Upgrades are Underway at Richmond Marine Terminal and Virginia Inland Port
April 4, 2023
NORFOLK, VA — The Port of Virginia® is investing in Virginia Inland Port (VIP) and Richmond Marine Terminal (RMT) to expand capacity at those facilities, reconfigure some areas of operation and ensure the terminals are ready for the future.
The port is investing more than $18 million in the two projects and the work at both sites is underway. The investment is part of the larger, $1.4 billion Gateway Investment Program that focuses on expanding the port’s capabilities, modernizing functions and ensuring long-term competitiveness.
“VIP and RMT are critical to our overall efficiency and our ability to maintain fluidity at primary container terminals in the Norfolk Harbor,” said Stephen A. Edwards, CEO and executive director of the Virginia Port Authority. “Because of their strategic locations along important inland cargo corridors, we are able to move cargo closer to its end user, in terms of imports, and exporters can position their containers at these central collection points for loading onto barge and rail.”
The port is investing $15 million at VIP to expand and reconfigure the terminal’s rail operation and its container stack yard. The work includes building three new rail sidings and the installation of backbone infrastructure for technology. The terminal will also be getting four rubber-tire gantry cranes that are being repurposed from one of the port’s container terminals in the Norfolk Harbor. The new cranes will allow VIP to retire some older, less-efficient equipment. The project will be complete in 2024.
“A reconfigured rail operation and container stacking area combined with new cargo conveyance equipment will give us room to grow and drive efficiency in the same space, but with a smaller carbon
footprint,” Edwards said. “We’re laying the groundwork for greater use of technology so when the terminal warrants another upgrade, the infrastructure will be in place. VIP will be ready for the future and be a better terminal and neighbor.”
At RMT, improvements are being made to the terminal’s main gate and a drop-lot for motor carriers is being developed. The work at the gate will allow faster processing of trucks leaving / entering the terminal and make way for the installation of two new scales. The fenced, 40-space drop-lot will give truckers an after-hours option for leaving containers in a secure area adjacent to the terminal; technology infrastructure is also being installed. The $3 million project will be ready in early 2024.
“We are investing in our inland capabilities now so we will be ready when our deeper and wider shipping channel opens in 2024,” Edwards said. “We’re also getting ready to begin renovating and modernizing the North Berth at Norfolk International Terminals, so the ability to receive cargo and then push it inland to VIP and RMT during construction is going to be key to maintaining our efficiency.”
Virginia Inland Port, an intermodal ramp in Front Royal, is located at the intersection of I-81 and Norfolk Southern’s Crescent Corridor rail route. The terminal has daily, double-stack rail service to and from the port’s terminals in the Norfolk Harbor. Richmond Marine Terminal is on the James River and has direct access to I-95 with I-64 nearby. The terminal is linked to the harbor by a thrice-weekly container-on-barge service.
The Virginia Port Authority (VPA) is a political subdivision of the Commonwealth of Virginia that operates under The Port of Virginia brand name. 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. An economic impact study from The College of William and Mary shows that The Port of Virginia supports more than 437,000 jobs and generates more than $1 billion in total economic impact throughout the Commonwealth annually.