Freight News, Sea

Port of Virginia Sets Single-Month Mark for TEU Volume; Rail and RMT Use Continues to Grow

[ November 23, 2016   //   ]

As peak cargo season continues, The Port of Virginia® is adding to its record books. In October, the port handled 238,567 TEUs, making it the single-busiest month in the port’s history.

In comparison with last October, TEU volumes are up 2.2%; rail units up 13%; truck volume down 2.5%; and volume at Richmond Marine Terminal (RMT) is up 52%. Moreover, October was the second-busiest month in the port’s history in terms of rail volume handled and it was the best October for barge volume on the 64 Express since the service started in 2008.

“The peak-season cargo is continuing and the volumes are being carried on bigger vessels that are rotating into the Atlantic trade,” said John F. Reinhart, CEO and executive director of the Virginia Port Authority. “We are seeing ships in the 10,000-plus TEU range with regularity and larger vessels are on the horizon.”

“As we handle these volumes we are working to ensure efficiency in our operations, a high-level of customer service and a safe environment for everyone on the terminals. It is important to recognize the fact that we processed this volume as we addressed the challenges presented by Hurricane Matthew.”

October marks the eighth consecutive month of TEU volumes exceeding 210,000 units and that trend will be supported, Reinhart said, with the recent announcement that The Port of Virginia figures heavily into the schedule of the Ocean Alliance and The Alliance, each of which is a partnership of ocean carriers. Both alliances will begin operation in April 2017 and each will bring several new Asia and trans-Atlantic services to Virginia, including multiple first-in and last-out vessel calls.

“The progress we are making here is resonating within the trade and industry,” Reinhart said. “Our deep water and rail service allows these alliances to take advantage of our deep water and load heavy on these first-in and last-out calls. Users of the port will benefit from these first-and-last calls because their imports and exports will reach their destinations faster.”

Year-to-date, the port’s TEU volume is up 2%; rail units up 12%; Virginia Inland Port volume up 3%; and Richmond Marine Terminal volume, up 32%.
Reinhart said the focus “will be maintaining momentum” as the port undertakes a pair of large construction projects designed to improve efficiency at Norfolk International Terminals and Virginia International Gateway and increase annual throughput capacity by 40%.