VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. – Thursday’s State of the Port address centered around one central theme - growth.
$242 billion – that’s how much the Port of Virginia generates for Hampton Roads every day.
Many successes were discussed at the Port’s annual luncheon, like median incomes rising over 11%, overall jobs increasing by 10% and an increase in overall shipping.
All this happened despite the challenges of 2021.
“’Unprecedented,’ really, can’t be overused when talking about this past year. They [employees] turned up every single day throughout pandemic. They’ve never once said, ‘Health and safety is an issue… we can’t work together.' So, thank you to our longshore men and women. You showed up every day; you continue to show up every day, and you’re a part of the reason we performed so well in 2021," Port of Virginia CEO Stephen Edwards said.
Another hot topic at the State of the Port was supply chain issues. The Port of Virginia is investing $1.3 billion to combat this.
An update was also given on the development of the Hampton Roads Chassis Pool, which will help move freight. A substantial portion of it is being built here in Virginia.
Another project includes deepening and widening the Thimble Shoal Channel.
Due to current restrictions, cargo is being left behind, but expanding the channel will allow for two-way transit of bigger ships with higher capacities.
This also means more jobs and more goods coming through.
And, of course, offshore wind was also discussed. The Port says they are still on track to be completely carbon-free by 2040.