U.S. Department of Transportation
Federal Highway Administration
1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE
Washington, DC 20590

Skip to content
Facebook iconYouTube iconTwitter iconFlickr iconLinkedInInstagram

Freight Economy

Home / Freight Economy

FHWA's Roundtable on the Freight Economy: Hampton Roads Region, Virginia

Date: July 26, 2016

Our Host: Hampton Roads Transportation Planning Organization

Key Regional Transportation Facilities and Freight Hubs

HIGHWAYSI-64, I-264, I-464, I-564, I-664, US 13, US 17, US 58, US 60, US 258, US 460, VA 164
RAILROADSCSX, Norfolk Southern, Commonwealth Railway, Norfolk and Portsmouth Belt Line
AIRPORTSNorfolk International Airport, Newport News-Williamsburg International Airport
WATERBORNENorfolk International Terminals, Virginia International Gateway, Newport News Marine Terminal, Portsmouth Marine Terminal, Lambert's Point Docks, Kinder Morgan, Dominion Terminal Associates
FREIGHT CLUSTERCenterPoint, Green Mount, Greenbrier, International Paper, Lynnhaven, Newport News Shipbuilding, Oyster Point, Shirley T. Holland, Military Bases

Freight Facilities

Source: Hampton Roads TPO

Stakeholders Represented by the Following:

What the future of freight will look like for the region:

Data represents freight activity for Greater Houston Region (CSA)

Top 5 Commodities by Value 2045

Commodity Value (millions $) % of total
Electronics 27,585 15%
Machinery 19,662 10%
Mixed freight 17,078 9%
Pharmaceuticals 12,637 7%
Plastics/rubber 10,437 5%
All commodities 189,782 100%

Top 5 Commodities by Weight 2045

Commodity Tons (thousands) % of total
Nonmetal min. prods. 11,659 11%
Coal 11,061 10%
Waste/scrap 9,746 9%
Other ag prods. 9,209 8%
Natural gas (Coal-n.e.c.) 5,839 5%
All commodities 110,097 100%

Trading Partners 2045

Outbound by Weight of Shipment
(thousand tons)

Trade partner Tonnage % of total
Europe 8,112 22%
Eastern Asia 7,106 19%
Rest of Americas 4,208 11%
SW & Central Asia 3,102 8%
SE Asia & Oceania 2,430 7%
Total outbound* 37,262 100%

Inbound by Weight of Shipment
(thousand tons)

Trade partner Tonnage % of total
Virginia 9,071 19%
West Virginia 7,673 16%
North Carolina 6,484 13%
Eastern Asia 2,792 6%
Europe 2,554 5%
Total inbound** 48,073 100%

Based on FAF4.2 data with base year 2012 and forecasts upto 2045
Includes all modes but excludes intraregional flows. *Other outbound = 12,305/33% **Other inbound =19,498/41%

Modal Freight Share by Tonnage, 2012 and 2045

In 2014, Virginia's GDP was $462.2 billion and ranked 11th among U.S. states. VA Beach-Norfolk-Newport News, VA-NC MSA's GDP was $90.8 billion and ranked 39th among U.S. metropolitan areas.

Half of the Hampton Roads region’s employment is generated by freight-intensive industries.

Between 2012 and 2045, the Hampton Roads region will see freight activity grow by about 120% in value and 60% in tonnage.

In 2012, the Hampton Roads region's domestic freight share was about 81% in value while the international share is expected to increase to 38% in 2045 from 19% in 2012.

The Hampton Roads region's largest outbound freight trading partner by value is Europe, which represented about 12% of all outbound freight by value in 2012.

More than 110,000 active duty military personnel are assigned to the Norfolk Naval Base and other military installations in the Hampton Roads region.

In 2015, nearly 18,000 trucks traversed the Hampton Roads region through major gateways each weekday. The Port of Virginia ranked third highest among East Coast ports in terms of volume of containerized cargo handled in 2015, and sixth highest among all U.S. ports. In 2015, 64% of all port freight was transported by truck, 33% by rail, and 3% by barge.

The Hampton Roads region is the largest U.S. shipper of coal and will see a reduced coal tonnage share from 22% in 2012 to 10% in 2045.

The Richmond and Norfolk International Airports are the second and third largest cargo airports in Virginia. In 2012, both airports transported a total of 295,000 tons of freight.

Sources for Freight Facts: FAF4 Data, Bureau of Economic Analysis, Hampton Road TPO Long Range Transportation Plan 2034, Virginia Multimodal Freight Plan Final report 2014,AAPA,EIA, VA Maritime Association,Virginia Port Authority,VDOT

To view PDF files, you can use the Adobe® Reader®.

Page last modified on August 29, 2017
Federal Highway Administration | 1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE | Washington, DC 20590 | 202-366-4000