Exports Drive Strong Cargo Flows in August

September 10, 2018

Contact: Joseph D. Harris Spokesman (757) 683-2137 / Office (757) 675-8087 / Cell jharris@portofvirginia.com

Exports Drive Strong Cargo Flows in August; TEU Totals Surpass 258,000 Units
Richmond Express Barge Volume Up 58%, Rail Jumps 10%

NORFOLK, VA – The Port of Virginia® processed a record-setting 258,821 twenty-foot equivalent units (TEUs) in August, an increase of nearly 8 percent when compared with the same month last year.

“August was the second most productive month in our history and in the first two months of fiscal year 2019, our TEU volume has increased by more than 36,600 units, or about eight percent (compared with FY18),” said John F. Reinhart, CEO and executive director of the Virginia Port Authority (VPA). “In addition to peak season volumes, we are seeing some inbound cargo that is moving in anticipation of expanded tariffs on select imports. Overall, our team, from Virginia Inland Port to Richmond to the Norfolk Harbor, handled the volume with efficiency and performed well.”

August’s growth was driven by exports: loaded exports were up 11 percent while import volumes grew by 3.4 percent. The port’s inland operations also grew, as volumes at Virginia Inland Port (VIP) and Richmond Marine Terminal (RMT) were up 21 percent and 58 percent, respectively. Truck volume was up 5 percent, rail was up 10 percent and total barge volume increased 27 percent.

Reinhart said as the port expands its container handling capacity and capability at Virginia International Gateway (VIG) and Norfolk International Terminals (NIT), volumes, efficiency and service levels will climb. At VIG, all 26 of the new rail-mounted gantry cranes (RMGs) have been delivered and the operations team is testing the equipment and preparing to bring it into service.

“The last stack at VIG comes online at VIG in January 2019, but all others will be operational by October,” he said. “At NIT, we took delivery of six more RMGs this past weekend (Sept. 8-9) and the first stack is on schedule to be completed the end of September. We’re making significant progress and are tracking for completion of work at VIG by early summer 2019 and summer 2020 for NIT. From there, we will shift our focus to the work on Wider, Deeper, Safer – 55 feet — to create the most modern, deep-water port on the U.S. East Coast.”

August Cargo Snapshot

  • Loaded Export TEUs – 83,512, up 10.7%
  • Loaded Import TEUs – 117,042, up 3.4%
  • Total Containers – 146,726, up 7.2%
  • Breakbulk Tonnage – 19,001 (tons), up 13%
  • Virginia Inland Port Containers – 3,924, up 21.1%
  • Total Rail Containers – 54,961, up 9.9 %
  • Total Truck Containers – 86,874, up 4.7%
  • Total Barge Containers – 4,891, up 27%
  • Richmond Barge Containers – 2,899, up 58.3%
  • Vehicle Units – 2,940, up 2.4%

In October 2017, the port processed 265,490 TEUs, which to date is highest volume month on record.


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.