Press Release Article


Date: Mar 07, 2011
Press Release Number: 13-2011

Cargo Volumes Up 16 Percent in 2010, But Still Below 2007 Levels

The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey announced today that cargo volumes at the Port of New York and New Jersey rose 16 percent in 2010. The numbers are an encouraging sign of growth but still have not risen to the peak cargo container traffic levels reported in 2007 before the global economic downturn.

During 2010, the Port of New York and New Jersey reported that total container traffic in the port was 5,292,020 loaded and empty TEUs (20-foot equivalent units), compared to 4,561,527 in 2009. The number of TEUs is slightly below the 5,299,105 in 2007, which was an annual record for the port.

Over the long term, the Port Authority continues to project modest annual cargo growth at the Port of New York and New Jersey, and is making the necessary infrastructure investments to support that growth. The port currently supports approximately 270,000 direct and indirect jobs in New York and New Jersey, more than $8.9 billion in personal income, more than $28.9 billion in business activity and more than $3.9 billion in tax revenues, according to a 2008 report by the New York Shipping Association.

While the Port serves as a strong economic engine for the region, the increase in cargo volume only translates to limited revenue increases due to the long-term nature of many of the Port’s leases.

Despite the extremely competitive environment among ports on the East Coast and in other parts of the country, the Port Authority remains the largest port on the East Coast and the third largest in the United States behind Los Angeles and Long Beach.

The Port handles approximately 31 percent of all East Coast cargo. While much of that cargo is headed to the immediate region, more than 20 percent of the cargo is destined for locations that can be served by other ports. This discretionary cargo is part of a highly competitive market that every port in the USA and Canada seeks.

To meet the challenges of future growth, the Port Authority will invest $283 million in 2011 to upgrade the port road network, enhance the existing ExpressRail system and continue its program to deepen the port’s channels to 50 feet. The agency also has started the engineering and design work for a project to “Raise the Roadway” of the Bayonne Bridge to accommodate larger ships after the Panama Canal upgrades are completed in 2014. The agency also is continuing the development of the Global Container Terminal in Jersey City to accommodate future growth, is upgrading and expanding the capacity of the cross-harbor rail float barge operation between Brooklyn and Jersey City, and also plans to develop the Greenville Yards in Jersey City. However, the limited increase in revenue to the Port Authority generated by the increase in cargo volumes does not cover the costs of the port’s annual state of good repair, nor does it cover all of the capital improvements needed to maintain the port’s competitive position.

Port Authority Executive Director Chris Ward said, “In this economic environment, the competition for port business is fierce. That is why we continue to take steps with our industry partners to improve our port infrastructure to ensure we remain a national and global leader in port commerce.”

Port Authority Deputy Executive Director Bill Baroni said, “The port is one of the top drivers of job growth and economic activity in this region. We will continue to make port projects a priority as we work to grow the region’s long-term prosperity.”

Port Statistics for 2010

Port of New York and New Jersey terminal operator data reported that loaded TEUs in 2010 totaled 4,097,420. Loaded imports and exports totaled 2,579,093 and 1,518,327 respectively. Imports grew 14.9 percent from 2009, while exports rose 9 percent.

In 2010, the port handled 376,770 containers through its ExpressRail system, up 22.3 percent and nearing the annual record set in 2008. The Port Authority has invested $600 million during the past decade to build ExpressRail facilities at its major cargo terminals in both New York and New Jersey.

The Port’s total general cargo volume, according to data from the U.S. Bureau of Census, increased to 32.2 million metric tons in 2010, compared to 28.2 million metric tons in 2009. General cargo imports totaled 21 million metric tons, an increase of 14.3 percent. General cargo exports increased by 13.9 percent, from 9.8 million metric tons in 2009 to 11.2 million metric tons in 2010.

Total bulk cargo was down 1 percent to 49.2 million metric tons in 2010, compared to 49.7 million metric tons in 2009. Total bulk cargo imports showed increases in organic chemicals, sugars, and fats and oils, but still decreased by 0.5 percent from 40.2 million metric tons in 2009 to 40.0 million metric tons in 2010.

Total bulk cargo exports decreased by 3.3 percent, from 9.4 million metric tons in 2009 to 9.1 million metric tons in 2010. However, there were significant increases in food waste/animal feed, cereals, and beverages.

Total cargo volume by weight (bulk and general cargo combined), grew by 4.5 percent, from 77.9 million metric tons in 2009 to 81.4 million metric tons in 2010.

Other 2010 trade highlights include:

In 2010, the dollar value of all cargo handled in the port exceeded $175 billion.

The number of vehicles handled throughout the port in 2010, including small trucks, vans, SUVs and other personal vehicles, was 693,031, up 12.2 percent.

The top five containerized import commodities by volume were furniture, women’s and infantware, miscellaneous apparel, beer and ale, and menswear.

The top five containerized export commodities by volume were paper, automobiles, scrap metal, household goods, and auto parts.

Imported general cargo commodities showing major growth by volume were iron/steel products, organic chemicals, electrical machinery, and vehicles.

Exported general cargo commodities showing major growth by volume were soaps & waxes, wood, rubber, and paper.

The top five trading partners in general cargo tonnage were China, India, Italy, Germany, and Brazil.

There were 4,811 ship calls in the Port of New York and New Jersey in 2010, compared to 4,808 in 2009.


The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey

Steve Coleman, 212 435-7777

The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey operates many of the busiest and most important transportation links in the region. They include John F. Kennedy International, Newark Liberty International, LaGuardia, Stewart International and Teterboro airports; AirTrain JFK and AirTrain Newark; the George Washington Bridge and Bus Station; the Lincoln and Holland tunnels; the three bridges between Staten Island and New Jersey; the PATH (Port Authority Trans-Hudson) rapid-transit system; Port Newark; the Elizabeth-Port Authority Marine Terminal; the Howland Hook Marine Terminal on Staten Island; the Brooklyn Piers/Red Hook Container Terminal; the Port Authority-Port Jersey Marine Terminal and the Port Authority Bus Terminal in midtown Manhattan. The agency also owns the 16-acre World Trade Center site in Lower Manhattan. The Port Authority is self-sufficient and receives no tax revenues from either state.