Port sets new annual volume record

Published 9:41 pm Tuesday, January 21, 2020

The Port of Virginia has set a new annual record for container cargo volume, having handled more than 2.93 million twenty-foot-equivalent units in calendar year 2019. That represents a three-percent increase over last year’s total, according to a Jan. 13 press release.

The press release states that the port saw increases in movement of loaded imports, up by three percent. Empty export TEUs were up by 10 percent, and barge volume grew more than 18 percent.

The amount of cargo moving over Richmond Marine Terminal increased by 19.5 percent, while truck volumes were up by two percent and rail volume was static.


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“We look at how we served our customers and what we accomplished, so 2019 was (a) landmark year for the Port of Virginia,” John F. Reinhart, chief executive officer and executive director of the Virginia Port Authority, stated in the press release. “We had a very successful year, having set a new record for volume, though our growth was not as much as we had planned.

“Trade thrives in a predictable environment, and the tariffs created some uncertainty across the industry that had an effect on our year-end totals, but we don’t measure success only in terms of cargo volume.”

Reinhart stated that “significant gains were made on their projects throughout the year,” as well.

“We debuted an expanded Virginia International Gateway in June, got under way with our dredging effort that will make Virginia the deepest port on the U.S. East Coast in four years and are on track and on budget to bring the expansion of Norfolk International Terminals to a close in late 2020,” he stated.

Reinhart also noted the port’s expanding role in driving economic investment and job creation throughout the Commonwealth.

In 2019, the press release states that the port was “instrumental in helping to generate more than 3,500 new jobs and the development of nearly five million square feet of space that had a total investment value of $2 billion.”

“We are listening to our customers, cargo owners and partners and always looking for new, innovative ways of moving their cargo with greater velocity and doing so safely,” Reinhart stated. “When we do this well, we build confidence with the ocean carriers and cargo owners, volumes expand and businesses grow. That growth equates to economic investment and new jobs for Virginia.”

December is the half-way mark in fiscal year 2020, and thus far TEU volumes are at 1,483,509 units, according to the press release.

Gate volumes are up by 2.3 percent, while loaded imports are up by three percent and barge volume are up by 18.6 percent.

The calendar year was completed with December TEU volumes of 224,902 units, which was a decrease of 6.7 percent when compared with last December.

Also, in December, Richmond Marine Terminal volume was up by 29 percent, loaded exports were up by nearly four percent, and total barge volume by almost 19 percent, according to the press release.

“The accomplishments of 2019 are a tribute to our team and our port partners,” Reinhart stated. “The cargo we handle is important, and we know we can always improve in our delivery of service to all of the port’s users and customers. We will continue to do those things that will make 2020 another landmark year at the Port of Virginia.”