Last week the Port of Virginia put into service a portable, 40-plug central power unit that can be mounted on the Richmond Express barge and a specialized, heavy-lift forklift that will be used in the cargo operation at RMT (Richmond Marine Termimal). These pieces of equipment were purchased using $446,747 in grant money from the federal government’s Marine Highway Projects grant program. The power unit costs $222,700 and the forklift is $373,234. The port is contributing $119,186 in matching funds.
The port expected the increase in refrigeration capacity to be a crucial part of their strategic growth over the coming year as it becomes a more consistent port for refrigerated cargo now that the port is participating in the US Department of Agriculture’s Southeast In-Transit Cold Treatment Pilot Program. As the newest member of that program, they will be working to import fresh fruit from South America. The expectation is that the heavy-lift forklift will increase the movable weight of containers, allowing them to load and unload containers at their max weight.
“Both of these investments will create more opportunities to diversify and grow our cargo mix, drive business on the barge and across RMT. We are grateful for the federal government’s recognition of the effectiveness of the barge service and the growing importance of RMT in America’s Marine Highway Program,” said John F. Reinhart, CEO of the VPA. RMT has seen 25% growth in 2017 and is expected to continue that trend as more food and beverage shippers begin to make the Port of Virginia their home.
Nelson International is ready to talk with you about ways you can increase efficiency and find greater value for your refrigerated and heavy-load cargo by moving through the Port of Virginia. Contact your representative about these new changes and what they mean for your freight, today.