Press Release Article


PORT OF NEW YORK AND NEW JERSEY HAS RECORD-BREAKING YEAR IN 2003

Date: Apr 07, 2004
Press Release Number: 40-2004

TEU Volumes Top Four Million and Value of Cargo Exceeds $100 Billion, Establishing New Records for Port Traffic


New Jersey Governor James E. McGreevey today joined Port Authority Chairman Anthony R. Coscia at the Elizabeth-Port Authority Marine Terminal to hail a record-breaking year for the Port of New York and New Jersey as he announced the 2003 international trade statistics. The largest port on the east coast of North America saw its container volumes grow by more than eight percent and the value of total cargo in the port increased nearly 12 percent.

Governor McGreevey said, “Now more than ever, the Port of New York and New Jersey is a vital economic engine for the state of New Jersey and the entire region. These impressive statistics for 2003 are not just cold numbers on a balance sheet. They represent real jobs for New Jerseyans and opportunities for New Jersey businesses. More than 400 longshore workers were hired last year as a result of this growth in activity. We’ve seen new hires in other industries as well, such as trucking and warehousing. In addition, New Jersey’s banks, insurance companies, and importing and exporting businesses all benefited from this unprecedented activity.”

New York Governor George E. Pataki said, “The Port of New York and New Jersey continues its historic role as a centerpiece of the economy in New York and the entire region. In 2003, more than 78 million tons of cargo passed through the port. They included everyday items that we take for granted, from petroleum products to a year-round supply of fresh fruits and vegetables.”

Chairman Coscia said, “We are pleased and honored that Governor McGreevey joined us today to announce the accomplishments of the programs and projects that he has long supported in the Port of New York and New Jersey. His support of the channel-deepening projects, marine terminal expansion, and new and expanded rail capacity in the port has created a business environment in New Jersey that is recognized by international companies from around the world that seek to do business in the United States.”

Port Authority Vice Chairman Charles A. Gargano said, “In ten years, the Port of New York and New Jersey has seen its containerized international cargo numbers double from two million units in 1994 to more than four million units in 2003. Governor Pataki recognizes that this kind of growth demonstrates the importance of completing the port redevelopment projects now under way, including the $350 million investment in the Howland Hook Marine Terminal on Staten Island.”

Port Authority Executive Director Joseph J. Seymour said, “As cargo volumes continue to grow at this pace, it becomes increasingly important that we identify alternative means of distributing cargo throughout the region and the U.S. For this reason the Port Authority is actively pursuing projects to add rail capacity, increase the use of barges and short-sea shipping as an alternative to trucks to distribute international cargo. The result is improved productivity, reduced highway congestion and better air quality.”

Port Authority Port Commerce Director Richard M. Larrabee said, “The historic growth that the 2003 cargo statistics reflect is especially remarkable when you consider that the port has been at the height of its redevelopment construction program over the past year. It is a testament to the marine terminal operators, laborers, truckers and railroad operators that we were so successful in 2003 under such unique circumstances.”

In 2003, the number of loaded and empty containers handled in the Port of New York and New Jersey – measured in 20-foot equivalent units (TEUs) – totaled 4,067,812 TEUs, an 8.5 percent increase over the 3,749,014 TEUs handled in 2002. The Port Import-Export Reporting System (PIERS) reported that loaded container volumes in 2003 totaled 2,818,557 TEUs, a 7.9 percent increase over the 2,611,386 TEUs handled in the port in 2002.

The port’s total general cargo volumes, according to data from the U.S. Bureau of Census, increased 8.8 percent to 23,538,926 metric tons in 2003, compared to 21,633,276 metric tons in 2002. General cargo imports totaled 16,926,159 metric tons in 2003, an 8.6 percent increase over 2002 import volumes that totaled 15,587,567 metric tons. General cargo exports also increased, by 9.4 percent, from 6,045,709 metric tons in 2002 to 6,612,767 metric tons in 2003.

Total bulk cargo was up 13.3 percent to 54,826,615 metric tons in 2003, compared to 48,479,847 metric tons in 2002. Bulk imports rose from 44,346,340 metric tons to 51,953,591 metric tons, a 17.2 percent increase. Bulk exports declined by 28.1 percent, from 4,133,507 metric tons in 2002 to 2,973,024 metric tons in 2003. Total cargo volumes (bulk and general cargo combined) grew by 11.9 percent, from 70,113,123 metric tons in 2002 to 78,465,541 metric tons in 2003.

For the first time in the Port of New York and New Jersey’s history, the total value of all cargo surpassed the $100 billion mark. According to the U.S. Bureau of Census, the total value of all cargo that passed through the port in 2003 was $100.36 billion, an 11.7 percent increase over the $89.8 billion total cargo value in 2002.

The Port of New York and New Jersey continues to be the No. 1 ocean-borne auto-handling port in the nation. The number of automobiles handled through the Port of New York and New Jersey, including small trucks, vans, SUVs and other personal vehicles, was up 5.9 percent in 2003, from 590,777 units in 2002 to 625,798 last year. Auto imports totaled 582,915 in 2003, compared to 553,410 units in 2002, a 5 percent increase. Auto exports were also up, from 37,367 units in 2002 to 42,883 units in 2003, a 14 percent increase.

The Port of New York and New Jersey’s on-dock intermodal rail activity in 2003 grew by 1.1 percent. Rail movements at ExpressRail and the temporary PNCT rail terminal totaled 232,867 lifts in 2003, compared to 230,243 lifts in 2002.

Other 2003 trade highlights include:

  • China continues to be the port’s largest trading partner, accounting for 18.6 percent of the port’s activity. Trade with China grew 27.9 percent in 2003. In addition, for the first time, Asia has become the Port’s largest origin and destination for containerized cargo with a 41 percent share of the region’s market.


  • Italy, Germany, India and Brazil round out the top five trading partners with the Port of New York and New Jersey in 2003. It was Brazil’s first appearance in the top five.


  • In 2003, trade with Russia grew by 49.8 percent and trade with Turkey grew by 31 percent.


  • The top three import cargo commodities on a tonnage basis were beverages, vehicles and plastic. The top three general cargo export commodities were wood pulp, plastic and machinery.


  • Three new all-water services from Asia to New York/New Jersey were added in 2003, bringing the total all-water services to the Far East/Southeast Asia/Indian Sub-Continent trade lanes to 19. Of these, 13 travel via the Panama Canal and the remaining six travel via the Suez Canal. The Asian all-water services account for 1.8 million total TEUs handled in the Port of New York and New Jersey in 2003.


  • There were 5,280 ship calls to the Port of New York and New Jersey in 2003, compared to 4,955 in 2002, a 6.5 percent increase.


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; the Lincoln and Holland tunnels; the three bridges between Staten Island and New Jersey; the PATH (Port Authority Trans-Hudson) rapid-transit rail system; the Downtown Manhattan Heliport; Port Newark; the Elizabeth-Por

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