The Port of Virginia processed 252,230 twenty-foot equivalent units (TEUs) in March, pushing the port’s growth thus far in fiscal year 2018 to 4.4 percent. Further, March’s TEU volume was nearly 9 percent ahead of the same month last year.
“March’s volumes were a nice rebound from largely static volumes in January and February,” said John F. Reinhart, CEO and executive director of the Virginia Port Authority (VPA). “We expect volumes to continue to climb and as a result we are focusing on ways to improve the delivery of service to the motor carriers and our ocean carriers, specifically at VIG (Virginia International Gateway), where transactions have been slowed as the result of our capacity expansion project there.
“We will continue to make short- and long-term investments in those things – manpower, expanded operating hours and conveyance equipment – to improve flow at the gate and on the berth during construction. Though the problems we are facing at VIG are temporary, the motor carriers are being hit hardest. We will continue to listen to their concerns and those of the ocean carriers and commit to improving our delivery of service as we go forward.”
In March, the port processed 252,230 TEUs, which is 8.7 percent, or 20,082 more units when compared with last March. Cargo volume at Richmond Marine Terminal (RMT) was up 26 percent, while volume at Virginia Inland Port slipped by 4 percent. Truck and rail volumes were up 13 percent and 2 percent, respectively.
The port is taking a number of measures to improve its performance: on April 19, a third mandatory hour will be added to the truck reservation system in operation at Norfolk International Terminals; the port has taken delivery of the first eight of 16 new diesel-electric shuttle trucks that will help support expanded cargo operations at VIG; and later this month (April) at VIG the first of 13 new container stacks will go into service;
the second new container stack is scheduled to go into service in mid-May.
“Bringing the new capacity on line as safely and as quickly as we can is important to restoring service and flow at VIG – this is an important first step,” Reinhart said.
The port’s fiscal-year (July 1, 2017 – June 30, 2018) volumes continue to track ahead of last year: VIP volume is
up 3.6 percent; RMT, up 17 percent; total barge traffic up 5.4 percent; truck volume up 7.5 percent; vehicle units up 2.7 percent; breakbulk tonnage up 5.5 percent; and rail volume was flat.