The Port of Virginia's container volume rose 9.8 percent last year to 1.2 million units, making the facility the fastest-growing container port on East Coast, according to comparative data compiled by the Virginia Port Authority (VPA).
Compared with 2011, volume data at ports in the following East Coast locations showed: a 0.3 percent decline in New York/New Jersey; a 6.7 percent drop in Wilmington, N.C.; a 9.6 percent gain in Charleston, S.C.; 6.5 percent increase in Baltimore; and a 0.7 percent rise in Savannah, Ga., VPA officials said in a prepares statement.
Last year, the Port of Virginia handled 2,105,887 20-foot equivalent units, the second-highest level in the Norfolk port's history. Total rail container volume climbed 16.8 percent to 385,804.
The 2012 cargo data "shows that our effort to market the deepest shipping channels on the East Coast, an expanding rail network, the modern container terminals that we own and operate, and a commitment to customer service and continual improvement is drawing attention — and business — to Virginia," said Rodney Oliver, the VPA's interim executive director.
Volume growth also was driven, in part, by the start of CSX Transportation's on-dock rail operation at APM Terminals in Portsmouth and the development of double-stack rail service to Greensboro, N.C., he said.
Meanwhile, the North Carolina State Ports Authority has appointed Jeff Miles acting executive director. In the coming weeks, the authority plans to launch a nationwide search to find a permanent leader.
Miles has more than 20 years of experience as a senior-level manager in the port and maritime transportation industry. Most recently deputy executive director, he joined the authority in 2005 as chief operating officer.
Miles previously spent a decade as general manager of container operations for the South Carolina State Ports Authority and was president of a private marine terminal company specializing in bulk and breakbulk operations. He also managed intermodal logistics and terminal operations for major container shipping companies, and worked as a principal consultant for PricewaterhouseCoopers and Booz Allen Hamilton.
The authority governs ports in Wilmington and Morehead City, and inland terminals in Charlotte and Greensboro.
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