NEWSFLASH: Maersk executive to lead Port of Virginia
The Virginia Port Authority Board of Commissioners late this morning
voted to hire shipping executive John F. Reinhart as chief executive
officer of the Port of Virginia.
Reinhart two weeks ago announced his retirement at the end of January
as president and CEO of Maersk Line, Ltd., (MLL) the U.S.-flag
subsidiary of Denmark's A.P. Moller-Maersk Group.
Maersk is the largest container shipping line in the world.
Reinhart has worked for the Maersk organization for almost 23 years.
He spent the past 14 years at Norfolk, Va.-based MLL, which provides
ocean transportation to the U.S. Navy and other U.S. government
agencies, as well as shipment management and maritime technical services
to government and commercial customers.
MLL has 34 vessels in its fleet.
Reinhart will take over from Rodney Oliver, the chief financial
officer who has spent the past 13 months as interim executive director
during a period of tumult. While Oliver was at the helm, the VPA considered a privatization proposal
from APM Terminals, another Maersk subsidiary that owns a private
terminal adjacent to port property, before moving ahead instead with a
comprehensive organizational restructuring designed to improve cargo
throughput and service, while reducing costs.
The Port of Virginia is the third-largest container port on the East
Coast and has been the fastest growing one during the past 18 months.
The Port of Virginia owns four facilities — the 600-acre Norfolk
International Terminal for containers; Portsmouth International
Terminal, which has been converted to support breakbulk and bulk
cargoes; Newport News Marine Terminal; and the Virginia Inland Port in
Front Royal. It also leases the APM Terminal and the Port of Richmond.
It operates the facilities through a limited liability corporation known
as Virginia International Terminals. Reinhart will oversee about 100
port authority staff members and have oversight of the 300 VIT
Reinhart is highly regarded within the Norfolk shipping community.
Although APM Terminals has had a sometimes contentious relationship with
the VPA related to its decision to site a private terminal in
competition with the port and then losing its bid to take over the
entire port operations, MLL did not weigh in on the public debate over
the potential outsourcing of port operations to APMT.
Reinhart's relationship with Maersk in Copenhagen could help the Port
of Virginia attract more services from Maersk, its subsidiaries and
It is not the first time that a carrier executive has taken the helm
of a port authority. South Carolina Ports Authority CEO Jim Newsome
previously was president of Hapag-Lloyd (America), Inc., and many
carrier executives have held top management jobs at port authorities.
John Wolfe, the director of the Port of Tacoma, spent 10 years at APM
Terminals in Tacoma before heading the Port of Olympia, and then moving
to Tacoma as deputy port director.
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