Sink or Swim
Fifth District coastal ports must continue to expand to remain competitive
By Charles Gerena
In addition to the four main coastal ports in the Fifth District, there are several major inland facilities in the region. The biggest one, centered in Huntington, W.Va., stands on its own as the largest inland port in the United States, while the others help extend the capability and capacity of coastal ports:
- Port of Huntington/Tri-State: Its borders were broadened in 2000 to encompass more than 100 terminals along three rivers bordering West Virginia, Ohio, and Kentucky. The port handled 81 million short tons of cargo in 2002, all of it for domestic customers. This ranked it seventh among the nation’s ports in total trade and second in domestic trade, behind only South Louisiana.
- Virginia Inland Port: Opened in 1989, this intermodal facility in Front Royal transfers containers between trucks and railcars bound for the Norfolk terminal of the Port of Virginia, which is more than 200 miles away.
- Charlotte Inland Terminal and Piedmont Triad Inland Terminal: Intermodal facilities where truckers can pick up or deliver empty and loaded containers. Both terminals have rail service to the Port of Wilmington.