On July 26, 2018, the Port of New York and New Jersey reported a new record for the first half of 2018 with cargo volumes up 6.8 percent over the same time period in 2017, when the previous six-month record was established. To date, the Port handled 3,450,469 TEUs (20-foot equivalent length cargo containers) compared to 3,229,675 TEUs between January and June in 2017.
The increase reflects a spike in import and export loaded containers. Loaded import containers, consisting primarily of furniture, appliances and beverages, increased by 7.8 percent; while exported containers increased by 9.2 percent.
A primary driver of the cargo growth is attributed to the completion of the $1.6 billion Bayonne Bridge Navigational Clearance Project, which raised the clearance under the bridge from 151 feet to 215 feet. The bridge raising allows ships up to 18,000 TEUs to navigate under it. Previously, the maximum vessel size was 9,800 TEUs. Currently, 9.1 percent of the port’s cargo is carried on vessels that are 13,000 TEUs or larger.
The Port’s ExpressRail ship-to-rail system handled 315,011 lifts in the first half of 2018—also on record pace for the year. This is an increase of 15 percent from the previous record in 2017 of 273,991 lifts.
In addition to cargo containers, the Port also reported a 6.2 percent increase in vehicles handled from 264,766 units in 2017 to 281,224 units handled in 2018.