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Moving Cargo is what we do here in the mid-Atlantic – By Sea, Rail, Highway & Now Outer Space!


Our Port is the Deepest and more! Over 95% of the world’s shipping lines call on the Port of Hampton Roads, linking Virginia to almost 400 ports in more than 100 countries worldwide. Hampton Roads is home to the 3rd largest port on the East Coast and the only port positioned for continuous expansion.

  • 50 ft. channels – the deepest on the U.S. East Coast
  • No obstructions between port and sea
  • The Port of Virginia is the only port on the U.S. East Coast that can handle the world’s largest container ship today!
  • Gold Seal of Approval - Maersk, the world’s largest shipline, privately funded the $500 million construction of a new 300-acre terminal in Portsmouth, VA.
  • The Heartland Corridor – This engineering wonder of the decade began service in the Summer of 2010. Efficient intermodal rail service between the Port of Virginia and the inland points in the Midwest such as Columbus, Ohio and Chicago.
  • First port on the US East Coast certified by ISO 14001
  • The Port of Virginia is home to the largest and fastest container cranes in the World.
  • Container traffic continues to trend upwards, handling 1,454,748 units in 2014, a 5.9% increase from 2014. Additional Port statistics are available in their 2015 Trade Overview.

Future Benefits of Forthcoming Panama Canal Expansion

  • Currently, Panamax vessels (up to 4,500 TEUs) are the largest vessels that can transit the Panama Canal.
  • The Panama Canal Expansion Project is nearing completion, with over 90% completed as of June 2015. When open it will allow larger vessels (up to 13,000 TEUs) to transit.
  • The Port of Virginia is the only Port on the U.S. East Coast that can handle the new Post-Panamax vessels.
Top Trading Partners
Top Commodities
Import Export
1. China 1. Italy
2. Brazil 2. Netherlands
3. Germany 3. Brazil
4. India 4. United Kingdom
5. Italy 5. China
6. Turkey 6. Turkey
7. Canada 7. South Korea
8. France 8. Morocco
9. Spain 9. Japan
10. Netherlands 10. France
Source: Port of Virginia
Import Export
1. Machinery 1. Mineral Fuel, Oil, Etc.
2. Salt; Sulfer; Earth; Stone 2. Wood
3. Furniture and Bedding 3. Misc. Grain, Seed, Fruit
4. Misc Grain, Seed, Fruit 4. Woodpulp, Etc.
5. Beverages 5. Cereals
6. Plastic 6. Food Waste; Animal Feed
7. Vehicles, Not Railway 7. Plastic
8. Mineral Fuel, Oil Etc. 8. Mineral Fuel, OIl Etc.
9. Fertilizers 9. Fertilizers
10. Wood 10. Wood
Port of Virginia

Regional Shipbuilders & Technology The Virginia Advanced Shipbuilding and Carrier Integration Center works with related industries and educational facilities to create technologies for aircraft carrier and advanced shipbuilding. In addition, many technologies are born here such as Bioelectrics which utilizes laser engineering in its study of aquatic microorganisms in ballast water. Our Shipbuilders include:


Intermodal Connections Containers moving over The Port of Virginia in 2014 were transported to/from other markets using:

  • Barge 4%
  • Rail 33%
  • Truck 63% - over 150 local and national motor freight carriers


Virginia’s Department of Rail and Public Transportation (DRPT) Rail Division supports both passenger and freight rail in Virginia through funding and advocacy for rail improvements, industrial access and preservation projects. In 2005, the first source of dedicated funding for freight and passenger rail improvements in Virginia history was established through the Rail Enhancement Fund. This Fund is complementary to DRPT’s other rail funds: Rail Industrial Access and Rail Preservation. The Rail Division has four areas of activity: Passenger Rail Operations, Freight Rail Operations, Planning and Special Projects.

Warehousing Trucks make more than 4,000 trips in and out of the Port’s three terminals every day. Norfolk has over 450 warehouse buildings totaling more than 17.5 million square feet and approximately 750 industrial buildings delivering over 23.7 million square feet of space. All of our warehouse and industrial spaces are in close proximity to the port. The region hosts one of the country’s largest geographic foreign trade zones (FTZs) with 15 sites and 3 subzones.


Norfolk International Airport served 3 million passengers in 2014. Over 100 daily flights go through Norfolk International Airport (ORF) and Newport News/Williamsburg International Airport (PHF).


Approximately 56 million pounds of air cargo are presently shipped in and out of Norfolk International Airport annually. Two ultramodern Air Cargo Terminals provide users with a total of 88,000 square feet of space. Cargo carriers include Federal Express, United Parcel Service, and Mountain Air Cargo.  


MARS: Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport

The Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport, in partnership with NASA, offers a "one stop shopping" place for low cost, safe, reliable, user friendly space launch facilities and services for commercial, government and scientific/academic users, both foreign and domestic. MARS' mission is to develop and operate a multi user spaceport at the NASA Wallops Flight Facility which provides low cost, safe, reliable, "schedule friendly" space access to commercial, government, and academic users. In partnership with:

  • Virginia Commercial Space Flight Authority
  • NASA
  • Virginia Economic Development Partnership
  • Old Dominion University
  • Virginia's Center for Innovative Technology
  • Maryland Department of Business and Economic Development Partnership

Norfolk Department of Economic Development Mission

Generate wealth for the City of Norfolk through business expansion, enhancement, and new business development complementary to our neighborhoods.

Contact Info

(757) 664-4338
500 East Main Street
Suite 1500
Norfolk, VA 23510

Staff Details

Chuck Rigney
Director of Economic Development

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