Port of Virginia Begins Fiscal Year 2019 With Record-Setting Cargo Volumes
The Port of Virginia processed a record-setting 252,679 twenty-foot equivalent units (TEUs) in July, an increase of nearly eight percent when compared with the same month last year, and the second most productive month in the port’s history.
“Peak season is clearly upon us and we have rebounded from prior months, when our volumes were somewhat soft,” said John F. Reinhart, CEO and executive director of the Virginia Port Authority (VPA). “We showed growth across every phase of the operation and exceeded our July container forecast by nearly two percent. We are expecting steady volumes as we get into the heart of our busy season, so we are staying focused on consistent delivery of service while managing the construction at Virginia International Gateway and Norfolk International Terminals.”
July’s growth was driven by nearly balanced trade: loaded exports and imports were up 9.4 percent and 10 percent, respectively. The port’s inland operations also grew, as volumes at Virginia Inland Port (VIP) and Richmond Marine Terminal (RMT) were up 24 percent and 83 percent, respectively. Truck volume was up five percent, barge traffic was up 27 percent and rail traffic grew by more than 8 percent.
“July’s heavy volumes showed us what we are capable of during construction,” Reinhart said. “We are working to build familiarity and muscle memory with our new capacity. As we incorporate more new capacity into the operation, our ability to process this kind of volume will continue improve.”
The port is more than 18 months into the project at VIG and the progress being made there is clear, Reinhart said. The first bundle of expanded rail tracks are in service; the delivery of all 26 new rail-mounted gantry cranes is complete; and six of 13 new stacks new container stacks are in service.
Further, in July the port aligned all of its terminals under the new PRO-PASS system, where all of the critical cargo tracking and tracing tools used by port customers and stakeholders are consolidated in a single on-line location. Additionally, the port continues to expand the hours of the Truck Reservation System and VIG and NIT to drive efficiency at the gate.
“We are making significant progress on multiple fronts,” Reinhart said. “We are bringing the first new stacks on line at NIT in late September and by this time next year our work at VIG will be done. Then our focus will be on a successful finish to the NIT expansion.”