Port Posts 9% Growth in September; Up More Than 4% for First Quarter of FY2020

October 9, 2019

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

Port Posts 9% Growth in September; Up More Than 4% for First Quarter of FY2020
RMT’s Volume Increases More Than 1,000 Units

NORFOLK, VA – The Port of Virginia® in September processed more than 241,416 TEUs (twenty-foot equivalent units) – an increase of more than 9 percent vs. Sept. 2018 — putting the port’s cargo volume growth for the first quarter of fiscal year 2020 at more than 4 percent.

September’s volumes were driven by the repositioning of empty containers: export empties increased nearly 7,800 units, or more than 17 percent, and import empties were up 630 units, an increase of more than 34 percent. Export loads increased nearly 6,000 units, or 9 percent, and loaded imports were up 5,600 units, an increase of 5 percent.

“As a result of peak season volumes and the ongoing trade tariffs, we are seeing a lot of imports and repositioning of empty containers,” said John F. Reinhart, the CEO and executive director of the Virginia Port Authority. “In September, China granted an exemption from additional tariffs on some American soybean imports, pork and other agricultural products and this works in our favor as we have seen some rebound in those cargoes.

“We had a strong month for auto imports at Newport News Marine Terminal, cargo volume at Richmond Marine Terminal was up more than 45 percent and our overall truck volume increased by 8,700 moves. We are processing cargo more quickly, safely and dependably than ever before. We know there is room for improvement and will continue to fine-tune our processes to drive efficiency.”

On a quarterly basis for (FY20, July – September) total TEU volume is up 4.3 percent; barge volume, up 19 percent; RMT volume, up 22 percent; and total truck volume, up 7 percent. Total rail volume is down 5 percent; Virginia Inland Port volume, down 16 percent; and breakbulk tonnage is down 14 percent.

The expansion at NIT is progressing according to schedule. There are 18 new stacks served by 36 new RMGs already in service. Work on the next phase of stack-yard construction is underway with the next group of rail-mounted gantry cranes scheduled for delivery in January 2020.

The port is also making progress on its channel deepening and widening project that when complete in 2024, will make Virginia home to the deepest port on the U.S East Coast. In late September, the Virginia Port Authority Board of Commissioners approved a $78 million contract to begin the first phase of dredging the commercial ship channel to 55 feet.

September Cargo Snapshot

• Total TEUs – 241,416, up 9.1%
• Loaded Export TEUs – 71,651, up 9.1%
• Loaded Import TEUs – 114,643, up 5.2%
• Total Containers – 134,948, up 8.2%
• Virginia Inland Port Containers – 2,934, down 8%
• Total Rail Containers – 42,620, down .4%
• Total Truck Containers – 87,323, up 11.1%
• Total Barge Containers – 5,005, up 42.6%
• Richmond Barge Containers – 3,227, up 45.4%

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.