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Rail News: Intermodal

Virginia port to temporarily handle damaged New York port's diverted cargo


On Nov. 1, the Port of Virginia began receiving cargo diverted from the Port of New York and New Jersey because of damage by Hurricane Sandy.

In the short term, several thousand additional containers are expected be off-loaded at the Norfolk port's terminals per week, Virginia Port Authority (VPA) officials said in a prepared statement.

"We're expecting additional discharge volumes and we know we'll be challenged to keep everything flowing," said Rodney Oliver, the VPA's interim executive director. "Much of the cargo we'll be handling would stay in the New York metro area and serve that population, so the effort will be to get it off the ship and up to the Northeast as efficiently and as quick as possible, because they're going to need it."

The authority is closely coordinating efforts with ocean carriers, tug companies, railroads, motor carriers, federal customs and labor to ensure cargo movements. Rail operations are continuing around the clock, and the Portsmouth Marine Terminal might be used as an outlet for roll-on, roll-off-cargo or to store containers if necessary, VPA officials said.

"Any diverted cargo is temporary and it is important that New York/New Jersey get back on its feet as soon as it can because of its critical role in U.S. East Coast trade," said Oliver.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

More News from 11/5/2012