Business, Freight News, Sea

March is Among Port of Virginia’s Most Productive Months

[ April 12, 2022   //   ]

The Port of Virginia’s® cargo operations remained fluid in March having handled more than 314,000 TEUs, nearly 47% of which was loaded imports.
“In terms of overall volume, this March ranks as the fourth most productive month in our history,” said Stephen A. Edwards, CEO and executive director of the Virginia Port Authority. “We are processing heavy volumes and doing so with fluidity, which continues to draw interest from ocean carriers and cargo owners. This means we are keeping our focus on those operational issues that drive efficiency and meeting the needs of all port users.”
March’s volume was nearly 13% ahead of March 2021, which is an increase of more than 35,000 TEUs. Additionally, March’s volumes were ahead of both January and February [2022], which were 262,000 and 297,000 TEUs, respectively.
“We recently expanded our operating hours and are constantly adjusting the operation to ensure efficiency, access to cargo and service delivery,” Edwards said. “The professionalism and dedication of everybody working at The Port of Virginia is evident in our productivity and overall flexibility. The entire port team and our labor partners are performing at a very high level.”
Edwards said the port’s berth efficiency will increase with the addition of two new ship-to-shore cranes that were delivered in late March to Norfolk International Terminals’ (NIT). The new cranes will go into service at NIT’s South Berth in late May and give the port 30 ship-to-shore cranes capable of handling ultra-large container vessels (ULCVs): Virginia International Gateway has 12 cranes, NIT North has six and NIT South will have 12.
“Combine this new equipment and the expansion of NIT’s Central Rail Yard and its North Berth with our effort to create the only port on the US East Coast with channels deep enough and wide enough to handle two-way movement ULCVs and we have the necessary foundational components to drive cargo growth here for decades to come,” Edwards said. “It also means that, in parallel, we’ll be able to provide an even higher level of efficiency, service, and care to all of our users.”
Work on NIT’s Central Rail Yard is in its early stage; the work to dredge the Norfolk Harbor and commercial channels to at least 55 feet deep and widen them in certain areas just received the final portion of federal funding; and the preliminary design work on the North Berth at NIT is underway. The combined cost of the projects is more than $1 billion; completion dates for the projects are late 2023, late 2024 and late 2025, respectively.