Port set cargo handling record amid pandemic
Amid some of the toughest months of the pandemic, the Port of Virginia set cargo records, processing more than 3.2 million TEUs (20-foot equivalent units) for the fiscal year ending June 30, 2021, and generating more than $100.1 billion in ancillary economic impact, according to the port’s fiscal 2021 economic impact report released Thursday.
According to the report, which was prepared by William & Mary’s Raymond A. Mason School of Business in conjunction with Glen Allen-based Mangum Economics, during fiscal 2021, the economic impact from the cargo flowing through the six-terminal port system was responsible for generating:
- 436,667 part-time and full-time jobs;
- $100.1 billion in spending;
- $47.4 billion in Virginia gross state product;
- $27.2 billion in labor income;
- and $2.7 billion in state and local taxes and fees.
“It is important to note that the port had this record-setting year and results in a most challenging trade environment,” Virginia Port Authority CEO and Executive Director Stephen A. Edwards wrote in a letter introducing the FY2021 report. “In FY21, as the global supply chain was facing unprecedented challenges, the Port of Virginia was a model of efficiency and performance.”
More than 40% of imports that move through the Port of Virginia are used as “inputs” for producing goods for sale in Virginia and across the nation, the report said, and imports have a “large impact on Virginia income and jobs.”
The last time the port commissioned an economic impact study was in 2018. The analysis includes activity at the Norfolk International Terminals, Newport News Marine Terminal, the Virginia International Gateway Terminal and Portsmouth Marine Terminal in Hampton Roads, as well as the Richmond Marine Terminal and the Virginia Inland Port in Front Royal. All combined, 23.4 million tons of cargo were moved through the terminals in FY21.
“The Port of Virginia’s success requires a continuing process of preparation,” the report concluded. “It requires visionary leadership, proactive investment in technology and infrastructure, as well as a healthy economic environment for citizens through businesses that create the jobs. The forward-looking approach that positioned the terminals so well to deal with the challenges within these pandemic years deserves support as additional initiatives are required.”