Hapag-Lloyd includes Virginia in rail Med – US West Coast service
Hapag-Lloyd has reworked its Mediterranean Gulf Coast Express (MGX), including the port of Virginia, as the only US East Coast stop, in a service that will move cargo overland by rail to California via Virginia.
The service began operating in mid-April with the arrival of the 4,253 TEU container ship Synergy Antwerp at Norfolk International Terminals. Nearly 1,000 of the vessel’s containers were moved via Norfolk Southern to Chicago where they were switched to another rail carrier that moved them to the ports of Los Angeles and Oakland.
The weekly service employs eight Panamax vessels and the port call rotation is Livorno – Genoa – Barcelona – Valencia – Veracruz – Altamira – Houston – Virginia – Livorno.
“This is an innovative decision by one of our long-time customers to take advantage of our efficiency and our rail reach into the Midwest,” said Stephen A. Edwards, CEO and executive director of the Virginia Port Authority, who believes this is an important opportunity to introduce West Coast-based cargo owners and logistics companies to the port of Virginia.
“What many companies on the West Coast may not realize is that we are investing US$1.3 billion between now and 2025 to create more rail capacity, modernise and renovate two of our berths and convert them to an RMG operation (rail-mounted gantry), dredge our channels to 55 feet (16.7 metres) deep and widen them for two-way traffic of ultra-large container vessels,” added Edwards
In 2021, the port processed nearly 2 million containers and moved more than 640,000 of those units by rail.