As an industry, we are faced with a record number of blank sailings, and idled containerships, due to the COVID-19 pandemic. We have witnessed a marked decline in current and forecasted volumes from our shippers and ocean carriers. In Virginia, the port’s total TEU volume was down nearly 16 percent in the month of April. In parallel, we understand that our customers and partners are facing their own unique sets of challenges and that the decisions we make have impacts beyond our gates.
The port reviews performance data and metrics on a daily basis, making informed adjustments to the operation, based on our findings. We value the collaboration and input of multiple stakeholder groups including the port’s Motor Carrier Committee, Stakeholder Committee, along with the various committees facilitated by the Virginia Maritime Association. The Pier Committee, sponsored by the Tidewater Motor Truck Association (TMTA), is also a key working group. For the foreseeable future, members of the port management team are committed to meet with TMTA Pier Committee members on a bi-weekly basis, to review port performance indicators.
In light of current market conditions, we find it prudent and necessary to take steps to adjust our gate hours, balancing capacity with demand. We are committed to reviewing these gate hour changes (detailed below) on Monday, July 6, 2020. If standard metrics and forecasts indicate a recovering market, we will consult with our motor carrier partners, and the Pier Committee, regarding an expansion of gate hours, to be implemented on Monday, July 13, 2020. If market conditions improve prior to these dates, the port is prepared to move quickly to restore gate capacity.
Effective Monday, May 18, 2020:
- Truck gate closures at Norfolk International Terminals (NIT) and Virginia International Gateway (VIG) will be adjusted to 1700 hours, Monday – Friday
- The inbound truck portals will close at 1600
- Final reefer pick-ups at 1530 hours
- PRO-PASS Truck Reservation System (TRS) mandatory hours remain in effect until 1500 hours (NIT and VIG)
- Truck gate closures at the Pinners Point Container Yard (PPCY), Portsmouth Chassis Yard (PCY) and the Reefer Service Area (RSA) will also be adjusted to 1700 hours, Monday – Friday
- PPCY – Last empty container deliveries and pick-ups at 1630 hours
- PCY – Last in-gate trucks at 1630 hours
- RSA – Last empty container deliveries and pick-ups at 1630 hours
- Gate hours at Newport News Marine Terminal, Richmond Marine Terminal and the Virginia Inland Port are unchanged
Thank you for your consistent support and patronage, as we work together in the face of unprecedented circumstances.