Forecasts breaking 2 million teu mark in FY ‘06

Growth in teu counts, ship calls and rail business highlighted the Virginia Port Authority’s (VPA) fiscal year that ended June 30. In addition, fiscal 2005 (July 1, 2004 to June 30, 2005) was a year that held several milestones for The Port, from the approval to further deepen the shipping channels to the establishment of a port-wide chassis pool.

“We’ve worked very hard and the numbers show it; we should be proud,” said VPA Executive Director J. Robert Bray. “For the last few years we’ve set our sights pretty high and we continue to surpass our goals. It is a collective effort.”

FY ‘05 cargo highlights include:

1.9 million containers handled; an increase of 10.9 percent over FY ‘04

2,142 ship calls, 10 more than in FY ‘04

563,379 short tons of breakbulk cargo handled

228,330 containers sent to the Midwest via rail; an increase of 14.6% over FY ‘04

Tom Capozzi, the VPA’s senior director of marketing, presented the year-end report to The Port’s board of commissioners on July 26. In the presentation, Capozzi said while the FY ‘05 numbers are impressive, he is expecting even more in fiscal 2006.

“We’re on pace to exceed 2 million containers next year,” Capozzi said. “Our slow season really doesn’t exist anymore, there is a new service (China Shipping) that is set to begin calling here and we forecast that our strongest trade lanes will continue to grow. All of these things add up to what I believe will be a very busy 2006.”

Three quarters of the trade lanes posted solid growth in FY ‘05 when compared with FY ‘04. The growth is in teus and the breakdown in is as follows:

  • Africa, -7.1%
  • Northeast Asia, +8.4%
  • Southeast Asia, -3.1%
  • Northern Europe, +9.7%
  • India, +28%
  • Mediterranean, +7.4%
  • Middle East, +15.8%
  • South America, +19.3%

In addition to growth in The Port’s strongest trade lanes, the development of distribution centers near The Port is helping the optimism for FY ‘06. There are eight new or expanded port-related distribution centers in operation and seven more speculative distribution projects in various stages of development.

The Virginia Inland Port (VIP), The Port’s intermodal facility in Front Royal, also posted a strong FY ‘05, with 51.8% growth in the number of containers handled. In FY ‘05, VIP handled 31,604 containers compared with 20,826 containers handled in FY ‘04.