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Biggest vessel to call U.S. East Coast comes to Virginia first

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Biggest vessel to call U.S. East Coast comes to Virginia first

September 25, 2017 - 17:49
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14,400-TEU Theodore Roosevelt sets new mark.

Roosevelt on Berth at VIG 2 Source Port of Virginia

The biggest container ship to ever come to the U.S. East Coast, the CMA CGM Theodore Roosevelt, made its first stop at The Port of Virginia and in doing so surpassed a short-lived record for ship-size set earlier this summer.


The Roosevelt’s vessel’s capacity is 14,400 twenty-foot equivalent units, or TEUs. “This is a notable step-up in size. In Virginia, the big-ship era started in May and we continue to see larger and larger vessels,” said John. F. Reinhart, CEO and executive director of the Virginia Port Authority. “The $670 million we are investing to expand Virginia International Gateway (VIG) and Norfolk International Terminals (NIT) will enhance our big-ship readiness and our ability to safely and efficiently handle their increasing cargo loads. Last week, we ordered four new ship-to-shore cranes for VIG and they will be the largest ever delivered to the East Coast. It’s ships like this and those to follow that are driving our expansion.”


Furthermore, the port is now offering access into Western Pennsylvania and Northwest Ohio via CSX’s daily rail service to Pittsburgh.  “This will help to expand an important and growing market for The Port of Virginia,” said Reinhart. “We are the East’s leading rail port: we’re moving 36 percent of our volume by rail and continuing to reduce our dwell times for rail containers. The goal is to continue growing our rail capabilities and offerings and expanding service in that region is critical to the effort.”


Double-stack trains traveling between the Norfolk Harbor and Pittsburgh will move along CSX’s National Gateway route to the rail carrier’s new $60 million Pittsburgh Intermodal Rail Terminal. The terminal is located in McKees Rocks and opened Sept. 7.