Virginia is the Only USEC Stop for Hapag-Lloyd’s Reworked MGX Service
NORFOLK, VA — The Port of Virginia® is the only US East Coast stop for ocean carrier Hapag-Lloyd’s reworked Mediterranean Gulf Coast Express (MGX) that will move cargo overland by rail to California via Virginia.
“This is an innovative decision by one of our long-time customers to take advantage of our efficiency and our rail reach into the Midwest,” said Stephen A. Edwards, CEO and executive director of the Virginia Port Authority. “It’s a unique service, but it is indicative of a very challenging trade environment. We welcomed the opportunity to be part of the solution for cargo owners on the West Coast.”
The service began operating in mid-April with arrival of the Synergy Antwerp at Norfolk International Terminals. Nearly 1,000 of the vessel’s containers were moved via Norfolk Southern to Chicago where they were switched to another rail carrier that moved them to the ports of Los Angeles and Oakland.
The weekly service employs eight Panamax vessels. The port call rotation is:
Livorno – Genoa – Barcelona – Valencia – Veracruz – Altamira – Houston – The Port of Virginia – Livorno.
Edwards said this is an important opportunity to introduce West Coast-based cargo owners and logistics companies to The Port of Virginia.
“Hapag-Lloyd is taking advantage of the present-day efficiencies here that are driven by a diverse, ultra-modern port complex that has an expansive rail reach,” Edwards said. “But what many companies on the West Coast may not realize is that we are investing $1.3 billion between now and 2025 to create more rail capacity, modernize and renovate two of our berths and convert them to an RMG operation (rail-mounted gantry), dredge our channels to 55 feet deep and widen them for two-way traffic of ultra-large container vessels. The Port of Virginia is building capacity for decades to come.”
In 2021, the port processed nearly 2 million containers and moved more than 640,000 of those units by rail.