Press Release Article


Date: Jan 23, 2007
Press Release Number: 5-2007

ExpressRail Volumes Increase by 113 Percent Since 1999,
Taking More Than Half a Million Trucks Off State and Local Roads

ExpressRail, the Port Authority’s ship-to-rail terminals in New Jersey, broke the record for container volume in 2006, handling 11.8 percent more containers than in 2005. The total volume now handled by ExpressRail will remove more than a half a million truck trips annually from state and local roads.

The ExpressRail terminals handled 338,882 cargo containers in 2006, an increase of more than 35,000 over the previous record of 303,032 in 2005. In the past seven years, the number of containers transported by rail from the Port of New York and New Jersey has grown by a phenomenal 113 percent.

Port Authority Chairman Anthony R. Coscia said, “The port is a major source of jobs and economic activity, and we must continue our substantial investments to ensure that we remain the preferred destination for shippers. These record results show that our commitment to rail is producing excellent results by moving more cargo from our port to store shelves in a timely, cost-efficient manner. It’s also eliminating thousands of truck trips from our state and local roads, providing a substantial environmental benefit for the region.”

Port Authority Executive Director Anthony E. Shorris said, “Investing in rail at the port makes good business sense for the Port Authority and the region. It allows us to offer the most attractive East Coast destination for shippers, and it will benefit the region’s consumers by limiting transportation costs between the seaport and the marketplace. In addition to rail, we’re investing more than $1 billion to deepen harbor channels, install new security measures to better protect port property, upgrade berths and wharfs, and improve roads leading to and from our marine terminals.”

With cargo handled in the Port of New York and New Jersey continuing to grow at record levels, the Port Authority has accelerated its plans to expand rail infrastructure at the marine terminals to handle the influx of cargo in a timely fashion.

The Port Authority Board of Commissioners authorized construction of the remaining major elements of ExpressRail Elizabeth and ExpressRail Port Newark in 2006. The projects will be completed by 2011. To date, the Board has authorized $530 million to expedite the completion of these projects.

Port Authority Port Commerce Director Richard M. Larrabee said, “By March, completed rail infrastructure projects will provide capacity to move close to 600,000 containers annually. Last year we added 5,300 feet of track to the existing 22,000 linear feet of on-dock track at ExpressRail Elizabeth, providing the capability for the terminal to handle 400,000 containers. At ExpressRail Port Newark, an additional 7,200 linear feet of storage track will be operational in March, doubling the capacity of the terminal to more than 100,000 containers. In addition, a new rail terminal was completed at the Howland Hook Marine Terminal on Staten Island, which will provide capacity for 100,000 containers when service begins in 2007. In conjunction with this work, we have partnered with the major railroads to improve the capacity of the rail routes by eliminating pinch points that lead to these on-dock terminals.”

The dramatic increase in ExpressRail activity came during a year when container volumes at the port are up substantially. The Port of New York and New Jersey set a new cargo record during the first six months of 2006, surpassing 1.7 million loaded 20-foot equivalent units (TEUs) handled during the period for the first time.

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 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; the Port Authority-Downtown Manhattan Heliport; Port Newark; the Elizabeth-Port Authority Marine Terminal; the Howland Hook Marine Terminal on Staten Island; the Brooklyn Piers/Red Hook Container 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 financially self-supporting and receives no tax revenue from either state.