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Authority: Port continues to surge

The Virginia Port Authority has reported continued growth in cargo volume at the state’s port in April, with 210,000 TEUs (20-foot equivalent containers) representing a 4.4 percent increase on the same month last year.

During April, the port processed 73,810 truck moves (up 3.2 percent), saw 1.3 percent more vessel calls and handled 9.4 percent more rail containers, while barge containers were down 7.4 percent and vehicle units fell 55 percent.

“We continue to show growth in the primary areas of our operation,” stated John F. Reinhart, the authority’s chief executive officer and executive director. “In April, truck containers, rail containers and ship calls were up compared with last year.”

April was the second month this year with volumes above 200,000 TEUs, “and we are expecting this kind of volume to be the norm,” Reinhart stated.

To meet the higher volumes, the authority continues to invest in cargo conveyance equipment, expand the operations team, improve technology and communications, and “make those strategic moves necessary to create capacity and improve throughput,” he added.

Thus far this calendar year, compared to the same period last year, TEU volume is up 8.5 percent, truck moves are up 9.2 percent, vessel calls are up 2.3 percent, rail containers are up 9.8 percent, Virginia Inland Port volume is down 5 percent, barge containers are down 5 percent and vehicle units are up 11 percent, the authority reports.

“Our delivery of service to motor carriers in April did show modest improvement, but we have not achieved consistency at the gates,” Reinhart conceded.

“Though we are not yet there, we continue to be focused on our stated goal of getting trucks in and out of the terminals in 60 minutes or less: It is imperative that we achieve this goal with consistency.”