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Rail News: Intermodal

Port of Virginia logs first-quarter volume increase


The Port of Virginia posted a nearly 3 percent increase in 20-foot-equivalent unit (TEU) volume in first-quarter fiscal-year 2019 compared with the same period a year ago.

The port logged the increase despite a 7 percent dip in September cargo volumes that was driven by Hurricane Florence, which disrupted shipping throughout the southeastern United States, port officials said in a press release.

The port closed for more than three days as the storm approached the U.S. East Coast in September.

"We lost 10 percent of our workdays in September as a result of the storm and that is a significant amount of time for our vessel traffic to be idled," said John Reinhart, chief executive officer and executive director of the Virginia Port Authority.

On a fiscal year basis, loaded exports and imports are up 2 percent and 4 percent, respectively. Volume at Virginia Inland Port in Front Royal is 16 percent ahead of last fiscal year's first quarter, and cargo moving on the Richmond Express barge service is up nearly 58 percent. Both rail and truck volume were up, comparatively, as well.

"The investment we are making at VIG (Virginia International Gateway) is truly starting to show its value; the new capacity that is in service is beginning to make a difference," Reinhart said. "We are now moving some volume out of Portsmouth Marine Terminal back to VIG and gaining efficiency. We also brought four new gates into service at VIG in September and along with our truck reservation system, they are helping to drive throughput of cargo and build velocity."

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