Port moves near-peak volumes in January

Published 10:29 pm Monday, February 11, 2019

The Port of Virginia announced on Monday that it’s still moving near-peak season cargo volumes, while staying well under the industry standard turn time of 60 minutes for motor carriers.

According to the press release, the port’s container volume for January was 240,111 twenty-foot equivalent units, or 134,638 containers. That’s an 8.9-percent increase compared to last year.

That included a 3.9-percent increase in total rail containers and an 8.8-percent increase for Virginia Inland Port volume. Barge volume was up by 21.5 percent overall, and Richmond Marine Terminal was up by 54.1 percent.

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Furthermore, the average traditional turn times at both Virginia International Gateway and Norfolk International Terminals in January were 41.8 and 52.6 minutes, respectively, while their average expanded turn times were 50.7 and 59.5.

The port is seeing these top marks while also benefiting from its expansion projects, according to John Reinhart, chief executive officer and executive director of the Virginia Port Authority.

“Our traditional turn time at Virginia International Gateway averaged 65.5 minutes in October and November. That figure dropped more than 33 percent for December and January,” Reinhart stated in the press release. That improvement is the result of daily progress we’re making on our expansion projects — even as we continue to handle high volumes.”

The first phase of construction at NIT is nearly complete and the second phase is under way, while the three-year, $320 million expansion project at Virginia International Gateway also nears completion, according to the press release.

The efficiencies gained from the new capacity — combined with the metered flow of cargo using the port’s Truck Reservation System — is providing both the port and its customers with some needed breathing room after managing through the most difficult parts of the expansion projects.

“We’ve reached a pivot point,” Reinhart stated. “We met the challenges of peak season. VIG is nearly complete — capped off with the delivery of the largest cranes in the Western Hemisphere last month. Twelve new stacks are handling cargo today at NIT, and our second phase of construction is now under way.

“We’re ready to shift to a more aggressive stance in terms of going after cargo, providing high levels of service and moving that cargo more efficiently than ever.”