Feature, Freight News, Sea

Container Stack-Yard Work at VIG Ends

[ February 22, 2019   //   ]

During the week of February 18, container stack No. 1 began operating at Virginia International Gateway (VIG) and in doing so signaled the end of a critical construction phase at that terminal. The end of the stack-yard work leaves only two projects to be completed before the entire $320 million effort comes to a close in June.
“This new capacity is quickly being integrated into the operation and The Port of Virginia® is beginning to see positive results,” said John F. Reinhart, CEO and executive director of the Virginia Port Authority. “Our turntimes for motor carriers are improving, there is better flow at our gates and our service levels are trending in the right direction. We are on-budget, on-time and with the end clearly in sight, we are already seeing the benefits.”
With the completion of stack No. 1, the terminal now has 13 additional container stacks, each served by two new rail-mounted gantry cranes (RMGs). The new stacks compliment 15 existing stacks, also served by RMGs. Those stacks are on a schedule to be refurbished throughout the year with two stacks complete and three underway. The expansion has doubled the terminal’s annual container throughput capacity: VIG can now process 1.2 million container lifts a year.
The expanded stack-yard is being combined with four new ship-to-shore cranes, 800 additional feet of berth space, four new lanes at the truck gate, a new terminal operating system and a new, a completely reconfigured on-dock rail yard with nearly 20,000 feet of track served by four new cantilever rail-mounted gantry cranes.
“The project team and the operations team have executed and must be commended for their work and collaboration,” Reinhart said. “We had construction and container operations working in parallel. The teams were faced with a lot of challenges, but they overcame and kept focus. In February 2017, we started work on what was a green-field site — we started from scratch – and now we are just a few months from completion.”
The ship-to-shore cranes – currently the largest in the Western Hemisphere — will be ready for service in March and the rail yard is scheduled for completion in late May.
The VIG expansion is one of two large-scale capacity expansion projects that, when complete, will increase the port’s overall annual container capacity by 40 percent, or 1 million container units, by 2020.
In early 2018, the port began the expansion of the south stack container yard at Norfolk International Terminals (NIT). The $375 million project will allow the port to create greater density for cargo at South NIT and expand annual capacity there by 400,000 containers.
At South NIT, the container stack yard will be completely reconfigured and equipped with 60 new rail-mounted gantry cranes. The project will be complete by 2020 with the first group of 12 new container stacks – phase I – ready for delivery in mid-February. Work began on phase II (six stacks) in December 2018 and phase III (12 stacks) begins in May.
The ongoing investment in The Port of Virginia puts it in the best position to become the US East Coast’s premiere port: a true gateway to world trade and a catalyst for commerce in Virginia,” Reinhart said.

Virginia International Gateway (VIG). (Virginia Port Authority photo.)