Smooth Cargo Flow Continues at Port of Virginia as New March Record is Set

Back to News

Port Processes 128 Vessels, 96,000 Trucks and 53,000 Rail Containers

NORFOLK, VA – The Port of Virginia® in March set a new record for monthly TEU volume (twenty-foot equivalent unit) having handled nearly 280,000 TEUs and processing the volume with fluidity.

March’s record TEU volume was more than 60,000 TEUs ahead of March 2020 and was driven by heavy loaded import volume, which was up 31 percent, and a growing number of empty containers for export, which were up nearly 94 percent. March’s volume was just 354 TEUs shy of tying the port’s all-time monthly volume record, which was set last November.

The port processed March’s record volume with world-class results: expanded turn times for trucks was less than 50 minutes; average rail-ready dwell for imports was 45 hours; and it handled an average of 4,760 gate moves per day.

  • The port’s weekly operational metrics can be found by clicking here.

Stephen A. Edwards, CEO and executive director of the Virginia Port Authority, is anticipating robust volumes in April and May as the port will begin receiving the ships and cargo that were delayed as a result of the blockage of the Suez Canal.

“Our volumes were solid across all phases of the operation and the team and the terminals are performing well and delivering world-class results for our customers and cargo owners,” Edwards said. “We are consistently processing nearly 40,000 lifts a week at the terminals and we anticipate that number will near the 50,000-level during the last half of April and into May.”

In preparation for a brief volume increase, the port today extended the operating hours at Norfolk International Terminals (NIT), Virginia International Gateway (VIG), Pinners Point Container Yard (PPCY) and the Reefer Service Area (RSA); the extension will run through Friday, June 4.

“Adding an hour to the day is the prudent move to ensure operational fluidity and access to the terminals and cargo,” Edwards said. “Our operations are designed for flexibility and in this case we can easily expand to accommodate the demand.”

In late March, the port added 10 new Kalmar Hybrid Shuttle Carriers to its shuttle carrier fleet at VIG to help drive operational efficiency and build upon the port’s sustainability effort; 10 more shuttle carriers are set to arrive later this month.

“We are continuing to invest and strategically add equipment to build capacity,” Edwards said. “These new units give us the capacity to support an additional 300,000 container lifts.”

March Cargo Snapshot (2021 vs. 2020)

  • Total TEUs – 279,514, up 27.4%
  • Loaded Export TEUs – 94,846, up 4.5%
  • Loaded Import TEUs – 130,066, up 31.2%
  • Total Containers – 155,311, up 26.6%
  • Virginia Inland Port Containers – 2,890, up 30.4%
  • Total Rail Containers – 53,426, up 22.7%
  • Total Truck Containers – 96,304, up 29.9%
  • Total Barge Containers – 5,581, up 11.8%
  • Richmond Marine Terminal Containers – 3,237, down -8%
  • Ship Calls – 128, up 14.3%