China Shipping signs 10-year deal with VPA
CHINA Shipping Container Lines has signed a contract with the Virginia Port Authority (VPA) guaranteeing the carrier will call at the US port for the next 10 years.
In a statement from the VPA, Joe Dorto, general manager of Virginia International Terminals Inc, said: "Credit Zang Bing, the US president for China Shipping, for his foresight in signing a long-term contract with the fastest growing port on the US east coast."
China Shipping's deal with the VPA has the longest terms of any it has signed with port authorities on the east coast of the US. The majority of the industry's steamship line contracts are between two and three years, with some extended up to five years.
Mr Dorto said: "It is smart business because what this does it enable China Shipping to expand its services in the future without having to worry about capacity in Hampton Roads - they've locked it in."
In short, the contract guarantees China Shipping will send a minimum of 30,000 containers a year through the port starting in 2006. Currently, China Shipping vessels call twice a week at Norfolk International Terminals, the largest of the three deep-water marine terminals owned by the VPA. The contract gives China Shipping the flexibility to increase the number of port calls and containers it sends through the port.
"This is unique in the industry. It's something we've started to emphasise because of the long-term guarantee it provides to the line. It is important to us as well because it means we've sewn up this piece of business for 10 years, allowing us to spend more time on the core task of moving cargo - we will not have to go back and renegotiate this contract in two or three years," said Mr Dorto.
China Shipping signed its first contact with the port in October 2000. In 2004, the company moved 12,919 containers through the port.