Norfolk – The Virginia Port Authority will benefit from two business developments that will bring more cargo to the port: one via traditional cargo vessels and the other via a trial barge service connecting this port to a facility in the Northeast.
Russell Held, the VPA deputy executive director of development, announced Tuesday that the VPA's operating company, Virginia International Terminals Inc., had signed a seven-year contract extension with Wallenius Wilhelmsen Logistics (WWL), a Norway-based carrier focused on project cargoes.
"Our relationship with Wallenius goes back some 30 years and we're very pleased about extending that relationship," Held said.
The extension carries the VPA's relationship with WWL through 2017; the company's vessels call at Newport News Marine Terminal, the port's dedicated ro-ro and project cargo facility. The primary cargoes will be machine tools from Japan, natural rubber from Indonesia and Nissan automobiles. Wallenius Wilhelmsen Logistics (WWL) also operates a vehicle processing center at NNMT where it processes vehicles imported from Japan.
Presently, WWL vessels in its Far East Service call at NNMT several times a month. At NNMT the carrier has access to a modern 124,000-square-foot warehouse for rubber storage; two berth options for its vessels with deeper-drafts; quick turnaround for truckers; and easy interstate access.
In 2007, the VPA and WWL signed a long-term contract carrying the relationship through 2012.
Separately, Held announced a new barge service operated by Columbia Coastal Transport that links the ports of Virginia and Philadelphia. The 13-week trial was launched in September to see if there is enough business to sustain the service.
The barge will be moving military cargo from Philadelphia to Virginia to take advantage of US flagged vessel calls. Columbia Coastal handles a number of U.S. government and military cargoes aboard its U.S.-flag barges and assists in logistics, documentation and service support for those moves.
This is the first barge service to operate between Virginia and Philadelphia. Columbia Coastal barges have been moving cargo between the ports of Virginia and Baltimore for years.