Port of Virginia’s Cargo Numbers Up on Year
Despite a slight dip in volume of .7 percent in February, the Port of Virginia’s fiscal year 2018 cargo volumes are up nearly four percent, or nearly 69,000 TEUs.
In February, the port processed 218,729 TEUs, which is .7 percent, or 1,647 fewer units when compared with last February. Cargo volumes at Richmond Marine Terminal (RMT) and Virginia Inland Port (VIP) and were up 45 and 4 percent, respectively. Rail volume was up 3 percent, total barge traffic increased 1 percent while truck volume was down four percent.
“February is a short month and our volume was relatively static, in a year-on-year comparison,” said John F. Reinhart, CEO and executive director of the Virginia Port Authority (VPA). “January featured two snowstorms, which had an impact on our performance, yet we continue to perform in-line with our fiscal-year volume forecast. We are expecting volumes to increase as we move into spring and summer, so we are focusing consistent delivery of service and managing the growth and construction at Virginia International Gateway (VIG) and Norfolk International Terminals (NIT).
“Our performance at the gates is not meeting our standards. As a result, the motor carriers are feeling the impact,” Reinhart added. “The motor carriers have voiced their concerns and we have listened. We are committed to restoring service levels and managing through the construction.”
The port is taking a number of measures to improve its performance, including: expanding hours of operation at the truck gates; shifting more vessel services to Portsmouth Marine Terminal; having activated its truck reservation system at NIT on March 1; and delivering eight new diesel-electric shuttle trucks to Virginia International Gateway (VIG) on February 28.
In April, the first of 13 new container stacks at VIG will go into service. Further, eight additional shuttle trucks and six new rail-mounted gantry cranes will be arriving at VIG later this month and the second new container stack is scheduled to go into service in mid-May.
“We anticipated the challenges and on a monthly basis starting in April we are bringing new capacity on line that will help to alleviate the situation,” Reinhart said.
The port’s fiscal-year (July 1, 2017 – June 30, 2018) volumes continue to track ahead of last year: VIP volume is up 4.6 percent; RMT, up 16 percent; total barge traffic up 7.4 percent; truck volume up 7 percent; vehicle units up 12 percent; breakbulk tonnage up 3 percent; and rail volume up .5 percent.