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Port of Virginia reports record year

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After 12 months straight of record cargo volume, it’s no surprise that 2017 was the Port of Virginia’s busiest yet.

The port announced Wednesday that it handled 2.84 million 20-foot equivalent units, or TEUs, in 2017. That is up 7 percent over 2016.

In 2017, loaded import and export volumes were up 8.6 percent and 1 percent, respectively. The port saw increases in containers moved by trucks, rail and through the Richmond Marine Terminal. In addition to containers, the port saw its import of new cars jump 22.5 percent.

In December, cargo volumes grew 3.4 percent from December 2016 to 237,525 TEUs. December also marks the halfway mark of the port’s fiscal year. For the first six months of the fiscal year, TEUs are up 5.7 percent to 1.46 million TEUs compared to the same period of the previous fiscal year.

“In 2017, we moved 185,000 more TEUs than we did in 2016, which until now, was our highest volume year on record,” John F. Reinhart, CEO and executive director of the Virginia Port Authority, said in a statement. “For calendar 2017, we had a perfect streak with every month setting a new month-record, bringing us to a new annual record and did this while undertaking the largest infrastructure project in the port’s history.”

While the number of containers grew, the number of ships calling at the port dropped 9.3 percent in 2017. That is due to the continued trend of larger ships with more cargo visiting the port.

During the year:

  • Rail containers grew 3.4 percent to 570,001
  • Barge containers grew 21.6 percent to 49,074 (containers coming through Richmond Marine Terminal grew 22.4 percent to 23,994.)
  • Truck containers grew 9 percent to 993,685
  • Ship calls fell 9.3 percent to 1,746.
  • Vehicle units grew 22.5 percent to 37,006

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