Intermodal Briefs: Ports of LA, Virginia

Written by Marybeth Luczak, Executive Editor
Aerial view of the San Pedro Bay Port Complex in California. (Photograph Courtesy of Port of Los Angeles)

Aerial view of the San Pedro Bay Port Complex in California. (Photograph Courtesy of Port of Los Angeles)

The Port of Los Angeles, Calif., and the Port of Virginia® have set July cargo records.

Port of Los Angeles Executive Director Gene Seroka

“Remarkably, we continue to move record amounts of cargo while working down the backlog of ships almost 90%, a huge accomplishment by all of our partners,” said Gene Seroka, Executive Director of the Port of Los Angeles, which has set monthly records in five of the seven months in 2022. “Even with the current rail challenges, our marine terminals are more fluid than last year. That’s due in part to our Port Optimizer data portal that allows our stakeholders to see around corners and tackle problems before they arise.”

The Port reported processing an estimated 935,345 TEUs (Twenty-Foot Equivalent units) in July, beating by 2.5% the previous record set in 2019.

July 2022 loaded imports reached an estimated 485,472 TEUs, up 3.4% from the year-ago period, and loaded exports reached an estimated 103,497 TEUs, up 13%. Empty containers reached an estimated 346,376 TEUs, an increase of 5% compared with 2021.

Through the first seven months of 2022, the Port has moved an estimated 6,349,248 TEUs, which it said is “on pace with the record set last year.”

Served by CSX and Norfolk Southern, the Port of Virginia handled nearly 318,000 TEUs in July. The six terminals that comprise the Port operate on a combined 1,864 acres, with 19,885 L.F. of berth and 30 miles of on-dock rail.

At the Port of Virginia, nearly 318,000 TEUs were handled in July, up 8.4% (or more than 24,500 units) from July 2021. July was the fourth consecutive month of TEU volumes exceeding 317,000 units. The combined volume of April, May, June and July came in at 1.3 million TEUs, which the Port said was the busiest four-month stretch in its history. For the same period in 2021, the total volume was 1.17 million TEUs, a difference of more than 10%.

Business is expected to remain strong during the peak retail months leading up to the holiday season, positioning the port to have its “best calendar-year performance on record,” according to Virginia Port Authority CEO and Executive Director Stephen A. Edwards.

“We’ve brought on 10 new vessel services in the last 12 months and five of those in the last five months, so our growth is attributable to the reworked [and new] ship line services that are calling here and our efficiency is the result of an experienced team maximizing modern terminals,” Edwards said.

In June, the Port, Norfolk Southern (NS), Union Pacific (UP) and Hapag-Lloyd began offering shippers a new option to reach West Coast markets: OceaNS Bridge Express.

In related developments, the Georgia Ports Authority, Port of Long Beach in California, and Port of Mobile also reported record volumes for July.

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