Port on pace for better fiscal year

Published 11:07 pm Monday, May 14, 2018

The Port of Virginia will reach the end of fiscal year 2018 on June 30, but its total volume of 20-foot equivalent units of cargo is already 3.6-percent greater than the same time last year, amounting to an 83,000-unit increase, according to a Thursday press release.

The port processed 219,281 TEUs in April, which was 2.6 percent less than last April, or 5,900 fewer units. Virginia Inland Port’s cargo volumes rose by 5.6 percent and Richmond Marine Terminal’s by 15.5 percent. Barge volume rose by 6 percent, and rail volume dropped by 5 percent while truck volume declined by 1.7 percent.

John Reinhart, chief executive officer and executive director of the Virginia Port Authority, said there has been modest growth for this fiscal year as the port tries to reach monthly consistency amid unpredictable volumes.

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“We expect volumes to increase, according to forecast, and remain steady as summer’s peak season nears,” he stated in the press release. “Our focus is on reliable delivery of service as we go forward in our capacity expansion projects at Norfolk International Terminals and Virginia International Gateway.”

Crews are expected to finish extending the VIG wharf this October to accommodate four new ship-to-shore container cranes, double the size of the rail operation and add new lanes to the truck gate.

Three new container stacks will come online this week at the VIG to increase useful capacity by 20 percent, and three more stacks will be activated this June, per Reinhart.

“Our performance at the gates — primarily VIG — is regaining consistency, but we still have work to do,” Reinhart stated. “We continue to listen to our motor carriers, keep a close watch on operations and look for those areas where we can improve. All this is taking place as construction progresses, delivery of new cranes picks up pace and we take meaningful strides toward our goal of having the VIG expansion complete in 2019.”

The N4 terminal operating system launched at VIG last weekend, which is already in use at NIT, RMT and Portsmouth Marine Terminal, per the press release. Sharing a common operating system will allow for expansion of the port’s motor carrier reservation system.

“This system seamlessly links together all of the terminal’s operations and allows for greater data sharing and collection, which will drive efficiency,” Reinhart said.