Press Release Article


Date: Sep 04, 2001
Press Release Number: 115-2001

Continuing growth in Asian trade has helped drive up general cargo volumes in the Port of New York and New Jersey by 11 percent in the first half of 2001, according to statistics released today by Port Authority Executive Director Neil D. Levin.

Total value of the general cargo that moved through the port exceeded $38.29 billion, an 11.09-percent increase over 2000 levels, Mr. Levin said.

“Manufacturers of cars, toys, shoes and furniture in countries such as China, Japan, Korea and Taiwan are realizing the impressive benefits that our port provides. These include sophisticated and continuing investments in access, channel deepening and rail and road access, and one of the largest and most affluent consumer markets in the world. Such advantages have helped produce a 17-percent increase in Far East Asia container trade during the first half of 2001,” Mr. Levin added.

New York Governor George E. Pataki said, “As the national economy slows, we must work hard every day to create jobs and opportunities for New Yorkers. These positive results demonstrate that our efforts to strengthen the Port of New York and New Jersey as a vibrant economic engine for the region is paying off. By continuing to make smart, targeted investments, we can continue to create jobs by competing and winning in the global marketplace.”

Acting New Jersey Governor Donald T. DiFrancesco said, “The growth of international trade at our port has a ripple effect that creates jobs outside the port itself. Truckers, freight forwarders and the important financial and legal services industries all benefit. Consumers also reap the benefits of clothing, electronic gear, beverages and countless other varieties of imported goods.”

Port Authority Chairman Lewis M. Eisenberg said, “Investing in our port is a top priority if we are to sustain the region’s economic growth and more than 160,000 jobs in both states. That’s why this Board authorized a $1.8 billion five-year capital plan that will lead to such projects as the expansion of ExpressRail, the on-dock rail facility at the Elizabeth Port Authority Marine Terminal in New Jersey, and development of a 124-acre industrial property immediately adjacent to the Howland Hook Marine Terminal on Staten Island.”

Mr. Levin, the Port Authority’s Executive Director, said, “The prosperity of the Port depends on investments and strategic decisions made by the Port Authority. Manufacturers in Asia, Europe and Latin America and the shippers who serve them are discovering the advantages of doing business with the Port. Long-term leases with world-class terminal operators Maersk-Sealand, Maher and P&O Ports, along with our tenants at Howland Hook and Red Hook, provide a stable and appealing environment for shippers, and the Port of New York and New Jersey offers the best in ship-to-rail transfers and cargo handling facilities.

“And we will continue these improvements by building the port of the future. Components of the plan include channel deepening to 50 feet to accommodate a new generation of giant cargo ships, improving road and rail transportation to improve port productivity, and expanding and modernizing port facilities. All of this builds on our natural advantage as the gateway to the largest, most affluent consumer market in the country.”

Port Commerce Director Richard M. Larrabee said that total general cargo rose from 8,891,000 metric tons in the first half of 2000 to 9,882,000 metric tons in 2001, an 11.15-percent increase, according to an analysis of data from the U.S. Census Bureau. General cargo imports rose by 3.44 percent, from 6,547,000 metric tons during the first half of 2000 to 6,773,000 metric tons in 2001.

General cargo exports rose 32.7 percent, from 2,343,000 metric tons in the first half of 2000 to 3,109,000 metric tons in 2001.

“We are continuing a pattern of steady, measured growth, strengthening our stature as the East Coast’s leading cargo hub,” said Mr. Larrabee. “We continue to project annual port growth of approximately 4 percent a year over a 40-year planning horizon that takes into account future years that may not enjoy the same levels of growth we are now experiencing. With this level of activity, we must aggressively move forward with our plans to deepen the major port channels to 50 feet.”

According to data reported by the Port Import-Export Reporting System (PIERS), imports and exports from the New York-New Jersey ports measured in 20-foot equivalent units (TEUs) rose 8.1 percent during the first half of 2001 compared to the same period in 2000. Container volumes for exports rose from 356,039 TEUs during the first half of 2000 to 404,405 TEUs in 2001. Container volumes for imports rose from 722,007 TEUs in the first half of 2000 to 761,417 in 2001, a 5.5-percent increase.

According to the U.S. Census data, the increase in general cargo imports was due to hikes in woven apparel, up 31 percent over 2000; stone, up 61 percent over 2000; and machinery, up 15 percent over 2000. The rise in general cargo exports was driven by increases in wood pulp, up 45 percent over 2000; plastics, up 59 percent over 2000; and machinery, up 33 percent over 2000.

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