Freight News, Sea

Port of Virginia Sets New All-Time Mark for Monthly Cargo Volume

[ November 15, 2018   //   ]

The Port of Virginia® in October processed more than 270,000 TEUs and in doing so set a new record for the amount of cargo volume handled in a single month, besting the previous record set in 2017 by more than 5,000 units.

The record was driven by a 2% increase in loaded imports and a 14.5% increase in export empties. John F. Reinhart, the CEO and executive director of the Virginia Port Authority, said as the port’s capacity expansion projects at Virginia International Gateway (VIG) and Norfolk International Terminals (NIT) move forward, the effort is to draw-down the empty container inventory to better focus on loaded units and building efficiency.

“As construction progresses at VIG and NIT we have to remain flexible and be ready with those decisions that help to ensure the efficient movement of loaded containers across our terminals,” Reinhart said. “Our emphasis is on loaded exports and imports and reducing the number of empties on terminal is an approach that has been successful here.

“The record volume, especially during construction, put a significant amount of pressure on the gates and there were some trying moments last month for motor carriers. We are taking steps to create greater flexibility in our gate hours and add more chassis to the pool to build fluidity. The motor carriers are critical to our success and we are working to create consistency for them when they are on terminal.”

October’s record, Reinhart said, could not have been achieved without teamwork across the port.

“The effort of our labor partners in this record must be emphasized,” Reinhart said. “The motor carriers also played an important role as we processed nearly 100,000 truck moves. The port’s operations team needs to be recognized as well for its flexibility, planning and its focus on safety and efficiency.”

On a fiscal year basis (starting July 1), loaded exports are flat and imports are up nearly 4%. Volume at Virginia Inland Port in Front Royal is 16.5% ahead of last October and cargo moving on the Richmond Express barge service is up nearly 51%. Both rail and truck volume were up, comparatively, as well.