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Rail News: Intermodal

Virginia port reopens Portsmouth terminal


The Port of Virginia marked a milestone yesterday when it reopened the Portsmouth Marine Terminal (PMT), which had been closed for nearly three years.

At 8 a.m. on Monday, the terminal began receiving trucks carrying containers for export. PMT is served by CSX Transportation and Norfolk Southern Railway via Norfolk & Portsmouth Belt Line Railroad Co.

"Sustained growth in our container business necessitates PMT's return to service and is a sign of health for the Port of Virginia," said John Reinhart, chief executive director and executive director of the Virginia Port Authority (VPA), in a press release. "Reopening the berth at PMT to container operations is the first phase of a larger plan to establish the terminal as a multi-use facility and improve service for our customers."

The first vessel is scheduled to call on the port in early October, and from that point on the 30-acre PMT operation is projected to process between 75,000 and 100,000 containers annually, VPA officials said. The terminal is owned by the authority and will be operated by Virginia International Terminals L.L.C.

The 287-acre PMT opened in 1967 and since has played a vital role in the port's success, serving thousands of ships and processing millions of containers and significant general cargo volumes, VPA officials said. In late 2010, following the successful negotiation of a 20-year operating lease for the Virginia International Gateway, the authority decided to shutter PMT.

But this past spring, the port reached a short-term cooperative agreement with Pasha Automotive Services that brought business back to PMT, VPA officials said. Pasha provides automotive transportation services throughout North America. During a two month trial period, Pasha staged and processed more than 6,000 Chrysler-Jeep vehicles at PMT for export to the Asia-Pacific market, VPA officials said.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

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