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Port Moves Ahead on Infrastructure Projects While Handling Record Volumes in July

Port Processing an Average of 282,000 TEUs a Month Thus Far in 2021

NORFOLK, VA – The Port of Virginia® is handling, on average, more than 282,000 TEUs (twenty-foot equivalent units) per month thus far in 2021 and doing so while advancing multiple, critical infrastructure projects aimed at driving the port’s efficiency and maximizing capacity.

In July, the port processed more than 293,000 TEUs making it the second busiest month of the year and the best July on record. Stephen A. Edwards, CEO and executive director of the Virginia Port Authority, is expecting volumes to increase steadily.

“August’s cargo volume, thus far, is strong. We are at the beginning of peak season and we are anticipating a busy retail season,” Edwards said. “As we move into this busy period we’re going to remain agile. Our customers and the cargo owners using The Port of Virginia will see us adjust operations as necessary to meet demand, maintain efficiency and to ensure the unimpeded flow of cargo across our terminals.

“It is important to keep focusing on our delivery of service. Our performance at the berth, the truck gates and rail ramps is absolutely world class. The metrics reflect an operation that is providing real value to customers and the cargo owners. The goal is to be even better.”

  • Go to the statistics page on the port’s website by clicking here.

In parallel to processing record volumes, the port’s infrastructure investment continues with both long- and short-term projects aimed at driving efficiency, preparing for the future and capturing more cargo. Those projects include:

  • Dredging: Dredging on the Thimble Shoal West project will resume in November and there is an estimated 60 days (+/-) of work remaining. The bid for the second phase of dredging – Thimble Shoal East – is complete and the work will begin in early 2022. When complete in 2024, the port’s channels will be 55 feet deep and wide enough to accommodate two ULCVs in the channel at once.
  • NIT Central Rail Yard: The project’s environmental permitting is underway with work scheduled to begin fall of 2021. When complete the project will double the terminal’s capacity to process rail cargo.
  • Equipment: Two new ship-to-shore cranes are fully erect and work on them (at ZPMC) continues. These units will arrive at NIT in the first quarter of 2022 and be operational by the second quarter.
  • Virginia Inland Port: The operational design on nearly doubling the capacity of the rail operation is nearing completion with work expected to start in 2022.
  • Offshore Wind: Dominion Energy and the port are working on a lease agreement for more than 70 acres at Portsmouth Marine Terminal. The site is to be used as a staging and pre-assembly area for the foundations and turbines to be installed on the 2.6-gigawatt Coastal Virginia Offshore Wind (CVOW) commercial project.

“The industry is evolving and as a result we’ll continue with our investment strategy so that we are always prepared for the future,” Edwards said. “This positions us to meet the needs of the customers and grow our market share.”

July Cargo Snapshot (2021 vs. 2020)

  • Total TEUs – 293,126 up 32.6%
  • Loaded Export TEUs – 81,086 up 18.2%
  • Loaded Import TEUs – 142,963, up 35.3%
  • Total Containers – 164,227, up 34.1%
  • Virginia Inland Port Containers – 2,877, up 45.7%
  • Total Rail Containers – 57,652 up 45.3%
  • Total Truck Containers – 99,970 up 28.7%
  • Total Barge Containers – 6,605 up 30.4%