Katoen Natie Norfolk Inc. has pledged an investment of $61 million for the expansion of its freight distribution center in the City of Norfolk. The announcement was made by the Governor of the state of Virginia, Ralph Northam. A news release was issued by the Office of Governor on Tuesday, April 13, 2021, to make the announcement. 

As per the release, a 243,000 square-foot warehouse and rail facility will be added to the company’s 2424 Springfield Avenue operation. The said investment is expected to create 35 new jobs in the process.

The President of Katoen Natie USA, Frank Vingerhoets in a press release also gave out the reason for the company’s wish to expand in Norfolk:

“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,” read the release. 

For Vingerhoets, there were two major factors that contributed to the company’s decision of making such a substantial investment in Norfolk: the incentives offered to the company, both state and local; and the cooperation with the Virginia Economic Development Partnership. 

The Commonwealth of Virginia had to compete with the states of Georgia, South Carolina and Maryland to secure the project. The role of the Virginia Economic Development Partnership (VEDP) was crucial in securing the investment. The state authority had to work with the City of Norfolk, the Hampton Roads Alliance, and The Port of Virginia to bag the project. 

“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”, said Brian Bell who is currently working for the government of Virginia as Secretary of Commerce and Trade. 

Secretary of Transportation Shannon Valentine also welcomed the move and assured the company that the state’s transportation system will continue to support its international operations. 

“Together with 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,” said Valentine. 

The concerned authorities were “elated” over the announcement of the said investment. Kaeton Natie’s decision is being seen as a big positive for the economy of the state given the company’s stature and the move’s potential to create a substantial number of high-quality jobs. The authorities expressed hope for the public-private partnership to grow in the Commonwealth in the future. 

About the company 

Katoen Natie Norfolk Inc. is a plastics and polymers warehousing and distribution company. It established operations in Norfolk at a former Ford Motor Company plant back in 2011. 

The company is a subsidiary of Katoen Natie — a renowned international logistics service provider based in Belgium. Kateon Natie specializes in providing petrochemical storage solutions and operates in 36 countries worldwide.

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