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November Yields New Volume Record; Port Marks Six Consecutive Months of Growth

The Port of Virginia® in November set a new record for monthly TEU volume (twenty-foot equivalent unit) having handled nearly 280,000 units, a number that surpasses the previous mark – set in October – by more than 5,600 units.

November was the sixth consecutive month of month-over-month growth for the port. When compared with November 2019, the month held solid growth in both export and import loads, which totaled 89,032 TEUs (up 15%) and 124,214 TEUs (up 21%), respectively.

“We have handled more than 554,000 TEUs in the last two months and equally impressive is the efficiency with which we are processing the cargo,” said John F. Reinhart, CEO and executive director of the Virginia Port Authority. “Our motor carriers are moving on-and-off the terminals in less than 45 minutes, rail dwell for exports is in the 40-hour range, and we have good flow on the barge service moving between here and Richmond Marine Terminal. The team and our labor partners have these terminals performing at world-class levels and it is important to recognize their effort.”

To see the port in action during November click here: https://bit.ly/nov20volumesvid.

The port is forecasting strong December volumes, though not to the level of November. Volumes to begin 2021 will be lighter, which is traditional, and could begin to build in March, but this will depend upon the health of the global economy and the spread of COVID-19. Some of that growth, Reinhart said, will come from four new, weekly vessel services that the port has added since May. Among those strings are a service that links Virginia with Northern Europe and the Caribbean and one that connects Virginia with Southeast India, Sri Lanka, and Bangladesh.

“From an operational standpoint we are very busy, but we are also making significant progress on our other projects that will deliver additional benefits to our customers, cargo owners, and all Port of Virginia users,” Reinhart said. “The effort to make Virginia home to the deepest, widest, safest shipping channels and harbor on the US East Coast is ahead of schedule. We are on track to have our two new ship-to-shore cranes at NIT (Norfolk International Terminals) operational in January. The design phase for NIT’s new rail yard is underway and that project focuses on doubling the terminal’s rail capacity and increasing efficiency. And, we continue to add new chassis so our fleet is ready to handle our growing volumes.”

The project to dredge the Norfolk Harbor, the commercial channels, and ocean approaches to 55-plus feet deep is scheduled for completion in late 2024. When the work is complete, Virginia will be home to the deepest harbor on the US East Coast.

November Cargo Snapshot (2020 vs. 2019)

• Total TEUs – 279,868, up 23.3%
• Loaded Export TEUs – 89,032, up 15.3%
• Loaded Import TEUs – 125,214, up 21.1%
• Total Containers – 152,755 up 21.2%
• Virginia Inland Port Containers – 2,417, up 21.1%
• Total Rail Containers – 49,950, up 23.6%
• Total Truck Containers – 97,622, up 20.5%
• Total Barge Containers – 5,183, up 12.6%
• Richmond Marine Terminal Containers – 3,469, up 13%
Source: Virginia Port Authority

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