Port’s Container Volumes Climb in April; ‘Big Ship Era’ is Underway in Virginia

May 11, 2017

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

Port Records Busiest April to Date

NORFOLK, VA – The Port of Virginia® moved 225,196 twenty-foot equivalent units (TEUs) in April, which is growth of 4.6 percent when compared with the same month last year. The port has handled at least 220,000 TEUs every month since October 2016.

The continued growth came as Virginia’s governor, transportation secretary, commerce and trade secretary and representatives of the OCEAN Alliance’s members welcomed the COSCO Development, which at 13,092 TEUs, is the biggest containership to ever call Virginia and the U.S. East Coast. After transiting the Panama Canal, the ship made its first East Coast port stop on May 8 at Virginia International Gateway where a ceremony was held to mark the historic event. Following the ceremony, more than 500 people from the across the region, industry and government toured Norfolk Harbor to see the vessel being worked.

“Our volumes remain steady and we are on track to surpass the number of TEUs we handled in fiscal year 2016; through April we are up nearly 7 percent” said John F. Reinhart, CEO and executive director of the Virginia Port Authority. “The new alliance networks went live April 1, and Virginia is the top East Coast port for deployed capacity for Asia-U.S. East Coast alliance services. The big ships are coming to Virginia and bringing corresponding amounts of cargo — and we are on the edge of peak season. Those realities coupled with our expansion projects, are resulting in a very active spring at The Port of Virginia. Our focus during this period of growth and transition is to maintain our efficiency, safety and levels of service.”

March Cargo Snapshot

  • Loaded Export TEUs – 85,623, up 4%
  • Loaded Import TEUs – 101,114, up 9.4%
  • Containers – 128,321, up 5.4%
  • Rail Containers – 46,367, up 4.3%
  • Barge Containers – up 3,749, up 41%
  • Truck Containers – 78,205, up 5%
  • Richmond Marine Terminal Containers – 1,967, up 39%

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. In fiscal year 2013, The Port of Virginia provided more than 374,000 jobs and generated $60.3 billion in total economic impact throughout the Commonwealth.