Seaports & Inland Ports
Franklin County is served by the Port of Virginia, located in the greater Norfolk metro area. This port actually comprises three marine terminals and one intermodal container transfer facility: Norfolk International Terminals, Portsmouth Marine Terminal, Newport News Marine Terminal, and the Virginia Inland Port. These facilities are located approximately 288 miles from Franklin County and are easily accessible by truck or rail. At the Port of Virginia, it is recognized that the port plays a critical role in protecting and enhancing the supply chains of some of the world's leading employers.
The Port strives to make movement of ocean freight efficient, cost-effective and reliable to importers and exporters alike. Through the consistent achievement of these measures, the Port of Virginia has been recognized as one of the world's leading maritime gateways for more than 400 years. At fifty feet, the Port of Virginia offers the deepest shipping channels on the U.S. East Coast and is fully prepared to accommodate 10,000 plus twenty-foot equivalent units (TEU) vessels. More than 30 international steamship lines service the Port which handles over 15 million tons of cargo per year and over 1.1 million container units annually. Norfolk Southern and CSX offer on-dock, double-stack intermodal service to key inland markets in the Midwest, Ohio Valley and the Southeast.
Businesses & the Port
Businesses in Franklin County can also utilize the port of entry at the New River Valley Airport, better known as the Virginia Tradeport, some seventy-five miles away. The Virginia TradePort is actually multiple resources in one including a U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) Port of Entry (Port of Entry Number 1412) and a Foreign Trade Zone (Foreign Trade Zone Number 238) that provides an easy way to process, warehouse and distribute goods entering and/or leaving the United States.
A Port of Entry processes goods entering and exiting the United States and enforces customs laws. Foreign goods may be entered for consumption, for warehousing, or for transportation to another port of entry. Goods arriving to the Virginia TradePort in-bound from a different port can be immediately handled, saving an importer considerable time and money (rather than waiting for shipments to clear in more congested ports). The Virginia TradePort has a Customs and Border Protection officer on site to provide personal and timely inspection and clearance of imported and exported goods. There are also numerous customhouse brokers in the region to assist with the entry and export process as necessary.
Foreign Trade Zone
The foreign trade zone is a secure and enclosed area under the supervision of U.S. Customs and Border Protection. It is considered to be outside U.S. customs territory. This allows foreign goods to be brought into the zone without being subject to U.S. customs duties. Goods will remain duty free until the goods enter the U.S. commerce. While goods are in the foreign trade zone they can be stored, inspected, manipulated, processed, relabeled, and repackaged (all while being in a duty free environment). Customs duties are due at the time the goods move outside the foreign trade zone and enter U.S. commerce. If the items are re-exported or destroyed, no duties will be due. If the items are manufactured into a lower duty rate product, then duty can be paid at the lower rate (with approval from the Foreign Trade Zone Board).
The Virginia TradePort is a public/private venture under the supervision of the New River Valley Economic Development Alliance and U.S. Customs and Border Protection.