Press Release Article


Date: Mar 20, 2008
Press Release Number: 26-2008

Port Growth Outpaces Other Major Ports in U.S.; Port Authority’s On-Dock Rail System Also Sets Record in 2007

Governor Jon S. Corzine and executives from the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey today announced record cargo volume at the Port of New York and New Jersey in 2007, outperforming other major ports in the U.S.

With growth at the port expected to continue over the next 10 years, the governor and the Port Authority also detailed the expansion efforts at the port and the steps being taken to ensure it remains the economic generator for the region, including:

  • The addition of 119 acres on the eastern end of the Port Jersey peninsula for the potential redevelopment of new cargo container space. The property was added by purchasing the remaining years on Northeast Auto Terminal‘s auto processing facility lease with the Port Authority. The land addition, coupled with New Jersey’s current project to deepen the Port Jersey Channel to 50 feet, will allow many of the world’s largest ships to serve it when the channel is deepened in 2012.

  • The completion of the Port Authority’s ExpressRail on-dock rail system by 2011. The system, when fully built, will have the capacity to handle 1.5 million cargo containers a year by rail, taking approximately 2.5 million trucks off the roads. The Port Authority recently completed Tracks 10 through 18 at the ExpressRail Elizabeth facility, and has begun construction of another lead track into the rail facility that will greatly improve the movement of trains on and off the property. Construction also will begin this year on rail track west of Corbin Street in Port Newark and Elizabeth that will provide support for the entire ExpressRail system and provide sufficient capacity for three additional 2-mile long arriving and departing trains.

  • ExpressRail set a new record in 2007, handling 358,043 cargo containers, an increase of approximately 20,000 containers over the previous record of 338,884 in 2006. In January 2008, ExpressRail set a record dating back to the start of on-dock rail in 1991, handling 32,735 containers.

  • The port’s $2 billion, 10-year Capital Plan, which includes significant funds to upgrade the on and off-port road network that will provide a more efficient way for trucks to enter and leave port terminals.

New Jersey Governor Jon S. Corzine said, “Even during times of economic uncertainty, the port has been a lifeline for this region, providing a continuous source of jobs and economic activity. For that reason, we must protect this critical asset and move forward with a clear vision for the future, one that will allow the port to maintain its world-class reputation. Our vision includes targeted investments in existing port terminals that will allow it to handle projected future growth, and expanding our port facilities beyond their existing boundaries to allow us to efficiently handle more cargo.”

Port Authority Chairman Anthony R. Coscia said, “Year after year, more and more cargo is making its way to our port, creating hundreds of thousands of jobs and providing this region with a major economic lift. The Port Authority recognizes the critical role of the port in our regional economy, and that’s why over the next 10 years we’ve committed $2 billion in the port’s infrastructure – an investment that we believe will pay substantial dividends now and for years to come.”

Port Authority Executive Director Anthony E. Shorris said, “While the national economy has slowed a bit, more than $166 billion in cargo flowed into the port in 2007 - everything from beverages to bookends. We handled all that cargo while also taking 610,000 truck trips off the region’s roads with our ExpressRail system. Our port is going to continue to grow, which is why we need to build on the ExpressRail vision to create a truly sustainable port - a port that will serve the region, the nation, and the world by making cargo growth as sound environmentally as it is economically.”

Port Authority First Deputy Executive Director Susan Bass Levin said, “Most people in our region only know the port as the odd looking cranes they see from the Turnpike. What they don’t realize is how much the port impacts their everyday lives – bringing in everything from the sneakers on their feet to the food on their tables, generating more than $20 billion in economic activity to foster prosperity, and perhaps most important, creating more than 230,000 good, quality jobs that support families all over this region. That’s why the Port Authority has invested billions to make our port state-of-the-art. And that’s why it’s so critical to keep planning for the port’s future by expanding its capacity.”

2007 Port Statistics

With 4 percent cargo growth in 2007, the Port of New York and New Jersey outperformed other major ports throughout the country, which declined or grew less than 1 percent in the same period.

In 2007, total cargo volumes in the Port of New York and New Jersey, which includes loaded and unloaded cargo containers, rose due to strong trade with the Far East and Southeast Asia. The number of loaded TEUs (20-foot equivalent units) handled by the port last year rose an impressive 7.6 percent over the previous year. The dollar value of all cargo handled through the port in 2007 exceeded $166 billion for the first time, up 11 percent. The number of loaded and empty TEUs (20-foot equivalent units) handled in the port was 5,299,105, another all-time record.

Port of New York and New Jersey terminal operator data reported that loaded TEUs in 2007 totaled 4,097,495. Loaded imports and exports totaled 2,619,592 and 1,477,903 TEUs respectively.

The port’s total general cargo volume, according to data from the U.S. Bureau of Census, increased to 32.8 million metric tons in 2007, compared to 31.2 million metric tons in 2006. General cargo imports totaled 22 million metric tons, roughly the same as 2006. General cargo exports increased by 18.8 percent, from 9.1 million metric tons in 2006 to 10.8 million metric tons in 2007.

Total bulk cargo was down 1 percent to 54 million metric tons in 2007, compared to 55 million in 2006. Total bulk cargo imports, led by decreases in ethyl alcohol, salt and crude oil, declined from 49.2 million metric tons in 2006 to 47.1 million in 2007. Total bulk cargo exports, led by increases in scrap metals, corn and oil, increased by 25.8 percent, from 5.8 million metric tons in 2006 to 7.3 million metric tons in 2007. Total cargo volume by weight (bulk and general cargo combined) grew by 1.2 percent, from 86.2 million metric tons in 2006 to 87.2 million metric tons in 2007.

According to the U.S. Department of Commerce, Bureau of the Census, the number of vehicles handled, including small trucks, vans, SUVs and other personal vehicles, was 930,298, up 9.2 percent for the year. Imports decreased to 663,539 in 2007 from 690,636 in 2006. Exports increased to 266,759 in 2007 from 161,616 in 2006.

Other 2007 trade highlights include:

  • The top five containerized import commodities by volume were furniture, women’s and infantware, beer and ale, plastic products and apparel.

  • The top five containerized export commodities by volume were paper, automobiles, metal scrap, auto parts and household goods.

  • Imported containerized general cargo commodities showing major growth by volume were plastics, manufacturing/building stone, preserved foods, machinery, paper and paperboard, and iron and steel products.

  • Exported containerized general cargo commodities showing major growth by volume were machinery, iron and steel, paper and paperboard, wood and aluminum.

  • The top five trading partners in general cargo tonnage were China, India, Italy, Germany and Brazil.

  • Top import trading partners in general cargo tonnage were C

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