Port sees record volume

Published 9:33 pm Thursday, January 14, 2016

The Port of Virginia achieved record-breaking production in 2015.

The Port of Virginia achieved record-breaking production in 2015.

The commonwealth’s shipping facilities set a new annual record for container cargo volume handled in 2015, according to Port of Virginia officials.

The port handled 2.5 million TEUs in 2015, up 6 percent from last year, according to a press release. Twenty-foot Equivalent Units are standard-size shipping containers and a standard gauge for measuring cargo volume.

In 2015, total rail units were up 8 percent; truck volume, 6.3 percent; vehicle units, 77 percent; total containers, 5.9 percent; and general cargo tonnage, 4.8 percent. Total barge containers dropped by 16 percent last year, according to port data.

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December is the halfway mark in fiscal year 2016. So far for the year, TEU volumes are 1.2 million TEUs, up by 3 percent when compared to the same time last year, according to the press release. The port set record highs for total containers, total truck containers, total rail containers and container throughput at both Virginia Inland Port and Richmond Marine Terminal, according to the release.

“We handled significant volume and did so by focusing on efficiency, delivering a high-level of service to our port users, customers and stakeholders, and being accountable,” said John F. Reinhart, chief executive officer and executive director of the Virginia Port Authority.

“We will continue to examine our operational practices, reinvest in the facilities and equipment and overall, look for ways to continue to improve service and velocity.”

In 2015, the Port of Virginia moved 156,000 more TEUs than in 2014, which had been the most productive year on record, Reinhart stated.

“The growth is significant — 13,000 TEUs a month, on average — and we have responded with improved throughput in all facets of the operation,” he stated. “We are now focused on adding capacity and cargo conveyance equipment, making greater use of technology and strategic planning.”

For the month of December, the port handled 197,039 TEUs, a drop of 3 percent when compared with December 2014.