In the coming days as many as 3,000 additional containers are expected be off-loaded at APM Terminals in Portsmouth or NIT.
“We’re expecting additional discharge,” said Rodney Oliver, interim executive director of the Virginia Port Authority (VPA), although he had no projection as to the amount of cargo that could be diverted to Virginia, although it is thought that several thousand additional containers could be handled per week in the short-term. Many of the vessels on East Coast rotations call Virginia and New York/New Jersey.
“Capacity is not an issue; we’re focusing on coordinating all of the parts to keep our normal volumes and any additional volume flowing,” said Joseph Dorto, chief executive officer and general manager of Virginia International Terminals Inc. (VIT), the VPA’s terminal operating company.
Rail operations are already operating around the clock and VIT has implemented weekend gate hours. Moreover, depending on need, VIT is developing plans to use Portsmouth Marine Terminal as an outlet for ro-ro cargo; it could also be used to store containers if necessary.
“It is important to note that we’re not capitalising on someone’s misfortune,” Oliver said. “Any diverted cargo is temporary and it is important that New York/New Jersey get back on its feet as soon as it can because of its critical role in US East Coast trade.”