Freight News, Sea

Port Tracking for Record 2019; Calendar Year-to-Date Cargo Increases Nearly 5%

[ September 23, 2019   //   ]

The Port of Virginia® is on pace to another record-setting calendar year as cargo volumes through August are up nearly 95,000 TEUs, an increase of 5 percent when compared with the same period last year.
The strong volumes through the first two-thirds of the year are attributable to an increase in the number of loaded import containers flowing across the port and a jump in the number of empty containers that were exported to a foreign destination. Through August, loaded import containers are up 53,508 TEUs, or more than 6 percent; export loads, are down 19,956 units, or 3 percent; export empties are up 61,187 units, or 19 percent; and import empties are down, though just 53 units.
“Our calendar-year-to-date performance remains strong despite a flat spot in August,” said John F. Reinhart, CEO and executive director of the Virginia Port Authority. “We are seeing some of the negative effects of the increasing trade tariffs in the agriculture sector, grain and lumber exports in particular, and this was expected.
“We’re focusing on long-term growth, marketing our new capabilities and the expansion at Norfolk International Terminals. What’s most important is the fact that we are continuing to build upon our efficiency. The cargo is flowing through our terminals with predictability and dependability.”
Cargo volumes in August were off by 1,145 containers, or .4 percent when compared with Aug. 2018. Import loads were up nearly 4 percent; total barge volume, up nearly 6 percent; Richmond Marine Terminal volume, up 16.5 percent; and truck volume, up 5.5 percent.
“Our month-to-month volumes will rebound, especially in these next couple of months leading into the retail season,” Reinhart said. “We are focused on diversifying our cargo mix, looking at new markets and working to raise awareness of the capabilities of this world-class port.”
The expansion at NIT is progressing according to schedule. With the completion of phase II in mid-September, there are now 15 new stacks served by 30 new RMGs in service. Work on phase IV of the stack yard expansion began Sept. 1.