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Shipping-Port Authority

The Virginia Port Authority

The Virginia Port Authority is an agency of the Commonwealth of Virginia, reporting to the Secretary of Transportation. It is the state's leading agency for international transportation and maritime commerce, charged with operating and marketing the marine terminal facilities through which the shipping trade takes place.

The agency owns four general cargo terminals-Norfolk International Terminals, Portsmouth Marine Terminal, Newport News Marine Terminal, and the Virginia Inland Port in Front Royal-which are operated by its affiliate, Virginia International Terminals, Inc.

Virginia's strategic mid-Atlantic location and unparalleled transportation infrastructure offer steamship lines and shippers unbeatable access to two-thirds of the U.S. population with more than 75 international shipping lines and one of the most frequent direct sailing schedules of any port.

Virginia has the best natural deepwater harbor on the U.S. East Coast. Fifty-foot-deep, unobstructed channels provide easy access and maneuvering room for the largest of today's container ships. Virginia ports are located just 18 miles from the open sea on a year-round, ice-free harbor.

Virginia ports have long maintained a reputation for efficient and uncongested intermodal service. The bottom line is in the numbers: The Port of Virginia transports more intermodal containers to more cities faster and more efficiently than any other port in the United States. As the largest intermodal facility on the U.S. East Coast, Virginia offers six direct-service trains to 28 major cities each day.

Additionally, more than 50 motor-carrier companies offer full freight-handling and load-consolidation services. A modern network of interstate and local highways permits fast, direct inland motor-freight transportation to any point in the United States.

The Virginia Port Authority Web site is an invaluable source of information for everything pertaining to maritime commerce.