The Journal of Commerce reports that the congestion that has been affecting the Port of Virginia for over 2 weeks has spread to three of its four terminals on the Elizabeth River. The congestion was cause by heavy containerized volumes and bad weather that hit the mid-Atlantic region last month.
In an effort to relieve overcrowding in the terminal, the port last weekend began using barges in a drayage capacity to reposition containers between theVirginia International Gateway (VIG), Portsmouth Marine Terminal and Norfolk International Terminals (NIT). Port Authority spokesman Joe Harris said road drayage vehicles are being kept away from VIG’s gates as much as possible. Due to the excessive volume of containers piling up at PMT, the terminal has ended almost all wheeled operations at the facility, the terminal’s operations team will be working trucks by day and vessels by night, Harris said.
Harris also added that the port couldn’t speed up operations at VIG without jeopardizing safety, noting the terminal is “built to operate at a certain speed.” Port officials have been transparent with stakeholders by warning of delays in loading, unloading and moving freight in and out of the terminal.
However, instead of easing congestion, truckers told JOC.com that the port authority has spread the traffic to even more facilities.
Productivity on the waterfront has dropped 50 percent since the shutdown. Trucks are queued in never-before-seen lines outside of VIG, once heralded as the port’s most efficient terminal. Trucking firms are raising rates to new heights just to stay afloat.
RCL Agencies will continue to monitor the situation and report further updates once available.