An increase in loaded imports, along with growth in the volume of empty export boxes, helped the Port of Virginia achieve record cargo volumes for its 2021 fiscal year, which ran from July 1, 2020 to June 30, 2020. .
The port handled a record 3.2 million twenty-foot equivalent units in fiscal 2021, an increase of 16.8% over fiscal 2020. The port complex, located in Norfolk, also handled nearly 1.8 million containers, up 15.6% from a year ago.
Imported TEUs loaded increased 18.6% to 1.5 million TEUs in FY21 amid economic recovery and strong consumer demand. And as other ports see ocean carriers wanting to return containers faster, empty carton exports rose 29.2% to 663,474 TEUs.
Meanwhile, loaded exports rose 8.3% to 1 million TEUs.
“Colleagues and partners at the Port of Virginia have risen to the challenge,” said Stephen A. Edwards, CEO and Executive Director of the Virginia Port Authority. “For much of the year, we handled record volumes under COVID restriction conditions, and we did so safely, quickly and in a sustainable manner. We have consistently processed record volumes at peak performance levels. “
Edwards noted that the port complex is monitoring activity in the second half of this calendar year to ensure the port can handle the volumes that pass through it.
“We expect to see significant volumes as we approach summer and the start of peak season,” said Edwards. “We will continue to work on our plan to add assets and, if necessary, hours of operation to ensure the flow of cargo and welcome the cargo owners.”
The port said its turnaround times for road carriers and dwell time for imported rail freight were better than industry standards in fiscal year 21. The number of rail containers handled increased by 16 , 7% to 581,868, while container barges increased 16% to 68,526 and road containers increased. 9.3% to 1.1 million.
Ship calls increased by 7%, or 100 more ships, to 1,538. The port noted that during the year it handled the Marco Polo CMA CGM of over 16,000 TEUs, which was the largest ship to call on the east coast of the United States.
While FY21 was a banner year, June was a banner month. The port handled 281,346 TEUs, an increase of 33.5% compared to June 2020. The number of containers it handled increased by 33.5% to reach 156,857.
Imported TEUs loaded in June jumped 45.3% to 138,737 from a year ago, while the month’s empty box exports totaled 61,369 TEU, an increase of 46.7% year-on-year .
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