NY-NJ Containers Rebound to Pre-Recession Levels

NY-NJ Containers Rebound to Pre-Recession Levels

More containers moved in and out of the Port of New York and New Jersey by rail in October than in any month since the end of 2008, when the recession caused volume to plunge.

Rail lifts, including full loads and empties, jumped 24.4 percent to 35,714 lifts in October over the same month last year, the most the port authority has reported since 35,223 lifts in August 2008.

The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey said the increase was fueled partly by a surge in exports, which increased 11.6 percent year-over-year in October.

NY-NJ Port news from JOC:
Exports Push NY-NJ Port Volume Up 11.6 Percent.

“We have an efficient rail system to expedite the flow of exports from inland points,” said port authority spokesman Steve Coleman. “Because we are still a predominantly import port, we have an excess of empty containers, which commodity shippers are taking advantage of by transloading commodities at or near the port into containers for export,” he said.

The port authority has invested over $500 million to build ExpressRail terminals on or near the port’s four major container terminals on the western edge of the harbor and in rail connectors to the mainline trunk roads that have increased the port’s capacity to 1 million lifts per year.

Coleman cited the raising of the height of Bergen and Waldo tunnels to accommodate 2 high cube doublestack containers. The improvement now allows trains of 350 or more containers. He said the investment is starting to pay off as the port now serves more inland rail destinations than any other East Coast port.

The strong growth in exports fueled an 11.6 percent year-over-year increase in total container volume in October, when the port handled a total of 371,620 20-foot equivalent units.

-- Contact Peter T. Leach at pleach@joc.com.