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Virginia port sets November volume records; Florida port gains marine terminal operator

November was a very good month for the Port of Virginia. The Norfolk port registered its second-best month in terms of 20-foot equivalent units (TEUs) and containers, and set a record for general cargo volume.

In addition, rail containers handled in November totaled 37,478, up 40.3 percent year over year and the highest level in the port's history.

The port handled a total of 198,720 TEUs in November, up 21.2 percent compared with volume from November 2011. Container volume climbed 21 percent to 113,288 units and general cargo tonnage reached 1,667,605 short tons.

For the fifth month in 2012, the port registered a double-digit increase in TEUs and containers, said Rodney Oliver, interim executive director of the Virginia Port Authority, in a prepared statement.

"And we came within 728 TEUs of setting a new port record for TEUs, which was set back in October 2007," he said.

Through 2012's first 11 months, the port handled 1,920,137 TEUs, up 8.9 percent, and 351,528 rail containers, up 16.6 percent compared with the same 2011 period.

Meanwhile, produce importer Sol Shipping Services Inc. recently entered into a five-year agreement to operate a five-acre marine terminal at Port Everglades in Fort Lauderdale/Hollywood, Fla.

Since the 1990s, Sol Shipping has operated seasonally at the port via another terminal. The pact provides the company a permanent on-port leasehold. Based in Pompano Beach, Sol Shipping owns and operates refrigerated warehouse facilities totaling 140,000 square feet.

A trade gateway to Latin America and the Caribbean, Port Everglades is located within two miles of Florida East Coast Railway L.L.C.'s (FEC) hub. The port and FEC recently agreed to jointly market a planned 42.5-acre intermodal container transfer facility to be built near the port. The parties plan to break ground in early 2013 and complete the facility in spring 2014.

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