Statement on MARAD Grant to Help Support Port’s Expanding Barge Service

April 25, 2019

Contact: Joseph D. Harris
(757) 683-2137 / Office
(757) 675-8087 / Cell

Statement on MARAD Grant to Help Support Port’s Expanding Barge Service

NORFOLK, VA – The largest ships sailing the Atlantic Ocean are calling The Port of Virginia® with regularity and it is maximizing all modes of transportation – barge, rail and truck – to efficiently move the increasing amounts of cargo these ships are bringing. The barge service connecting Richmond Marine Terminal (RMT) and the port’s deep-water container terminals in the Norfolk Harbor is in its tenth year of operation and having moved nearly a quarter-of-a-million TEUs (twenty-foot equivalent units) in that time.

“We are investing $700 million to expand the capacity at The Port of Virginia and it is important that we grow our barge capabilities in parallel,” says John F. Reinhart, CEO and executive director of the Virginia Port Authority. “The barge is integral to the success of our growing operation which is why this grant from the America’s Marine Highway program and the continued support of MARAD is so important.

“The grant and the matching funds will be used to purchase a second barge – the Virginia Express, a twin to the Richmond Express — and give us the capacity to increase the service between RMT and the Norfolk Harbor to five-days-a-week (from three). The expanded service will provide barge users greater flexibility for moving exports and imports, further reduce congestion on I-64 and help to drive more investment and growth in and around the RMT area. We are grateful for MARAD’s continued support of the barge service and The Port of Virginia.”

More information on MARAD’s recent grant award for Maritime Highway Projects can be found here:


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.