Business, Freight News, Sea

PFY2018 Yields Cargo Record at Port of Virginia

[ July 16, 2018   //   ]

Driven by an increase in imports, The Port of Virginia® completed fiscal year 2018 (FY18) having handled 2.8 million TEUs, which is a volume increase of 2.4% when compared with last fiscal year.

“We finished the fiscal year in positive territory – our fourth consecutive fiscal year of growth,” said John F. Reinhart, CEO and executive director of the Virginia Port Authority. “Our import container volume was up nearly seven%, truck volume was up almost five%, barge volume was up six% and our volumes at Virginia Inland Port (VIP) and Richmond Marine Terminal (RMT) grew as well.”

The port’s fiscal year closed June 30. In that month the port handled 223,842 TEUs, which was a drop of 3.4% – about 7,800 TEUs — when compared with last June. As in April and May, June’s volumes were off when compared to the same months last year because of an ongoing effort to limit the number of empty containers flowing across the terminals during construction. Presently, the port is in the midst of a $700 million capacity expansion at its two primary container terminals, Virginia International Gateway (VIG) and Norfolk International Terminals (NIT).

“We were off from our forecast, but much of that can be attributed to the effort to limit the empty container imports and exports,” Reinhart said. “As a result, our total empty container volume was down by more than 76,000 TEUs. What’s important is that our action is having its desired intent, which is to increase efficiency at the terminals and ensure that loaded containers are our priority right now.”

June’s volumes at VIP and RMT were up 21% and 66%, respectively; breakbulk tonnage increased 13% and total barge traffic was up 17%.

Reinhart is not measuring FY18’s success only in terms of volume.

“We’ve made progress on many fronts throughout the year,” he said. “Our expansion is on schedule and on budget. The port continues to grow and act as a catalyst for commerce throughout the Commonwealth. And, we have the federal approval to begin the process to widen and deepen – 55 feet — the commercial shipping channels serving the Norfolk Harbor.

“The Port of Virginia team and our labor partners gained an incredible amount of ground (in FY18), we did so safely and still have a long way to go. We were not perfect, but we never lost sight of our goals and our values. Our effort is aimed at improving service to our customers, our beneficial cargo owners and port users. We are reviewing our strategic growth plan to ensure that we have diverse cargo mix while closely monitoring the impacts of tariffs and what they mean for our port.

“The work being done today is positioning The Port of Virginia for success for decades to come and our success helps to drive job creation and investment across the state. We will not let up, there is still much work to be done and we are up to the task.”