Port of Virginia enjoys record container levels

Norfolk, VA, USA -- June 6, 2019. A photo of a row of shipyard cranes set against a bright hazy sky in Port Virginia, Norfolk.

The Port of Virginia is posting its most productive year on record having processed more than 3.5 million TEU.

The port closed its year having processed more than 325,000 TEU in December, making it the most productive month in history; the previous record was 318,000 TEU processed in October.

Comparatively, December 2021 volumes were ahead of December 2020 volumes by 25%, or more than 65,000 TEU.

December is the half-way mark in fiscal year 2022 and thus far the TEU volume is 1.84 million TEU, an increase of nearly 20%. Gate volumes are up 25%; loaded imports, up 22%; and total rail volume is up nearly 23%.

Total TEU levels for the calendar year 2021 were 3,522,834 – up 25.2% on 2020 numbers.

“This year presented challenges to world trade beyond what we, and the industry, could have ever imagined,” said Stephen A. Edwards, CEO and executive director of the Virginia Port Authority.

“We kept our focus and delivered a best-in-class performance with solid efficiency, customer service and a record amount of cargo. It was truly collaborative effort between our entire team and all of our partners.”

Ongoing projects at Virginia include:

  • Dredging: The Thimble Shoal West project is nearing completion and dredge crews are preparing to begin work on Thimble Shoal East. When complete in 2024, the port’s channels will be 55ft deep and wide enough to accommodate two ULCVs in the channel at once.
  • NIT Central Rail Yard: The project’s $80 million budget was approved in November 2021 and work begins this winter. When complete, the Central Rail Yard at Norfolk International Terminals (NIT) will be able to accommodate 610,000 annual container lifts; current lift capacity is 350,000.  
  • Equipment: Two new Super Post-Panamax ship-to-shore cranes will be delivered to NIT in early spring and will be in service by the start of summer 2021.
  • Offshore Wind: The port completed its lease of Portsmouth Marine Terminal to companies that will use the terminal as the staging and pre-assembly area for the components needed to develop a large-scale offshore wind farm off the coast of Virginia Beach.

Edwards added, “In roughly two years this port will have the capacity to process more than one million rail lifts annually. Our progress on dredging has us tracking to make Virginia home to the deepest port on the US East Coast by late 2024.

“We’ve fostered private investment on our terminals that is helping to support an entirely new industry — wind energy — in Virginia. And, we are investing in equipment to ensure that we are ready for the future.”

The Port of Virginia is also looking to increase its efficiency, as CP&O LLC and Ceres Marine Terminal have consolidated services at the port under the CP&O brand.

The new venture will combine the two organisations under one name, aiming to provide opportunities for growth and efficiency. This is said to become useful in light of the mass surge in consumer demand driven by the COVID-19 pandemic.

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