The Port of New York and New Jersey and Norfolk Southern are discussing the possibility of making an intermodal railyard in Bethlehem, Pa., an inland port, The Morning Call reports.
The Bethlehem port would help the Port of New York and New Jersey ship more items more efficiently to Pennsylvania and other points west of Port Newark, said Steve Coleman, a spokesperson for Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, in an interview with LehighValleyLive.com.
The inland port, which could be running this summer, would be able to deliver or accept international freight through East Coast shipping channels. As a result, it might include a U.S. Customs and Border Protection station where international freight could be checked in, Don Cunningham, president of the Lehigh Valley Economic Development Corp., told a reporter for The Morning Call.
“(The Bethlehem inland port) will allow the companies already here to grow, while giving us another recruitment tool for import/export-type companies that may want to locate here,” Cunningham said. “It's not a done deal, but it's likely. I'm optimistic.”
Lehigh Valley Rail Management, the railyard’s owner, and the LVEDC support the port’s opening. The question now lies with Norfolk Southern, the owner of the rail line into the intermodal facility. LVEDC officials will spend the next several weeks determining whether there are enough Lehigh Valley companies interested in delivering or accepting international goods through East Coast ports. The site of the railyard was designated as a foreign trade zone five years ago in anticipation that it could one day be an inland port.