Port has banner year

Published 8:16 pm Wednesday, July 10, 2013

The Port of Virginia’s performance in fiscal 2013 was its strongest yet, according to the Virginia Port Authority.

Strong cargo volumes for June meant the port handled 2.165 million TEUs (20-foot equivalent containers) in fiscal 2013, up 10 percent on the previous 12 months, an authority news release states.

During the first six months of the calendar year, the port has handled 1.054 million TEUs, which is 6 percent more than the first half of 2012

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“There are a number of factors that we can attribute this success to: ocean carriers loading their vessels heavy to take advantage of our 50-foot deep channels, an increasing number of first-in and last-out vessel calls, our expanding rail service, our push into new markets like Greensboro (N.C.) and an improving economy,” the authority’s interim executive director, Rodney W. Oliver, stated in the release.

“We’re also seeing a lot of interest to expand operations by some large port users and given that we believe the growth will continue.”

June’s cargo volume, 175,864 TEUs, was up 4.4 percent on June 2012. Export TEUs of 93,020 and import TEUs of 89,635 represented increases of 3.8 and 5.1 percent, respectively.

“In terms of cargo volume, this June was the best June we have ever had,” Oliver stated. “Our rail volume in June was 7.6 percent ahead of where it was at the same time last year, which shows us there is significant and continuing interest in utilizing rail to and from this port.”