Port’s Cargo Volume Up 13% in April; More Ocean Carriers Shifting Services to Virginia

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Port Processes More Than 323,000 TEUs; New Cranes Set for Service in May

NORFOLK, VA – The Port of Virginia® in April processed more than 323,000 TEUs (twenty-foot equivalent units) making it the second-most productive month in the port’s history for handling export and import containers.

“The operations team really performed well during a very busy month,” said Stephen A. Edwards, CEO and executive director of the Virginia Port Authority. “We’re about half-way through the process of bringing our two new ship-to-shore cranes online at Norfolk International Terminals’ (NIT) South Berth and they are on schedule to go into service later this month. Those cranes, along with this week’s delivery of 15 new hybrid shuttle trucks will add increased capacity and efficiency to our operation ahead of peak season.

“We’ve had very strong volumes thus far in May, so the arrival of this equipment is important. It will allow us to conduct the regular maintenance and repair of existing equipment without putting unnecessary pressure on our productivity.”

In early May Edwards welcomed Wan Hai Lines to NIT’s North Berth. The Taiwan-based ocean carrier’s first vessel on its weekly AA7 service arrived May 3; the new US East Coast service connects the port with several important Asian markets via the Suez Canal.

“Wan Hai is a good fit for the North Berth and is the first of several new service announcements that we’ll be making in the coming months,” Edwards said. “There is a growing interest in The Port of Virginia. We’re efficient, we’re investing $1.3 billion during the next four years to ensure we have the infrastructure and capacity and our results speak volumes.”

Edwards pointed to ocean carrier Hapag-Lloyd’s recently reworked Mediterranean Gulf Coast Express (MGX) service that moves cargo overland by rail to California via a single East Coast stop in Virginia. “Hapag-Lloyd is taking advantage of the present-day efficiencies here that are driven by a diverse, ultra-modern port complex that has an expansive rail reach.”

April’s total missed the all-time monthly volume mark by just 2,300 TEUs; that record was set in December 2021. The month’s volume was nearly 13 percent ahead of April 2021, which is an increase of nearly 37,000 TEUs. Additionally, April’s volumes were ahead of January, February and March, which were 262,000, 297,000 and 315,000 TEUs, respectively.

April Cargo Snapshot (2022 vs. 2021)

  • Total TEUs – 323,244 up 12.9%
  • Loaded Export TEUs – 99,589, up 4.2%
  • Loaded Import TEUs – 142,639, up 3.4%
  • Total Containers – 180,611, up 13.1%
  • Virginia Inland Port Containers – 1,854, down 29.5%
  • Total Rail Containers – 59,380, up 5.6%
  • Total Truck Containers – 114,776, up 17.6%
  • Total Barge Containers – 6,455, 9.4%