Still, we maintained our volumes in the first-half of FY20: our TEU volume (twenty-foot equivalent units) was flat at 1.48 million units; rail volume was 265,200 units, down 5 percent; barge volume was 31,300 units, up 21 percent; and truck volume was flat at 530,500 moves.
In January, China and the U.S. agreed to reduce the tariffs on soybeans and pork, and the trade outlook improved. The traditional slowing of trade that accompanies Chinese New Year would be the last hurdle to cross before things begin to return to normal. But as the pandemic began to take hold, normal was never restored and the slowdown worsened.
Our volume in the second half of FY20 plunged, with monthly volumes in negative territory January through June. By the time the second half of the fiscal year closed June 30, our volumes were off more than 6 percent. During the second half of FY20, there were nearly 60 regularly-scheduled vessels that never came to Virginia because the ship owner did not have enough cargo orders to fill the ship. When the ships don’t come, no imports arrive, but no exports leave.