The Port of Virginia and the Port of Oakland, Calif., set records for annual container traffic in 2017, according to two announcements.
The Port of Virginia handled 2.84 million industry-standard 20-foot-equivalent units, or TEUs, in 2017, up 7% from 2016. Loaded imports grew 8.6% to 1.28 million TEUs and exports edged up 0.8% to 1 million. The total number of containers put onto trucks grew 9% to 993,685. Containers transported by rail went up 3.4% to 570,001 and barge traffic surged 22% to 49,074.
The number of ships calling on Virginia dropped 9% in 2017, but with a new Neopanamax weekly service beginning last April, each ship was bigger in size with more containers.
“The growth is significant — 15,442 TEUs a month, on average — and we have responded with improved throughput and safety in all facets of the operation,” said Virginia Port Authority CEO John F. Reinhart. “Our focus now is the expansion of Norfolk International Terminals, taking delivery of the first group of rail-mounted gantry cranes and then bringing the first new stacks at Virginia International Gateway online in April.”
The Port of Oakland also set a record with 2.42 million TEUs, up from 2.39 million in 2016. Loaded increased 4% year-over-year to a record of 919,523 containers.
“Our record-setting 2017 has set the stage for the future,” Port of Oakland Maritime Director John Driscoll said. “With new development projects already underway, we expect to increase our capacity and drive greater volume.”