The Port of Virginia said part of its Portsmouth Marine Terminal, which was closed in 2011, will return to service as a staging area for automobiles that will be exported to China.
A Norfolk Southern train carrying 700 Chrysler SUVs manufactured near Toledo, Ohio, arrived at the railroad’s Carolina Yard in Portsmouth on March 30. The vehicles were transported from the railyard by car carrier or vehicle convoy.
The Port of Virginia collaborated with Pasha Automotive, Norfolk Southern, Chrysler Group LLC and Siem Car Carriers on a six-month memorandum of understanding between Pasha and Virginia International Terminals, the port authority’s operating company.
If all goes well, this could be the basis for a longer term agreement, said John F. Reinhart, the Virginia Port Authority’s CEO and executive director.
“The immediate opportunity for PMT and the port is significant,” Reinhart said. “This is a good first step of providing a ‘proof of concept’ to bring business back to PMT. There is a lot of opportunity at PMT for the right users and this is one.”
Portsmouth Marine Terminal previously handled containers and other cargoes but was closed when the port consolidated container operations at Norfolk International Terminal and the semi-automated Portsmouth terminal developed by APM Terminals and now operated by Virginia International Terminals.