Industries Ports/Trade

Port of Virginia numbers hold steady in 2018

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The Port of Virginia had a slight increase in container cargo volume last year as it manages expansion of its two largest terminals.

“Our growth in 2018 was less than what we had planned for, but as construction proceeded at Virginia International Gateway (VIG) and Norfolk International Terminals (NIT), we made the decisions to temporarily hold some cargo and limit the movement of empty containers,” John F. Reinhart, CEO and executive director of the Virginia Port Authority, said in a statement.

The port reported that its cargo volume increased 0.5 percent from calendar year 2017 to 2,855,904 TEUs, an industry standard for 20-foot equivalent units.

The port decided to limit the movement of empty containers as it undergoes expansion projects at the two largest terminals. The port reported that it imports of empty containers dropped 47.8 percent during the year as it tried to make operations more efficient while undergoing the expansion projects.

“We knew those moves would have a bearing on our year-end totals,” Reinhart said. “Though we still set a new mark, it was a rather static performance. In a larger sense, we made the right moves because we were able to get through a very challenging period while maintaining our service levels.”

Traffic at the port’s inland terminals increased last year. Cargo containers handled at the Richmond Marine Terminal were up 31.5 percent to 31,544. Containers handled at the Virginia Inland Port in Front Royal were up 7.8 percent to 38,540.

During the year, loaded export volumes decreased by 3.6 percent, while imports were up 4 percent.

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