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Port Opportunity Analysis Report

Monday, November 5, 2018   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Laura Bird

The full report is available at

Recent News:

An article published by Inside Business (Nov. 2, 2018)  re-addresses the findings of the Economic Development and Port Opportunity report, providing additional insight and progress related to the recommendations from the report focusing on our strengths.

“Economic development and growth anywhere in the state that utilizes the port as part of the logistics chain will have a positive impact on jobs, capital investment and economic activity proximate to the port location.”

Read the article here


ARTICLE | "Briefing Debuts Port Opportunities Road Map"

As posted in the Feb 2018 Martime Bulletin

NORFOLK | Members of the Virginia Maritime Association met for a Membership Briefing on February 13, 2018 at the Norfolk Yacht and Country Club. Speakers discussed a recently released report addressing “Economic Development and Port Opportunities – Strategies for Growth.”

The guest speakers included John Reinhart, Executive Director and CEO of the Virginia Port Authority, Joe Dunlap, Managing Director of CBRE, and Stephen Moret, President and CEO of the Virginia Economic Development Partnership.

The report was the product of a 4-month effort performed by CBRE and funded by ReInvent Hampton Roads, The Port of Virginia, Virginia Maritime Association, and Virginia Economic Development Partnership, in addition to the Economic Development Departments of the Cities of Chesapeake, Newport News, Norfolk, Portsmouth, Richmond, Suffolk and Virginia Beach.

Project objectives were to:

  • Create Jobs and Stimulate Capital Investment in the Region and Commonwealth
  • Uncover Weaknesses and Opportunities of the Port and Region
  • Benchmark the Port of Virginia against other Comparable Ports
  • Identify Specific Industries to Target in Economic Development efforts

The effort assessed Virginia’s port-related economic development strengths and weaknesses against other states and select foreign ports. CBRE performed site selection analysis for certain manufacturing activities and distribution centers. Another component was an analysis of Virginia’s relative strengths and weaknesses from a logistics and supply chain perspective. The third aspect identified the decision factors behind recent wins and losses for Virginia of port-related economic development deals and key takeaways from interviewing site selectors and other subject matter experts.

“States that don’t have the assets that we have are ranking well ahead of the Commonwealth,” shared Stephen Moret. “This is not an issue of reality, but an issue of perception. We are the only state in America that I can find that does not market itself as a business.”

The final report (available at includes numerous recommendations which the funding partners and other economic development organizations can use as a road map for port-related economic development. Those individual recommendations support five key themes for growth:

  1. Competitive Port Infrastructure – The infrastructure in and around the Port is extremely competitive and should be further utilized to market the region/state.
  2. Refine Focus for Economic Development – The Commonwealth is well-positioned for specific projects. Focus should be on single node distribution centers and advanced manufacturing.
  3. Available Industrial Sites – Investment to create more pad ready sites with Port access would increase likelihood of winning additional projects.
  4. Marketing/Perception – Proactive marketing showcasing the Commonwealth’s benefits would increase likelihood of winning additional projects.
  5. Coordination Between Agencies – Presenting an atmosphere of partnership between state agencies and economic development organizations will improve ability to respond effectively to potential new projects.

“In different junctures of the [site selection] process...regions that had [a coordinated front] stayed on the site selection list longer,” explained Dunlap, regarding the decision-making process for business seeking new locations.

“We are at a juncture,” explained Art Moye, Executive Vice President of the Virginia Maritime Association. “Competitive, parochial, self-serving approaches no longer work. We have seen economic opportunities pass us by- this cannot continue. We must combine our tremendous assets and talents to attract new investments to the region and Virginia that benefit all.”

Thank you to the event sponsors: Bay Diesel and Generator, USI, City of Norfolk Economic Development, Norfolk Sister City Association, Seawall Coalition, CITA Shipping Agency, WSP, and Wells Fargo


Thank you to our Anchor Members



Virginia Maritime Association
236 E. Plume Street Norfolk, VA 23510
Phone: 757-622-2639
Fax: 757-622-6302