188,539 teus handled in October

October was the busiest month in the history of The Port of Virginia as 188,539 teus were handled at the general cargo terminals that line the Elizabeth and James rivers.

“We knew October was going to be busy, but we didn’t know to what extent,” said Tom Capozzi, the VPA’s senior managing director of marketing services. “A lot of this cargo can be attributed to a new China Shipping service that is calling here, a couple of ‘sweeper’ vessels, peak retail season and strong rail growth due to diversions from other ports experiencing congestion and delays.”

October’s volume comes on the heels of two previous record-setting months. In August, the port handled 172,838 teus and in September the teu count was 170,620; August and September, respectively, had ranked as the two busiest months in port history.

“That kind of volume is important, but the most noteworthy thing is that there was no congestion at the gates or slowdowns in the cargo handling operations,” said J. Robert Bray, the VPA’s executive director. “We continue to refine our operation, in terms of both planning and upgrades to our facilities, and when you move the number of teus we did in October, it shows our work has paid off.”

Thus far in 2005, the port has moved more than1.6 million teus, the same volume moved in all of 2003 ’ year to date cargo volumes are up 9.8%.

The month’s highlights

  • Breakbulk volume at Virginia International Terminals Inc. (VIT) was up 10.6% in October for all three marine terminals: Norfolk International Terminals (NIT), Portsmouth Marine Terminal (PMT) and Newport News Marine Terminal (NNMT).
  • At VIT there were a combed 29,172 truck gate moves and 5,050 moves through the rail gate in a single week.
  • NIT container volumes were up 25.9% when compared with the same month last year. Year-to-date, teu throughput is up 17%.
  • At PMT, the breakbulk volume was up 16% when compared with last October and the year-to-date number is up 35.8%.
  • At NNMT, the year-to-date container volumes have increased 10.2 percent and the breakbulk volume was up 10%.

Virginia Inland Port, the VPA’s intermodal facility, had a strong month for container throughput, having set a record by handling 3,427 containers.