VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. — Business is booming at the Port of Virginia and that economic growth is flowing into Hampton Roads.
On Thursday, the Port’s CEO and Executive Director Stephen Edwards delivered his State of the Port Address.
“For all the bad stuff about the pandemic, the Port of Virginia thrived during that period,” Edwards said.
He said the Port of Virginia came out on top when it came to supply chain issues in 2021, and credited their modern, technologically-advanced ports.
“We were able to utilize our resources and grow very, very well,” Edwards said.
During his address, Edwards said the Port’s volumes grew by 25% last year. He said the Port’s operating revenue increased by 39% from more than $500 million in 2020 to more than $700 million in 2021.
“So, we not only have more ships, but we have more national third-party logistic companies, we have more of the cargo owners who are looking to use our port as a whole,” Edwards said. “And we have more real estate developers looking to develop in Virginia. That is a good for us as a whole because it is an inward investment to the Commonwealth”
Using that good fortune, Edwards said his team is investing $1.3 billion into new projects. He said $200 million is going toward creating an offshore wind hub at the Portsmouth Marine Terminal.
“This construction starts in July of this year,” Edwards said.
Congresswoman Elaine Luria (D, VA-02) said she is excited to see offshore wind progress across the region.
“I feel like we have unlimited potential here in Hampton Roads to support the offshore wind industry,” Congresswoman Luria said.
Edwards said another $350 million is going toward dredging to make the Port of Virginia the deepest port on the East Coast. He said this will bring in bigger ships and more cargo.
“There is a lot of good news to come and those investments themselves will create construction and other opportunities for us as a whole,” Edwards said. “And then we leverage that into a bigger and better supply chain.”
Edwards said leaders will also invest $650 million into modernizing and advancing technology in their North Norfolk International Terminal to keep their success moving forward.