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Port of Virginia cargo April volumes down 16 percent

FILE PHOTO: The Port of Virginia

PortandTerminal.com, May 12, 2020

NORFOLK, VIRGINIA – AJOT is reporting that The Port of Virginia’s April cargo volumes were down nearly 16 percent when compared with last year as the port and the shipping industry continue to deal with the effects of the ongoing pandemic on world trade.

April’s cargo volumes were down nearly 38,700 TEUs (twenty-foot equivalent units), when compared with March 2019. On a calendar- and fiscal-year basis, volumes are off nearly 10 percent, or 92,600 units, and 4 percent, or 93,500 units, respectively.

Blanked Sailings

“The number of blank sailing continues to increase and that is being reflected in the declining cargo volumes in Virginia and at ports across the nation,” said John F. Reinhart, the CEO and executive director of the Virginia Port Authority. “We are seeing parts of the nation slowly starting to re-emerge from quarantine and we are watching to see what effect this will have on trade, but we are being realistic and do not expect any volume growth in the near-term.”

The effect of the ongoing blank sailings is being felt across-the-board, in the movement of imports, exports and empties, Reinhart said.

“When the ships cancel their port call, the imports don’t arrive and on the other side of that is an impact on American-made goods for export, which cannot be loaded and therefore don’t make to their overseas destination,” Reinhart said. “The empty containers on our terminals that are needed for refilling somewhere overseas are not moving out in their normal cycles, so the disruption to the supply chain is significant.”

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