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With Imports Booming, Port of Virginia Posts New Annual Cargo Record

virginia
Courtesy Port of Virginia

Published Jul 19, 2021 10:42 PM by The Maritime Executive

Major container ports across the U.S. have experienced record-setting cargo growth, and the Port of Virginia is no exception. Over the course of the fiscal year ending June 30, it set a new annual cargo record, moving 3.2 million TEU - including a record 280,000 TEU in June alone.

June was the tenth consecutive month of record-breaking volumes for the port and helped push its total TEU volume for the fiscal year to a new record. The port’s annual TEU volume increased 17 percent over last year's levels and nearly 10 percent over the last record-setting year, FY2019. The port worked 1,538 vessels, about 100 more than last year, including the 16,000 TEU CMA CGM Marco Polo - the largest vessel to call the U.S. East Coast.

"The colleagues and partners of The Port of Virginia rose to the challenge," said Stephen A. Edwards, the port’s CEO and executive director. "For much of the fiscal year, we were handling record volumes under COVID-restricted conditions, and we did so safely, swiftly, and sustainably. We consistently handled record-breaking volumes at industry-leading performance levels."

The lingering effects of the pandemic on global trade slowed down the port's cargo volumes in July and August last year, but the port has set monthly records on a regular basis ever since. As elsewhere in the U.S., import volume and empty-container export volume were the primary drivers of growth.

The port’s turn-times for motor carriers and dwell-time for rail cargo were, and it lost no workdays to the pandemic. In addition, it continued to invest in capacity with new, modern cargo-handling equipment.

"We expect to see strong volumes as we head deeper into the summer and the beginning of peak season," Edwards said. "We’re going to keep working our plan of adding assets and, if necessary, hours to the operation, to ensure cargo flow and accommodate the cargo owners."