Governor Lincoln D. Chafee joined with state officials and local business leaders today to announce that the Port of Davisville at Quonset Business Park has now moved up to become the 7th largest auto importer in North America. Based on figures for 2011, more than 150,000 automobiles were imported at the Port during the year, and another 41,000 autos came to Davisville by rail. Quonset Business Park is already considered one of the premiere business parks in New England and one of the largest in the Northeast. Quonset is home to more than 165 companies, employing approximately 8,800 people in a variety of industries.
"The Port of Davisville -- as well as the entire Quonset Business Park -- is one of Rhode Island's key assets," Governor Chafee said. "Last year's results put us ahead of Boston, Halifax, Philadelphia, Norfolk, Charlestown, Seattle -- among others -- as one of the premiere auto ports on the continent."
"Building on our success at Davisville aligns with my administration's efforts to maximize Rhode Island's assets and build on their success," Governor Chafee continued.
Over the past decade the Port of Davisville has become one of the top auto ports and frozen seafood ports along the East Coast. In 2011, the Port imported 150,519 autos, which is the second consecutive year of double digit percentage growth. The amount of cars imported is more than four times the volume seen at the Port just 15 years ago. In addition to the autos arriving by sea, another 41,797 autos came to Davisville by rail.
Most vehicles arriving at Quonset Business Park are processed, finished and distributed across the country by North Atlantic Distribution, Inc (NORAD), a Quonset tenant company.
To build on that success, Governor Chafee also expressed his support for a provision included in his FY2013 State Budget proposal that would allow the Port of Davisville to increase the number of autos imported during the year, and take on other cargoes. The provision authorizes the QDC to finance $7.5 million in debt for a dredging project that will ensure a deeper and wider channel for ships to pass through.
The Governor noted that the engineering and environmental work required for the project was (largely) complete. With approval by the General Assembly, the dredging work would begin in October 2012 and be completed within less than a year.
A new logo for the Port of Davisville was also unveiled at today's event. The logo uses many of the main colors and themes that are a part of the Quonset Business Park logo, including the widely-recognizable "Q" with a teal colored tail.
"Due to the Park's military heritage, the public has a tendency to see the Port and the Park as two different entities -- Quonset and Davisville," said Steven J. King, P.E., managing director of the Quonset Development Corporation (QDC).
"We wanted to find a way to show people that our success and future is linked together not only geographically, but also from a business sense."