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Best April in Port’s history

The Port of Virginia recently announced that it had processed 245,933 twenty-foot equivalent units of cargo last month, which made for the busiest April in the port’s history, according to a press release on May 8.

This strong performance was driven by an increase of more than 22 percent in loaded import containers, which lead to increases in truck, rail and barge cargo volumes.

The press release noted that the Port’s March volumes were disrupted by the Chinese New Year. This caused both the late arrival of vessels and blank sailings. April’s import volume, on the other hand, reflected the cargo’s return.

“We knew April was going to be a productive month and as we move toward peak season, this and higher volume levels will become normal, but we are more prepared for these increases than ever before,” John Reinhart, the chief executive officer and executive director of the Virginia Port Authority, stated in the press release. “We are just weeks from completion at Virginia International Gateway and debuting this world-class facility in its entirety.

“The productivity and efficiency we are seeing there is going to be instrumental in managing and effectively processing peak season volumes.”

The cargo moving over the port’s inland operations is growing in tandem with overall volume. According to the press release, Virginia Inland Port volume was up nearly 13 percent — 367 cargo containers — and volume was up by more than 30 percent at Richmond Marine Terminal.

Rail volume increased by 18 percent, or more than 52,000 containers. Total barge volume increased by nearly 24 percent.

To date, 13 new container stacks serviced by 26 new rail-mounted gantry cranes have been delivered to Virginia International Gateway.

Additionally, according to the press release, four new truck gates have opened, a new terminal operating system has been implemented, the berth has been lengthened by nearly 800 linear feet and four new ship-to-shore cranes have been placed into service.

The final step will be the completion of the on-dock rail yard’s second phase.

“We are going to be fully-operational at VIG in very short order,” Reinhart stated. “The project is on-budget, on-time and we are out aggressively marketing the benefits of doing business at The Port of Virginia.”

Expansion at Norfolk International Terminals is also on schedule. There are 12 new stacks served by 24 new RMGs already in service at NIT, and work on phase two of the stack yard expansion that began December is nearing completion. Work on phase three will begin later this May, according to the press release.