Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam announced that Katoen Natie Norfolk Inc., a plastics and polymers warehousing and distribution company and subsidiary of Katoen Natie, will invest $61 million to expand its freight distribution center in the City of Norfolk. The company will add a 243,000-square-foot warehouse and rail facility to its operation at 2424 Springfield Avenue and create 35 new jobs. Virginia successfully competed with Georgia, Maryland, and South Carolina for the project.
“Katoen Natie Norfolk is a key contributor to Virginia’s position as a world-class transportation and logistics hub, and we are pleased to see the company increase its capabilities to meet increased demand in Hampton Roads,” said Governor Northam. “The supply chain industry in our Commonwealth continues to gain momentum, in large part due to The Port of Virginia’s unparalleled infrastructure. With a significant investment that spans multiple sectors of our economy, this expansion will help fuel our ongoing recovery efforts as well as the company’s continued growth.”
Parent company Katoen Natie is an international logistics service provider and port operator. Founded in 1854 and headquartered in Belgium, Katoen Natie is present in 36 countries on five continents and employs 15,000 worldwide. The company focuses on 10 main industries, including supply chain engineering, process engineering, petrochemicals, specialty chemicals, consumer goods and industry, port operations, general cargo and commodities, food and feed, silo cleaning, and art. Katoen Natie Norfolk’s operation was established in 2011 at the former Ford Motor Company assembly plant. These facilities allow producers of plastic resin pellets to ship bulk railcars to the warehouse where the product is packaged and loaded into intermodal containers for shipment internationally through The Port of Virginia.
“Katoen Natie Norfolk’s growth is demonstrating how our advanced transportation framework can facilitate the long-term success of logistics service providers,” said Secretary of Commerce and Trade Brian Ball. “Securing a competitive expansion like this says a great deal about the Hampton Roads region’s top-notch workforce, competitive operating costs, and strategic access, and we thank Katoen Natie Norfolk for creating more high-quality jobs.”
“We welcome the expansion of Katoen Natie in Virginia and remain confident that our multimodal transportation system will continue to support the company’s international operations,” said Secretary of Transportation Shannon Valentine. “Together The Port of Virginia and our freight rail network, which are both critical elements of the logistics industry, our Commonwealth has the infrastructure and strong partnerships to keep goods and supplies moving safely, efficiently, and reliably.”
“Katoen Natie chose to expand its footprint in Norfolk because of proximity to the natural deep-water Port of Virginia, the dual rail connection with both Norfolk Southern and CSX, and a great local workforce,” said Frank Vingerhoets, President of Katoen Natie USA. “The cooperation with the Virginia Economic Development Partnership and the offered state and local incentives contributed in the decision to make this substantial investment in Norfolk.”
The Virginia Economic Development Partnership (VEDP) worked with the City of Norfolk, the Hampton Roads Alliance, and The Port of Virginia to secure the project for Virginia. Katoen Natie Norfolk is eligible to receive state benefits from the Virginia Enterprise Zone Program, administered by the Virginia Department of Housing and Community Development. Funding and services to support Katoen’s employee training activities will be provided through the Virginia Jobs Investment Program.
“Norfolk’s strategic location and role as an international shipping hub provides advantages for logistical support and distribution that continues to attract and expand business investment,” said Norfolk Mayor Kenneth C. Alexander, PhD. “We appreciate Katoen Natie Norfolk Inc.’s continued confidence in Norfolk by reinvesting and more than doubling its workforce in support of new innovative solutions on its 63 acres.”
“The Alliance congratulates Katoen Natie and the City of Norfolk on a decade-long partnership that has resulted in this expansion,” said Doug Smith, President and CEO of the Hampton Roads Alliance. “When the Alliance worked with our partners at VEDP and Norfolk to welcome Katoen Natie Norfolk to Hampton Roads in 2011, the company cited proximity to the Port and the area’s appeal in attracting new customers as key reasons for selecting the region. We are thrilled to see that these factors, along with a skilled and abundant labor force, allow the company to continually invest and expand in Norfolk.”
“It is always positive for the state’s and the region’s economy when a business like Katoen Natie decides to expand its presence in Virginia,” said Virginia Port Authority CEO and Executive Director Stephen A. Edwards. “The infrastructure investments in the port are enabling us to provide the fluidity, consistency, and world-class service that businesses demand, and it’s attracting more private investment across the Commonwealth. We are looking forward to many more years of serving as the international trade gateway for Katoen Natie Norfolk.”
“I am thrilled that Katoen Natie Norfolk Inc. will be investing $61 million in expanding its freight and distribution center in Norfolk,” said Senator Lionell Spruill, Sr. “The opportunity for additional jobs in our area is a great opportunity for Norfolk and our region.”
“I am elated that logistics company Katoen Natie is expanding its operations to Norfolk,” said Delegate Jay Jones. “This announcement demonstrates the fruitful result of private and public partnerships between The Port of Virginia, the City of Norfolk, and Katoen Natie that will create 35 new jobs for our constituents. I look forward to watching this partnership grow and seeing the success of it help power the Commonwealth’s economy.”