Port Volumes Up 8.9% Versus Prior Year as Turn Times for Motor Carriers See Double-Digit Improvement

February 11, 2019

Contact: Joseph D. Harris Spokesman
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Port Volumes Up 8.9% Versus Prior Year as Turn Times for Motor Carriers See Double-Digit Improvement

NORFOLK, VA – The Port of Virginia® continues to move near-peak season cargo volumes and is doing so well under the industry standard turn time of 60 minutes for motor carries. The port’s container volume for January was 240,111 TEUs (twenty-foot equivalent units), or 134,638 containers, up 8.9 percent compared to prior year. Fiscal 2019 to date, total TEU volume is up 2.8 percent or 47,745 TEUs (18,365 containers).

“While volumes remain at near-peak levels, we’re seeing the benefits of our expansion projects bearing fruit,” said John F. Reinhart, the CEO and executive director of the Virginia Port Authority. “Our traditional turn time at Virginia International Gateway (VIG) averaged 65.5 minutes in October and November. That figure dropped more than 33 percent for December and January. That improvement is the result of daily progress we’re making on our expansion projects – even as we continue to handle high volumes.”

In January, the average traditional turn times at both terminals at VIG and Norfolk International Terminals (NIT) were at 41.8 and 52.6 minutes, respectively. Average expanded turn times for VIG and NIT were 50.7 and 59.5, respectively.

As the three-year, $320 million expansion project at VIG nears completion, the first phase of construction at NIT is nearly complete and the second phase is underway. The efficiencies gained from the new capacity, combined with the metered flow of cargo via the port’s Truck Reservation System is providing the port – and its customers – with some much-needed breathing room after managing through the most difficult aspects of the expansion projects.

“We’ve reached a pivot point,” Reinhart said. “We met the challenges of peak season. VIG is nearly complete – capped off with the delivery of the largest cranes in the Western Hemisphere last month. Twelve new stacks are handling cargo today at NIT, and our second phase of construction is now underway. We’re ready to shift to a more aggressive stance in terms of going after cargo, providing high levels of service and moving that cargo more efficiently than ever.”

Rail volume came in at 45,604 containers, up 3 percent or 1,314 containers compared to prior year. Virginia Inland Port volume was also up 8.8 percent, or 272 containers. Barge volume was up 21.5 percent or 879 containers overall and up 54.1 percent or 1,196 containers for Richmond Marine Terminal.

January Cargo Snapshot

  • Total TEUs – 240,111, up 8.9%
  • Loaded Export TEUs – 77,948, up 2.2%
  • Loaded Import TEUs – 109,757, up 5.4%
  • Total Containers – 134,638, up 7.4%
  • Breakbulk Tonnage – 15,086 (tons), down 13.8%
  • Virginia Inland Port Containers – 3,372, up 8.8%
  • Total Rail Containers – 45,604, up 3.0%
  • Total Truck Containers – 84,060, up 9.2%
  • Total Barge Containers – 4.974, up 21.5%
  • Richmond Barge Containers – 3,406, up 54.1%
  • Vehicle Units – 1,977 – down 21.5%

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.