The Port of Virginia had its second-busiest month in its history with double-digit year-over-year gains in containerized cargo traffic for November.
Longshoremen handled 236,155 industry-standard 20-foot-equivalent container units, or TEUs, last month, up 16.1% from 203,472 in 2015. Although 16 fewer vessels called the port in November than the year prior, the number of imported containers rose to 105,585 from 90,224. Exported containers increased to 130,571 from 113,248 in November 2015.
Truck traffic through the port, which ranks No. 7 in North America based on container volume, rose 8%; rail volume jumped 35%. Volume at the inland port in Northern Virginia went up 3%, and barge traffic to the Richmond Marine terminal increased 20%.
“November was a strong month, and we experienced solid growth in import and export volumes, which were up 17% and 15% [respectively]. Our peak-season volumes will begin tapering off in December, which is normal,” Virginia Port Authority CEO John Reinhart said. “We were in positive territory in many categories, but one exception is vessel calls, and this is in keeping with the era of fewer calls but larger vessels and corresponding cargo volumes.”
November marks the 10th consecutive month volumes exceeded 210,000, and through last month, the port handled 2.42 million TEUs. The port should outpace total container traffic for 2015; it is only 123,190 TEUs short with December left.