Trade stats released for June 2015 confirmed cargo volumes at the Port of New York and New Jersey set a record pace during the first six months of 2015. Volumes were moved 13.4 percent higher than the same period in 2014, which established the previous record.
Between January and June of this year, the port handled 3,093,789 TEUs (twenty-foot equivalent units), compared to 2,727,554 TEUs handled during the same period in 2014. These record volumes have allowed the port to maintain its position as the busiest on the East Coast.
Cargo handled by ExpressRail, the Port Authority’s ship-to-rail system serving New York and New Jersey marine terminals, is also on track for a record year. During the first six months of 2015, ExpressRail handled 257,103 containers, up 15.1 percent from the previous record year of 2014, when 223,374 containers were handled. The agency’s investment of more than $600 million in ExpressRail – and its plans to build a new ExpressRail facility in Greenville Yard in Jersey City – has been critical to addressing the need for on-dock rail to improve port efficiency, competitiveness and reduce emissions. Port road, rail, and security projects are now funded by port-wide Cargo Facility Charges.
“Port Director Rick Larrabee is retiring on a high note with cargo volumes at record levels thanks to strategic initiatives he led, including the 50-foot channel project, investments in our port’s environmentally friendly rail network, upgraded port roads, and our award-winning Clean Air port strategy,” said Port Authority Executive Director Pat Foye. “He leaves the Port of New York and New Jersey with a strong outlook for continued growth in jobs and economic activity as the pre-eminent East Coast port, and our project to raise the Bayonne Bridge underway. This week we welcome Molly Campbell as our new port director who I am confident will build on Rick’s accomplishments in the years to come.”
“We’re reaping the benefits of a strong regional economy and labor uncertainty on the West Coast,” said Port Commerce Director Richard Larrabee. “Our challenge now is to find ways to more efficiently handle the record volumes we have seen all year, and we’ve been working collaboratively will all port stakeholders to meet this goal.
“At the same time, we are continuing our aggressive environmental initiatives to ensure that more cargo does not result in more pollution for those who work or live around our port facilities,” Mr. Larrabee said.
Between 2006 and 2013, the port’s Clean Air Strategy helped contribute to a 33 percent reduction in tons per year of all pollutants, even while our cargo volumes grew by 7 percent during that period.
In addition to cargo containers, the port also reported a 31 percent increase in vehicles handled by auto processors serving the port – from 172,375 units handled in 2014 to 226,053 units handled in 2015. The increase is due in part to the Auto Incentive Program launched in 2014 to provide financial incentives to auto manufacturers who bring new or increased vehicle business to the port.
To continue the port’s ability to handle increasing cargo volumes, the Port Authority formed the Council on Port Performance to plan and implement 23 recommendations aimed at reducing truck congestion and air emissions at the Port of New York and New Jersey, improve customer service for truckers and other port stakeholders, and enhance the flow of goods to and from the marketplace.
To that end, the Port Authority also announced today the release of the Truckers’ Resource Guidebook. To get a copy, click here: http://www.panynj.gov/port/pdf/CPP-2015-Trucker-Guidebook.pdf. The guidebook – one of the 23 recommendations – contains important information on how to navigate through the port’s six terminals, including important phone numbers, a list of Do’s and Don’ts, Frequently Asked Questions, terminal maps and how to help ensure a successful visit to a terminal. Work on other critical recommendations is ongoing.