Richmond: After months of news about congestion and delays at US west coast ports, a port out east is also earning notoriety as an example of container overload and backlog.
The Port of Virginia is enduring such a pileup of cargo at its Virginia International Gateway (VIG) terminal that it announced yesterday it is cutting by 48 hours the window of lead time for export containers to be brought to the terminal.
It is meant to give dockworkers some breathing room so they can clear the stacks of boxes. And it should save truckers from wasting time in lines that stretched so far last week they were backed up to the freeway shoulder.
The delays occurred because of record cargo volumes over the past 18 months plus two severe storms in February.
The Virginia Port Authority is also introducing a number of other measures to turn the situation around. These measures include shifting two vessel services from VIG to nearby Portsmouth Marine Terminal (PMT), investing in 400 new chassis – the carriages on which trucks haul containers – and barging containers to PMT and Norfolk International Terminals, its other big container operation.