Port of Virginia sees record November processing almost 300,000 TEU


The Port of Virginia has recorded its most productive November in its history, handling a total of 291,000 TEU.

This demonstrates a 4% increase compared to November 2020, which was previously hailed as the ports best November on record. However, volumes were down when compared with October 2021 which saw 318,000 TEU pass through the port.

Alongside this success, the Port of Virginia is progressing with its critical infrastructure projects – expanding rail and capacity and channel deepening. These aim to help accommodate ultra-large container vessels and improve efficiency further.

Following a meeting in November 2021, the Virginia Port Authority Board of Commissioners approved an $80 million expansion of the Central Rail Yard at the port’s Norfolk International Terminals (NIT).

“We had a productive November in terms of volume, but equally important is that we now have a clear path forward on expanding our rail capacity at NIT and that effort will be underway shortly,” said Stephen A. Edwards, CEO and Executive Director for the Virginia Port Authority.

“The completion of the railway expansion is timed to support the opening of the new deeper, wider channel and both of those projects will be in place and ready to support the expansion of NIT’s North Berth.

“In a little more than two years, the Port of Virginia will be served by the deepest and widest ship channel anywhere on the US East Coast. Paring that channel depth with modern terminals and a significant increase in double-stack, on-dock rail capacity is going to attract big ships and more cargo volume. We are going to need the rail capacity to support the additional cargo we’ll be getting from this shift of big vessels to Virginia.”

Upon completion of the rail project, NIT’s Central Rail Yard will be able to accommodate 610,000 annual container lifts. Work on the yard is scheduled to begin in February 2022 and is expected to be completed by late 2023. The work to widen the channel and deepen it to 55 feet will be finished in late 2024.

Through November 2021, import loads and empties were up considerably, increasing 13% and 465% respectively.

“Interest in the Port of Virginia is very high right now because we are not experiencing any congestion and we are able to accommodate those vessels that are off schedule. Operationally, our performance remains best-in-class, so we are delivering service and real value to all of our customers – the owners of goods in containers and breakbulk cargo owners.”

The Port of Virginia also recently ordered 18 Hybrid Shuttle Carriers from Kalmar. Announced in August 2021, this marked the port’s fifth consecutive order of hybrid shuttle carriers with the cargo handling experts. Previous corresponding orders date back to 2017.

This order was booked in Cargotec’s Q3 2021 order intake and delivery is expected to be completed by the end of June 2022.

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