The Virginia Port Authority (VPA) announced that cargo moving through The Port of Virginia during January reach ed dramatic increases over last year’s volume during the same period. The Port handled a total of 152,198 teus during January, which represents an 18.4% increase over the total volume of teus handled in January of 2004.

The Port’s Newport News Marine Terminal recorded the highest increase, ending the month with a 49.6 percent increase. Port officials attributed the increase at the Newport News facility to the new Round-the-World service with CSAV/Norasia/Zim that has developed and grown in the past year and Mediterranean Shipping’s new East Coast of South America service which began calling at Newport News during November/December of last year.

According to port officials, the growing number of distribution centers locating in Virginia that are using the Port have had a dramatic impact on port growth in the recent past. Port officials also point to the increase in Asian cargo that the Port continues to experience as a factor in the increasing number of containers that move through the terminals in Virginia.

“This is a reflection of the dynamics of the migration of import cargo from the West Coast to the East Coast,” said Jeff Keever, Virginia Port Authority’s Deputy Executive Director. “And, it is certainly a strong indicator of the position that The Port of Virginia currently plays in attracting more and more of this cargo.”

Virginia Ports have experienced double-digit growth in total containers moving through the Port during the last three years, recording a 10% increase in 2002, a 15% increase in 2003, and a 10% increase last year.