Statement by Governor Youngkin on Senate Passage of Bill 656 – Royal Examiner


Though actually outside the city limits in northern Warren County, the Town of Front Royal was established as one of two river port locations, the other in Richmond, as part of an update on the Port of Virginia’s growing positive impact on the Commonwealth economy.

The economic analysis below for fiscal year 2021 was prepared by staff at the College of William & Mary’s Raymond A. Mason School of Business and Mangum Economics. The latter is cited as “a Virginia-based firm specializing in the production of objective and actionable quantitative economic research.” Read the summary of study results for Port of Virginia (POV) below:

The Port of Virginia® continues to be an expanding force in the Commonwealth economy, according to a recent study by the College of William & Mary analyzing the port’s overall value to the Virginia economy in fiscal year 2021 (FY21).

“The Port of Virginia is growing and delivering significant, positive outcomes for Virginia’s economy,” said Stephen A. Edwards, CEO and executive director of the Virginia Port Authority (VPA). “The aim is to continue driving economic growth in the coming decades. Cargo goes to well-managed, modern and efficient ports, and as that port grows, all Virginians reap the benefits.”

The study’s findings were released this week by the VPA, the state agency that owns and operates six breakbulk terminals: four deepwater terminals at the Port of Norfolk and two inland terminals at Richmond and Front Royal. In 2020, the port contracted with the college’s Raymond A. Mason School of Business to measure the port’s combined economic benefits to Virginia’s economy over the 12 months beginning July 1, 2020 through June 30, 2021 and the Results to compare with port’s economic impact in FY18.

The port recorded its most productive fiscal year performance in FY21: During that 12-month period (July 1, 2020 – June 30, 2021), the port processed more than 3.2 million 20-foot units. The business generated by the movement and handling of this cargo, coupled with the overall productivity of the port, made a significant contribution to Virginia’s economy. In FY21, economic activity related to the flow of cargo through the port’s terminals resulted in (compared to FY2018):

• 437,000 FTEs, up 10%

• $100 billion spent, up 9%

• $47 billion in Virginia’s gross national product, an increase of 21%

• Labor income of $27 billion, up 18%

• $2.7 billion in state and local taxes and fees, an increase of 29%

The port contributes to Virginia’s economy in three ways: the movement/transportation of export and import cargo within Virginia; the export of goods manufactured in Virginia; and the additional processing and distribution of imports remaining in the Commonwealth.

“We have the foundation to steadily increase the flow of cargo through this port for decades to come, but we must continue to expand to stay ahead of our competitors and meet the needs of our port users and the supply chain businesses that we attract to Virginia” said Edwards. “Our dredging continues and we are on track to become the deepest port on the US East Coast by 2024. Later this month we will start expanding the marshalling yard at the NIT [Norfolk International Terminals] and in March we will add two more ship-to-shore cranes there. We are also at the beginning of our efforts to optimize and expand the north berth at the NIT.”

These projects, combined with initiatives at the port’s other terminals, are necessary to keep The Port of Virginia growing and competitive. More importantly, he said, the investments would help spur ongoing economic investment and job creation across Virginia.

The study’s authors are K. Scott Swan, Professor of International Business, Innovation and Marketing at W&M’s Raymond A. Mason School of Business, and Mangum Economics, a Virginia-based firm specializing in the production of objective and actionable quantitative economics research specialized.

(The Virginia Port Authority (VPA) is a political sub-division of the Commonwealth of Virginia. The VPA, through its private subsidiary Virginia International Terminals, LLC (VIT), owns and operates four general cargo facilities: Norfolk International Terminals, Portsmouth Marine Terminal, the Newport News Marine Terminal and the Virginia Inland Port in Warren County.VPA leases the Virginia International Gateway and the Richmond Marine Terminal.

A recent economic impact study conducted by the College of William and Mary shows that the Port of Virginia contributes to the creation of more than 400,000 jobs, generates $92 billion annually in economic impact across the Commonwealth, and is a significant contributor to Virginia’s very existence achieves 2019, 2020 and 2021 as “Best State for Business” by C


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