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Published: 12 July 2017
Banner year for Virginia
Virginia is brimming with optimisim after a 7.2% increase in container volume to 2.76M TEU in its 2017 financial year.
The Virginia Port Authority (VPA) reported a list of strong container numbers in its 2017 financial year result. As well as total containers rising 7.2% to 2.76M TEU, rail containers were up 13% to 568,894 units, truck containers were up 4.6% to 950,311 units, and total barge containers reached 46,594 units, a rise of 12.8%. Containers through the Richmond Marie Terminal barge facility spiked 37.6% to 22,500.
“We finished fiscal year 2017 with a solid volume increase and thus marked our fourth consecutive fiscal year of volume growth,” said John F. Reinhart, CEO and executive director of the Virginia Port Authority. “We grew in the right areas, we moved a record-amount of volume across all modes of transportation, train, barge and truck – and did so safely -- and we continue to improve our service levels. The $670 million we are investing to expand the capabilities and capacity at The Port of Virginia are aimed at sustaining this trend into the next several decades.
“The Port of Virginia team and its labor partners accomplished a lot in fiscal year 2017. We became the leading rail port on the U.S. East Coast; we announced several significant initiatives; we moved record amounts of cargo; we embarked on the biggest expansion – investment -- this port has ever seen and we were the first port to host the COSCO Development, which was biggest ship to ever call the U.S. East Coast. We will not let up, there is still much work to be done and we are up to the task.”
The port chose to focus on its strong container numbers, but it recorded declines in two other cargo sectors: breakbulk was down 25% to 185,194t and vehicles dropped nearly 11% to 32,249 units.
For now, however, providing for further growth in containers is the main focus. “This growth comes as the port is in the process of expanding capacity at its two primary container terminals: Norfolk International Terminals (NIT) and Virginia International Gateway (VIG). The port is investing $320 million to double container capacity at VIG and $350 million to renovate the south container yard at NIT. In June, the port opened its new 26-lane, North Gate at NIT, a $42 million investment that will increase the throughput of trucks,” the port said in a statement.
“Our expansion projects are underway and will result in sweeping improvements across all areas of operation, allowing for sustainable growth for decades to come,” Reinhart added. “Looking forward, we will push to continue building momentum and preparing ourselves for the even bigger ships of tomorrow.”