NY/NJ Container Traffic Grows 9.6 Percent

NY/NJ Container Traffic Grows 9.6 Percent

Container throughput at the six container terminals in New York Harbor in the first quarter of 2010 increased by 9.6 percent over the same quarter last year though overall port activity remains 6 percent below first quarter 2008 levels.

Containerized imports rose 9.8 percent during the first quarter of 2010, while exports were up 9.6 percent, the Port Authority of New York/New Jersey said Thursday.

The increase follows a significant decline in 2009 when the port’s containerized cargo dropped 12.7 percent, the biggest one-year decline in nearly 25 years. As a result, port activity still remains 6 percent below pre-recession levels in the first quarter of 2008.

Truck traffic through the region’s bridges and the Lincoln Tunnel, which generates significant revenue for the port authority, declined by 2.1 percent. The decline in truck traffic reflects the continued economic downturn, including reduced consumer spending.

The Port Authority said its own fiscal condition remained sound due to numerous cost-containment efforts the agency has taken in anticipation of the economic decline, including the implementation of two consecutive years of zero-growth operating budgets, staff reductions, and the prioritization and scaling back of its long-term capital program.

“The latest numbers show that the national recession continues to impact our businesses, though we’re beginning to witness signs of a return to growth in the future,” said Port Authority Chairman Anthony R. Coscia. “In the meantime, we will continue to control costs and to meet our commitments.”

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