Norfolk Southern handled one of its largest cargo loadings of the last 20 years at its Pier 6 coal transloading facility at Lamberts Point in Norfolk.
On Sept. 29, Norfolk Southern loaded 152,681 net tons (138,512 metric tons) of coal into the M/V Linda Dream, destined for ThyssenKrupp Steel in Flushing, the Netherlands. The coal came from Integrity Coal and Mechel in 1,475 railroad coal cars. T. Parker Host Inc. was the ship agent/broker.
The Linda Dream loading was one of the largest since Pier 6’s 1989 loading of 151,773 net tons for the Nord Atlantic, the 1991 loading of 153,263 net tons for the Doceserra, and the 1998 loading of 157,645 net tons for the M/V Irongate.
“Such a large transfer is exciting, but the real story is the continuing effectiveness of the partnership between Norfolk Southern, coal suppliers, and agents,” said Danny D. Smith, NS senior vice president energy and properties. “We are proud to serve with them in the competitive transportation chain that brings the raw materials essential for making steel to the world.”
Jeff G. Yates, terminal superintendent at Pier 6, praised the ability of the railroaders there. “They exemplify safe, reliable transportation,” he said. “Wherever steel is used, wherever the lights come on, that’s a reminder of the skill they bring to bear for our customers.”
At 948 feet long and 147 feet and eight-inches wide, the Linda Dream is one of the larger vessels to call at Pier 6, though the recent length record is held by the Hyundai Continental (1,014-feet) and the recent beam record is held by the Nord Atlantic and the Venture (both 176 foot and one-inch).
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 transloading facility. In 1999, Pier 6 dumped its billionth ton of coal and became the only facility in the world to have reached that milestone.
Most of the coal moving through Pier 6 originates in Southwest Virginia, Southern West Virginia, Eastern Kentucky, Pennsylvania, and Alabama. 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, which allows modern vessels to make productive use of their large holds.