The Port of Virginia set a new annual record for container cargo volume having handled more than 2.85 million TEUs in calendar year 2018.
In 2018, the port’s TEU volumes were up 1.5 percent over the prior year. The port saw increases in volume at both Virginia Inland Port and Richmond Marine Terminal, and truck and barge volume. Breakbulk cargo handled at Newport News Marine Terminal was also up by 1.2 percent.
“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,” said John F. Reinhart, CEO and executive director of the Virginia Port Authority.
The number of ships calling Virginia dropped by 5 percent in 2018 and while there are fewer vessels calling Virginia, they are larger and carry more cargo. The increasing vessel sizes and container volumes are factors in the port’s capacity expansion and Wider, Deeper, Safer effort, which is a project that will deepen the Norfolk Harbor to 55 feet and widen portions of the commercial navigation channels.
“In 2019 we will continue on our forward trajectory,” Reinhart said. “Our focus now is the expansion of NIT, bringing the new ship-to-shore cranes on line at VIG and wrapping-up construction there in June.”