NORFOLK-- The long-time leader of Virginia International Terminals, Joseph Dorto, announced he would be retiring Tuesday.

A VIT release said that Dorto would remain at his post through March.

Dorto joined the Virginia Port Authority in 1979 as the director of trade development shortly after all of the municipally-owned general cargo terminals in the Hampton Roads Harbor were unified under the Virginia Port Authority name.

Nine years later Dorto moved over to the VPA's private terminal operating company, VIT, where he eventually became its chief executive officer.

Dorto, throughout his career in Virginia, has had the responsibility of negotiating contracts with global steamship lines that call at The Port of Virginia. It was Dorto who was instrumental in getting 95 percent of the steamship lines calling the port signed to long-term, 10-year contracts.

Dorto also played a critical role in negotiating the VPA's 20-year lease with APM Terminals to operate that company's facility in Portsmouth and establishing a second 'port unification' with all of the container terminals under the control of the VPA.

Dorto's last day will be March 31.

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