Virginia attributes 7.6% decline in September volume to the impact of Hurricane Florence.
The Virginia Port Authority (VPA) did not suffer any major damage in Hurricane Florence, but closed its terminals to vessel traffic for three and half days as the hurricane approached and then made landfall.
“We lost 10 percent of our workdays in September as a result of the storm and that is a significant amount of time for our vessel traffic to be idled,” said John F. Reinhart, CEO and executive director of the Virginia Port Authority. “The closure was necessary to ensure the safety of our colleagues, facilities, cargo and customers. We were fortunate, especially when compared with our neighbours in North Carolina. During these events our posture will always be to err on the side of caution.”
Florence forced the North Carolina Ports Authority to close its terminals in Wilmington and Morehead City on 13 September. The port did suffer some damage, but Wilmington handled a container ship again on 20 September and the port was not able to resume full commercial operations on September 24.
Even with Florence hitting September’s numbers the VPA still reported a 3% increase in container volume for the first quarter of its fiscal year 2019, an increase of just over 20,000 TEU. On the calendar year to the end of September, however, growth at Virginia has stayed completely flat, with the 1.193M TEU handled so fat just 51 TEU more than the same period in 2017.