Port Tracking for Record 2019; Calendar Year-to-Date Cargo Increases Nearly 5% August RMT Barge Volume Up Nearly 500 Containers

September 13, 2019

Contact: Joseph D. Harris Spokesman
(757) 683-2137 / Office
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Port Tracking for Record 2019; Calendar Year-to-Date Cargo Increases Nearly 5%
August RMT Barge Volume Up Nearly 500 Containers

NORFOLK, VA – The Port of Virginia® is on pace to another record-setting calendar year as cargo volumes through August are up nearly 95,000 TEUs (twenty-foot equivalent units), an increase of 5 percent when compared with the same period last year.

The strong volumes through the first two-thirds of the year are attributable to an increase in the number of loaded import containers flowing across the port and a jump in the number of empty containers that were exported to a foreign destination. Through August, loaded import containers are up 53,508 TEUs, or more than 6 percent; export loads, are down 19,956 units, or 3 percent; export empties are up 61,187 units, or 19 percent; and import empties are down, though just 53 units.

“Our calendar-year-to-date performance remains strong despite a flat spot in August,” said John F. Reinhart, CEO and executive director of the Virginia Port Authority. “We are seeing some of the negative effects of the increasing trade tariffs in the agriculture sector, grain and lumber exports in particular, and this was expected.

“We’re focusing on long-term growth, marketing our new capabilities and the expansion at Norfolk International Terminals. What’s most important is the fact that we are continuing to build upon our efficiency. The cargo is flowing through our terminals with predictability and dependability.”

Cargo volumes in August were off by 1,145 containers, or .4 percent when compared with Aug. 2018. Import loads were up nearly 4 percent; total barge volume, up nearly 6 percent; Richmond Marine Terminal volume, up 16.5 percent; and truck volume, up 5.5 percent.

“Our month-to-month volumes will rebound, especially in these next couple of months leading into the retail season,” Reinhart said. “We are focused on diversifying our cargo mix, looking at new markets and working to raise awareness of the capabilities of this world-class port.”

The expansion at NIT is progressing according to schedule. With the completion of phase II in mid-September, there are now 15 new stacks served by 30 new RMGs in service. Work on phase IV of the stack yard expansion began Sept. 1.

August Cargo Snapshot

  • Total TEUs – 257,675, down .4%
  • Loaded Export TEUs – 80,655, down 3.4%
  • Loaded Import TEUs – 121,542, up 3.8%
  • Virginia Inland Port Containers – 3,049, down 25.9%
  • Total Rail Containers – 46,699, down 15.3%
  • Total Truck Containers – 91,457, up 5.5%
  • Total Barge Containers – 5,171, up 5.7%
  • Richmond Barge – 3,481, up 16.5%

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, 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 generates more than $88 billion in total economic impact throughout the Commonwealth on an annual basis.