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Cargo Volumes for First Quarter of FY19 up Nearly 3%; Hurricane Florence Effects September Totals
Richmond Barge Continues its Growth, Up 30%
NORFOLK, VA – The Port of Virginia’s® TEU (twenty-foot equivalent unit) volume for the first quarter of fiscal year 2019 is running nearly 3 percent, or 20,000 TEUs, ahead of same period last year.
The increase comes despite a 7 percent dip in September cargo volumes that was driven by Hurricane Florence, which disrupted shipping throughout the Southeastern U.S. As the storm approached the U.S. East Coast in mid-September, the port closed for three-and-a-half days to vessel traffic.
“We lost 10 percent of our workdays in September as a result of the storm and that is a significant amount of time for our vessel traffic to be idled,” said John F. Reinhart, CEO and executive director of the Virginia Port Authority. “The closure was necessary to ensure the safety of our colleagues, facilities, cargo and customers. We were fortunate, especially when compared with our neighbors in North Carolina. During these events our posture will always be to err on the side of caution.”
On a fiscal year basis, loaded exports and imports are up 2 percent and 4 percent, respectively. Volume at Virginia Inland Port in Front Royal is 16 percent ahead of last fiscal year’s first quarter and cargo moving on the Richmond Express barge service is up nearly 58 percent. Both rail and truck volume were up, comparatively, as well.
“The investment we are making at VIG (Virginia International Gateway) is truly starting to show its value; the new capacity that is in service is beginning to make a difference,” Reinhart said. “We are now moving some volume out of Portsmouth Marine Terminal back to VIG and gaining efficiency. We also brought four new gates into service at VIG in September and along with our Truck Reservation System, they are helping to drive throughput of cargo and build velocity.”
At Norfolk International Terminals the expansion is continuing and the first three new stacks were delivered in late September to the operations team for testing. Those stacks are scheduled to go into service in October and the next three coming online in November.
September Cargo Snapshot
- Total TEUs – 221,355, down 6.9%
- Loaded Export TEUs – 65,588, down 14.6%
- Loaded Import TEUs – 108,981, down 0.7%
- Total Containers – 124,739, down 7.6%
- Breakbulk Tonnage – 12,032 (tons), down 1.3%
- Virginia Inland Port Containers – 3,188, down 1.7%
- Total Rail Containers – 42,636, down 8.4%
- Total Truck Containers – 78,592, down 7%
- Total Barge Containers – 3,511, down 12.2
- Richmond Barge Containers – 2,220, up 30.2%
- Vehicle Units – 1,072 – down 44.5%
The Virginia Port Authority (VPA) is a political subdivision of the Commonwealth of Virginia. The VPA owns and through its private operating subsidiary, Virginia International Terminals, LLC (VIT), operates four general cargo facilities Norfolk International Terminals, Portsmouth Marine Terminal, Newport News Marine Terminal and the Virginia Inland Port in Warren County. The VPA leases Virginia International Gateway and Richmond Marine Terminal. A recent economic impact study from The College of William and Mary shows that The Port of Virginia helps to create more than 530,000 jobs and generated $88.4 billion in total economic impact throughout the Commonwealth on an annual basis.