January 14, 2016 2:40 PM, EST

Port of Virginia Breaks Another Yearly Record for Container Volume

For the third year in a row, the Port of Virginia set a record for cargo container volume in 2015, while also setting all-time highs for truck and rail-container volume.

Altogether, the port last year moved nearly 2.55 million containers, measured in standard, 20-foot units, or TEUs — up 6.5% from 2014.

"We handled significant volume and did so by focusing on efficiency, delivering a high-level of service to our port users, customers and stakeholders and being accountable," John Reinhart, CEO and executive director of the Virginia Port Authority, said in a statement.

Truck-container volume rose 6.3% from the previous year, to 923,061. Rail volume grew 8%, to more than 484,000 containers.

Rail-container volume also grew 8% year over year from July through December, the first half of the 2016 fiscal year. Truck-container volume was flat during that time, growing just 0.4%.

Barge-container volume fell 16.4% last year and 25.1% for the first half of the fiscal year. Most of the cargo flowing through the port moves by truck — 63% in 2014. Rail accounted for a third and barge 4%.

For the second consecutive month, TEU volume slipped slightly at the port in December — down 3.1% from the same month a year earlier. And for the first time in 10 months, TEU volume moved at the port dipped below 200,000, to 197,039.

Rail-container volume in December rose 5.7% from a year earlier, while truck volume fell 6.7%.

Breakbulk tonnage — noncontainerized cargo that is packed in or on bales, drums, crates or pallets — was up 21.3%.

"The work we did last year is a tribute to our team and our port partners," Reinhart said. "We must be cognizant of the fact that we have more work to do on building infrastructure and developing processes to remain a sustainable business and grow the Port of Virginia."