Press Release Article


Date: Apr 10, 2002
Press Release Number: 36-2002

Port Cargo Growth Up 5.6 Percent;
New York-New Jersey Port Outperforms Others in North Atlantic

Cargo volumes in the Port of New York and New Jersey grew by 5.6 percent in 2001, despite the economic downturn that saw cargo volumes in other North Atlantic ports decline during the year, Port Authority Port Commerce Director Richard M. Larrabee announced today.

Mr. Larrabee said the New York-New Jersey port outperformed all other North Atlantic ports combined, which reported cargo tonnage declines of 1.3 percent. He said that the New York-New Jersey port saw growth in virtually every sector – containerized cargo, bulk, breakbulk and rail activity.

New York Governor George E. Pataki said, “These numbers clearly show the strength and vitality of the New York regional economy. The New York area has one of the most desirable consumer markets in the world. One of the port’s success stories is Howland Hook, which has grown impressively during my administration, and contributes to the 87,443 port-related jobs in New York.”

New Jersey Governor James E. McGreevey said, “The port has been a steady source of jobs and economic activity. Last year, more than $86 more billion in cargo flowed through our marine terminals, a fundamental sign of a strong consumer market. With planned improvements to the New Jersey marine terminals, we expect the port to remain a vibrant center for shipping activity for many years to come.”

Port Authority Chairman Jack G. Sinagra said, “We are reaping the benefits of long-term leases this Port Authority Board approved with major terminal operators. This port offers fast, direct, cost-effective service around the world and the shippers now view it as their choice destination when transporting products to market.”
Port Authority Vice Chairman Charles A. Gargano said, “These numbers reflect not only a growth in regional consumer confidence, but also in investments in our port, such as plans to provide state-of-the-art facilities at the Howland Hook Marine Terminal on Staten Island, as well as enhanced road and rail access and channel deepening projects.”

Port Authority Executive Director Joseph J. Seymour said, “The Port Authority is moving ahead with a program of investments to keep the port a world-class shipping destination. This year alone, we will spend more than $220 million to dredge key harbor channels, improve ship-to-rail services and restore environmentally sensitive wetland areas.”

Port Commerce Director Larrabee said, “The 4.2-percent increase in loaded containers processed through our port is consistent with the forecast of cargo growth projected in our port planning documents. This long-term forecast considered the potential for slow to moderate growth periods over a 40-year planning period.

“These numbers also demonstrate that we need to move forward with our investment program to deepen the harbor’s channels, expand marine terminal capacity, improve productivity, enhance landside transportation connections and protect the natural resources of our estuary,” Mr. Larrabee said. “Our port investment program addresses each of these issues.”

ExpressRail, the Port Authority’s on-dock rail terminal at the Elizabeth-Port Authority Marine Terminal, set another record in 2001, handling more than 200,000 containers for the year. Activity at the intermodal terminal grew by 12.8 percent, from 178,002 container lifts in 2000 to 200,854 container lifts in 2001.

During 2001, total loaded and empty container volumes handled at the port’s container terminals, measured in 20-foot equivalent units (TEU’s), totaled 3,316,275, an 8.7-percent increase over the 3,050,036 TEU’s in 2000. Loaded TEU’s reported by the Port Import-Export Reporting System (PIERS) were 2,334,393, a 4.2-percent increase over the 2,241,103 loaded TEU’s handled in the port in 2000.
According to data from the U.S. Bureau of Census, total general cargo rose from 18,756,000 metric tons in 2000 to 19,811,000 metric tons in 2001, a 5.6-percent increase. General cargo exports rose 14.1 percent, from 5,204,000 metric tons in 2000 to 5,940,000 metric tons in 2001. Exports in plastics and machinery accounted for the largest percentage of the increase. General cargo imports rose 2.4 percent from 13,552,000 metric tons in 2000 to 13,871,000 metric tons in 2001.

Total bulk cargo grew by 16.7 percent in 2001 to 53,739,000 metric tons compared to 46,061,000 metric tons in 2000. Bulk cargo exports rose an impressive 79 percent from 1,303,000 metric tons in 2000 to 2,333,000 metric tons in 2001. The export of iron and steel rose dramatically in 2001. Bulk imports also grew from 44,758,000 metric tons in 2000 to 53,738,000 metric tons in 2001, a 14.9-percent increase. Increased imports in mineral fuel oil, salt, sulfur, earth and stone all contributed to the increase. Total cargo volumes (bulk and general cargo combined) grew by 13.5 percent, from 64,817,000 metric tons in 2000 to 73,549,000 metric tons in 2001.

The Port Authority’s 2002 investment program includes the following components:

  • Continued funding of the local share of the federal channel deepening projects, including deepening the Kill van Kull-Newark Bay channels to 45 feet; the Port Jersey and Arthur Kill channels to 41 feet; and begin the harbor-wide 50-foot channel deepening projects.
  • Continued investments in rail and ship-to-rail transfer facilities including the expansion and relocation of ExpressRail, new rail and ship-to-rail services at Howland Hook and the Port Newark Container Terminal.
  • New security measures, including improved fencing, gate monitoring and security surveillance equipment.
  • Environmental and harbor restoration investments, including preserving environmentally sensitive tracts of land through the Port Authority’s Harbor Restoration Program.

Other 2001 trade highlights include:

  • The port’s share of total U.S. trade in general cargo on a tonnage basis increased to 10.7 percent from 9.8 percent in 2000.
  • Vessel calls in the Port of New York and New Jersey increased by 3.5 percent, from 5,124 cargo vessels in 2000 to 5,302 in 2001.
  • New automobile imports through the port in 2001 were 509,433, a decrease of 3.65 percent over 2000. New automobile exports rose in 2001 to 40,063, an 8.58 increase over 2000. Total new automobile imports and exports were down 2.85 percent from 2000. The U.S. market share fell .73 percent to 14.38 percent.
  • China continues to be the port’s number one import and export market for general cargo.
  • The largest import commodities in 2001 were beverages, vehicles and machinery. The top export commodities were waste paper, plastic products and machinery.
  • The top five countries for general cargo imports are China, Italy, Germany, France and India.
  • The top five countries for general cargo exports are China, the United Kingdom, South Korea, India and Germany.
  • According to U.S. Census data, the port’s trade with Asia increased to 38.1 percent of total trade vs. 35.9 percent in 2000, highlighting the port’s competitive position with the increase in all-water service from Asia.
  • Imports of apparel through the port in 2001 increased 48 percent over 2000, paced by increases from Asia, Turkey, the Ukraine and Central America.

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