|2010: Comprehensive Economic Development Strategy: Vision Hampton Roads - Port & Maritime|
The â€śOperations-Tactical Componentâ€ť of the Plan of Action will address the implementation of specific actions that will have the greatest short term impact on maintaining and growing the three (3) pillars of our regional economy and nurturing those regional assets that have the most realistic chance of diversifying our economy: Port & Maritime.
The naturally safe harbors in Hampton Roads have been bringing commerce and trade to the Hampton Roads region for centuries. Deepwater access that can accommodate todayâ€™s â€¦ and tomorrowâ€™s â€¦ supertankers, a strategic Mid-Atlantic location and a streamlined infrastructure network have helped to make Hampton Roads home to one of the premier ports on the East Coast, known internationally as the Port of Virginia, with over 3,000 foreign and domestic vessels calling annually. Significant investments by both the Port of Virginia (includes all Port facilities in Virginia) and by APM Terminals (A.P. Moller-Maersk Group) have positioned Hampton Roads well to capitalize on and accommodate increased port traffic well into the future.
WHERE WE ARE.
The Port of Virginia is a tremendous economic engine for Hampton Roads and the entire Commonwealth. A 2007 analysis conducted by the College of William and Maryâ€™s Mason School of Business estimates that the Port of Virginia contributes 343,000 jobs, $13.5 billion in employee wages, $1.2 billion in taxes and $41.1 billion in business to the Commonwealth annually.
Those numbers and the overall economic impact of the Port of Virginia should increase significantly in the coming decades, if the Commonwealth of Virginia can make the necessary investments to support that growth. Prior to the current recession industry experts estimated that U.S. cargo would double in volume by 2020. The Panama Canal Commission has undertaken a $5 billion project to widen and improve the Panama Canal to be completed in 2014.
The 2040 Virginia Port Authority Master Plan driven by the proposed Craney Island Marine Terminal (CIMT) and supported by improvements at Norfolk International Terminals (NIT) and Portsmouth Marine Terminals (PMT) coupled with development at the APM Terminal in Portsmouth and the new intermodal rail service provided by the Norfolk Southern Heartland Corridor project and the CSX National Gateway project position Virginia to be the dominant port on the East Coast.
Unfortunately, there are very significant constraints facing the Commonwealth and the Port of Virginia. There is simply inadequate capital funding for Port expansion and a slowing economy will reduce public funding for port-related infrastructure. The reality is that infrastructure capacity increases tend to take years to realize. The process to create the 600 acres of land for the CIMT will take ten years alone. This does not include the construction of any terminal facilities which will take another three to five years. The CIMT estimated development cost is $2.4 billion.
Road connections to the port are already strained. Virginia must make surface investments at the same time to fully leverage all of the advantages which this port provides, not the least of which are excellent ship repair and ship building facilities and world class cargo terminals. With declining gas tax and motor vehicle sales receipts - primary sources of funding at the federal and state level - the outlook for the needed road and rail improvements is pessimistic.
Port & Maritime Objectives-Strategies-Actions
OBJECTIVE: Hampton Roads will be the Premier East Coast Sea Port. (#2 Ranked Objective)
Strategy 1: Maintain the Port as an economic engine for the Hampton Roads region, the Commonwealth of Virginia and the Nation. (#3 Ranked Strategy)
Action 1: Ensure government at all levels is provided reliable and validated data sets as to the economic contribution of the port.
Strategy 2: Grow and enhance the Port of Hampton Roads and become the East Coast port of call for all major ship lines.
Action 1: Prepare to take the next evolutionary step toward becoming a mega port of the future serving as the East Coast port of call for every major ship line by maximizing the competitive advantages of our Port assets resulting in a Port Hub model, including technological advances.
Action 2: Leverage existing and develop new inland connections to capture a larger share of discretionary cargo moving into inland markets.
Action 3: Maintain focus on container cargo and continue to enhance the diversification of the Port (retrograde cargo, break bulk, rolling cargo and energy support services).
Strategy 3: Gain public support and appreciation of the economic value of the Port to the Hampton Roads region, the Commonwealth of Virginia and the Nation.
Action 1: Maximize growth with appropriate local and regional policies and vision that includes acting with environmental responsibility.
Strategy 4: Grow and enhance indirect and induced effects of Port activities including ship building, ship repair and all related businesses.
Action 1: Maintain and grow the Navy presence in the region which sustains ship repair capabilities that support maritime industries including emergency repair for cargo and cruise ships in order to grow and enhance indirect and induced effects of Port activities including shipbuilding, ship repair and all related businesses.
Action 2: Advance the development of logistics parks within mixed use environments, i.e., a business park with combination of land uses centered around port related activities with strategic multi modal transportation access.
Action 3: Determine the needs of ancillary businesses such as maritime insurance, maritime legal services and shipping line offices in order to expand their presence in Hampton Roads.
Action 4: Address the needs of emerging businesses, such as mega yacht repair and maritime construction.
Strategy 5: Establish the Port as the manufacturing and supply chain hub of the East Coast offshore energy industry.
Action 1: Site and develop a large break bulk terminal dedicated to offshore energy shipping, assembly and distribution, including heavy lift capability, inland rail connectivity and deep water staging.
Action 2: Promote governmental policy and economic development support for offshore energy supply chain development at the local, state and federal level.
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