Cargo rolls again at PMT

Published 7:26 pm Saturday, September 13, 2014

Closed for nearly three years, Portsmouth Marine Terminal will reopen to cargo operations Monday, the Virginia Port Authority has announced.

Trucks carrying containers for export will begin rolling into the terminal at 8 a.m. Monday, according to a news release.

The first vessel call is scheduled for early October, and the 30-acre operation will handle between 75,000 and 100,000 containers annually.

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The “wheeled” operation, with containers on chassis, will not involve stacking containers, except those in the empty yard.

“Sustained growth in our container business necessitates PMT’s return to service and is a sign of health for The Port of Virginia,” stated John F. Reinhart, chief executive officer and executive director of the authority.

“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 to our customers.”

Operated by Virginia International Terminals, the authority-owned terminal will provide some relief at Virginia International Gateway — formerly APM Terminals Virginia and renamed after a change of ownership — and Norfolk International Terminals, both of which are pushing their capacity limits, Reinhart stated.

Portsmouth Marine Terminal opened in 1967. The authority decided to shutter it in late 2010 after negotiating a 20-year operating lease for Virginia International Gateway.

A short-term agreement between the Port of Virginia and Pasha Automotive Services in spring 2014 revived the facility, with 6,000 Chrysler-Jeep vehicles staged and processed there over two months.

Reinhart says similar operations could be part of facility’s future. “We’re always open to evaluating options for maximizing the facility to generate economic benefits for the commonwealth and jobs for our region,” he stated.