Port Authority Announces $2 Billion Investment
In Port Infrastructure to Maintain Competitive Advantage;
Continued Progress to Accelerate Completion of ExpressRail System
International cargo volumes in the Port of New York and New Jersey hit record levels in 2006, and robust growth projections have prompted the Port Authority to plan $2 billion in seaport investments in the next 10 years, Port Authority Chairman Anthony R. Coscia and Port Authority Executive Director Anthony E. Shorris announced today.
During a press conference at Port Newark, Chairman Coscia, New Jersey Commerce Secretary Virginia Bauer and Port Commerce Director Richard M. Larrabee discussed the 2006 statistics and capital plans. The highlights include:
- Containerized cargo volumes in the Port of New York and New Jersey rose nearly 8 percent in 2006 to a new record high, led by continued growth in trade with the Far East, North Europe and Southeast Asia. The dollar value of all cargo moving through the port in 2006 exceeded $149 billion for the first time, up 13 percent from 2005. The number of loaded and empty TEUs (20-foot equivalent units) handled in the port exceeded 5 million for the first time.
- ExpressRail, the Port Authority’s on-dock rail terminals in New Jersey, set a new record in 2006, handling 338,882 containers, 11.8 percent more than in 2005.
- In the next 10 years, nearly $2 billion in infrastructure upgrades are planned for marine terminal facilities and for off-port roads and railways to improve the flow of cargo. In addition to investments in the 50-foot harbor deepening project and the ExpressRail on-dock rail facilities, the 10-year budget includes funds to upgrade North Avenue in Elizabeth and to improve the capacity of Port and Corbin streets, two major thoroughfares at the port. Investments also are planned to develop an Intelligent Transportation System for the port and to improve inland access. The budget includes investments to support third-party development of a parcel of land adjacent to the Howland Hook Marine Terminal on Staten Island for future terminal expansion.
- Construction of the port’s ExpressRail system continues to advance at an accelerated pace toward a scheduled completion of authorized projects in 2011. This month, a $40 million component of the project was completed to install new support track that will double the capacity of ExpressRail Port Newark to more than 100,000 containers a year, and provide a 9,000-foot arrival and departure track that will improve capacity on the port’s rail network. Construction also began this month on a $51 million project to build a second lead track into ExpressRail Elizabeth. The new track will allow Norfolk Southern and CSX trains to depart and arrive simultaneously into ExpressRail Elizabeth and also will eliminate conflicts between road and rail traffic on the port. This project will be completed by December 2008. The ExpressRail system, when fully built, will be able to handle 1.3 million shipping containers a year.
New Jersey Governor Jon S. Corzine said, “Our cargo volumes are at an all-time high, and projections for future port growth are extremely promising. However, for this growth to continue, we must act now, not later, to make necessary long-term investments to ensure that this port remains the East Coast’s leading destination for international shippers. I’m pleased that the Port Authority has allocated $2 billion over 10 years to help the port maintain its lofty stature in the maritime community.”
Chairman Coscia said, “During the past 10 years, our cargo volume has doubled and our rail volume has nearly tripled. The dramatic increases require us to take immediate steps to ensure that our port continues to grow and prosper. We’ve made a substantial $2 billion commitment to the port that not only will allow larger ships to call on port terminals, but will enhance the flow of cargo on and off the port. These investments will ensure that the port remains a leading generator of jobs and economic activity.”
Port Authority Executive Director Anthony E. Shorris said, “More port cargo is good for jobs and the economy, and it’s also good news for the region’s 80 million consumers. More than 230,000 people now make their living in port and port-related jobs like trucking and distribution, and the numbers we see today bode well for future growth. What’s more, an increase in cargo coming to this port means reduced shipping costs for goods like clothing, furniture and beverages and, ultimately, lower prices at the cash register.”
Port Authority Port Commerce Director Richard M. Larrabee said that in 2006, the total container volume (loaded and empty) handled in the Port of New York and New Jersey was 5,092,806 TEUs, a 6.4 percent increase over the 2005 total of 4,785,318 TEUs and a new annual record. The total value of all cargo handled in 2006 – more than $149 billion – surpassed the previous record of $132 billion, Mr. Larrabee said.
“Our new $2 billion, 10-year capital plan will prepare the port to meet the projected cargo demand in a way that protects the environment and quality of life of those who work at the port and live in nearby communities,” Mr. Larrabee said. “Our rail enhancement investments will provide an alternative to trucks, thereby reducing congestion and associated air emissions. The volume we now handle at our ExpressRail facilities will eliminate more than 500,000 truck trips from state and local roads. Our roadway improvement program will not only reduce congestion and its associated air emissions, but also will increase traffic safety.
“These investments, combined with those of our private terminal operators, underscore our commitment to meet our environmental responsibilities while accommodating future cargo growth,” Mr. Larrabee said.
The Port Import-Export Reporting System (PIERS) reported that loaded TEUs in 2006 totaled 3,650,926, a 7.9 percent increase over the 3,385,003 loaded TEUs handled in the port in 2005. Loaded imports and exports totaled 2,599,554 and 1,051,372 TEUs respectively.
The port’s total general cargo volume, according to data from the U.S. Bureau of Census, increased to 31,194,421 metric tons in 2006, compared with 28,132,497 metric tons in 2005. General cargo imports totaled 22,126,272 metric tons, a 9.3 percent increase over the 2005 import volume of 20,236,519 metric tons. General cargo exports also increased, by 14.8 percent, from 7,895,978 metric tons in 2005 to 9,068,149 metric tons in 2006.
Total bulk cargo was down 2.9 percent to 54,968,141 metric tons in 2006, compared to 56,621,526 metric tons in 2005. Total bulk cargo imports decreased from 53,449,638 metric tons in 2005 to 49,168,042 metric tons in 2006. Total bulk cargo exports increased by 83 percent, from 3,171,888 in 2005 to 5,800,099 metric tons in 2006. The changes in bulk cargo imports and exports were due primarily to refined petroleum products. Total cargo volume by weight (bulk and general cargo combined) grew by 1.7 percent, from 84,754,023 metric tons in 2005 to 86,162,562 metric tons in 2006.
The number of vehicles handled, including small trucks, vans, SUVs and other personal vehicles, was 852,297, up 18 percent for the year. Imports increased to 690,636 in 2006 from 578,694 in 2005. Exports increased to 161,661 in 2006 from 143,717 in 2005.
Other 2006 trade highlights include:
- The top five containerized import commodities by volume were furniture, paper and paperboard, beer and ale, general cargo, and women and children’s clothing.
- The top five containerized export commodities by volume were paper and paperboard, automobiles, auto parts, general cargo and mixed metal scrap.
- Imported containerized commodities showing major growth by volume were general cargo, beer and ale, apparel, paper and pa