The Virginia Port Authority has converted its terminal operating company, Virginia International Terminals, from a non-stock corporation to a limited liability company under more direct control of the authority.
The move is part of a wider reorganization of the Port of Virginia's management structure prompted by Gov. Bob McDonnell's administration and accelerated by pressure from private sector offers to take over port operations. The Board of Commissioners voted against privatization earlier this year, but is implementing a series of internal reforms, as well as ones mandated by the state legislature designed to streamline operations, eliminate redundant tasks and administration between the VPA and VIT, and align the port's efforts with the state's economic development policies.
The Virginia State Corporation Commission approved the conversion to Virginia International Terminals, LLC, the VPA said.
“This is an important step toward streamlining our structure and becoming more aligned with VPA,” Joseph P. Ruddy, chief operating officer of VIT, said in a statement. “Operationally, nothing has changed, we are the same company. We have the same address, the same assets and liabilities and we have the same responsibility, which is to move cargo across these terminals as efficiently, economically and safely as possible.”
The change will have no effect on contracts or other binding agreements that were signed during VIT’s time as a corporation.
Industry stakeholders vigorously fought against privatization because of concerns that APM Terminals or another bidder had other interests that might lead to cargo diversion or reduced business with local truckers or other service providers. They expressed relative happiness with the way the Port of Virginia handles their cargo, but welcomed the reforms to help make the port more competitive. - Eric Kulisch