- Port of NY & NJ is Heavy into ‘Outside-the-Box’ Cargo
- Port of NY & NJ Now C-TPAT Certified
- SeaBoard Marine
- Major Milestone Marked at Port of New York/New Jersey
- Economic Briefing
- CSAV Expands PACAR
- BBC Tells the Story of a Container
- Port Authority Board Approves Incentive Program to Stimulate Use of Port’s ExpressRail Facilities
- A Message from Port Commerce Director Richard M. Larrabee
- Port of NY & NJ TWIC Compliant
By Paul Scott Abbott
From multimillion-dollar rail cars to huge power generators, cargo that is too large or too heavy to be transported in containers is well-positioned to move through the Port of New York and New Jersey.
Weeks Marine regularly offloads project cargo at the Port of New York and New Jersey.
“While the Port of New York and New Jersey is best-known as a containerport, the port has a lot to offer shippers of over-dimensional cargo,” said Steve Liberti Sr., President of Port Newark-based Harbor Freight Transport Corp., one of a number of firms specializing in the expert handling of heavy-lift projects and other non-containerized cargo through the port.
Berth 23, on the north side of the Port Newark Channel offers on-dock rail and direct access for trucks without height restrictions. Furthermore, the weight-bearing capacity at Berth 23 has been fortified to handle 1,000 pounds per square foot—twice the capability of a typical container berth.
On the channel’s south side, Berth 8 and Berth 10 are currently being reconstructed to also withstand 1,000 pounds per square foot, augmenting the ability of Port Newark facilities to accommodate projects and overweight bulk cargos. The reconstruction is set for summer 2009 completion, according to Aaron Sherburne, The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey’s Supervising Marine Terminal Representative.
These and other Port Newark facilities, including Berth 17, are regularly used by movers of project cargo and are available at competitive rates through what Sherburne described as “a really customer-service oriented transaction.” Customers benefit from a streamlined process that doesn’t involve hurdles often associated with moving this type of cargo.
Jason L. Marchioni, Manager of the Heavy Lift and Salvage Division of Cranford, N.J.- based Weeks Marine Inc., said Berth 23’s on-dock Conrail tracks, which provide direct links to the extensive CSX and Norfolk Southern rail networks, provide a significant benefit in the movement of project cargos, which often are too heavy to be moved by over-the-road trucks.
“The great thing about Port Newark is it has the public rail at Berth 23,” said Marchioni, whose company has been moving noncontainerized cargo through the port since the firm’s founding as Weeks Stevedoring Co. in 1919.
Weeks Marine, the largest U.S. marine contractor, deploys about 50 floating cranes in the New York/New Jersey area. The floating cranes, with ability to rotate 360 degrees and with mooring spuds that secure them to the underwater bed, are specifically equipped to facilitate swift, safe moves. The cranes are rated to handle loads of as many as 500 tons each.
Among the cargos moved by Weeks’ floating cranes are dozens of power transformers that arrive at the port on oceangoing vessels from throughout the world and are destined for such customers as Con Edison and National Grid. The units for National Grid are transloaded to Weeks’ barges that float them to Boston.
Weeks Marine also regularly offloads yachts shipped across the Atlantic Ocean from Great Britain by Wallenius Wilhelmsen Logistics, as well as power generation units and other overweight and/or oversized pieces shipped across the Pacific Ocean by Hanjin Shipping Co. Ltd.
Donjon Marine Co. Inc. boasts the highestcapacity lift crane on the Eastern Seaboard—its 1,000-ton-rated-capacity Chesapeake 1000—plus other cranes with 350-ton and 150-ton capacities that are used to handle project cargos through the Port of New York and New Jersey. Cargos handled by Donjon cranes include General Electric Co. and Siemens generator units, often weighing as many as 400 tons apiece, that are imported via oceangoing vessels.
“Things are getting bigger, with 350- to 400-ton units now the norm and not the exception,” said John A. Witte Jr., Executive Vice President of Hillside, N.J.-based Donjon Marine, which has been providing heavy-lift cargo services through the Port of New York and New Jersey since the firm was founded in 1966. “To continue to compete, you’ve got to have the ability to go with the times.
“The Port of New York and New Jersey is one of the larger and certainly most active ports in terms of heavy-lift cargos,” Witte pointed out. “It is one place where there is the necessary expertise to handle these cargos.”
Harbor Freight Transport’s Liberti echoed Witte’s sentiments concerning the importance of experience in handling non-containerized cargo, noting that it demands special skills to move such items as the 12-foot-high, 35-footlong mega glass panels that his firm has been offloading from vessels, storing and delivering as demanded to a New York City building site.
Liberti said another advantage Harbor Freight Transport offers is that it operates from a 150,000-square-foot warehouse, with 17-foot-high ceilings, on a 10-acre tract that is within the Port Newark complex, so oversized and/or overweight cargo can be stored without having to go outside port gates.
Because of the proliferation of containership sailings in and out of Port of New York and New Jersey terminals, many nonconventional cargos that in years past might have moved on breakbulk vessels are now being lashed to flat racks and transported on decks of containerships, Liberti noted.
Some traditional breakbulk cargos, including steel coils, are being expertly blocked and braced and shipped within containers that may weigh more than 35,000 pounds for their containership voyages, he added.
Among the largest and most valuable project cargos moving through the Port of New York and New Jersey in recent months are the 27 Bombardier Inc. electric locomotives that began arriving in late 2008 from Germany aboard Wallenius Wilhelmsen vessels. The units are each valued at between $4.5 million and $5 million; each is 64 feet long, nearly 10 feet wide and 99 tons in weight.
Iselin, N.J.-based Ports America Inc. stevedores have been moving the locomotives off the ships and onto the Berth 23 rail tracks, from which they travel on their own power to facilities of NJ TRANSIT, which is putting them to use in the nation’s largest statewide public transportation system.
Airplane fuselages, which arrive from Europe on Atlantic Container Line (ACL) vessels, are among other recent cargos handled by Ports America at Berth 23, according to Donald E. Rupert, Ports America’s Vice President of Sales and Marketing.
Robert A. Gaffney, The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey’s Manager of Industry and Labor Relations, noted that the ability of firms and facilities to provide for the efficient movement of heavy-lift cargo via ocean vessel, rail and truck are a key to the port’s success in this critical sector.
“With the services available to handle over-dimensional cargos from vessel to rail, with rail able to move these cargos to destinations throughout the nation and with specialized motor carriers to truck these cargos,” Gaffney said, “the Port of New York and New Jersey is wellpositioned to continue to be a leader among heavy-lift ports.”
Seaboard Marine has moved its port operations to American Stevedoring’s Red Hook terminal in Brooklyn from Philadelphia.
Although Seaboard’s vessels will call on the Red Hook terminal in Brooklyn where cargo can be delivered and received, cargo can also be delivered and received at ASI’s Port Newark terminal, which is linked by a cross-harbor barge service, said a spokesman for Seaboard Marine. At Port Newark, ASI operates a 3-acre terminal, which includes a container/barge handling facility. The 60-acre Red Hook terminal that ASI has leased since 1993, has six active container cranes and two major bulk handling yards.
“The convenience and personalized service at the family—run Red Hook facility should benefit our customers greatly and provide a platform to further grow and develop our Caribbean trade lanes,” said Edward Gonzalez, President and CEO of Seaboard Marine when service began.
The line has some 40 vessels, each capable of handing about 900 TEUs. The new Red Hook service became effective with the October 1 sailing of the M/V Vega Nicholas. Most traffic is between the New York-New Jersey area and the Dominican Republic, Haiti and Jamaica. Seaboard’s weekly sailings depart from Brooklyn every Wednesday.
In both locations Seaboard Marine will have access to rail and highway networks. Thus the move to Red Hook will cut costs and maximize transportation logistics for Seaboard.
The biggest single import item is Red Stripe beer with lemon juice, fresh avocados, cocoa beans, coconut milk and medical devices rounding out the Top Ten. Reefer, specifically fresh apples, frozen poultry and other products, stands out in an export list dominated by household goods for resale. Indeed, the company is handling more reefer than ever before, according to the spokesman.
“The specific advantage to Red Hook is that if a customer is on Long Island, Brooklyn or Queens, truckers don’t have to cross the bridges,” said the spokesman. “It’s the same for our customers who are receiving in New Jersey.”
The Port of New York and New Jersey’s ExpressRail Elizabeth facility marked a major milestone on February 18, 2009, by transporting its three millionth cargo container by rail, which has removed about 5 million truck trips from the road in the 18 years since the on-dock rail system was launched.
ExpressRail Elizabeth is operated by Millennium Rail, a joint venture between Maher Terminals and APM Terminals. Carmine Cipoletti, Director Rail Operations and Steve Kolodziej, Manager, Rail Operations were both on hand for the new milestone.
ExpressRail Elizabeth began service in 1991 as a way to move cargo containers from the ship to the marketplace by rail rather than by truck. Currently, about 12 percent of cargo containers are transported by rail. The Port Authority has invested $600 million to expand and upgrade the port’s rail system, which will provide the capacity to move 1.5 million containers a year when completed in 2012.
Two expansion projects will be completed in 2009—the addition of a second lead track into the ExpressRail Elizabeth facility allowing for simultaneous arrival and departure of two trains, and the completion of additional support track west of Corbin Street in the port to allow marshalling of trains to a single destination, providing for a quicker and more efficient movement of the containers.
Port Authority Chairman Anthony R. Coscia said, “Almost 20 years ago this agency had the vision to begin investing in an on-dock rail system. That investment is paying dividends today - enabling shippers to move their cargo to market efficiently, supporting port-related jobs and economic activity, and reducing the number of trucks on our local roads.”
Port Authority Executive Director Chris Ward said, “Providing an efficient, cost-effective rail system to move goods from the port to the store shelves is a great benefit to shippers, and it’s equally beneficial to the environment. Since the port’s rail system was launched 18 years ago, ExpressRail has removed about 5 million trucks from the roads, which means less pollution, better air quality, and fewer traffic delays.”
During 2008, the Port of New York and New Jersey set a new record for the ExpressRail system—which includes ExpressRail Elizabeth and ExpressRail Staten Island—transporting 377,827 containers for the year, a nearly 6 percent increase over 2007.
Dr. Nariman Behravesh, chief economist and executive vice president for IHS Global Insight, spoke with members of the Port community at the Annual Port Economic Briefing in October as the worsening economic outlook for the United States dominated the news. At that time, the distinguished economic forecaster said the situation would get worse before it got better. Recovery was unlikely until 2010.
At his presentation, he pointed out three key factors contributing to the bleak economic outlook: the collapse in commodity prices, including oil, the drying up of global credit, and the contraction in world trade. “Even the countries that are not commodity exporters, and are not hurt by the lack of credit, are hurt by the decline of exports. Asian nations are getting clobbered by the collapse in world trade and world export,” said Behravesh.
PortViews recently contacted Dr. Behravesh for an updated forecast.
In October, you said it was unlikely that we would see a repeat of the Great Depression or a Japan-style “lost decade.” Is that still your belief?
Yes, while this is the worst recession in the post-war period, it is still a far cry from the Great Depression.
How will the financial rescue/stimulus packages help?
The financial rescue/stimulus packages will revive the economy and trade finance and will help boost trade.
In your Fall presentation, you said that the average downturn after a big banking crises lasts four years, yet you spoke of a return to growth, albeit a small one, beginning late in 2009, a modest recovery in 2010 and a sharper rebound in 2011. Is the switch to growth in late 2009 the point from which we start counting the four years, or do we look back to an earlier point, say October 2008?
Given the strong policy response in the United States, we expect that the recovery will occur in two, not four years, with the starting point being early 2008.
Commodity prices have fallen dramatically since their peaks in 2008, oil in particular. In October, you suggested they could fall another 20 to 30 percent from levels that were already down 40 to 50 percent from previous highs. Are the prices done falling, and what does this rapid decline mean for the shipping industry?
Commodity prices may ease a little more—they have fallen by 70 to 80 percent. The drop in oil prices will help the shipping industry. The drop in other commodity prices will, in time, boost demand.
How is the recession likely to change U.S. trading partners?
U.S. trading partners in all parts of the world are being hurt. However, once the world comes out of this recession, Asia is likely to continue to be the star region of the world, with higher than average GDP and trade growth.
Yet recent figures show the GDP of Hong Kong, Singapore, South Korea and Taiwan falling by an average annualized rate of about 15 percent in the final quarter of 2008, with exports falling at 50 percent in an annualized rate. In Japan, exports fell 35 percent in the 12 months to December. Imports throughout the region have fallen as domestic spending has declined.
Asia is very export dependent.It is not a surprise that as world trade has plummeted, these economies are suffering. However, once the world economy recovers, then trade with this region should also rebound strongly.
Can you provide any near term bright spots?
The U.S. and China will be the first to recover, either very late this year or early next year. It’s going to be an awful year in terms of trade and shipping, probably the worst in six decades, in terms of the drop in shipping. Things will probably stabilize over the summer, with weak growth, then pick up in 2010.
The numbers bear him out. December was the 18th consecutive months of annual declines in cargo volume at the nation’s major retail container ports, and the rate of decline is expected to be precipitous for the first six months of 2009, according to the February Port Tracker report prepared by the National Retail Federation and HIS Global Insight.
National volume for the first six months of 2009 is forecast at 6.6 million TEU, down 11.8 percent from the 7.5 million TEU seen during the same period in 2008. Port trade forecasts in the report cover all containerized trade, not just retail goods.
Final data for 2008 showed U.S. volume for the year at 15.2 million TEU, compared with 16.5 million TEU in 2007, a decline of 7.9 percent and the lowest total since 2004, when 14 million TEU moved through the ports, according to the report.
Mix into this stone soup the loss of 598,000 U.S. jobs in January, bringing the total to 3.6 million jobs lost since the beginning of the recession in December 2007 and the slowdowns in Europe and Asia.
CSAV is pleased to announce that PACAR— independent and fully operated service between Asia and the Caribbean—will expand its coverage to offer now a direct connection from Asia to the USEC ports of Savannah and Elizabeth-Port Authority Marine Terminal.
The PACAR, recently upgraded to a weekly fixed service, will now operate nine vessels with capacity between 2500 and 3000 TEUs. It will will offer this new connection from Asia to USEC as from M/V Norasia Alps voyage 904 at Ningbo commencing January 26th. The port rotation will be as follows:
- Rio Haina
- Port Elizabeth (New Jersey)
- Lazaro Cardenas
Go ahead, try this at home: Teach an engaging lesson on the global economy and world trade in way that works on television, online and radio.
That was the challenge the British Broadcasting Corporation’s business and finance team set itself. They solved it by attaching a GPS responder to a NYK-provided container painted unmissable red and letting the forces of trade have their way. The container arrived at the New York Container Terminal in late December on its round-the-world journey, departing for Santos, Brazil in January with a cargo of mixed commodities.
A BBC documentary traces the journey of a container around the world, including a stop at New York Container Terminal.
“We coordinated it here,” said Griff Lynch, vice president of operations at NYCT on Staten Island near the Goethals Bridge. “It came off a vessel here, it was delivered it to a customer, it came back empty, and we made sure it was staged and ready for the next customer.”
The container’s cargo—plastic spray bottles and digital bathroom scales—went to a Big Lots store on Long Island, according to the BBC Web site.
All in a day’s work. Except that by the time the container arrived in the Port of New York- New Jersey, it was a multi-media starlet with enthusiastic followers who tracked its progress, posted pictures and commented on blogs, a response far more enthusiastic that anyone expected. After all, this is a standard 40-foot container just doing what comes naturally.
Does all the fuss mean that containers, the darlings of architects designing innovative housing, are suddenly sexy? “I don’t know about that, “ said Lynch with a laugh. “Things like this have raised the awareness about trade. People are amazed by the scope of the shipping industry. The coordination and the logistics involved make it seem seamless, and it’s such a big part of our economy. It’s been fascinating to see.”
The project, called The Box in homage to Marc Levinson’s book of the same name, which describes how shipping containers made the world smaller and the world economy bigger, tapped the logistical and planning expertise of the Container Shipping Information Service.
The Box started its journey in Greenock, Scotland. Loaded with 14,120 bottles of 12-year old Chivas it moved onto Southampton, England where it was loaded on ship that left for Shanghai on Sept. 8, according to the BBC Web site.
After the Suez Canal, a routine stopover in Singapore, the container was unloaded in China where it was loaded with a variety of health and personal care products, beauty and gardening supplies for a U.S. retailer. After a stop in Sendai, Japan, the container arrived in Los Angeles, where it was put on a train for New York.
Although a key component of the container project is education. “Schools were involved and kids came to the terminal in China,” said Doug Cole, the spokesman for NYK. “We did a great program in Los Angeles.” The school holidays interfered with that in New York.
Instead, the container had a little work done—on its GPS unit. “For whatever reason, the battery had died” Cole said. That meant the BBC trackers posting movements on the Web site had been following the container using the GPS on whatever ship was traveling. Then, when the container traveled by rail to New York from Los Angeles, “we gave them the coordinates of the towns the train was passing through,” said Cole. “Every 12 hours, we were able to give that to the BBC, and they plugged them in.”
At a Pennsylvania distribution center, the container was transferred to a truck for the final trip to NYCT, according to the BBC Web site. NYCT coordinated activity at the Port.
Loaded with general commodities, the container left the Port on January 12 for a 21-day journey to Santos, Brazil, its GPS unit still not working properly, according to Cole.
“NYK will continue to monitor it,” said Anne Kappel, vice-president of the World Shipping Council and CSIS representative. More events are in the works, as befits a celebrity container. “We’ve had some discussions at CSIS about what we should do when it comes back, to the UK, sometime in the summer,” she said.
In the meantime, GPS problems aside, the container moves onward. “BBC has done a wonderful job promoting it,” said Kappel. “The Web site is comprehensive, you can track it, it’s inactive, there’s a story at each location, and people are sending in pictures as they sight this thing going around the world—which I think is great.”
To continue following The Box, go to bbc.co.uk/thebox.
The Port Authority is currently investing approximately $600 million to upgrade the port rail facilities, including ExpressRail Elizabeth. The agency's new incentive program is designed to keep the port competitive.
To stimulate even greater use of the Port Authority’s ExpressRail system, the agency’s Board of Commissioners approved at its January meeting an incentive program to encourage shippers using the Port of New York and New Jersey to transport even more cargo by rail.
During 2008, the Port of New York and New Jersey set a new record for its on-dock rail system, transporting 377,827 containers for the year, a nearly 6 percent increase over 2007. The agency is currently investing approximately $600 million to upgrade the port rail facilities in Newark, Elizabeth and Staten Island, which ultimately will allow it to accommodate 1.5 million containers a year.
The new program will provide an incentive of $25 per container shipped by rail to any ocean carrier that increases the number of containers it transports over its 2008 levels.
The Port Authority receives $52 in revenue for each cargo container transported by the ExpressRail system. Under the incentive program, if an ocean carrier increases its rail cargo business in 2009 over 2008 levels, it would pay $27 for each additional container it ships by rail over that amount.
Port Authority Chairman Anthony R. Coscia said, “Our $600 million investment in an efficient and sustainable ExpressRail system is a critical factor in our port’s number-one standing on the East Coast. This incentive program will keep our port competitive and ensure that it remains a leading source of jobs and economic activity in our region, despite the challenging economic climate.”
Port Authority Executive Director Chris Ward said, “The competition for port business is intense, and we must find creative ways to maintain our competitive edge during difficult economic times. With jobs and economic activity on the line, we believe this incentive—coupled with our multibilliondollar investment in rail infrastructure—will allow us to maintain our standing as the East Coast’s No. 1 port.”
“Clearly, 2009 will present challenges, and together, we will continue to work hard to meet the demands of world trade in the New Year and well beyond: safely, securely and sustainably…”
Richard M. Larrabee Director, Port Commerce
As our nation continues to advance in 2009 amid economic uncertainty, you and all our partners who have played an integral role in growing our port and our region can be reassured that The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey’s commitment to meet the demands of future global trade remains steadfast.
Any of us who have been in and around the maritime industry for a significant period of time are well aware that commerce, like the tides, is subject to ebbs and flows. We know that it is imperative that we remain focused on our long-term objectives so that we will be properly prepared to handle increasing flows of trade to come. They will come, and we at the Port Authority want to take all possible steps to be ready.
Thus, we’re moving forward confidently with our capital plan—$246 million allocated for 2009. We are maintaining our dedication to make a 50-foot-deep channel a reality, to enhancing terminal facility efficiencies, to augmenting rail and roadway infrastructure and to expanding warehouse and distribution facilities.
One example from which shippers will benefit in the coming year is completion of a second lead track at ExpressRail Elizabeth, part of an overall $600 million expansion of the port’s ExpressRail system that would increase total on-dock rail throughput capacity to more than 1 million containers a year—more than doubling current capacity.
With completion in 2009 of the Bayonne Bridge study we will be committed to proceed with the most favorable alternative for the top-priority channel crossing between New Jersey and Staten Island terminal facilities.
Our “green” policies for the Port of NY/NJ remain in the forefront, as they do for all Port Authority facilities. This commitment is embodied in the Board’s November 20, adoption of a statement of principles for improving air quality. One effort in that regard is our work with Carnival Cruise Lines to allow ships docked at the Brooklyn Cruise Terminal to shut off their engines and run on nonpolluting alternative shoreside power.
Clearly, 2009 will present challenges, and together, we will continue to work hard to meet the demands of world trade in the New Year and well beyond: safely, securely and sustainably.
May the New Year bring you good health and success.
The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey would like to thankeveryone for ensuring successful TWIC compliance on March 23, 2009. The agency has two more deadlines that we need to bring to your attention.
If your drivers have not registered their TWIC SeaLink yet, they should proceed to the SeaLink office before heading to the marine terminals on their next trip to the Port of New York and New Jersey. Drivers who fail to register their TWIC with SeaLink by April 14, 2009 will have their SeaLink suspended.
Drivers who have completed the security threat assessment and are using a paper receipt because their TWIC cards are in production, need to pick up their TWIC and return to the SeaLink office to register it with the Port Authority before April 24. In accordance with the US Coast Guard policy, the paper receipt will expire on April 24. If you have a paper receipt because of a forgotten PIN, the paper receipt expires six weeks from the day it was issued. You must pick up your replacement TWIC and return to the SeaLink office to register it within that time frame.