Zim-American Israeli Shipping Co
Governor Gilmore Welcomes Zim-American Israeli Shipping Co. To Norfolk
-Also Announces Port Authority Bond Issuance-
NORFOLK - Governor Jim Gilmore today announced that Zim-American Israeli Shipping Co., Inc. has officially opened its United States headquarters in Norfolk’s Lake Wright Executive Park. Zim-American Israeli Shipping Co. announced in April that it would invest $6.2 million to locate in the new building and would hire 235 people to work in this facility. The firm completed its move to Norfolk from New York City’s World Trade Center two weeks before the September 11th terrorist attacks.
“We’re pleased that Zim-American Israeli Shipping Co. is the newest addition to the international corporate community in Hampton Roads,” said Governor Gilmore. “This will provide a great boost to the Hampton Roads area in light of the recent economic shock due to the tragic events of September 11th.”
Governor Gilmore approved a $100,000 grant from the Governor’s Opportunity Fund to assist the Development Authority of the City of Norfolk with site preparation. The Virginia Economic Development Partnership, the Hampton Roads Economic Development Alliance and the City of Norfolk assisted Zim-American Israeli Shipping Co., Inc. with its decision. The Virginia Department of Business Assistance is providing workforce-training services.
Zim-American Israeli Shipping Co. Inc. is the general agent in North America for Zim Israel Navigation Company, one of the largest container shipping companies in the world (currently ranked among the top ten). Zim operates a large fleet of owned and chartered container ships reaching every continent and calling hundreds of ports worldwide. Operating an intermodal system, which combines sea, land and air transportation, Zim provides fast, frequent competitive door-to-door services around the globe. Through Zim’s network of subsidiaries, the company is involved in a diversified scope of activities. Zim’s Internet site, www.zim.co.il, offers access to online data resources for customers, including cargo tracing and interactive sailing schedules.
“The move was prompted for a number of reasons,” said Shaul Cohen-Mintz, President of Zim-American Israeli Shipping Co. “Zim moved primarily to better position ourselves to meet our customers’ requirements, market needs and future challenges. While many of the other shipping companies have moved across the river to New Jersey, Zim looked nationally for the location best meeting our long-term business needs. Norfolk emerged as an extremely attractive location which met all of our targets. The area has many positive features and the state of Virginia and the Hampton Roads Economic Development Alliance were accommodating and very receptive to us.”
“We are pleased that Zim-American Israeli Shipping Co., one of the world’s largest international shipping organizations, has chosen to locate its U.S. headquarters in the Commonwealth,” said Secretary of Commerce and Trade Barry E. DuVal.
Governor Gilmore also announced his approval of a $131 million bond issue by the Virginia Port Authority (VPA). The bond issue will assist the Port of Virginia in fulfilling its commitment to the military to serve as one of 13 U.S. Department of Defense designated “strategic ports” in the United States. Strategic ports serve as load centers for our armed forces whenever there are “build outs” of equipment and material headed overseas.
“The debt service on this bond issue will be supported by revenues derived from the Commonwealth Port Fund. The bond proceeds will allow VPA to make substantial improvements in infrastructure and equipment at its Norfolk International Terminals’ South facility,” stated Governor Gilmore. “These improvements will allow us to continue to play a major role among United States super ports.”
This bond issue will bring a significant stimulus to the Hampton Roads economy. The construction activity associated with the improvements at NIT South will generate the following annual benefits over a two year period: 1,511 jobs; $62.1 million in personal income; $41.5 million in direct local revenue; and $6.5 million in State and local taxes.