• ITVI.USA
    15,353.780
    -79.690
    -0.5%
  • OTLT.USA
    2.732
    0.005
    0.2%
  • OTRI.USA
    20.880
    0.030
    0.1%
  • OTVI.USA
    15,332.660
    -75.700
    -0.5%
  • TSTOPVRPM.ATLPHL
    3.280
    -0.020
    -0.6%
  • TSTOPVRPM.CHIATL
    3.190
    0.050
    1.6%
  • TSTOPVRPM.DALLAX
    1.560
    -0.030
    -1.9%
  • TSTOPVRPM.LAXDAL
    3.420
    0.090
    2.7%
  • TSTOPVRPM.PHLCHI
    2.220
    0.050
    2.3%
  • TSTOPVRPM.LAXSEA
    4.080
    0.000
    0%
  • WAIT.USA
    126.000
    1.000
    0.8%
  • ITVI.USA
    15,353.780
    -79.690
    -0.5%
  • OTLT.USA
    2.732
    0.005
    0.2%
  • OTRI.USA
    20.880
    0.030
    0.1%
  • OTVI.USA
    15,332.660
    -75.700
    -0.5%
  • TSTOPVRPM.ATLPHL
    3.280
    -0.020
    -0.6%
  • TSTOPVRPM.CHIATL
    3.190
    0.050
    1.6%
  • TSTOPVRPM.DALLAX
    1.560
    -0.030
    -1.9%
  • TSTOPVRPM.LAXDAL
    3.420
    0.090
    2.7%
  • TSTOPVRPM.PHLCHI
    2.220
    0.050
    2.3%
  • TSTOPVRPM.LAXSEA
    4.080
    0.000
    0%
  • WAIT.USA
    126.000
    1.000
    0.8%
American Shipper

Port of Virginia takes aim at 55-foot channel

Container volumes continued to trend upward in May, setting a record for the port.

   The Port of Virginia is one of two major East Coast ports that currently has a 50-foot navigation channel capable of accommodating fully loaded mega-vessels, but officials are already laying the groundwork to dredge to 55 feet to stay ahead of the competition.
   The Virginia Port Authority and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers signed an agreement Monday to share the cost of conducting a feasibility study for deepening the harbor in Norfolk and the Elizabeth River’s southern branch to 45 feet.
   Ships with capacity for 8,000 TEUs or more are increasingly calling at East Coast ports, but many times have to leave cargo behind to ensure they have enough draft to safely clear the harbor floor. When the expansion of the Panama Canal is completed next year, some ships with capacity for over 12,000 TEUs are expected to deliver cargo from Asia to East Coast ports with adequate infrastructure.
   The VPA says it is gearing up to safely handle the next-generation of vessels being used by ocean carriers to create more efficiency and better compete for their business.
   The Port of New York-New Jersey also has a 50-foot harbor. The Port of Baltimore is a much smaller port in terms of container business, but has one berth with deep water. And Port Miami is scheduled this summer to finish dredging its harbor to 50 feet.
   In other news, the VPA last week reported that container volumes last month grew 13 percent above those in May 2014, setting a one-month record with 230,511 TEUs. In May, the port processed 87,455 truck moves, up 21.5 percent year-over-year.
   The port is on track to set calendar and fiscal year records for container volumes and the continued surge in business has contributed to severe congestion experienced by truckers and cargo owners trying to transfer shipments at container yards in the past two years.
   Port officials have undertaken a series of emergency and longer-term measures to try and provide relief to port users.
   A new pad for dedicated stacking of rail-bound containers at the Virginia International Gateway is scheduled to be completed by the end of June, which is supposed to keep the stacks for motor carriers more fluid. Officials say they will have 1,000 new chassis in the port pool by the end of the summer. Other steps include hiring more people for the operation’s team, continuing Saturday gate hours at terminals, implementation of an automated gate at Norfolk International Terminal, $40 million in new cargo handling equipment and dredging at the Portsmouth Marine Terminal to maintain the 43-foot depth.
   Calendar-year-to-date TEU volumes are up 9.5 percent compared with the same five-month period a year ago.
   The port authority said vehicle units soared in May as the port handled 8,675 import vehicles from Nissan and Chrysler at Newport News Marine Terminal (NNMT). The month’s total was driven, in part, by Chrysler automobiles that were diverted to Virginia from another East Coast port. May’s total for vehicles processed at NNMT is the highest monthly result since January 1988.
   “With the service that we have delivered to the customer in this area of operation, we are well-positioned to build this segment of business,” CEO John Reinhart said in a statement.

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