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Katoen Natie Norfolk Expands Norfolk, Virginia, Freight Distribution Hub

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 Norfolk, Virginia. The project is expected to create 35 new jobs.

The company will add a 243,000-square-foot warehouse and rail facility to its 2424 Springfield Avenue operation. Katoen Natie Norfolk’s operation was established in 2011 at the former Ford Motor Company assembly plant.

“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 company 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.

“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.”

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. The state successfully competed with Georgia, Maryland, and South Carolina for the project.

“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.”

Headquartered in Belgium, Katoen Natie is an international logistics service provider and port operator. The company is present in 36 countries in five continents and employs about 15.000 people worldwide. In 2009 the company had 154 logistics platforms.

Virginia Port Authority CEO and Executive Director Stephen A. Edwards added, “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.”

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