Press Release Article


Date: Jun 17, 2003
Press Release Number: 81-2003

The Port Authority, which saw its Asian cargo volume increase by 23 percent in 2002, today took a significant step to further boost port trade with Asia by signing a landmark agreement with the Panama Canal Authority.

Under the agreement, the agencies will jointly promote to international shippers the benefits of using all-water routes to transport commodities between Asia and the Port of New York and New Jersey. Port Authority Chief Operating Officer Ernesto Butcher and Panama Canal Authority Administrator Alberto Aleman Zubieta signed the agreement.

Port Authority Chairman Anthony R. Coscia said, \"Our growing trade with Asia is a key factor in the port’s rank as the leading destination for international shippers on the East Coast. That growth has enabled our port to generate more than 228,000 full-time jobs resulting in $25 billion in economic activity for the region. This agreement will help us to build on that success as we work to meet the needs of the region’s 18 million consumers.\"

Port Authority Executive Director Joseph J. Seymour said, \"This agreement fits in with our long-term plans to increase cargo volume in the port by 4 percent a year, and to provide the infrastructure needed to accommodate that growth. We will continue our aggressive investment in port infrastructure, such as new ship-to-rail facilities and deeper harbor channels, to make this port even more attractive to our Asian trading partners.\"

Port Authority Chief Operating Officer Butcher said, \"This level of cooperation with our colleagues at the Panama Canal Authority will help us highlight the increasing trend toward the use of all-water services to move goods between Asia and our region. The Panama Canal is a critical link in the all-water logistics chain that we desperately need to continue to grow business at the port.\"

The agreement signed today calls for both agencies to undertake mutually beneficial marketing efforts, such as participation in exhibits at maritime events, placement of public relations material and other marketing activities. In addition, both authorities agreed to share data that will help in forecasting future shipping trends and performing joint studies.

Panama Canal Authority Administrator Aleman Zubieta said, \"This historic alliance will result in mutual benefits for both of our agencies. The Panama Canal today has become a vital link for trade between Asia and the U.S. East Coast. This ‘all-water route’ is the best deal in shipping – reliable, safe and inexpensive. We have set safety and efficiency records for the past two years, and we are moving more ships through the canal safer and faster.\"

During the past few years, containerized cargo flowing through the Panama Canal on the Asia-U.S. East Coast route has experienced significant growth as a result of shippers’ increased demand for all-water services. The route between Asia and the U.S. East Coast is vitally important for the Panama Canal, and the Port of New York and New Jersey is one of the route’s main destinations.

Asia is the Port of New York and New Jersey’s largest trading partner, accounting for approximately 35 percent of all containerized cargo handled in the port in 2002. Among the top commodities imported from Asia are paper products, furniture, toys, lamps, footware, kitchenware, hardware, sporting goods and auto parts.

Thirteen of the 16 all-water services carrying cargo from Asia to the Port of New York and New Jersey travel through the Panama Canal. The remaining three use the Suez Canal.

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 tax revenue from either state.

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