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  January 12th, 2017 | Written by

Port of Virginia Sets New Volume Record

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  • Import and export volumes were up six percent and 2.6 percent at Port of Virginia in 2016.
  • The Port of Virginia is the highest rail-volume port on the east coast.
  • Virginia’s import volume is growing faster than any U.S. port.

The Port of Virginia set a new annual record for container cargo volume having handled more than 2.65 million TEUs, a 4.2 percent increase over last year’s total.

In 2016, import and export volumes were up six percent and 2.6 percent, respectively, over the prior year. The port saw increases in TEUs, rail volume and total volume at Virginia Inland Port, the port’s growing intermodal ramp in Front Royal. Further, Richmond Marine Terminal (RMT) had its most productive year since The Port of Virginia began leasing the facility in 2010.

“In 2016, we moved 106,000 more TEUs than we did in 2015, which until now, was our highest volume year on record,” said John F. Reinhart, CEO and executive director of the Virginia Port Authority. “The growth is significant—8,800 TEUs a month, on average—and we have responded with improved throughput in all facets of the operation, especially rail, where volume was 551,496 containers, an increase of 14 percent when compared with 2015. This record rail result placed The Port of Virginia as the highest rail-volume port on the east coast, truly solidifying our position as the mid-Atlantic’s global gateway.”

The fourth quarter of 2016 was the best in the port’s history: there were double-digit increases in volume and the port increased its market share of east coast cargo volume from 12.9 percent to 14.5 percent. The port was an influencing force in the announcement of 41 economic development announcements throughout Virginia. The National Retail Federation’s November figures show that Virginia’s import volume is growing faster than any U.S. port.

December is the half-way mark in fiscal year 2017 and thus far TEU volumes are 1,377,625 TEUs, which is an increase of six percent when compared with the same period last fiscal year; gate volumes were 80,569 moves, up 15.6 percent; and imports and exports are up 11 percent and nearly 3 percent, respectively.

The calendar year was completed with December’s TEU volumes of 229,624 TEUs, making it the eleventh consecutive month of TEU volumes exceeding 210,000 units. Also in December, rail volume was up 15 percent; total barge volume up 32 percent; RMT volume up 55 percent; and motor-carrier volume up nearly 16 percent.