APM to build new terminal in Virginia by 2007
APM Terminals North America, the terminal management division of Danish industrial and freight transportation conglomerate A.P. Moeller/Maersk, said Monday it was going forward with plans to build a $450-million container terminal at the Port of Virginia to meet an expected doubling of cargo throughput by 2020 in the Hampton Roads-Norfolk area.
The new terminal will have 300 usable acres, including 4,000 feet of deepwater berth space, making it one of the largest terminals on the U.S. East Coast, according to spokesman Tom Boyd. By contrast, APM's terminal at the Elizabeth Marine Terminal in the Port of New York/New Jersey is 350 acres and its mammoth facility in the Port of Los Angeles/Long Beach covers 484 acres.
The new terminal will also include a dedicated on-dock rail yard that will give APM better control of container movements than in other East Coast ports, where it must share rail lines with other terminal operators, Boyd said.
The terminal will be located on the other side of the Elizabeth River in Portsmouth from the 71-acre facility used by APM Terminals on property owned by the Virginia Port Authority. APM Terminals has been looking for an alternative because the existing facility has been at or near capacity for several years.
In 2002, the company purchased 576 acres of land with the intent of building a new terminal. The rest of the land will be preserved as wetlands, Boyd said. The company will move operations to the new terminal when construction is completed.
The state is expected to begin dredging the deepwater harbor later this year and APM Terminals expects to complete construction of the terminal in 2007, according to a joint news release by the company and state officials. Portsmouth Mayor James Holley said the facility is the largest privately built terminal in the United States.
The Portsmouth terminal has a draft of 40 feet, compared to 50 feet for the new facility, and only 1,000 feet of berth.
The news represents a big victory for Virginia state officials interested in the economic development potential of the new terminal. Major importers are expected to build distribution facilities in the region to take advantage of the extra freight capacity the area will soon enjoy. Companies that have set up warehouses near the port in recent years include Dollar Tree, Wal-Mart, Sara Lee, Nautica and Americold Logistics.
'APM Terminals will significantly boost Virginia's competitive position in international trade and provide a major economic stimulus to the Hampton Roads region and the Commonwealth as a whole,' said Gov. Mark Warner, who courted A.P. Moeller/Maersk executives last year during a trade mission to Denmark.
'This sends a clear message to shippers all over the world about the advantages offered here at the port,' said John Milliken, chairman of the Virginia Port Authority.
The development of Maersk’s Cox terminal is the second major move in the United States this year towards privately financed greenfield container terminals being developed outside established ports. SSA Marine started last week the construction of a $600-million container terminal in Texas City, outside Houston.