Virginia Moves Forward with Purchase of New ASCs for North Berth Modernization Project

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36 New Automated Stacking Cranes are Centerpieces of the Terminal’s Renovation

May 2, 2023

NORFOLK, VA – The Port of Virginia® is moving ahead with its purchase of 36 new automated stacking cranes (ASCs) that will be the centerpieces of a modernized Norfolk International Terminals (NIT) North Berth.

The cranes are being manufactured by Finland-based Konecranes and will replace the existing straddle carrier operation at the North Berth. The North Berth project will be completed in two phases with 18 cranes set for delivery during each construction phase; the first group will arrive in mid-2025 and the second is set for mid-2027. The value of the purchase is nearly $150 million.

“We are nearing the start of construction on the North Berth project and it is important that we get our equipment orders coordinated with the completion of construction,” said Stephen A. Edwards, CEO and executive director of the Virginia Port Authority. “The North Berth project is the last piece in the overall modernization of our primary container terminals and the timing of how we proceed will be critical to the success of this project.”

The North Berth project will expand and modernize the terminal and create the capacity to process 1.4 million twenty-foot equivalent units (TEUs) annually. When complete, NIT [North and South berths] will have the capacity to process 3.6 million TEUs annually.

The project includes installation of new ship-to-shore cranes and a new container stack yard configured around the ASCs, both of which will be driven and supported by the port’s twenty-first century technology infrastructure and operating system. The new equipment combined with the reconfiguration will allow for greater density in the container stacking operation and increased productivity.

The port is timing the North Berth project with the completion of NIT’s Central Rail Yard expansion and the 55-foot channel deepening project. Both projects will be ready in advance of the North Berth project’s completion.

“Cargo owners, ocean carriers and logistics providers are going to closely following our progress,” Edwards said. “Many of the ocean carriers that call Virginia today are putting new, larger vessels into service during the next few years. We are telling them that they can bring those vessels to Virginia without concern for channel depth and width, rail capacity or modern terminals that can process large amounts of cargo with consistent efficiency.”

The port is prepared to begin construction this summer on the North Berth project.


The Virginia Port Authority (VPA) is a political subdivision of the Commonwealth of Virginia. The port owns Norfolk International Terminals, Newport News Marine Terminal and Virginia Inland Port and leases Virginia International Gateway and Richmond Marine Terminal. The VPA through its private operating subsidiary, Virginia International Terminals, LLC (VIT), operates all five terminals. A recent economic impact study from The College of William and Mary shows that in fiscal 2022, The Port of Virginia helped create more than 565,000 jobs statewide and generated $63 billion in gross state product.