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Port of Virginia closes terminal as pandemic slashes volumes

The Port of Virginia, one of the biggest ports on the US east coast, is taking drastic action and suspending operations at terminals in line with the slew of blanked sailings announced by container carriers recently.

Effective from May 4, the port’s Portsmouth Marine Terminal (PMT) will be closed while the number of hours truck gates are open at other terminals will be reduced.

“As an industry, we are faced with a record number of blank sailings, and idled containerships, due to the COVID-19 pandemic. We have witnessed a marked decline in current and forecasted volumes from our shippers and ocean carriers,” the port stated in a release.

The idled container fleet is on the cusp of passing the 3m teu mark for the first time in history as hundreds of sailings have been blanked because of dropping demand brought about by the coronavirus pandemic.

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Sam Chambers

Starting out with the Informa Group in 2000 in Hong Kong, Sam Chambers became editor of Maritime Asia magazine as well as East Asia Editor for the world’s oldest newspaper, Lloyd’s List. In 2005 he pursued a freelance career and wrote for a variety of titles including taking on the role of Asia Editor at Seatrade magazine and China correspondent for Supply Chain Asia. His work has also appeared in The Economist, The New York Times, The Sunday Times and The International Herald Tribune.
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