We wouldn’t know it by the days of shut down, but the Port of Virginia is running 7.3% ahead of FY 2014. Back-to-back snow storms brought closings and the bitter cold of February froze productivity at the port. While the port handled 178,105 TEUs this February, the actual month saw a decline of 1% under last year.
There are few in logistics that’ve not been directly affected by delays and stoppages because of weather conditions. The rail shut down, the port closed and yet it’s a banner year for TEUs. Cargo volumes are trending higher on the East Coast, partly due to West Coast operational issues, and the weather can’t seem to stop that.
The Port of Virginia lost $560,000 in February when it shut down for four days. Their budget planned for $288,000 in operating loss, but the snow removal and lost productivity effectively doubled that amount. While rail transport was halted, 7000TEUs were stopped, shipping in the first days of March, instead of at the end of February as originally expected. Truck volumes are up 4.4% despite the weather, which is logical considering extreme rail congestion shut down Norfolk while the storms raged.
Expectations state that the port should return to normal working conditions throughout March and resume the standard monthly volume as the weather improves. Cargo is trending higher and as weather becomes less of a pressing concern, service level should return to their former place.