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Published: 10 August 2017      

Virginia box bonanza keeps running

July was another record month for container throughput at the Port of Virginia, but break bulk cargo continues to decline.

The Port of Virginia moved 234,230 TEUs in July, a 7.5% increase over July 2016 and a new record for best July cargo performance. On a calendar-year basis, total TEU volumes are up 8.1% to 1.6M TEU.
 
“The peak season is underway, we are seeing the large vessels with regularity and handling their corresponding cargo volumes safely and efficiently,” said John F. Reinhart, CEO and executive director of the Virginia Port Authority (VPA). “The North Gate at NIT (Norfolk International Terminals) is fully-functional and motor carriers are utilizing that asset more and more, which will be important as we near the start of work this fall on renovating the south-side stack yard at NIT. 

“While our volumes are growing, there is sustained momentum at The Port of Virginia that is driving us forward: we have approval from the (VPA) Board of Commissioners to sign the purchase contract for four new ship-to- shore cranes – the largest on the U.S. East Coast -- for Virginia International Gateway. We are beginning to see development of warehouse and distribution space, as evidenced by Panattoni’s recent announcement of a 500,000-square-foot speculative building near Richmond Marine Terminal and we are continuing to identify new double-stack rail opportunities into the Lehigh Valley and western Pennsylvania.” 

US exports departing out of Virginia fell slightly in July (down 1.9% on a TEU basis), but the overall loaded export TEU count is up a healthy 4.7% in calendar 2017. The fastest growing container category, however, is export empty boxes, which surged 24.8% in July and are up 15.4% so far in 2017. 

On the breakbulk side, cargo volume at Virginia continues to slide - down 11.9% in July to 13,294 tons. On the calendar year to date, breakbulk volume has fallen 16.5% to 102,851 tons. 





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