Press Release Article


Date: Mar 16, 2005
Press Release Number: 28-2005

Container Volume Up 10 Percent; New Standards Set for Shipping Containers Handled, ExpressRail Volumes

Acting New Jersey Governor Richard J. Codey today announced that the Port of New York and New Jersey had another record year in 2004, handling more international cargo than ever and surpassing for the first time the $110 billion mark in the total value of all cargo handled.

During a press conference at the APM Terminal at the Elizabeth-Port Authority Marine Terminal, Acting Governor Codey outlined plans by New Jersey and the region to address the challenges associated with future growth in oceanborne cargo. They include:

  • Plans to promote the development of additional distribution and logistics facilities around the port. A preliminary study by the Port Authority and the New Jersey Economic Development Authority has identified more than 20 sites in Union, Middlesex, Essex, Bergen and Hudson counties that would be possible locations for warehouse/distribution centersr]W{\0\0\0\0]b\0eleased in approximately 30 days. (List of sites attached).

  • Plans by a major industrial developer to build a distribution facility in Elizabeth near New Jersey Turnpike Interchange 13A. Groundbreaking for the project will be held this spring.

  • A report by the Port Authority to Governor Codey, to be issued within the next 30 days, detailing how the agency can accelerate the completion of the rail terminals and supporting infrastructure at the port. The Port Authority plans to invest $600 million to install rail terminals and support infrastructure at all of the marine terminals in New Jersey and New York.

  • A status report by the Port Authority to Governor Codey on steps that are being taken to complete the project to deepen the port’s channels to 50 feet as quickly as possible. The projected completion date is now 2014. The Port Authority is investing $760 million of the $1.6 billion construction cost of the channel-deepening project.

Acting Governor Codey said, “These numbers are a clear sign that the port remains a vital economic force for New Jersey and the region. The increased traffic translates into more high-paying jobs for our residents and greater activity for industries that rely on our port, including trucking and distribution. With the forecast for continued cargo growth, we are looking to the future with our Portfields initiative, which has identified underused industrial sites that can be used to increase distribution and logistics opportunities around the port. We also must do everything possible to enhance our ability to move more cargo by rail to provide environmentally sustainable ways to transport cargo throughout the region.”

New York Governor George E. Pataki said, “The Port of New York and New Jersey has been part of the fabric of New York and the region for centuries, helping to drive the state’s economic growth and activity. To maintain our competitive edge, we recently embarked on a $72 million project to reactivate the eight-mile Staten Island Railroad, which will restore important freight rail service to the Howland Hook Marine Terminal. This project not only will give us the ability to handle future cargo growth, but will create more than 780 construction jobs and 330 permanent jobs for New York.”

Port Authority Chairman Anthony R. Coscia said, “The results we have achieved in recent years are a tribute to the men and women working in our region’s maritime and supporting industries. They have consistently handled record-breaking cargo volumes at a time when we are undertaking the largest port development program in our history, while maintaining a vigilant watch on the region’s and nation’s vital security interests. The importance of our port to the region and nation should not be taken lightly. The World Bank has estimated that more than 25 percent of our nation’s gross domestic product is derived from international trade.”

Port Authority Vice Chairman Charles A. Gargano said, “Part of the reason for our phenomenal growth in port traffic has been the overwhelming success of the Howland Hook Marine Terminal, which was reopened in 1996. Under Governor Pataki’s leadership, the Port Authority will spend $350 million to upgrade the terminal, including a new ship-to-rail facility that will greatly improve the flow of cargo on and off the terminal.”

Port Authority Executive Director Kenneth J. Ringler Jr. said, “The impressive growth in maritime cargo has provided us with a challenge to maintain pace with the volume, but to also provide the facilities to accommodate future growth. We remain committed to our redevelopment program and are working diligently on a $600 million plan to expand existing rail facilities at our port’s terminals and to build new ones where no rail access exists today. Our goal is to improve productivity so that we can handle future growth while providing the most efficient and environmentally sustainable way to transport cargo to and from the port.”

Port Authority Port Commerce Director Richard M. Larrabee said, “The port’s strong performance in 2004 was exemplified by the growth in our container trade with Asia. The 21 percent growth in our trade with the Far East reinforces the trend we have witnessed in the last several years of increased all-water services from Asia to our port. Asia once again was our number-one market, a rank it achieved for the first time in 2003. Both shippers and consignees are increasingly turning to direct services from Asia to ensure the most reliable and time-competitive delivery of their goods to market.”

Mr. Larrabee said the Port Authority is paying particular attention to its responsibility to be a good environmental steward as it proceeds with its ambitious plans to build cargo-handling capacity. The agency has taken action to reduce air emissions in the harbor by repowering tugboats and retrofitting Staten Island ferries with filters to offset air emissions. In addition, the agency is investing $60 million to purchase and preserve property for public use and natural resource preservation.

In 2004, 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 4,478,480 TEUs, a 10.1 percent increase over the 4,067,812 TEUs handled in 2003 and a new annual record. The total value of all cargo handled in 2004 surpassed $110 billion, also a record. And ExpressRail, the Port Authority’s rail terminals in New Jersey, shattered the record for container volume in 2004, handling 22 percent more containers than in 2003.

The Port Import-Export Reporting System (PIERS) reported in 2004 that loaded containers in 2004 totaled 3,147,203, an 11.7 percent increase over the 2,818,557 loaded TEUs handled in the port in 2003. Imports and exports totaled 2,221,417 and 925,786 TEUs respectively.

The port’s total general cargo volumes, according to data from the U.S. Bureau of Census, increased 8.2 percent to 25,474,164 metric tons in 2004, compared to 23,538,926 metric tons in 2003. General cargo imports totaled 18,572,460 metric tons in 2004, a 9.7 percent increase over the 2003 import volume of 16,926,159 metric tons. General cargo exports also increased, by 4.4 percent, from 6,612,767 metric tons in 2003 to 6,901,704 metric tons in 2004.

Total bulk cargo was up 0.4 percent to 55,169,827 metric tons, compared to 54,926,615 metric tons in 2003. Bulk imports declined from 51,953,591 metric tons in 2003 to 51,768,248 metric tons in 2004, a 0.4 percent decrease. Bulk exports increased by 14.4 percent, from 2,973,024 metric tons to 3,401,579 metric tons. Total cargo volumes (bulk and general cargo combined) grew by 2.8 percent, from 78,465,541 metric tons in 2003 to 80,643,991 metric tons.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Census, the total value of all cargo that

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