APM Terminals Virginia officially opened its new $450m, 291-acre container terminal (on 576 acres of land) to serve customers in the Hampton Roads region. This maritime center, the third-largest container terminal in the United States
, is capable of handling 1 million twenty- foot-equivalent units (TEU) annually and has the potential to expand to handle a capacity of more than 2 million TEU. The terminal will serve as an economic engine for new business in the region.
New technology at the terminal is designed to keep workers and drivers safe, while expediting cargo movement through use of the newest, most advanced handling equipment. The highly efficient, “green design” of the facility incorporates energy-saving
and emissions-conscious technology into
the equipment and the terminal.
The yard area features weight-sensitive booths and remotely controlled cranes – the first of their kind in the United States. To ensure safety, drivers must exit their cabs and stand inside a booth before yard cranes can load their chassis. Remote control of cranes from an operations control center in the facility’s main building minimizes exposure to potential safety hazards.
As part of an overall focus on security, a new identity-credentialing system limits access to high-risk or sensitive areas, allowing entry only to certified workers.
Efficient cargo movement
Twelve inbound and 12 outbound high-efficiency gates minimize idling time, which reduces truck emissions and speeds cargo movement. Optical scanners and radio frequency identification (RFID) readers prompt more efficient truck entry and exit, directing trucks to the proper loading area, or if needed, a separate area dedicated to resolving problems. In addition, overhead electronic screens and a new on-line reservation system will optimize the flow of both trucks (turn time) and cargo movement on the terminal.
Emissions reduction and spill prevention
The terminal’s all-electric crane inventory includes six super post-Panamax ship-to-shore cranes, 30 semi-automated rail-mounted gantry yard cranes (RMGs), and two rubber tire gantry cranes (RTGs) with electric spreader bars. Twenty shuttle trucks transport cargo from the dock to the stack area. Fewer diesel engines and use of on-road engines in 62 off-road terminal vehicles contribute to significantly reduced levels of particulate matter and nitrous oxide emissions. In addition, electric spreader bars eliminate hydraulic spills.
On-dock rail will eliminate significant amounts of local truck traffic on local highways and in adjacent neighborhoods. Two RTGs will move containers from the rail cars on six tracks of on-dock rail.
On the terminal, APM Terminals Virginia set aside over 150 acres of undeveloped forest and wetlands and, in the process actually recreated 27 acres of wetlands by planting nearly 200,000 wetland type plants. The plants included cordgrass, saltgrass, needle rush, marsh elder and wax myrtle and were planted in four wetland areas around the site. Egrets and blue heron can be seen in these areas today. In the region, APMT donated $5.3 million dollars to the Elizabeth River Trust to remediate portions of the Elizabeth River and to reseed oyster beds. The terminal also purchased 13.76-acres of wetlands credits from the Great Dismal Swamp Restoration Bank, LLC.
In addition to container shipping, this facility will handle breakbulk cargo, with a specific set aside area dedicated for these operations.