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Norfolk Southern coal vessel loading is Virginia’s largest. Period.

Norfolk, VA - Sep 18, 2013

NORFOLK, VA. - Norfolk Southern’s Pier 6 at Lamberts Point again has loaded a record amount of coal into a single ocean-going vessel.

Yesterday, Sept. 17, Norfolk Southern employees finished loading 166,840 net tons, or 151,356 metric tons, of metallurgical coal into the 984-foot M/V China Pioneer, which departed at high tide for Liuzhou Iron and Steel in China, by way of Trinidad. That’s a record for Pier 6 and for the entire Port of Hampton Roads, and it comes just as Pier 6 acknowledges its 50th anniversary today.

The coal was shipped by Integrity Coal Sales International in 1,561 railroad coal cars. Capes Shipping Agencies was the ship agent, and Anders Williams Resources Inc. was the forwarding agent.

NS set its previous Pier 6 record Jan. 12, 2013, by loading 159,941.45 net tons into the M/V Cape Dover.

The previous Port of Hampton Roads record was set Feb. 9, 1992, when Dominion Terminal Associates loaded 163,765 net tons into the M/V Ormond.

“The fact that this new record comes at Pier 6’s 50th birthday is a big exclamation point,” said Mark H. Bower, NS group vice president, export, metallurgical, and industrial coal marketing. “It again demonstrates that NS and our production and sales partners are the experienced, safe, and reliable team for getting American coal to the world’s utilities and coke plants.”

Norfolk Southern has been transferring coal and coke from railroad cars into ocean-going export and domestic vessels in the Lamberts Point area since 1884, when it opened Pier 1. In the first half of the 1900s, new Piers 2-5 featured improvements in speed and capacity and even loaded coal into a number of famous vessels, such as those used in Admiral Byrd's 1933 Antarctica expedition.

Pier 6 opened for business in 1962 as the hemisphere's largest, fastest, and most efficient transload facility. In 1999, Pier 6 dumped its billionth ton of coal and became the only facility in the world to have reached that milestone.

In addition to the quantity of its loadings, Pier 6 is known for speed. A little known fact is that, because of design specifications, no vessel anywhere can accept coal into its holds as fast as Pier 6 actually can load it. That likely will remain so for the foreseeable future.

Most of the coal moving through Pier 6 originates in Southwest Virginia, Southern West Virginia, Eastern Kentucky, and Pennsylvania. It is shipped to several dozen countries as well as to coastwise domestic receivers. Pier 6 is situated with access to Hampton Roads' deep 50-foot channel that allows modern vessels to make productive use of their large holds.

Norfolk Southern Corporation is one of the nation’s premier transportation companies. Its Norfolk Southern Railway Company subsidiary operates approximately 20,000 route miles in 22 states and the District of Columbia, serves every major container port in the eastern United States, and provides efficient connections to other rail carriers. Norfolk Southern operates the most extensive intermodal network in the East and is a major transporter of coal, automotive, and industrial products.


Norfolk Southern contacts:

(Media) Frank Brown, 757-629-2710 (
(Investors) Michael Hostutler, 757-629-2861 (