Port will provide matching funds to buy new top-loader for RMT

NORFOLK, VA – The Port of Virginia will be receiving a $456,000 grant from the federal government’s Marine Highway Program to enhance cargo operations at Richmond Marine Terminal (RMT) and support growing cargo volumes on the port’s regular barge service to that terminal.

Earlier this week the U.S. Department of Transportation announced $4.8 million in grants to six Marine Highway projects. The funding, provided by the Maritime Administration (MARAD), supports the expanded use of navigable inland waterways to relieve landside congestion, provide new transportation options and generate other public benefits by increasing the efficiency of the surface transportation system. The program works with public and private stakeholders to achieve these goals.

The federal grant, along with $114,000 in matching funds from the port, will be used to purchase a top-loader, which is a piece of cargo conveyance equipment that moves containers on-and-off of the chassis used by motor carriers.

“This grant allows us to continue to invest in RMT and grow business on the Richmond Express barge service,” said John F. Reinhart, CEO and executive director of the Virginia Port Authority. “Every piece of equipment we add to RMT helps to build efficiency in the cargo handling operation and speeds the flow of commerce. This top-loader will help us load trucks faster, meaning trucks get on the road quicker resulting in the rapid delivery 600 World Trade Center I Norfolk, VA 23510 I ph (757) 683 8000 I toll-free (800) 446-8098 I portofvirginia.com

of goods. We are grateful to MARAD and to Virginia’s Congressional delegation for supporting this application and The Port of Virginia.”

Marine Highways provide new modal choices to cargo shippers, which reduces transportation costs while providing the public benefits of reduced road maintenance costs and improved safety, said U.S. Secretary of Transportation Elaine L. Chao. Use of these waterways supports jobs at U.S. ports and shipyards, and marine highway services also benefit national security by providing an alternate mode of transportation and adding to our strategic sealift resources.

“Strengthening the country’s waterways and domestic seaports stimulates economic growth, reduces congestion and increases the efficiency of our national freight transportation system,” Chao said.

The Richmond Express is a thrice-weekly barge service that links the port’s primary container terminals in the Norfolk Harbor with RMT. In fiscal year 2018 (that ended June 30), 27,626 containers were moved using the Richmond Express, an increase of nearly 23 percent when compared with fiscal year 2017.

“These marine highway grants will help expand freight movement on the water and modernize our inland ports and waterways,” said U.S. Maritime Administrator Mark Buzby.