August TEU Volumes Surpass 307,000 Units; Port Continues to Invest in New Assets

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Single Port-Owner, Operator – the “Virginia Model” — Shows its Value

NORFOLK, VA – The Port of Virginia® in August processed more than 307,000 TEUs (twenty-foot-equivalent units) making it the busiest August on record and the port’s second most productive month in its history.

The combination of modern terminals and an experienced operating team are combining for success and ongoing efficiency, said Stephen A. Edwards, CEO and executive director of the Virginia Port Authority (VPA). In addition, the advantage of the “Virginia model” – where the VPA is both the terminal owner and operator – is keeping the port agile and providing measurable results to ocean carriers and cargo owners that are facing congestion and delays elsewhere.

“We own the terminals and our operating company runs them and this is an important advantage because we are not beholden to multiple economic interests, especially when we need to be flexible in our operations to accommodate our customers and growing cargo volumes,” Edwards said. “The Hampton Roads Chassis Pool [HRCPII] is a great example of the advantages of being an owner-operator. We own and operate HRCP [II] and as a result, we can make decisions and take quick action to ensure we have an ample supply of chassis.”

The VPA has four deep-water, multi-purpose cargo terminals and two inland terminals that are run by the VPA’s private operating company, Virginia International Terminals, LLC. In addition, the VPA owns and operates HRCPII.

“Though this is a very large, diverse port complex, all of the operational decisions are made under one roof by our Chief Operations Officer, Kevin Price,” Edwards said. “Everyday the parts are communicating, working in unison, analyzing need and providing real value to our customers, cargo owners and shippers. The ability to act quickly and provide service and solutions – long- or short-term — is the advantage of The Port of Virginia.”

August’s TEU volume was up 59,675 TEUs (+24%) vs the same month last year and up 48,202 units (+18.6%) when compared with Aug. 2018, the best August on record.

  • To see the port’s operational metrics on productivity at the berth, rail ramp and truck gates, click here.

“Our August volume would have been even stronger but there were some disruptions in the vessel schedule that are pushing some ship calls into September,” Edwards said. “We are nearing the height of peak season and do not anticipate a let-up before year’s end. Knowing that, we are focusing on remaining agile and fluid in our operations and continuing to invest in new assets that will increase our efficiency.”

In late August, the port ordered 18 Kalmar Hybrid Shuttle Carriers; the units are set for delivery next June to Norfolk International Terminals [15] and Virginia International Gateway [3]. In addition, 100 Thermo King gensets were delivered to HRCPII. These units mount directly on the chassis and 80 of the matching chassis are scheduled for delivery to HRCPII in October.

August Cargo Snapshot (2021 vs. 2020)

  • Total TEUs – 307,023 up 24.1%
  • Loaded Export TEUs – 85,256 up 13.2%
  • Loaded Import TEUs – 144,226, up 19.3%
  • Total Containers – 172,094, up 26.4%
  • Virginia Inland Port Containers – 2,794, down 3.2%
  • Total Rail Containers – 57,839 up 32.9%
  • Total Truck Containers – 106,458 up 23%
  • Total Barge Containers – 7,797 up 28.3%