Port Sets New Monthly Cargo Volume Record in May as it Processes More Than 340,000 TEUs

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New Cranes, Shuttle Trucks Integrated into the Operation as Peak Season Nears

NORFOLK, VA – The Port of Virginia® continues processing record-setting amounts of cargo having handled more than 340,000 TEUs (twenty-foot equivalent units) in May and in doing so making it the most productive month in the port’s history.

May’s TEU total surpassed the previous all-time monthly volume mark by more than 14,500 units; that record was set in December 2021. Additionally, May was the third consecutive month of TEU volumes exceeding 314,000 units. The combined volume of March, April and May is more than 978,000 TEUs, resulting in the busiest three-month stretch in port history.

Stephen A. Edwards, CEO and executive director of the Virginia Port Authority, is expecting strong volumes in June that will position the port to have its best fiscal year (FY22 = July 1, 2021 – June 30, 2022) performance on record. The timing of putting 15 new shuttle trucks and two new ship-to-shore cranes into service at Norfolk International Terminals’ South Berth and will be important to a strong finish in FY22.

“The success we have had in these last three months is the result of an experienced operations team that understands how to extract maximum productivity from the terminals while delivering very efficient service to our customers,” Edwards said. “These new cranes will provide the capacity to process about 360,000 additional TEUs annually, which is going to be important for us as we continue to see new business and move into peak cargo season. This best-in-class productivity and our $1.3 billion long-term investment strategy is driving business to The Port of Virginia.”

In May, the port’s focus on building new business and making progress on its long-term investment strategy came into focus.

  • May 3: Edwards welcomed Wan Hai Lines to NIT’s North Berth. The Taiwan-based ocean carrier’s first vessel on its weekly AA7 service to the US East Coast connects the port with several important Asian markets via the Suez Canal.
  • May 13: Sea Lead, a Singapore-based ocean carrier, began its first-ever service to the US East Coast with Virginia being the carrier’s first port call.
  • May 20: The federal government began its financial commitment to the construction of the widest and deepest commercial shipping channels and harbor on the US East Coast. By 2024, the port’s channels will be at least 55 feet deep and capable of safely handling two-way traffic of ultra-large containerships.
  • May 23: The port announces that it will be fulfilling all of its operational electricity needs from clean-energy resources by 2024. This move puts the port ahead of schedule on its goal of becoming completely carbon-neutral by 2040.
  • May 24: The Port of Virginia was North America’s highest performing port in 2021, according to The Container Port Performance Index 2021 that was published by the World Bank in late May.

“This is a twenty-first century port that is being recognized for its modern approach to growth,” Edwards said. “We are taking the steps to create a sustainable operation that aligns us with some of the world’s leading ocean carriers, retailers, manufacturers, suppliers and multinational corporations. To grow, we cannot rely on the success of our past. We must always be thinking forward and expanding our capabilities to meet the needs of our customers.”

May Cargo Snapshot (2022 vs. 2021)

  • Total TEUs – 340,119, up 8%
  • Loaded Export TEUs – 97,760, down 2%
  • Loaded Import TEUs – 166,918, up 15.2%
  • Total Containers – 188,869, up 7.3%
  • Virginia Inland Port Containers – 2,172, down 3.5%
  • Total Rail Containers – 59,996, down 3.5%
  • Total Truck Containers – 120,495, up 12%
  • Total Barge Containers – 8,437, 33.9%
  • Total Breakbulk Tonnage = 12,558, up 46.7%

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