Both ports posted an increase throughput in their 2018 fiscal year.
The Port of Virginia completed its fiscal year 2018 (FY18) with a total container throughput of 2,827,740 TEU a 2.4% increase on the 2017 fiscal year.
“We finished the fiscal year in positive territory – our fourth consecutive fiscal year of growth,” said John F. Reinhart, CEO and executive director of the Virginia Port Authority. “Our import container volume was up nearly seven percent, truck volume was up almost five percent, barge volume was up six percent and our volumes at Virginia Inland Port (VIP) and Richmond Marine Terminal (RMT) grew as well.” On the negative side of the ledger, loaded export TEUs were down 3.1% to just over 1M TEU, and the number of rail containers fell 1.7%.
Virginia experienced a drop in empty container numbers in April and May, which continued into June, as the port made a deliberate effort to reduce empties as it manages construction projects at its two main box terminals. “As a result, our total empty container volume was down by more than 76,000 TEUs. What’s important is that our action is having its desired intent, which is to increase efficiency at the terminals and ensure that loaded containers are our priority right now,” Reinhart stated.
Down the coast in South Carolina, the Port of Charleston experienced 3% growth in its 2018 fiscal year to reach 2.2M TEU, a new record for the port. Whether it is related to Virginia’s move to restrict empty box numbers or not, Charleston handled 9% more empty boxes in May 2018 than it did in May 2017, and also had a strong June, handling 201,163 TEU (all containers), a 10% increase on June 2017.
“June container volumes were exceptional, marking the first time our Port has handled more than 200,000 TEUs in a single month,” said SCPA president and CEO Jim Newsome. “We achieved the three highest months of container volume in the Port’s history in March, May and June. As compared to FY2010, SCPA has grown by over 900,000 TEUs for a compound annual growth rate of seven percent. Such growth is a significant accomplishment that reflects a broad expansion of the Port’s cargo base, the commitment of our staff and the overall success of our maritime community.”