July is second busiest month in Port of Virginia’s history

NORFOLK, VA – The Port of Virginia in July processed 265,559 TEUs (twenty-foot equivalent units) in July, making it the second busiest month in the port’s history.

The strong cargo performance was driven by an increase of more than 4 percent in loaded import containers, and a jump of nearly 18 percent in export empty containers, which are being repositioned across the globe to handle peak season cargo.

“We are continuing to set volume records. The cargo is flowing across The Port of Virginia with efficiency and dependability as a result of expanded container handling capacity at VIG (Virginia International Gateway) and NIT (Norfolk International Terminals),” said John F. Reinhart, the CEO and executive director of the Virginia Port Authority. “Many of the empty export containers will come back to Virginia as import loads full of consumer goods for the coming retail season.

“Our volumes, on a month-to-month basis, continue to grow and we anticipate this trend to continue well into fall. Ocean carriers are taking advantage of our world-class facilities and cargo owners are seeing their goods move across the terminals faster than ever before. Almost every phase of the operation is showing strength and we are tracking at nearly six percent growth for the calendar year.”

On a calendar year-to-date basis (Jan. – July) volume at Richmond Marine Terminal is up nearly 13 percent (2,334 containers) and total barge volume is up more than 16 percent (4,809 containers). Total rail volume is up more than 4 percent (13,555) and total truck volume is up 4.5 percent (25,873 containers). Volume at Virginia Inland port is off 4 percent (982 containers).

In late July, the port debuted the terminal’s expanded capabilities to Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam, Virginia Transportation Secretary Shannon R. Valentine, John G. Milliken, chairman of the Virginia Port Authority Board of Commissioners, U.S. Maritime Administrator Mark H. “Buz” Buzby and many industry leaders. Reinhart said having VIG fully operational is helping to keep the NIT expansion on-track.

“VIG and the team behind it are performing at a high-level and this allows us to focus on NIT,” Reinhart said. “The gate, rail operation, stack yard, berth and new cranes are processing cargo and we are well-prepared for peak season. We’re seeing cargo move with efficiency, productivity and predictability and we’ll continue to improve in those areas as we develop our muscle memory with this added capacity.”

The expansion at NIT is progressing according to schedule. There are 12 new stacks served by 24 new RMGs already in service. Work on phase II of the stack yard expansion (six stacks) began in December 2018 and is nearing completion. Three new container stacks came online Aug. 7 and three more stacks are scheduled to come online by mid-September.

July Cargo Snapshot

  • Total TEUs – 265,559, up 5.1%
  • Loaded Export TEUs – 80,955, down 2.3%
  • Loaded Import TEUs – 125,260, up 4.3%
  • Total Containers – 149,163, up 3.9%
  • Virginia Inland Port Containers – 3,063, down 11.2%
  • Total Rail Containers – 49,047, up 1.4%
  • Total Truck Containers – 94,116, up 4.6%
  • Total Barge Containers – 6,000, up 16.2%
  • Richmond Barge Containers – 3,641, up 12.2%