Cargo volume at U.S. ports continues to rise, with the Ports of Virginia and Los Angeles posting record-setting levels for July this week.
On Tuesday, officials at the Port of Virginia said July marked its second busiest month on record, as the port processed 265,559 twenty-foot equivalent units (TEUs). The strong performance was driven by a more than 4% increase in loaded import containers and a jump of more than 18% in empty export containers. Year-to-date cargo volume grew nearly 6%, officials said.
Port officials said recent expansion at Virginia International Gateway and current expansion of Norfolk International Terminals is helping to drive growth and that they expect strong volumes to continue.
"Our volumes, on a month-to-month basis, continue to grow and we anticipate this trend to continue well into fall," Virginia Port Authority CEO and Executive Director John F. Reinhart said in a statement announcing the monthly results. "Almost every phase of the operation is showing strength and we are tracking at nearly six percent growth for the calendar year."
The West Coast is sounding a similar refrain, as the Port of Los Angeles posted its busiest July on record this week. The port moved 912,154 TEUs, up 9.4% compared to the year-ago period. July imports increased 8.7% to 476, 438 TEUs and exports decreased 4% to 161,340 TEUs. Empty containers increased 20.7% to 274,376 TEUs.
Combined, total July volumes marked the the Port of L.A.'s third-busiest month ever and the fourth time the port eclipsed the 900,000 TEU mark, officials said. Seven months into 2019, overall volumes have increased 6% compared to 2018, when the port set an all-time cargo record, officials also said.
The results followed similar news from the Georgia Ports Authority and the Port of Oakland this month.