Port gets more eco-friendly

Published 10:21 pm Friday, June 16, 2017

The Port of Virginia will reduce its environmental impact in the wake of continuous record-setting months.

Kalmar, part of cargo machinery provider Cargotec Corporation, has reached an agreement with the Port of Virginia for 16 additional hybrid shuttle carriers, according to a June 13 press release. The new units will be delivered to the Virginia International Gateway terminal, which has operated three Kalmar hybrid shuttle carriers since August 2015.

The Kalmar hybrid shuttle carriers consume 40 percent less fuel than comparable diesel-electric machines, according to the press release, and reduce carbon dioxide emissions by approximately 50 tons each year per machine.

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“We are very proud to be able to continue to help VIG increase their container-handling capacity while furthering their commitment to environmental values,” said Tero Kokko, Kalmar senior vice president, automation and projects, in the press release.

Virginia Port Authority spokesman Joe Harris praised the impact of Kalmar’s hybrid carriers.

“We want to be good stewards of the waterways, but we also want to be good neighbors in the communities where our terminals are located,” Harris said. “Part of being a good neighbor is doing our best to reduce our carbon footprint and reduce our impact on the environment, and looking for environmentally sustainable solutions to do so.”

This new agreement comes less than a week after the announcement of yet another record-breaking month for the Port this year.

The Port of Virginia moved 246,871 twenty-foot equivalent units in May, representing growth of 12.5 percent when compared with the same month last year and an all-time record for productivity at the port, according to a June 8 press release.

“This kind of volume, combined with the growth we’ve had throughout the calendar and fiscal year, tells us that the industry is confident in The Port of Virginia’s ability to handle their cargo and do it well,” said Virginia Port Authority Chief Executive Officer and Executive Director John Reinhart in the press release.

According to an April analysis of the port’s new ocean carrier alliances by Blue Water Reporting, the Port is the considered the best on the U.S. East Coast for deployed capacity of Asia-USEC alliance services.

This echoes the port’s message to cargo carriers that they’re ready for more business.

“When they’re looking for ports to move their goods, they want to be able to grow their volumes in parallel with growth of the ports,” Harris said. “They see a future at the Port of Virginia.”