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Distribution and Logistics

 "The Port of Virginia’s modern cargo terminals, deep, unobstructed channels and expanding rail connections to many critical manufacturing and population centers make it a logical destination for cargo moving to and from the US East Coast. Every day, companies take advantage of the port’s multiple first-in and last-out vessel calls enabling them to move their products to customers more efficiently. In addition to its ability to service the largest vessels in the Atlantic trade, The Port of Virginia has the ability to expand its cargo handling capacity at all of its deep-water terminals."
-John Reinhart, The Port of Virginia

Hampton Roads, a region defined by the presence of water, has a thriving maritime industry. Shipyards provide critical repair and maintenance service to military and commercial customers. Many corporate distribution centers are located in the region because of the proximity to the Port of Virginia with its mid-Atlantic location. Companies such as Cost Plus, Dollar Tree, SYSCO Food Services, Target and Walmart are able to depend on our ice-free port which has 50 foot channel depth and allows for unobstructed access year round. Once in port, goods travel efficiently via our major rail companies Norfolk Southern and CSX, or by truck on one of the major highway systems.

Key Companies

  • BAE Systems Norfolk Ship Repair
  • Colonna’s Shipyard, Inc.
  • DAMCO Distribution Services Inc.
  • General Dynamics NASSCO – Earl Industries
  • Huntington Ingalls Industries/ Newport News Shipbuilding
  • Interstate Warehousing a Tippmann Group Company
  • Marine Hydraulics, Inc.
  • Oceaneering International Inc.

Regional Industry Highlights

Port of Virginia

  • Centrally located on the East Coast, Hampton Roads is within a two-day drive time of approximately 70% of the U.S. population and over 307,000 manufacturing establishments
  • 50 foot channels and only US East Coast port authorization for 55-foot channels
  • First-in, last out port of call
  • 2.5 hours to open sea
  • 2.84 million TEUs annual throughput in 2017
  • No labor strikes in over 30 years

Supply Chain Management
Over 40,000 people work in the transportation industry. Below are examples of the supply chain and transportation industry staffing patterns.

Number Employed in Supply Chain and Transportation Industries
Occupation Title Number Employed
Supervisors of Transportation and Material Movers 1,960
Laborers and Material Movers 10,230
Industrial Engineers and Engineering Technicians 1,100
Logisticians 1,860
Heavy and Tractor-Trailer Truck Drivers 6,720
Transportation, Storage, and Distribution Managers 290
Inspectors, Testers, Sorters, Samplers, and Weighers 2,440
Shipping, Receiving and Traffic Clerks 2,750

U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, May 2017

Ship Repair
Hampton Roads has a long and reputable history in shipbuilding. It is home to several world renowned shipyards, including Norfolk Naval Shipyard and Huntington Ingalls - Newport News Shipyard. Both specialize in repairing, overhauling, and modernizing the US Navy’s ships and submarines. Below are examples of the ship repair industry staffing patterns.

Number Employed in the Ship Building Industry
Occupation Title Number Employed
Welding, Soldering, and Brazing Workers 2,300
Assemblers and Fabricators 3,000
Ship Engineers 1,390
Marine Engineers and Naval Architects 970
Crane and tower operators 550
Captains, Mates and Pilots of Water Vessels 1,980
First-Line Supervisors of Transportation and Material-Moving Machine/Vehicle Operators 1,960
Plumbers, Pipefitters, and Steamfitters 5,030

Bureau of Labor Statistics, May 2017

Supporting Associations

  • Virginia Maritime Association (VMA)  The VMA was organized in 1920 to promote, protect and encourage international and domestic commerce through the ports of Virginia. With a membership of over 400 companies employing over 70,000 Virginians, the VMA advocates the continued growth of the port.
  • Virginia Ship Repair Association (VSRA) – VSRA is a regional trade association representing companies engaged in, or supporting, the ship repair industry in Virginia and the Mid-Atlantic region. Its mission is to focus and coordinate member resources on issues, challenges, and opportunities facing the ship repair industry in Virginia and across the nation.
  • Old Dominion University’s (ODU) Maritime Institute– ODU’s Maritime Institute was created through a University/Business community partnership in Hampton Roads. Its mission is to provide world quality maritime, ports and logistics management education, training and research to meet regional, national and international needs. In pursuit of its mission, the Institute engages in building mutually supportive linkages and in supporting the economic growth and international competitiveness of greater Hampton Roads and Virginia.
  • The Apprentice School at Newport News Shipbuilding – Founded in 1919 by Newport News Shipbuilding, The Apprentice School is one of the most highly regarded apprenticeship programs in the nation. Between 170 and 250 shipbuilders graduate each year from four – and five – year apprenticeships in 19 shipbuilding disciplines and 7 advanced programs of study.
  • Tidewater Community College’s Southeast Maritime Transportation (SMART) Center – SMART is the only National Science Foundation Advanced Technology Education Center solely focused on increasing the number of well-qualified, skilled technicians in the maritime and transportation industry.

Additionally, Tidewater Community College has an internship program with the Port of Virginia and also offers for-credit programs in welding, computer-aided drafting and design, marine diesel, industrial technology, maritime logistics, maritime technology, and truck driving.

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