Cargo Flowing Efficiently, Freely at Port of Virginia as New Feb. Record is Set

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With Fluidity, Port Processes Nearly 249,000 TEUs, 117 Vessel Calls

NORFOLK, VA – The Port of Virginia® in February set a new record for monthly TEU volume (twenty-foot equivalent unit) having handled nearly 249,000 TEUs and in doing so set a new record for February cargo volume.

February’s record TEU volume was more than 40,000 TEUs ahead of Feb. 2020 and was driven by heavy loaded export and import volume, up 8 percent and 13 percent respectively, and a significant increase in the number empty containers for export — more than 48,000 TEUs. The previous record for February was set in 2019.

Stephen A. Edwards, CEO and executive director of the Virginia Port Authority, is anticipating the strong volumes to continue at least through the first half of the calendar year.

“The Port of Virginia is consistently performing at a very high service level across all phases of our operation and this is important because we are working with various ocean carriers and cargo owners to process some cargo from other ports that needs to make its way to market,” Edwards said.

“As the vaccination campaign gains momentum, the supply chains are opening–up and the economy — manufacturing and retail — is building strength so we expect cargo flows to remain strong into the summer. We’re maximizing our investments and telling the industry that we have the capacity to handle more cargo while maintaining our delivery of service levels to the ocean carriers, motor carriers, railroads, and cargo owners.”

Two-thirds of the way through fiscal year 2021 (July 1, 2020 – June 30, 2021) the port has processed more than 2 million TEUs, which is an increase of more than 7 percent, or 140,000 units, when compared with the same period in FY20. And though volume has increased, the port’s operational efficiency continues to improve: motor carriers are moving on-and-off the terminals in less than 45 minutes, rail dwell for imports is in the 40-hour range, berth productivity is strong, and there is good flow on the barge service moving between Richmond Marine Terminal and the Norfolk Harbor.

February Cargo Snapshot (2021 vs. 2020)

  • Total TEUs – 248,526, up 19.6%
  • Loaded Export TEUs – 87,466, up 8.2%
  • Loaded Import TEUs – 110,274, up 13%
  • Total Containers – 136,803 up 19%
  • Virginia Inland Port Containers – 2,381, up 32.4%
  • Total Rail Containers – 42,497, up 12.9%
  • Total Truck Containers – 89,858, up 23.1%
  • Total Barge Containers – 4,448, up 3.4%
  • Richmond Marine Terminal Containers – 3,003, down -7.4%
  • Ship Calls – 117, up 5.4%