The Liberty Corridor Freightway, a collaborative initiative between The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey and CSX Intermodal, opened this Fall. The Corridor provides expanded access to the Port of New York and New Jersey while enabling double-stack intermodal freight to flow from the port to important inland destinations. Increased train capacity, expedited freight flows, a reduction of trucks on the highways, and overall job production are key benefits of the initiative.
“The Liberty Corridor Freightway is an important step toward easing the burden on our nation’s roads,” says Peter Zantal, General Manager of Strategic Analysis for the Port Authority’s Port Commerce Department. “One Liberty Corridor Freightway train will carry the cargo of 250 trucks, but reduces the nitrous oxide and particulate matter by two thirds. The positive impact to our environment, the creation of jobs, the easing of highway congestion, the speed of service . . . this is a win-win deal for the region.”
Senator Robert Menendez (D-NJ) was present for the official opening of the Freightway, which took place in North Bergen, New Jersey. Said Menendez, “The Liberty Corridor Freightway will be a jobs and economic activity engine for our state, which is the primary reason I worked to create the Liberty Corridor initiative in Congress. This particular portion of the initiative is crucial for allowing New Jersey business owners to easily sell and purchase goods to and from around the world, which helps homegrown businesses thrive and keeps jobs right here in our state . . . I am thrilled to join CSX, the Port Authority, and state and local officials to celebrate the completion of this project, which helps our economic recovery.”
CSX Corporation is one of the nation’s leading transportation companies, providing rail, intermodal, and rail-to-truck transload services over its 21,000 mile network, with service to 23 eastern states, including the District of Columbia. The CSX network spreads across the country, connecting more than 70 ocean, river, and lake ports.
Clarence W. Gooden, executive vice president and chief commercial officer for CSX, said, “The Liberty Corridor Freightway builds our partnership with the port and region by enabling us to more efficiently move intermodal freight. This project prepares us, and the region, for continued growth as a leading freight hub.”
Construction of the Liberty Corridor Freightway was a logistically complex project requiring that the clearance on New Jersey tunnels be raised to allow passage of the new double stack freight cars. One tunnel dates back to the presidential administration of Abraham Lincoln, and passes through nearly a mile of dense rock directly beneath Jersey City.
As a strong show of its commitment toward continued investment in the region, the Board of the Commissioners for The Port Authority of New York & New Jersey authorized planning and preliminary design work estimated at $3 million for an Intermodal Container Transfer Facility (ICTF) at the Greenville Yard-Port Authority Marine Terminal. The new facility will be known as ExpressRail Port Jersey.
The vision for Greenville Yard has progressed at a steady pace. In April, 2009, the Board approved PANYNJ Executive Director Chris Ward to enter into a new 37-year lease with Global Terminal and Container Services, LLC. The lease would combine 100 acres formerly known as the Auto Marine Terminal with 70 acres established as the Global Marine Terminal to create a new facility called the Port Jersey-Port Authority Marine Terminal (Port Jersey), which is adjacent to Greenville Yard. It was understood that this lease reflected the Port Authority’s intent to develop the new property as a container terminal facility.
“It’s a bold vision,” says Marios Phili Manager, Redevelopment for the Port Authority’s Port Commerce Department. “We went looking for out-of-the-box ways to best utilize the space we have. Under our lease with Global, the Port Authority is obligated to design and construct an operational ICTF at Greenville Yard, and to do it with a minimum capacity of 125,000 lifts annually by July 1, 2014. But we also know that sustainability is a central tenet to the philosophies of many companies we deal with. It’s important to us as well.”
In keeping with this, Phili points out how expanding the intermodal rail system will result in improved efficiency, enhanced competitiveness of the marine terminals, added capacity for intermodal cargo growth, increased revenue to the Port Authority, and growth of other necessary rail freight activities.
“Essentially, we’ll allow more containerized cargo to reach its destination with fewer truck trips,” says Phili. “And moving more cargo by rail means that we can reduce environmental impacts – like air pollution – caused by roadway congestion.”
Developing the ExpressRail System falls under the auspices of the comprehensive Port Intermodal Rail Development Program. Work has been ongoing at ExpressRail facilities and supporting infrastructure at several of the Port Authority’s marine terminal facilities, including the Elizabeth-Port Authority Marine Terminal, Port Newark, and the Howland Hook Marine Terminal. All enhancements performed to date have resulted in the ExpressRail System’s current capacity to handle approximately 1.1 million rail lifts per year.
“It’s a big step forward,” says Phili. “Robust capacity for ExpressRail is a big part of the Port and this region’s future.”
The planning and preliminary design work approved by the Board includes location and site planning; detailed track alignment; connectivity to adjacent or nearby facilities; additional property acquisition requirements; permitting requirements; storm drainage, water supply and electrical distribution systems; coordination with tenants and utilities; construction staging; and associated cost estimates.
Imagine this: you need to ship a container of goods from The Port of New York and New Jersey to Hong Kong. But you have other containers that need to get from Kobe and Tokyo to New York. To complicate matters further, your outbound cargo must reach Hong Kong within thirty-five days.
You want to start pricing carriers, but where do you start? Which carrier’s services make calls at these ports, and which can get there during your allotment of thirty-five days?
A process that used to be very complex is now much simpler thanks to the new online ocean carrier search tool developed by The Port Authority of New York & New Jersey.
“This tool is going to help a lot of people,” says Dan Pastore, Principal Marketing Analyst for the Port Authority’s Port Commerce Department. “It used to be that shippers and consignees had to check a lot of websites and make a lot of phone calls before they figured out which services called at their ports, and when. The online ocean carrier search tool aggregates all of that information into one simple interface The real benefit to aggregating ocean carrier information lies in how useful it is to all parties. Shippers and consignees provide the clearest usage scenario, but freight-forwarders can also use the tool to good effect.”
The search tool lists at least sixty services in its database, and therefore offers an overall picture of ocean carrier activity at the Port of New York and New Jersey. “Access to this kind of information allows all parties to make sound business choices,” says Pastore. “It’s another avenue for the Port Authority to provide value to the community.”
Have you ever wondered how much carbon output your daily commute produces? Or what about that plane trip you took on vacation last week? Or the busses you use to travel in and around the metropolitan area?
Wonder no more.
As part of its 2008 Sustainability Policy to reduce carbon emissions, The Port Authority of New York & New Jersey has partnered with Native Energy and Cantor CO2e to develop a travel carbon calculator for the public. The new carbon calculator encourages Port Authority customers, tenants, and partners to join the fight against climate change by finding ways to conduct their business more sustainably.
Says Bernice Malione, Assistant Director of the Port Authority’s Office of Environmental & Energy Programs, “As a transportation agency, we are excited to offer a carbon calculator focused on travel. The traveling public can use this calculator to estimate their personal participation in greenhouse gas emissions from all sorts of travel scenarios from family vacations to a daily commute.”
Building the calculator involved the combined efforts of several Port Authority departments. “In our first week alone,” Malione says, “we had hundreds of views on the calculator, as well as appreciative feedback.”
The average commuter to the New York City region generates 0.875 tons of carbon emissions annually. This quantity is actually somewhat low; on average, commuters across the country generate 3 tons of carbon emissions per year.
The disparity is likely due to the abundant use of public transportation throughout the New York City region. Private vehicles are the largest contributor to a household’s Carbon Footprint by far. In fact, travel generated by US households in private vehicles to commute, shop, and recreate accounts for more than 80 percent of all vehicle miles logged on the nation’s roadways, as well as about three quarters of the CO2 emissions overall.
The carbon calculator acquaints users with the carbon footprint created by their commute, but also the footprint they create by using other types of travel. The calculator also offers tips to reduce or neutralize your carbon footprint. It’s simple interface even allows users to purchase third party-verified, local green project offsets from Native Energy and Cantor CO2e.
“It’s important to remember that there are many components to a carbon footprint,” says Christopher R. Zeppie, Director of the Port Authority’s Office of Environmental & Energy Programs. “These components include energy use, lifestyle choices, waste generation, and so on. But our [carbon] calculator is an important first step toward reaching out to the public and demonstrating that the Port Authority is committed to sustainability. And as we work to reduce our own footprint, we ask others to join us in understanding and reducing greenhouse gas emissions.”
The Port Authority’s Sustainability Policy aims to reduce greenhouse gas emissions 80% from 2006 levels by 2050.
If you didn’t get a chance to attend our economic briefing, you can view the Power Point deck submitted by Chief Economist Nariman Behravesh by clicking here.
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Beginning January 1, 2011, all Class 8 Drayage Trucks seeking entry onto any Port Authority Terminal must be registered in the Port Truck Pass registry.