Cargo volume at Port of New York, New Jersey reaches all-time high in 2011, rising nearly 4% year-over-year to 5.5 million TEUs

NEWARK, New Jersey , February 20, 2012 (press release) – The Port Authority announced today that it set an all-time record for cargo volume at the Port of New York and New Jersey in 2011, surpassing the previous record set in 2007 before the start of the global economic downturn.

The 5.5 million TEU’s (20-foot equivalent units) handled in 2011 represented a nearly 4 percent increase over 2010’s volumes. Most major ports in the United States reported either stable cargo volumes or declines during the year. The Port of New York and New Jersey is the largest on the East Coast and the third largest in the country behind Los Angeles and Long Beach.

The port’s on-dock rail system – known as ExpressRail – also set a new record in 2011, handling 422,144 containers, or 12 percent more than in 2010.

“These records demonstrate that despite these challenging economic times our commitment to establishing stronger import/export trade relations, retaining and attracting the highest quality operators and investing in state-of-the-art facilities with the latest technology is working,” said Port Authority Chairman David Samson. “Over the coming years we will continue to make significant investments in our port related infrastructure—$1 billion for Raising the Roadway of the Bayonne Bridge, as well as port roadway improvements, harbor deepening and Express Rail—to ensure our continued status as an industry leader and primary source of jobs and economic activity for the region.”

“The port business is extremely competitive, and we continue to make our case to the shipping community that they should bring their business here,” said Port Authority Executive Director Pat Foye. “The investments we made in the port’s infrastructure have paid dividends, and we will continue to demonstrate that our port is open for business and prepared to handle increasing volumes of cargo from around the world by making investments that provide a reasonable return to the Port Authority and the region in terms of new job creation and revenue generation.”

Port Authority Deputy Executive Director Bill Baroni said, “The Port Authority, under the leadership of Governor Christie and Governor Cuomo, continues to make necessary investments in our ports, and the numbers announced today offer further proof that we are moving in the right direction for the region.”

During 2011, the Port of New York and New Jersey reported that loaded TEU imports rose 4 percent to 1,562,413, while loaded exports increased 6.6 percent to 918,316. The port now supports approximately 279,200 total jobs in New York and New Jersey, nearly $11.6 billion in personal income, more than $37.1 billion in business income, and almost $5.2 billion in total tax revenues, according to a 2011 report prepared by the New York Shipping Association. With the steady rise in cargo volume, the Port Authority’s Board is continuing to invest in several critical port projects.

In December 2011, the Board authorized a $39 million dollar investment to design and reconstruct a section of Corbin Street along with the wharf and culvert at Berth 3 in Port Newark. This followed action to widen McLester Street in the Elizabeth-Port Authority Marine Terminal, and to widen and realign Port Street and Brewster Road.

Additionally, work continued on the 50-foot harbor deepening project, which is expected be completed to the terminals in Port Newark, Elizabeth and Port Jersey by the end of 2012 and to New York Container Terminal by 2014. These projects are all designed to provide unimpeded ocean and landside access capacity to and from the port for the expected future annual cargo growth.

The Port Authority continues engineering and design work on the plan to raise the roadbed of the Bayonne Bridge to accommodate new, larger post-Panamax vessels traveling to and from port terminals. Currently the bridge’s navigational clearance cannot accommodate the largest of these ships, which are expected to serve the port when the Panama Canal widening is complete. The agency has committed $1 billion toward this project.

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