Thanks to the semi-automated cranes in the container yard and the two marine terminals linked by barge services at the Port of Virginia, the port has been able to alleviate backlogs that have slammed other ports on the USEC. Ports like New York-New Jersey, Charleston, and Savannah are all being slammed with a backlog of ships holding offshore, but the Port of Virginia has yet to see numbers hit the double digits.
Due to their flexibility to shift a vessel to another berth or terminal, the Port of Virginia has contained its massive amounts of incoming and outgoing cargo to short lines and even shorter wait times. The US ports struggling with anchored vessels could use an upgrade in infrastructure much like the Port of Virginia is getting to help them with some desperate backlog relief.
One of the ways they are aiding this backlog at the Port of Virginia is by switching berths. When switching vessels between berths, the simplest shift is between the two container terminals of Norfolk International or Virginia International Gateway. The arrival of the ship is programmed into the computers, which direct the cranes to organize the container in a specific order. When ship A arrives, it puts the cargo in ship A’s spot. When ship B arrives, it places the cargo in B’s spot. Should the ships arrive out of order, they still have the spaces open, they just have to reconfigure the cranes to put them in the correct spot. The hardest part is switching from one terminal to the next. Should the ship move exports from VIG to NIT, it must also move imports from NIT to VIG.
Here at Nelson, we want to help avoid backlogs at all costs. Since the Port of Virginia is our home town port, we want to aid in the process of keeping cargo moving should the situation call for it. As of now, the Port of Virginia is doing an amazing job of keeping things up and running, and we will be there every step of the way to make sure that it stays that way.