International cargo volumes in the Port of New York and New Jersey hit record levels in 2005, New Jersey Governor Jon S. Corzine, Port Authority Chairman Anthony R. Coscia and Port Authority Vice Chairman Charles A. Gargano said today as they revealed new port security initiatives, including a public-private task force and a demonstration of technology to enhance security at the East Coast’s largest seaport.
During a press conference at the APM Terminal at the Elizabeth-Port Authority Marine Terminal, Governor Corzine, Chairman Coscia and Vice Chairman Gargano noted the following highlights and initiatives:
- Containerized cargo volumes in the Port of New York and New Jersey rose 7.6 percent in 2005 to a new record high, continuing to exceed the authority’s projected cargo growth levels. The dollar value of all cargo moving through the port exceeded $132 billion for the first time, up 15.6 percent from 2004. The record cargo volume was attributed to a 17 percent increase in trade with Far East Asia and a 15 percent increase in trade with Southeast Asia, a trend that began three years ago.
- ExpressRail, the Port Authority’s rail terminal network in New Jersey, attained a new record, handling 303,032 containers in 2005, nearly 7 percent more than in 2004.
- A port security task force, led by Chairman Coscia, will study ways to enhance port security, and develop recommendations in six months.
- A pilot test is under way to track the status of approximately 25 cargo containers from their points of origin to their destinations. The first containers that are part of the program have left Europe and will arrive here on or about March 13.
New Jersey Governor Corzine said, “The increased volume of cargo passing through our ports highlights both our strong economic growth and our increasing security needs. I look forward to working with the Port Authority to implement new security measures that will ensure our safety and the continued prosperity of our ports.”
Port Authority Chairman Coscia said, “Most of the federal government’s attention has been focused on aviation security because airports and airplanes affect the lives of so many people. However, our nation’s ports are equally if not more vulnerable and deserve our full attention. That’s why I’ve asked a number of key stakeholders from New Jersey and New York to explore ways we can better secure our port and develop realistic recommendations that we can implement. While the public generally has little interaction with day-to-day activities at the port, we want to do everything in our power to make sure that we can greatly reduce any security risk port activities may pose.”
Port Authority Vice Chairman Gargano said, “The dramatic increases in cargo we have seen underscore the need for us to be more vigilant, and compel us to focus efforts on moving cargo more efficiently on and off the port property.
That’s why we continue to invest in new and better rail facilities at our marine terminals, including one at Howland Hook that will open this summer to allow cargo containers to be moved on and off the terminal by rail for the first time.”
Port Authority Executive Director Kenneth J. Ringler Jr. said, “The security of all of our facilities has and will continue to be our top priority. At the seaport, we have invested approximately $70 million since 9/11 to better secure port terminals, including better fencing, lighting, closed-circuit television and access systems. During the next two years, we will invest an additional $6 million for enhanced security projects, such as more closed-circuit television cameras and a biometric access control system at the Port Authority’s Administration Building, at public berths and at other critical infrastructure.”Port Commerce Continues Robust Growth
Port Authority Port Commerce Director Richard M. Larrabee said that in 2005, the total amount of containerized cargo handled in the Port of New York and New Jersey – measured in 20-foot equivalent units (TEUs) – totaled 4,792,922, a 7 percent increase over the 2004 total of 4,478,480 TEUs and a new annual record. The total value of all cargo handled in 2005 – more than $132 billion – surpassed the previous record of $114 billion, Mr. Larrabee said.
The Port Import-Export Reporting System (PIERS) reported in 2005 that loaded TEUs in 2005 totaled 3,385,003, a 7.6 percent increase over the 3,147,203 TEUs handled in the port in 2004.
Loaded imports and exports totaled 2,408,121 and 976,882 TEUs respectively.
The port’s total general cargo volumes, according to data from the U.S. Bureau of Census, increased 10.4 percent to 28,132,497 metric tons in 2005, compared to 25,474,164 metric tons in 2004. General cargo imports totaled 20,236,519 metric tons in 2005, a 9 percent increase over the 2004 import volume of 18,572,460 metric tons. General cargo exports also increased, by 14.4 percent, from 6,901,704 metric tons in 2004 to 7,895,978 metric tons in 2005.
Total bulk cargo was up 2.6 percent to 56,621,526 metric tons in 2005, compared to 55,169,827 metric tons in 2004. Total bulk cargo imports increased from 51,768,248 metric tons in 2004 to 53,449,638 metric tons in 2005. Total bulk cargo exports decreased by 6.8 percent, from 3,401,579 metric tons in 2004 to 3,171,888 metric tons in 2005. Total cargo volumes (bulk and general cargo combined) grew by 5.1 percent, from 80,643,991 metric tons in 2004 to 84,754,023 metric tons in 2005.
The number of automobiles handled, including small trucks, vans, SUVs and other personal vehicles, was nearly identical to the 2004 numbers. There were 722,411 units handled in 2005.
Other 2005 trade highlights include:
Authority Puts Focus on Port Security
- China continues to be the port’s largest trading partner, accounting for 22.6 percent of the port’s overall cargo volumes. Trade with China grew 25 percent in 2005. In addition, Asia continues to be the port’s largest market for containerized cargo, with a 46 percent share.
- China, Italy, Germany, India and Brazil are the port’s top five trading partners for general cargo.
- The top three import cargo commodities on a tonnage basis were beverages, vehicles and plastic. The top three export cargo commodities were wood pulp, plastic and machinery.
- The volume of exports to India increased 52 percent over 2004. The main commodities were wood pulp, iron and steel scrap and machinery. The volume of exports to Russia increased by 40 percent over 2004. The major commodities were vehicles and meat.
- The volume of imports from Belgium increased 22 percent over 2004. The major commodities were beer and plastic.
- Two new all-water services from Asia to the Port of New York and New Jersey were launched in 2005 – one via the Panama Canal and one via the Suez Canal. This brings the total number of all-water services to 22.
- There were 5,322 ship calls to the Port of New York and New Jersey in 2005, compared to 5,288 in 2004.
With robust cargo growth forecast to continue this year, Chairman Coscia said it was imperative that closer scrutiny be given to port security issues.
The Chairman named the following individuals to serve on a port security task force and asked them to report back in six months with recommendations: Charles Gargano, Chairman and CEO of the Empire State Development Corporation and Vice Chairman of the Port Authority; Virginia Bauer, Secretary and CEO of the New Jersey Commerce and Economic Growth Commission; Robert Catell, Chairman and CEO of KeySpan Corporation; Arthur Ryan, Chairman and CEO, The Prudential Life Insurance Company of America; Kathryn Wylde, President and CEO, The Partnership for New York City; James Tisch, President, Lowes Corporation; John Degnan, Vice Chairman and Ch