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Rail cargo discounts offered amid port’s struggles

NORFOLK, Va. (AP) — Virginia’s transportation secretary says the operator of Hampton Roads’ port offered discounts to ocean carriers as a way to attract more rail cargo at a time when the port struggled financially despite an increase in cargo volume.

Aubrey Layne tells The Virginian-Pilot (http://bit.ly/1kbdcbJ) that Virginia Port Authority board members told him in January they had just found out about the discounts that operator Virginia International Terminals began in spring 2012.

Authority CEO and executive director John Reinhart says the port lost $15.7 million through the fiscal year’s first seven months. He says the rail incentives, which led to higher cargo volumes, alone aren’t to blame.

Gov. Terry McAuliffe ordered a review of the port’s finances in January. In April, McAuliffe announced he was replacing five board members.

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Information from: The Virginian-Pilot, http://pilotonline.com

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