Virginia port 2018 traffic rises 0.5pc to 2.85m TEU

PORT of Virginia in Norfolk set a new annual throughput record in 2018 after handling 2

18 January 2019 - 19:00

PORT of Virginia in Norfolk set a new annual throughput record in 2018 after handling 2.85 million TEU, a year-on-year increase of 0.5 per cent.

The port achieved volume growth at both of its inland terminals - Virginia Inland Port and Richmond Marine Terminal. Breakbulk cargo rose by just 1.2 per cent at the Newport News Marine Terminal, reported AJOT.

'Our growth in 2018 was less than what we had planned for but as construction proceeded at Virginia International Gateway (VIG) and Norfolk International Terminals (NIT), we made the decisions to temporarily hold some cargo and limit the movement of empty containers,' said Virginia Port Authority CEO John Reinhart.

'We knew those moves would have a bearing on our year-end totals. Though we still set a new mark, it was a rather static performance. In a larger sense, we made the right moves because we were able to get through a very challenging period while maintaining our service levels.

'We cannot always measure success in terms of cargo volume. It was a landmark year for the port of Virginia and we look at 2018 as a year of accomplishments. Each month we saw new equipment being delivered, new capacity coming on line, the incorporation of technology and projects like Wider, Deeper, Safer getting the necessary federal approval to move forward.'

Mr Reinhart also noted that in 2018 the port was instrumental in helping to generate 3,100 new jobs and develop 1.9 million square feet of storage space with a total investment of US$984 million.

The number of ships calling at Virginia dropped by five per cent, yet those ships were larger than before and consequently carry more cargo. The increasing box ship sizes and volumes, according to Mr Reinhart, are factors in the port's project to deepen the Norfolk harbour to 55 feet and widen portions of the navigation channels.

Half-way through the current fiscal year, container volumes stood at 1,484,403 TEU by December, up two per cent; gate volumes rose by three per cent; loaded imports are up 3.5 per cent; and loaded exports declined five per cent compared to the same prior year period.

The calendar year ended with December's volume of 241,121 TEU, an increase of 1.5 per cent. Also, Richmond Marine Terminal's December volume grew by 6.4 per cent; motor-carrier volume was up nine per cent; and import loads, up 5.4 percent.

'In 2019 we will continue on our forward trajectory,' Mr Reinhart added. 'Our focus now is the expansion of NIT, bringing the new ship-to-shore cranes on line at VIG and wrapping-up construction there in June.'


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