A few months ago, it seemed that the Maersk Group’s growing terminal company, APM Terminals, had sealed the deal on the operation of the Port of Virginia in Norfolk with a bid of USD 4 billion. The port is a strategically important traffic centre on the American East Coast. However, since then, Maersk Line competitors have voiced their criticism over the process towards local politicians and Virginia’s Secretary of Transportation, Sean Connaughton, and warned about possible consequences if APM Terminals will control the port.
Furthermore, the local media has criticised the lack of transparency during the process. Especially since the Port of Virginia with more than 400 companies is one of the most important assets of the region and now the battle of taking over port operations has received a considerable public attention which has made it all the way to Washington D.C and added pressure on both the Federal Secretary of Transportation as well as local politicians in an election year.