On Monday, February 05, 2018, the Port of New York and New Jersey announced that cargo volumes for 2017 had shattered the existing annual cargo volume record set in 2015 by 5.3 percent.
Specifically, during 2017, the port handled 6,710,817 TEUs compared to 6,371,720 TEUs handled in 2015. The record volumes were attributed partially to completion of the Bayonne Bridge Navigational Clearance Project in June 2017. But by any measure, the new record allowed the port to cement its position as the third largest port in the United States with a 15.4 percent market share of the nation’s cargo, and the busiest port on the East Coast, where it holds a 32 percent market share.
The 2017 port cargo record was fueled by a 5.7 percent increase over 2015 in import TEUs, from 3,214,338 import loaded containers in 2015 to 3,396,469 import loaded containers in 2017.
ExpressRail also sets record
ExpressRail, the Port Authority’s ship-to-rail system serving New York and New Jersey marine terminals, also set a new record in 2017, handling 567,649 container lifts for a 5.1 percent increase over the previous record of 540,149 container lifts set in 2016.
In 2017, ExpressRail accounted for 14.8 percent of all container lifts at the port. The Port Authority’s goal is for the ExpressRail system to account for 20 percent of container lifts by 2020. To achieve this goal, the agency has invested more than $600 million in its intermodal rail infrastructure – and the upcoming completion of the ExpressRail Port Jersey intermodal rail facility, currently under construction, will allow for full on-dock rail capability servicing the GCT-Bayonne marine terminal in Port Jersey. The new ExpressRail Port Jersey intermodal facility will be operational in December 2018.
The port also reported a 14.3 percent increase in vehicles imported into the port’s public berths – from 505,151 handled in 2016 to 577,223 handled in 2017. To attract new vehicle business to the port, the Port Authority has had a targeted incentive program in place since 2014 to attract new automobile manufacturers and provide incentives to existing ones to increase the port’s vehicle volumes.
Cruise passengers up
In addition to its cargo business, the port’s Cape Liberty Cruise Port in Bayonne reported a record 593,403 passengers handled in 2017, a 16 percent increase over the prior year’s activity. Cape Liberty is served by Royal Caribbean International, Celebrity Cruises, and TUI Cruises. An additional 137,214 passengers were handled at the Brooklyn Cruise Terminal, a 9 percent increase over the prior year’s activity.
Even with the increase in cargo volume since 2015, the particulate matter and nitrogen oxide emissions created by port activities have gone down by more than 14 percent – equivalent to removing at least 104,000 passenger cars off the street per year – due to the port’s Clean Air Strategy environmental programs.