Press Release Article


Date: Mar 27, 2003
Press Release Number: 36-2003

The 13 Percent Growth in 2002 Illustrates Need for
Port Authority’s Aggressive $1 Billion Port Redevelopment Program

The Port of New York and New Jersey – the largest on the East Coast – saw its container volume grow by a dramatic 13 percent in 2002, sparked by a substantial increase in Asian trade, the Port Authority announced today.

Port Commerce Director Richard M. Larrabee said the New York-New Jersey port accounted for 59.6 percent of the containerized cargo handled by all North Atlantic ports, and 13.5 percent of all U.S. ports

New York Governor George E. Pataki said, \"The strength and vitality of the port has clearly given the New York regional economy a needed boost at a critical time. In addition to providing a broad selection of products for the store shelves in the nation’s biggest consumer market, the New York-New Jersey port generates a total of 228,946 full-time jobs resulting in $25 billion in economic activity for the region.\"

New Jersey Governor James E. McGreevey said, \"The port provides a stable source of jobs and economic activity for New Jersey. Last year, it handled $89 billion in cargo, and we expect it to remain the premier East Coast destination for international shippers for many years to come.\"

Port Authority Chairman Jack G. Sinagra said, \"Approximately 18 million consumers throughout the region depend on the port to provide them with the wide range of cars they drive, the beverages they drink and furniture for their homes. For that reason, we will continue to make significant investments in the port to maintain our position as the East Coast’s leading destination for shippers from around the world.\"

Port Authority Vice Chairman Charles A. Gargano said, \"These numbers reflect the important role the port plays in the economic well-being of New York. To meet the needs of regional consumers, we are investing $350 million over the next five years in the Howland Hook Marine Terminal on Staten Island to transform it into a state-of-the-art facility that will grow and flourish for many decades.\"

Port Authority Executive Director Joseph J. Seymour said, \"To accommodate the volume of cargo coming into our port, we spent a record $134.3 million in improvements on port infrastructure in 2002. We will continue that aggressive level of investment this year to expand and build new ship-to-rail facilities, deepen harbor channels, build new ship berths and create new container storage space.\"

Port Commerce Director Larrabee said, \"The 13-percent increase in the port’s containerized cargo reinforces our belief that more and more shippers are migrating to the use of all-water services to transport their products from Asia to the Northeastern and Midwestern parts of this country.

\"The port also is an integral link in the logistics supply chain,\" Mr. Larrabee said. \"It provides the gateway for products that are sent to distribution centers in the New York-New Jersey region for additional value-added services before being delivered to store shelves not only in our area but also around the world.\"

ExpressRail, the Port Authority’s on-dock rail terminal at the Elizabeth-Port Authority Marine Terminal, set another record in 2002. Activity at the intermodal terminal grew by 13.8 percent, from 200,854 container lifts in 2001 to 228,551 container lifts in 2002.

During 2002, total loaded and empty container volumes handled at the port’s container terminals – measured in 20-foot equivalent units – totaled 3,749,014, a 13-percent increase over the 3,316,276 containers in 2001. Loaded containers reported by the Port Import-Export Reporting System (PIERS) were 2,611,386, an 11.9-percent increase over the 2,334,383 loaded containers handled in the port in 2001.

According to data from the U.S. Bureau of Census, total general cargo rose from 20,001,362 metric tons in 2001 to 21,633,277 metric tons in 2002, an 8.2-percent increase. General cargo imports rose 12.4 percent from 13,873,067 metric tons in 2001 to 15,587,567 metric tons in 2002. Imports from Far East Asia increased by 23.6 percent and Latin America rose by 23.3 percent. General cargo exports declined 1.3 percent, from 6,128,295 metric tons in 2001 to 6,046,709 metric tons in 2002.

Total bulk cargo declined by 9.5 percent in 2002 to 48,479,847 metric tons compared to 53,548,466 metric tons in 2001. Bulk cargo exports rose from 2,145,221 metric tons in 2001 to 4,133,507 metric tons in 2002. Iron and steel exports rose 152
percent in 2002 compared to 2001, due to increased shipments of scrap steel. Bulk imports declined from 51,403,246 metric tons in 2001 to 44,346,340 metric tons in 2002, a 13.7-percent decrease. Imports of petroleum products, which are the largest import commodity, declined 11.4 percent. Total cargo volumes (bulk and general cargo combined) declined by 4.7 percent, from 73,549,828 metric tons in 2001 to 70,113,124 metric tons in 2002.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Census statistics, the port handled 588,815 ocean-borne automobiles in 2002, a 7.2-percent increase over 2001. Of these automobiles, 553,434 were imports, a 16-percent increase over 2001, and 35,381 were exports, a 12-percent decrease over 2001.

To support the increases in cargo volumes, the Port Authority has been involved in an aggressive $1 billion investment program, which include these components:

• Continuing to fund the local share of the Army Corp of Engineers channel-deepening projects, including deepening channels in the Kill Van Kull and Newark Bay to 45 feet, and Arthur Kill to 41 feet, and beginning the harborwide 50-foot channel-deepening projects.

• Construction of new ship-to-rail facilities at the Howland Hook Marine Terminal and the Port Newark Container Terminal, and a larger, more efficient facility at the Elizabeth-Port Authority Marine Terminal.

• Creation of additional container terminal space at Port Newark and the Elizabeth-Port Authority Marine Terminal.

• New security measures, including improved fencing, gate monitoring and security surveillance equipment.

The Port Authority’s investments have been supplemented by substantial investments made by the port’s terminal operators, such as new gate complexes, post-Panamax cranes and yard equipment.

Other 2002 trade highlights include:

• China is the port’s largest trading partner and now accounts for nearly 16 percent of the port’s general cargo volume. Trade with China increased 23 percent in 2002.

• Italy is the port’s second largest trading partner, followed by Germany, India and the United Kingdom.

• Trade with Brazil, the port’s sixth largest trading partner, increased 20 percent in 2002.

• The top three cargo import commodities on a tonnage basis were beverages, up 8.6 percent; vehicles, up 8.8 percent; and furniture, up 32.5 percent.

• The top three general cargo export commodities were wood pulp, up
2.7 percent; plastic, down 5.4 percent; and machinery, down 1.3 percent.

• The New York-New Jersey port’s share of the U.S. container market in 2002 was 13.5 percent, up from 13.2 percent in 2001 and 12.7 percent in 2000.

The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey operates some of the busiest and most important transportation links in the region. They include John F. Kennedy International, Newark Liberty International, LaGuardia and Teterboro airports; the George Washington Bridge; the Lincoln and Holland tunnels; the three bridges between Staten Island and New Jersey; the PATH rapid-transit system; the 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 ta

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