Evergreen opens box pool for NY barge service

Evergreen opens box pool for NY barge service

Evergreen Marine Corp. is establishing a container pool at the Port of Albany to expand its service network in upstate New York.

The pool makes 20- and 40-foot containers available to local shippers moving goods down the Hudson River to mainline carriers connecting at the Port of New York/New Jersey.

China Ocean Shipping Co. established a similar pool at Albany late last year.

New York state subsidizes weekly barge service by Columbia Coastal Transport from Elizabeth, N.J. to Albany. Port officials are hopeful that the service can be expanded to twice weekly in two or three months.

Inland barge traffic has increased by nearly 400 loads since last April, officials said.

The State of New York earlier provided funding for the purchase of a $2.4 million crane and $75,000 in railroad track upgrades near the port.

Since New Year's Day, nearly 1,150 containers have been handled at the port, compared to about 521 in the nine months of 2003 when the barge service opened.

New York provided $3 million to help start up the Hudson River barge service, reducing per-container costs by $25, officials said. The barges are currently carrying 40 to 60 containers a trip.