Port gets new carriers

Published 9:57 pm Thursday, October 31, 2019

The Port of Virginia is purchasing 25 new hybrid shuttle carriers to support the ongoing expansion project at Norfolk International Terminals.

According to an Oct. 16 press release, the new shuttle carriers will play a key role in the conversion of Norfolk International Terminals to a terminal that uses rail-mounted gantry cranes, as opposed to one that relied on straddle carriers.

This conversion allows for the higher container-stack density that will be required for handling the larger container vessels calling Virginia.

Email newsletter signup

“These shuttle carriers are another step in the evolution of Norfolk International Terminals and of the growing capabilities at The Port of Virginia,” John Reinhart, chief executive officer and executive director of the Virginia Port Authority, stated in the press release. “Because they are hybrids, they help us cut fuel consumption, reduce emissions and improve the overall sustainability of our operations.

“We’ve had a long partnership with Kalmar and have always found it to be an innovator of environmentally-responsible solutions that provides a high-level of service.”

The $23 million shuttle carrier order exercises a contract option with Kalmar for additional units that was agreed upon in 2017. The Port of Virginia has been using Kalmar Hybrid Shuttle Carriers since 2015, according to the press release.

Delivery of the new machines is scheduled for completion by the end of July.

“During the past two years, we have worked very closely with Kalmar on the development of this new technology,” Rich Ceci, the port’s senior vice president of technology and projects, stated in the press release. “We are confident in the capability of Kalmar. The team is exceptional, and its commitment to support has been fantastic.”

According to the press release, the capacity expansion project at Norfolk International Terminals is progressing according to schedule.

There are 18 new stacks served by 36 new rail-mounted gantry cranes already in service. Work on the next phase of stack-yard construction is under way, with the next group of cranes scheduled for delivery in January.

When the project is complete, the terminal’s annual container capacity will have been expanded by 400,000 units, or 46 percent.