The US East Coast deepwater Port of Virginia has ordered 25 hybrid shuttle carriers from Cargotec’s subsidiary Kalmar.

The port placed the $23m order in Cargotec’s 2019 third-quarter order intake.

In 2017, the two companies signed an agreement that included an option to place orders for further units. A total of 40 units could be ordered.

The latest order delivery is scheduled for the end of July 2020.

Kalmar will deliver the new units to the port’s largest terminal Norfolk International Terminals (NIT). The terminal handles the biggest vessels in the Atlantic trade.

The carriers will support the port’s plan to convert NIT to a terminal capable of operating automated stacking cranes.

Virginia Port Authority CEO and executive director John Reinhart said: “These shuttle carriers are another step in the evolution of NIT and of the growing capabilities at the Port of Virginia.

“Because they are hybrids, they help us cut fuel consumption, reduce emissions and improve the overall sustainability of our operations. We have had a long partnership with Kalmar and have always found it to be an innovator of environmentally responsible solutions that provides a high level of service.”

The new carriers feature LED working lights, new mobile drive and a redesigned electrical system. The electric cabinet layout will also contain additional space.

Kalmar Americas Sales vice-president Troy Thompson said: “We are delighted to build on our exceptional partnership with Virginia Port Authority by helping them to boost container-handling capacity with our eco-efficient hybrid shuttle carriers.”

The Port of Virginia has been using the hybrid shuttle carriers since August 2015.