March 14, 2016 9:10 AM, EDT
Port of Virginia Container Volume Rebounds
Luke Sharrett/Bloomberg News

After a three-month lull, container volume at the Port of Virginia’s terminals bounced back significantly in February, increasing nearly 24% from the same month a year ago.

Last month, the port handled 220,726 containers, measured in standard 20-foot units, or TEUs, up from 178,105 units last year.

“Last February’s volumes were affected by several snowstorms, but it is important to note that the strength of our increase was far greater than the impact of last year’s weather,” John Reinhart, executive director and CEO of the Virginia Port Authority, said in a statement.

Rail-container volume at the port surged last month, up nearly 51% year over year. Truck-container volume increased by 12.1%.

Barge-container volume fell 11.4%, and break-bulk tonnage — noncontainerized cargo packed in or on bales, drums, crates or pallets — declined by nearly 48% from the same month a year earlier.

Last year, 64% of the authority’s cargo moved by truck, 33% by rail and 3% by barge.

Reinhart added that the port still is working on a few things.

“While we handled a significant amount of volume, we did experience some deterioration of service levels at Virginia International Gateway that created a challenge for our motor carriers: corrective measures are being taken and implemented,” he said.

From July through February, the first eight months of the 2016 fiscal year, TEU volume was up 5.1% from the same period a year ago. Rail-container volume rose 11%, and truck-container volume was up 1.8%.

In January, the port saw a slim 0.4% bump in container volume, after drops in November and December of 2.5% and 3%, respectively.