July Volume Increases Over June; Monthly Losses Begin to Subside
LOOKING INTO EARLY FALL, PORT SEES VOLUMES BEGINNING TO STABILIZE
The Port of Virginia’s® cargo volumes showed strength in July, having grown more than 10,000 units when compared with June.
The amount of cargo moving across the port’s terminals in July was 221,028 TEUs (twenty-foot equivalent units) and is an increase of 10,359 TEUs, or nearly 5 percent, when compared with June. The biggest area of growth was on loaded imports: 105,692 TEUs in July vs 95,502 TEUs in June. In a year-on-year comparison, July volume was off by more than 44,500 TEUs when compared with July 2019, which was a record month for volume in 2019.
“We are beginning to see some stabilization in volumes and we expect this to hold for the next two months or so,” said John F. Reinhart CEO and executive director of the Virginia Port Authority. “The number of blank sailings is reducing and we are seeing an uptick in volume on some services, so the month-to-month cargo losses should subside during the near-term. This is still a very unpredictable trade environment, so our team is preparing for any eventuality.”
The port is maintaining the precautionary processes it is using to keep colleagues and its labor partners safe: use of masks, social distancing, workplace cleaning, temperature screening for those entering the terminals and working from home, when possible, continue.
“Our team has been fortunate and a large part of that is our constant vigilance and the relationship we have with our labor partners. We’re looking out for one-another to make sure we all stay safe.” —John R. Reinhart, Virginia Port Authority CEO and executive director
In late July, Norwegian Cruise Line recalled the three vessels it had docked at Portsmouth Marine Terminal (PMT) since May 4; those ships set sail Aug. 1. The port, Reinhart said, is talking with other cruise lines about short- and long-term layberth opportunities at PMT. Also in July the governor announced that the port will get $14 million from the state’s settlement with Volkswagen for the car manufacturer’s emissions scandal. That money will help defray the cost of purchasing two new cranes for the south berth at Norfolk International Terminals (NIT) and electric cargo moving equipment to be used at Richmond Marine Terminal.
“We are continuing to invest in The Port of Virginia and look for ways to leverage our assets to build our revenue,” Reinhart said. “We are speaking with the cruise industry about PMT, we’re preparing to receive a 15,000-TEU ship sometime in September, we are quickly bringing the capacity expansion project at NIT to its end and we just committed to invest $42 million on 20 new shuttle trucks for Virginia International Gateway, two new cranes for NIT and electric cargo moving equipment for Richmond Marine Terminal.”
This fall, two new cranes will arrive at NIT, which will give the terminal 10 units on its south berth; in late 2021 two more cranes will arrive.
“This will give us 12 cranes at NIT South meaning we can work multiple ultra-large container vessels at once with a high-level of productivity and efficiency, which is what the ocean carriers and are cargo owners are looking for,” Reinhart said. “We are working through the pandemic and our team is operating safely, showing resiliency, productivity and high-level of professionalism. There is a lot of positive activity here and the evolution of The Port of Virginia is continuing.”
July Cargo Snapshot
- Total TEUs – 221,028, down, 16.8%
- Loaded Export TEUs – 68,594, down 15.3%
- Loaded Import TEUs – 105,692 down, 15.6%
- Total Containers – 122,446 down, 17.9%
- Virginia Inland Port Containers – 1,974, down 35%
- Total Rail Containers – 39,680, down 19.1%
- Total Truck Containers – 77,700, down 17.4%
- Total Barge Containers – 5,066, down 15.6%
- Richmond Marine Terminal Containers – 3,241, down 11%
The Virginia Port Authority (VPA) is a political subdivision of the Commonwealth of Virginia. The VPA owns and, through its private operating subsidiary Virginia International Terminals, LLC (VIT), operates four general cargo facilities: Norfolk International Terminals, Portsmouth Marine Terminal, Newport News Marine Terminal and the Virginia Inland Port in Warren County. The VPA leases Virginia International Gateway and Richmond Marine Terminal. A recent economic impact study from The College of William and Mary shows that The Port of Virginia helps to create more than 400,000 jobs and generate $92 billion in total economic impact throughout the Commonwealth on an annual basis.