Port of Virginia posts record fiscal year — again

   The Port of Virginia reached its fourth consecutive record-breaking fiscal year in terms of volumes growth in fiscal year 2018, which ended June 30, as it remains focused on expansion.
   During fiscal year 2018, the port handled 2.8 million TEUs, an increase of 2.4 percent year-over-year.
   Compared to fiscal year 2017:
     • Loaded exports totaled 1 million TEUs, down 3.1 percent;
     • Loaded imports totaled 1.2 million TEUs, up 6.5 percent;
     • Empty exports totaled 497,039 TEUs, up 10.4 percent;
     • And empty imports totaled 24,512 TEUs, down 54.5 percent.
   In June, the port handled 223,842 TEUs, down 3.4 percent year-over-year, but as with April and May, the port said the decline was driven by its ongoing effort to limit the number of empty containers flowing across its terminals during expansion at Virginia International Gateway (VIG) and Norfolk International Terminals (NIT).
   The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers in June completed its study of the Wider, Deeper, Safer project and approved dredging of the commercial shipping channels serving Norfolk Harbor to 55 feet and widening certain areas along the channel.
   The dredging has a target completion of 2024.
   Currently, the port has 50-foot channels and berths and is the only U.S. East Coast port with congressional authorization for 55-foot channels.