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PORTSMOUTH—Governor Ralph Northam today announced that Preferred Freezer Services, one of the largest public refrigerated warehousing companies in the world, will invest $60 million to construct a 200,000-square-foot cold storage warehouse in the City of Portsmouth. The new facility will be used to import, export, process, and distribute a variety of food products, positioning the company to meet the growing demand for cold storage space. Virginia successfully competed with Georgia for the project, which will create 60 new jobs.
“Preferred Freezer Services’ new operation in the City of Portsmouth will harness the region’s valuable assets, including unparalleled access to global markets through the Port of Virginia and the world-class workforce in Hampton Roads,” said Governor Northam. “The company’s significant investment and major footprint expansion further reinforces the strength of the area’s logistics infrastructure, supply chain industry, and dedicated talent pipeline. We are proud to partner with Preferred Freezer as it nearly doubles its workforce in Virginia and grows its business in our Commonwealth.”
Headquartered in Chatham, New Jersey with existing operations in the City of Chesapeake, Preferred Freezer Services is a privately held company with over 1,800 employees worldwide. The company has been in business since 1989 and operates over 300 million cubic feet of state-of-the-art, full service temperature-controlled warehouse space across the United States and Asia.
“Hampton Roads has long-thrived as a trading center and Preferred Freezer Services’ latest expansion in the City of Portsmouth demonstrates the company’s commitment to continued growth in the region,” said Secretary of Commerce and Trade Brian Ball. “With close proximity to our world-renowned Port, an integrated network of highways, and air, rail, and sea services, the area has become a hub for opportunity for 21st-century warehousing, distribution, and logistics firms. Preferred Freezer Services’ new facility in the City of Portsmouth is another significant win for the region, creating 60 new jobs and returning formerly vacant real estate to productive use.”
“The entire Preferred Freezer Services team is honored to be working with the great people of Portsmouth and the Commonwealth of Virginia to build our next cold storage facility at this perfect Port location,” said Brian Beattie, President of Preferred Freezer Services. “We look forward to hiring over 60 people to service our customers throughout the area and manage the over 31,000 new pallet positions that will expand our import and export abilities. Our Chesapeake, Virginia location arguably has the best team of people in our entire network, and we look forward to adding the same caliber of people at this waterfront location.”
The Virginia Economic Development Partnership worked with the City of Portsmouth, the Hampton Roads Economic Development Alliance, and the Virginia Port Authority to secure the project for Virginia. Governor Northam approved a $180,000 grant from the Commonwealth’s Opportunity Fund to assist the City of Portsmouth with the project. The company qualifies for state benefits from the Virginia Enterprise Zone Program, administered by the Virginia Department of Housing and Community Development. Preferred Freezer Services is also eligible for benefits from the Port of Virginia Economic Development Zone Grant Program, the Rail Industrial Access Program, and the Economic Development Access Program.
“We are very excited and pleased that Preferred Freezer Services has made the smart choice to invest in the City of Portsmouth,” said Mayor John Rowe. “The site’s access to the Port is unmatched, and our business-friendly environment will support the company’s timeline to get up and running. This is a wonderful example of how the Commonwealth, our City and regional teams can work together to create jobs and to expand our economy.”
“The Port of Virginia is investing to expand overall capacity and aggressively going after more refrigerated cargo business,” said John F. Reinhart, CEO and Executive Director of the Virginia Port Authority. “Today’s announcement by Preferred Freezer Services will support our effort, create jobs and help drive the Commonwealth’s economy. Preferred Freezer has been a long-time partner and supporter of the port, and we welcome the company’s decision to develop its newest facility in Portsmouth.”
“We are excited and appreciative of Preferred Freezer’s decision to reinvest in Hampton Roads,” said Steve Herbert, Interim CEO of the Hampton Roads Economic Development Alliance. “We are also proud of Portsmouth’s good work in stepping up and closing this deal.”
“We thank Preferred Freezer for establishing a new facility in the City of Portsmouth, and for continuing to reinvest in the Hampton Roads region,” said Senator Louise Lucas. “The supply chain industry is an important economic driver for the 18th District, and we are proud to support companies like Preferred Freezer as they create new, quality job opportunities for our citizens.”
“I am sincerely proud of this highly successful collaboration between Governor Northam, the Virginia Economic Development Partnership, and the City of Portsmouth in bringing this significant new corporate citizen to our community,” said Delegate Stephen Heretick. “The region, the Commonwealth, and the world are coming to appreciate Portsmouth’s unique opportunities for commercial growth as a key hub in international trade. Combining our ports with direct rail and interstate access, shippers and distributors can now reach the eastern and midwestern United States within hours of arriving here. This effort is the product of the coordinated planning, visionary leadership, and plain hard work of many dedicated business and community leaders at the state and local levels, and is an important step toward realizing our true economic potential as a city and as a region.”
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