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Automobiles are offloaded from a ship at Portsmouth Marine Terminal, which has been called into temporary service to handle vehicles diverted from The Port of New York/New Jersey due to Superstorm Sandy. (Photo courtesy of Virginia Port Authority)

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PMT handles cargo of cars

Published 9:17pm Monday, November 26, 2012

Portsmouth Marine Terminal, just across the Suffolk line on Route 164, has been called into temporary service to handle deliveries of extra automobiles to the Port of Virginia.

PMT handled more than 1,000 Nissan and Infiniti autos on Nov. 18 and 19 and was expected to take delivery of an additional 1,700 cars by the end of November, a Virginia Port Authority press release stated.

The largely vacant Portsmouth terminal has been utilized because Newport News Marine Terminal, where the Virginia port ordinarily offloads automobiles, was at capacity with more than 5,500 cars on site, according to the release.

Port of New York/New Jersey-bound vehicles were diverted to Newport News due to Hurricane Sandy, which resulted in more than 3,500 vehicles diverted to Virginia.

“We are scheduled to get an additional 1,700 cars by the end of November, so we are going to need PMT for a month or so until the cars are cleared,” Rodney Oliver, the authority’s interim executive director, stated in the release.

“These cars are for dealers in the Mid Atlantic, and we expect delivery of these vehicles to begin during the first two weeks of December.

“They will move out by truck, so it is going to take some time. Having PMT at our disposal makes this situation much easier to handle.”

Meanwhile, the authority says that nearly all the extra containers that were diverted from New York/New Jersey to Virginia because of Sandy have been cleared.

The port handled more than 6,000 diverted containers, the release stated, almost all of which were transported into the Northeast market via rail and barge.

Oliver had expected that most of the extra cargo would be moved out for Black Friday and the start of the holiday retail season.

Ocean carriers that had previously called PMT began stopping at APM Terminals Virginia, instead, in early 2011.

The authority has since been marketing PMT as a multiple-user facility; neither of the two tenants currently signed on have begun operations.

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