Port sets record in August

Published 10:12 pm Monday, September 17, 2018

The Port of Virginia processed a record-setting 258,821 twenty-foot equivalent units of cargo in August, an increase of nearly 8 percent when compared to the same month last year, according to a Sept. 10 press release.

This growth was driven by exports, the press release states. Loaded exports were up 11 percent while import volumes grew by 3.4 percent. The port’s inland operations also grew, with volumes at Virginia Inland Port up 21 percent and 58 percent at Richmond Marine Terminal. Truck volume improved by 5 percent, rail by 10 percent and total barge volume by 27 percent.

“August was the second most productive month in our history and in the first two months of fiscal year 2019, our (twenty-foot equivalent unit) volume has increased by more than 36,600 units,” Virginia Port Authority Chief Executive Officer and Executive Director John F. Reinhart stated in the press release, which is an 8-percent increase compared with Fiscal Year 2018. “In addition to peak season volumes, we are seeing some inbound cargo that is moving in anticipation of expanded tariffs on select imports.”

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This growth coincides with the port’s expanding container handling capacity at Virginia International Gateway and Norfolk International Terminals, and volumes, efficiency and service levels should climb even further thanks to the expansions, according to Reinhart.

All 26 of the new rail-mounted gantry cranes have been delivered to Virginia International Gateway, for example, and the operations team is testing the equipment to bring it into service. The last container stack at Virginia International Gateway will be online in January, according to Reinhart, and all others are expected to be operational by October.

Six more RMGs arrived at NIT on Sept. 8 and 9, with the first stack on schedule for completion by the end of September.

“We’re making significant progress and are tracking for completion of work at Virginia International Gateway by early summer 2019 and summer 2020 for Norfolk International Terminals,” Reinhart stated. “From there, we will shift our focus to the work on Wider, Deeper, Safer — 55 feet — to create the most modern, deep-water port on the U.S. East Coast.”