From the Virginian-Pilot, great news as yet another of the post-Panamax container vessels has sailed into the Port of Virginia:
The ship is part of an 11-vessel service connecting Asia and U.S. East Coast ports through the Panama Canal, though the ships return to Hong Kong by going around the Cape of Good Hope in South Africa.
The John Adams is docked at Virginia International Gateway in Portsmouth, where nearly 2,800 containers are expected to be moved on or off the ship, said Joe Harris, a port spokesman.
It’s scheduled to leave at about noon today for Savannah, Ga.
Both ships are 1,200 feet long, about 158 feet wide and able to carry about 14,400 containers, measured in standard 20-foot units or TEUs – like the half-size containers often spotted on the back of trucks .
So why does this matter? Because the Port of Virginia is literally an international port of call, contributing nearly 1/10th of the Virginia budget.
Other ports across the Eastern seaboard are frantically trying to catch up to Virginia, but with terrific infrastructure costs. Meanwhile, Virginia’s international port struggles with two problems: transportation infrastructure and energy infrastructure.
The latter will be ameliorated by the proposed Atlantic Coast Pipeline, which will ease the pressure on a Hampton Roads electrical grid that is already at 98% capacity in some places. The former — transportation — is a problem that even Governor Bob McDonnell could not resolve with the proposed (and not scrapped) Rt. 460 expansion.
Unfortunately, it will not be a problem a one-term governor can immediately resolve — the election in 2017 will guide the path for the next governor to take action; groundwork that must be laid out up front and with a comprehensive plan for action rather than doing it ad hoc.