The Port of Virginia has expanded its overall capacity to handle more refrigerated cargo by 66% with a combined investment of $700 million for expansion at its two primary container terminals, Virginia International Gateway (VIG) and Norfolk International Terminals (NIT). The investment includes more room for refrigerated cargo at each terminal, with nearly 900 reefer spaces and the necessary federal approval and capacity.
Once construction is complete, the terminals will offer more than 2,300 total reefer spots, a 99% capacity increase.
Bolstering this capacity increase is the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s recent approval of an in-bound cold treatment program for fresh fruit imports from South America. Previously, such shipments moved across ports in the Northeast and were then trucked to southern destinations. As the U.S. East Coast’s leading vegetable exporter, The Port of Virginia’s successful completion of the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Southeast In-transit Cold Treatment Pilot program positions us to achieve the same success with imported fruit.
In anticipation of more business, companies are establishing cold-storage warehouses near the port, which reduces transportation costs, lengthens shelf-life of perishables and allows goods to get to market faster.