Norfolk – Cargo volume at The Port of Virginia (POV) grew 6 percent in February, an increase of 10,134 TEUs when compared with the same month last year.
"We think February's volume could have been even greater, but repeated snow storms and resulting lost work days had an impact on us," said John F. Reinhart, the Virginia Port Authority's CEO and executive director. "Anything we lost in February, we expect to be made up in March.
"The POV is dedicated to improving our service and operations to accommodate this increasing volume. We must achieve financial stability in the POV and optimize our facilities. The adverse impact of congestion compounded by several winter storms has resulted in continued operating losses. These current losses must be reversed through focus on costs, processes, productivity and coordination with our customers, partners and suppliers."
February's growth was led by imports, which increased by 8.4 percent (6,515 TEUs) when compared with last February. (This January, growth was led by exports.) There was also growth in breakbulk tonnage, 1.1 percent; rail containers, 5.5%; barge containers, .6 percent; and vehicle units, 7.6 percent.
For the first two months of the year, the port's TEU volume has increased 5.7 percent (18,638 TEUs) when compared with the same period in 2013.
Reinhart anticipates the growth in volume to increase through the spring as the G6 vessel-sharing consortium implements changes to its transatlantic services that connect the Europe, the Mediterranean and Asia trade lanes with the US East Coast. Last month, the G6 partners said four-out-of-the-five realigned services will call The Port of Virginia.
"Two of those services will be last-out vessel calls, meaning Virginia will be their last US East Coast stop before heading to their foreign destinations; last-out calls can be crucial in developing export business," Reinhart said.
The port continues to have record-high fiscal-year-to-date TEU volumes through February: throughput through February in fiscal 2014 is 1,516,052 TEUs, up 5.3 percent when compared with the same period from fiscal 2013.
Calendar year TEU totals, 2014 vs. 2013:
- February 2014 = 179,524
- February 2013 = 169,390
- January 2014 = 167,272
- January 2013 = 158,766