Port of New York and New Jersey reports record 2011 volumes
February 20, 2012 - LM Editorial
The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey (PANYNJ) recently reported that 2011 marked a record year for cargo volume at the Port of New York and New Jersey.
In 2011, the port handled 5.5 million TEU (Twenty-foot equivalent units), which is 4 percent better than 2010 and topped the previous record from 2007.
“The port business is extremely competitive, and we continue to make our case to the shipping community that they should bring their business here,” said Port Authority Executive Director Pat Foye in a statement. “The investments we made in the port’s infrastructure have paid dividends, and we will continue to demonstrate that our port is open for business and prepared to handle increasing volumes of cargo from around the world by making investments that provide a reasonable return to the Port Authority and the region in terms of new job creation and revenue generation.”
In 2011, the port saw import rise 4 percent to 1,562,413 TEU, and exports moved up 6.6 percent to 918,316 TEU.
Port officials added that ExpressRail, its on-dock rail system, set a new record in 2011, handling 422,144 containers, or 12 percent more than in 2010.
And they added that as there continues to be a steady rise in cargo volume, the Port Authority board is making capital investments into various port-related projects, including:
-authorizing a $39 million dollar investment in December to design and reconstruct a section of Corbin Street along with the wharf and culvert at Berth 3 in Port Newark, which followed action to widen McLester Street in the Elizabeth-Port Authority Marine Terminal, and to widen and realign Port Street and Brewster Road;
-continue working on the 50-foot harbor deepening project, which is expected be completed to the terminals in Port Newark, Elizabeth and Port Jersey by the end of 2012 and to New York Container Terminal by 2014. These projects are all designed to provide unimpeded ocean and landside access capacity to and from the port for the expected future annual cargo growth; and
-engineering and design work on the plan to raise the roadbed of the Bayonne Bridge to accommodate new, larger post-Panamax vessels traveling to and from port terminals. Currently the bridge’s navigational clearance cannot accommodate the largest of these ships, which are expected to serve the port when the Panama Canal widening is complete. The agency has committed $1 billion toward this project.
As the largest East Coast port and the nation’s third largest behind Southern California’s ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach, the Port of New York and New Jersey appears to be primed for future growth.
Ben Hackett, president of maritime consultancy, Hackett Associates, told LM that early into 2012 there is a feeling of cautious optimism surrounding the economy, which could bode well for port-related activity.
“The leading economic indicators, save for GDP, point to slow and sustained growth,” said Hackett. “We think the slowdown we saw in 2011 is over and that this growth will be modest and maybe a little better than that if we see housing starts take off. The only downside risk is if Europe goes down the drain at this point. But as long as nothing dramatic happens in Europe the U.S. economy should not be impacted.”
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