Port volumes improve

Published 10:50 pm Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Cargo volumes and financial standing have both improved for the Port of Virginia in recent months, according to a press release from the port.

Cargo volumes were pushed up 6 percent from the same period last year in the first quarter of fiscal year 2016, according to the release. The increase was driven by a record-setting month in September.

In September, the port handled 215,520 twenty-foot equivalent units, according to the press release. It was an increase of 7.2 percent from last September and the best September in the port’s history.

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Rail units were up 16 percent from last September, inland port volume up 43 percent, truck volume up 2 percent and vehicle units up 133 percent.

September also marked the seventh consecutive month of twenty-foot equivalent unit volume exceeding 210,000 units, according to the press release.

“We have brought stability and consistency to all phases of our operation, and we are showing growth and positive financial results,” said John F. Reinhart, chief executive officer and executive director of the Virginia Port Authority.

The port’s consolidated financial performance in the first two months of the fiscal year was positive as well. Total operating revenues were $80.5 million, and the operating income was $3.5 million.

The audited fiscal year 2015 results confirmed an operating income of $13.6 million, which was an improvement of $30.1 million when compared with the results from the previous fiscal year.

“This shows that the industry is responding,” Reinhart said. “Our message that the Port of Virginia is an innovative, responsive and strategic operation is beginning to resonate. The port’s capital reinvestment program is just underway, and we have a lot of work to do, but we have a clear path forward and we have the support of our labor partners, stakeholders and customers.

“Our improving financial picture will allow us to continue to reinvest in our facilities, our cargo conveyance equipment and our people,” Reinhart continued. “We have turned the corner and we must stay focused. In the coming decade, we will need to reinvest $2 billion in the Port of Virginia to increase its capacity and ensure its competitive position on the U.S. East Coast. The overall performance and result of fiscal year 2015 has cleared the way for this process to begin.”