More good news for ports

Published 6:08 pm Saturday, May 13, 2017

A recent press release announced more good news for the Port of Virginia and its ongoing growth.

The port moved 225,196 twenty-foot equivalent units of cargo in April, according to a May 11 press release. This represents a 4.6-percent growth compared to April 2016.

Since October 2016, the port has handled a minimum of 220,000 TEUs monthly, which is another notable improvement.

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“The last threshold we had was at least 210,000 on a monthly basis,” Virginia Port Authority spokesman Joe Harris said. “It’s another step up, and it’s a testament to the amount of cargo that we’re handling.”

The port has moved 906,236 TEUs from January to April this year, which is 64,226 more than the same four-month span last year.

“Our volumes are growing,” Harris said.

This announcement followed the arrival of the COSCO development at Virginia International Gateway, the largest containership to ever call on the Port of Virginia and the East Coast with a capacity for 13,092 TEUs.

“It’s really the beginning of the big-ship era, and those big ships will bring more cargo,” Harris said.

The record-breaking container ship is part of the OCEAN Alliance agreement between Cosco Shipping, CMA CGM, Evergreen Line and Orient Overseas Container Lines. The five-year agreement will bring vessels of similar size or greater to the port weekly.

“The new alliance networks went live April 1, and Virginia is the top East Coast port for deployed capacity for Asia-U.S. East Coast alliance services,” said Virginia Port Authority CEO and executive director John Reinhart in the press release. “The big ships are coming to Virginia and bringing corresponding amounts of cargo, and we are on the edge of peak season.”

Growth is expected to steadily continue as more cargo owners call on the port.

“It’s going to happen as more and more cargo owners use the port of Virginia for their goods,” Harris said.