possible, with minimal service disruptions.

The Port of Virginia plans on 24 hours to clear snow (up to 4”) in order to bring the terminals on-line. However, this is merely a planning factor; other issues (re-freezing, conditions prior to snowfall, wind restrictions, etc.) can and will change timelines for execution and completion.  The port maintains close contact with its host cities to determine where the port sits on their priority lists for clearing access points and roads serving the terminals.

For the 2017-2018 season, the plan follows three (3) phases to ensure appropriate response.  We have also added additional equipment, resources, and services designed to continually improve our responsiveness, agility, and efficiency.

If you have any questions regarding our winter weather procedures or policies, please feel free to contact our Customer Service team at (757) 440-7160.

Phase 1 (24 – 48 Hours Prior to Winter Weather)

  • Equipment currently stationed at the terminals will be staged and loaded for use
  • Contractors will place rental equipment, including front end loaders, graders and operators at each terminal

Phase 2 (24 Hours Prior to Winter Weather)

  • Terminals will be pre-treated with salt and/or brine solution.

Phase 3 (From the Commencement of Storm until Snow Removal is Complete)

  • As winter storm conditions develop at the port, we will monitor the situation in order to ensure all of our resources are allocated appropriately.
  • Priorities for snow removal are as follows (in order of priority):
    1. Berth and pier areas
    2. Thoroughfares and rail areas
    3. Container stacks
    4. Transfer zones
    5. Interchanges, approaches, and roadways
    6. Straddle carrier and shuttle parking areas
    7. Parking lots
    8. Sidewalks
    9. Continue to salt terminals, as areas are cleared, to prevent freezing/refreezing.

All conditions will be monitored by port management until all terminals are cleared and fully operational.  Once cleared, the Operations Division will set the schedule for reopening the terminals and a return to work.

Safety is always our first priority at The Port of Virginia. Drivers should be reminded to remove all snow/ice accumulation from the tops of containers before coming to the port. It is against the law in many states to operate on a public road with snow/ice on your vehicle. It could also delay your time at the terminals if the cargo handling equipment is unable to securely connect to the container.

Your compliance will make transactions safer and more efficient for everyone involved at the port, as well as our surrounding communities.

We thank you for your continued efforts and partnership.