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Rail News: Intermodal

South Carolina, Virginia and Vancouver ports report cargo gains


The Port of Virginia in January handled 158,766 20-foot equivalents units (TEUs), up 2.9 percent compared with January 2012 volume. Container volume reached 90,900 units and general cargo climbed to 1,348,110 tons.

"This was a great start to our calendar year; rail volume was up 10 percent for the month and continues to help drive our growth," said Rodney Oliver, interim executive director of the Virginia Port Authority, in a prepared statement. "We are optimistic about the remainder of the fiscal year."

The Norfolk, Va., port is served by CSX Transportation, Norfolk Southern Railway, Bay Coast Railroad Inc. and the Norfolk & Portsmouth Belt Line Railroad Co.

Meanwhile, the South Carolina Ports Authority (SCPA) reported that January container volume at the Port of Charleston rose 7.7 percent year over year to 121,286 TEUs. The port is served by CSXT and NS.

Breakbulk pier tonnage spiked 93 percent, with 173,306 tons of freight handled by SCPA's ports in Charleston and Georgetown. The two ports combined have handled more than 1 million tons of breakbulk cargo in the first seven months of SCPA's fiscal year.

In Canada, Port Metro Vancouver recently released its full-year results for 2012, which show the British Columbia facility set container and bulk sector records. Total container volume climbed 8.2 percent year over year to an all-time-high 2,713,160 TEUs.

Although bulk volume dipped 1 percent to 83.7 million tons, coal cargo edged above 2011's level to set a new record, port officials said in a prepared statement.

Overall, the port handled 124 million tons of cargo, up 1 percent compared with 2011 volume. Total foreign tonnage rose 1 percent to 96.8 million tons and total domestic tonnage also increased by 1 percent to 27.1 million tons.

BNSF Railway Co., CN and Canadian Pacific serve terminals at the port, and local rail service is provided by the Southern Railway of British Columbia.