Virginia's FY2019 box volume hits record 2.9m TEU with higher imports
THE US port of Virginia handled an all-time high 2
THE US port of Virginia handled an all-time high 2.9 million TEU in fiscal 2019 ended June 30, an increase of four per cent compared with the previous fiscal year, and its fifth consecutive fiscal year of growth.
Virginia Port Authority CEO John Reinhart was quoted as saying in a report by MarineLog, New York: 'Our import loads were up more than five per cent (at 1,371,289 TEU), truck volume was up almost four per cent (at 1,033,290 TEU) and barge volume was up nearly ten per cent (at 54,303 TEU). All of this was accomplished while we were under construction at VIG (Virginia International Gateway) and NIT (Norfolk International Terminals).'
June's throughput alone rose by seven per cent compared to the same month in 2018 to reach 239,329 TEU. The port's volumes in the fourth quarter of FY19 have been growing prior to the peak cargo season.
'Our volumes are increasing and we are processing that volume with greater efficiency because we have completed the optimisation at VIG, where we are on-line and fully-operational,' Mr Reinhart said. That said, loaded export volumes were down by four per cent in fiscal 2019 at 962,586 TEU. Rail containers were up 0.8 per cent at 563,898 TEU.
'At VIG there is greater flow at our gates, the motor carriers' reservation system is driving sub-40-minute turn times, we have more cranes and a longer berth where we can handle multiple ULCVs (ultra large container vessels) at once and we are building double-stack trains heading to and coming from Midwest markets faster than ever before.'
The expansion at Norfolk International Terminals is progressing according to schedule, Mr Reinhart said. There are 12 new container stacks served by 24 new rail-mounted gantry cranes already in service.
'Work on phase two of the stack yard expansion (six stacks) started in December 2018 and is nearing completion; work on phase three (six stacks) began in June; and phase four (six stacks) is due to commence in September. Six new rail-mounted gantry cranes arrived at NIT in July. The work at NIT is past the half-way mark and that project is on schedule and on-budget,' he said.
Other highlights over the past fiscal year include securing a federal grant to help expand capabilities at Virginia inland port; successful implementation of the reservation system for motor carriers; and the smooth delivery of four new ship-to-shore cranes, which are part of the VIG project.
Looking ahead, Mr Reinhart said. 'We are focusing on bringing the work at NIT to a close in 2020 and seeing the work begin on Wider, Deeper, Safer, which will make Virginia home to the deepest port on the US east coast.'