Norfolk International Terminal recommendations


The NIT-North expansion is the focal point of the 2010 Plan recommendations. The NIT facility is the largest of VPA's sites, with approximately 480 acres in use, 250 acres ready for expansion and 81 acres reconfigurable for expansion.

The terminal has 2 million square feet of on-site warehousing, which holds mostly cocoa beans, and 1 million square feet of supplemental off-site warehousing. A marginal wharf of 4,230 feet provides berthing for container vessels and six finger pier berths accommodate breakbulk and layberth vessels at NIT. (Layberth vessels refers to vessels that, for example, may have mechanical problems or are waiting for specialty cargo that are moved to separate berths.)

NIT has access to a major interstate, Interstate 64 is in close proximity to the facility. On-site rail service is provided by Norfolk Southern. Most rail switching is performed by VIT using its own equipment.

The 2010 Plan findings call for the following actions:

  1. Add two marginal wharves totaling 3,000 feet as part of the NIT-North expansion.
  2. Development of 120 acres of container storage on NIT-North.
  3. Relocation of all non-cargo storage and handling functions off-dock.
  4. Development of a north-south oriented, state-of-the-art intermodal facility.
  5. Acquisition of additional off-site warehousing to accommodate breakbulk commodities.

NIT's current expansion capability will allow for such development, as required, to meet forecasted demands on the facility. The NIT portion of the 2010 Plan development recommendations total $252.3 million.

The study also identified items to facilitate the NIT expansion including:


A vehicle overpass or underpass on Hampton Boulevard to handle additional rail traffic and ease gate truck traffic to NIT's intermodal container transfer area. In addition, a second gate may be built for the NIT-North expansion area.

A "live gate" that allows direct access to the container storage yard, eliminating repositioning of containers drayed onto the terminal. Currently, off-site draymen drop off containers and VIT operators transfer containers to and from the staging area. The addition of off-site storage so that cargo typically stored for longer periods can be moved to free up covered storage space and increase the facility's flexibility.