Port of New York and New Jersey on Pace for Record Cargo Growth in 2014

The Port Authority announced today that cargo volumes in the Port of New York and New Jersey set a record for the first six months of 2014.

From January through June, the Port Authority reported 4 percent growth in cargo container traffic in the port.  The agency reported a 5.4 percent increase in loaded imports and a 14.3 percent hike in empty containers during that six-month period.  Since the beginning of this year, the port handled 1,583,449 containers, up from 1,523,273 during the first six months of 2013 and 35,000 containers ahead of the six-month record set in 2012.

ExpressRail, the Port Authority’s ship-to-rail system serving New York and New Jersey marine terminals, recorded a 5.1 percent increase in total lifts through the same period.  More than 14 percent of the total port traffic is currently transported by rail.  The agency’s investment of more than $600 million in ExpressRail – which are now funded by portwide Cargo Facility Charges – has been critical to addressing the need for on-dock rail to maintain the port’s competitiveness, improving efficiency and reducing emissions.

“Improving port infrastructure – including the raising of the Bayonne Bridge – and boosting productivity by implementing recommendations made by the Port Performance Task Force are critical to handling the growth in international cargo coming to the port,” said Port Authority Executive Director Pat Foye. “That’s why we are investing more than $1 billion dollars to ensure that our port maintains its competitiveness and drives job growth for the region.”

“The investments we made and will continue to make in our port are already paying major dividends in attracting cargo to the port,” said Port Authority Deputy Executive Director Deb Gramiccioni. “We will continue to work with all of the port’s stakeholders to ensure that our port remains the leading destination for international shippers on the East Coast, which is good for the region and its millions of consumers.”

“The problems we experienced last winter with moving cargo containers on and off the docks taught us a very important lesson – that all stakeholders must work together for the benefit of the entire port community,” said Port Authority Port Commerce Director Richard Larrabee. “By working together, we are confident that we will see continued  improvements in port productivity, which will enable us to more efficiently handle continued growth in cargo volumes.”

To spur future long-term improvements, the agency formed a Port Performance Task Force in December to explore ways to improve efficiency and service reliability at the port.  Last month, the Port Performance Task Force released its report, which consists of 23 recommendations that if implemented will reduce truck congestion and air emissions in the Port of New York and New Jersey, improve customer service for truckers and other port stakeholders, and enhance the flow of goods from the port to the marketplace.

In response to the report, a new group of port stakeholders – the Council on Port Performance – was formed and immediately began the task of planning for the implementation of the recommendations.

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