September 15 - The Port of Virginia's Portsmouth Marine Terminal (PMT), which has been closed for nearly three years, has reopened to cargo operations.

The terminal will begin receiving trucks carrying containers for export, while the first vessel call is scheduled for early October. From that point forward the 30-acre operation will process between 75,000 and 100,000 containers annually, says the Virginia Port Authority (VPA).

"Sustained growth in our container business necessitates PMT's return to service and is a sign of health for the Port of Virginia," said John F. Reinhart, ceo and executive director of the VPA. "Reopening the berth at PMT to container operations is the first phase of a larger plan to establish the terminal as a multi-use facility and improve service to our customers."

In late 2010, following the successful negotiation of a 20-year operating lease for Virginia International Gateway (VIG), the VPA made a strategic decision to shut PMT.

Reinhart says that reconstituting a portion of PMT will provide some relief at VIG, as well as Norfolk International Terminals (NIT), since both Virginia terminals are currently pushing their capacity limits.

"PMT is a deep-water facility that will serve an important role for our purposes, but over the long-term as a facility that handles many different types of cargo: bulk, breakbulk and ro-ro," he added.