On Thursday, September 15, the first of approximately 100 containers of waste paper were loaded on a barge at the Red Hook Container Terminal (RHCT), Brooklyn.
Later that day, the 300-foot-long, tug-pulled barge made the trip across the Upper Bay, through the Kill Van Kull, and up Newark Bay to Port Newark Container Terminal (PNCT) in 90 minutes.
The cargo was then loaded onto Mediterranean Shipping Co.’s (MSC) 8,000 TEU ship, the MSC Anzu, on Sunday, September 18, and shipped to China.
This new container-on-barge service between New York and New Jersey is the culmination of two years’ planning and obtaining approvals.
In 2014, RHCT signed an agreement with MSC and PNCT to expand barge service between PNCT and RHCT. When import volumes warrant it, MSC will provide a bill of lading with a Brooklyn port of discharge for shippers with cargo destined to east-of-Hudson markets.
An agreement was also reached with U.S. Customs and Border Protection so that cargo arriving at PNCT will be able to clear Customs’ inspection in Brooklyn rather than New Jersey. This added service will reduce the number of “touches,” thereby streamlining operations and reducing the cost of moving containers.
When import loads are included, MSC’s service should handle an additional 400 loaded containers (680 TEUs) one-way per week. As more shippers learn of the barge service, the “intra-terminal” barge model strengthens and more partnerships may emerge.
The barge service’s utilization rate and cost competitiveness with trucks should help maintain its long-term viability as the business grows.