2015 September 12 11:15

Port of Virginia container volume up to 220,069 TEU in August 2015

August’s TEU volume of 220,069 units helped to push the port into its sixth consecutive month of TEU volumes exceeding 210,000 units.

The TEU increase for the month was 2.7 percent above August 2014. During August, truck volume was up .3 percent; rail volume up 3 percent; container volume at Virginia Inland Port up 27 percent; and vehicle units up 94 percent vs. prior year (all categories).

“We are entering the peak of the retail season and we are handling the volume with greater efficiency and consistency than we did at this time last year,” said John F. Reinhart, CEO and executive director of the Virginia Port Authority. “We set a record for volume in 2014 (2.5 million TEUs) and we anticipate we’ll set a new mark in calendar year 2015. We have had some difficult moments and continue to face challenges, but each month we continue to get better at handling these increasing monthly volumes.”

Two-thirds of the way through 2015, The Port of Virginia’s TEU volume is 9 percent – 141,000 TEUs – ahead of where it was at the same point last year. On a calendar-year comparison basis, the port grew in both truck and rail volumes, 10 percent and 8 percent, respectively. Moreover, vehicle units were up 60 percent when compared with the same period last year.

“The strategy of investing in people, technology and cargo conveyance equipment that we implemented last year is beginning to show returns,” Reinhart said. “Now our efforts will be to continue to reinvest in all of our areas of operation, make the necessary changes to improve delivery of service, create sustainability and maintain profitability. We are in the early stages of executing a long-term plan to assure those things happen.”

Reinhart estimates that it will take an investment of at least $2 billion over the course of the next decade to provide the necessary infrastructure to increase capacity, remain competitive with its US East Coast peers, cultivate reasonable, sustained growth and contribute to economic development within the Commonwealth.

In May, the Virginia Port Authority Board of Commissioners approved a $135 million capital spending plan and in doing so kick-started the capital reinvestment process. The budget is centered on investing in people, technology, container handling equipment and reinvestment in facilities.

The port started work on the first of those capital projects in July, when it broke ground on the expansion of the North Gate at Norfolk International Terminals, a project that will tie-in to I-564 Intermodal Connector project. Combined, the projects will increase truck velocity through NIT’s north gate, remove a significant amount of daily truck traffic from Norfolk city streets and provide motor carriers with direct, safe access to Interstate 564.