View Full Version : Port of New York and New Jersey again sets record growth, expansion plans

March 16th, 2005, 10:20 PM
Date: March 16, 2005
Press Release Number: 28-2005

Container Volume Up 10 Percent; New Standards Set for Shipping Containers Handled, ExpressRail Volumes

Acting New Jersey Governor Richard J. Codey today announced that the Port of New York and New Jersey had another record year in 2004, handling more international cargo than ever and surpassing for the first time the $110 billion mark in the total value of all cargo handled.

During a press conference at the APM Terminal at the Elizabeth-Port Authority Marine Terminal, Acting Governor Codey outlined plans by New Jersey and the region to address the challenges associated with future growth in oceanborne cargo. They include:

Plans to promote the development of additional distribution and logistics facilities around the port. A preliminary study by the Port Authority and the New Jersey Economic Development Authority has identified more than 20 sites in Union, Middlesex, Essex, Bergen and Hudson counties that would be possible locations for warehouse/distribution centers. A report will be released in approximately 30 days. (List of sites attached).

Plans by a major industrial developer to build a distribution facility in Elizabeth near New Jersey Turnpike Interchange 13A. Groundbreaking for the project will be held this spring.

A report by the Port Authority to Governor Codey, to be issued within the next 30 days, detailing how the agency can accelerate the completion of the rail terminals and supporting infrastructure at the port. The Port Authority plans to invest $600 million to install rail terminals and support infrastructure at all of the marine terminals in New Jersey and New York.

A status report by the Port Authority to Governor Codey on steps that are being taken to complete the project to deepen the port’s channels to 50 feet as quickly as possible. The projected completion date is now 2014. The Port Authority is investing $760 million of the $1.6 billion construction cost of the channel-deepening project.

Acting Governor Codey said, “These numbers are a clear sign that the port remains a vital economic force for New Jersey and the region. The increased traffic translates into more high-paying jobs for our residents and greater activity for industries that rely on our port, including trucking and distribution. With the forecast for continued cargo growth, we are looking to the future with our Portfields initiative, which has identified underused industrial sites that can be used to increase distribution and logistics opportunities around the port. We also must do everything possible to enhance our ability to move more cargo by rail to provide environmentally sustainable ways to transport cargo throughout the region.”

New York Governor George E. Pataki said, “The Port of New York and New Jersey has been part of the fabric of New York and the region for centuries, helping to drive the state’s economic growth and activity. To maintain our competitive edge, we recently embarked on a $72 million project to reactivate the eight-mile Staten Island Railroad, which will restore important freight rail service to the Howland Hook Marine Terminal. This project not only will give us the ability to handle future cargo growth, but will create more than 780 construction jobs and 330 permanent jobs for New York.”

Port Authority Chairman Anthony R. Coscia said, “The results we have achieved in recent years are a tribute to the men and women working in our region’s maritime and supporting industries. They have consistently handled record-breaking cargo volumes at a time when we are undertaking the largest port development program in our history, while maintaining a vigilant watch on the region’s and nation’s vital security interests. The importance of our port to the region and nation should not be taken lightly. The World Bank has estimated that more than 25 percent of our nation’s gross domestic product is derived from international trade.”

Port Authority Vice Chairman Charles A. Gargano said, “Part of the reason for our phenomenal growth in port traffic has been the overwhelming success of the Howland Hook Marine Terminal, which was reopened in 1996. Under Governor Pataki’s leadership, the Port Authority will spend $350 million to upgrade the terminal, including a new ship-to-rail facility that will greatly improve the flow of cargo on and off the terminal.”

Port Authority Executive Director Kenneth J. Ringler Jr. said, “The impressive growth in maritime cargo has provided us with a challenge to maintain pace with the volume, but to also provide the facilities to accommodate future growth. We remain committed to our redevelopment program and are working diligently on a $600 million plan to expand existing rail facilities at our port’s terminals and to build new ones where no rail access exists today. Our goal is to improve productivity so that we can handle future growth while providing the most efficient and environmentally sustainable way to transport cargo to and from the port.”

Port Authority Port Commerce Director Richard M. Larrabee said, “The port’s strong performance in 2004 was exemplified by the growth in our container trade with Asia. The 21 percent growth in our trade with the Far East reinforces the trend we have witnessed in the last several years of increased all-water services from Asia to our port. Asia once again was our number-one market, a rank it achieved for the first time in 2003. Both shippers and consignees are increasingly turning to direct services from Asia to ensure the most reliable and time-competitive delivery of their goods to market.”

Mr. Larrabee said the Port Authority is paying particular attention to its responsibility to be a good environmental steward as it proceeds with its ambitious plans to build cargo-handling capacity. The agency has taken action to reduce air emissions in the harbor by repowering tugboats and retrofitting Staten Island ferries with filters to offset air emissions. In addition, the agency is investing $60 million to purchase and preserve property for public use and natural resource preservation.

In 2004, the number of loaded and empty containers handled in the Port of New York and New Jersey – measured in 20-foot equivalent units (TEUs) – totaled 4,478,480 TEUs, a 10.1 percent increase over the 4,067,812 TEUs handled in 2003 and a new annual record. The total value of all cargo handled in 2004 surpassed $110 billion, also a record. And ExpressRail, the Port Authority’s rail terminals in New Jersey, shattered the record for container volume in 2004, handling 22 percent more containers than in 2003.

The Port Import-Export Reporting System (PIERS) reported in 2004 that loaded containers in 2004 totaled 3,147,203, an 11.7 percent increase over the 2,818,557 loaded TEUs handled in the port in 2003. Imports and exports totaled 2,221,417 and 925,786 TEUs respectively.

The port’s total general cargo volumes, according to data from the U.S. Bureau of Census, increased 8.2 percent to 25,474,164 metric tons in 2004, compared to 23,538,926 metric tons in 2003. General cargo imports totaled 18,572,460 metric tons in 2004, a 9.7 percent increase over the 2003 import volume of 16,926,159 metric tons. General cargo exports also increased, by 4.4 percent, from 6,612,767 metric tons in 2003 to 6,901,704 metric tons in 2004.

Total bulk cargo was up 0.4 percent to 55,169,827 metric tons, compared to 54,926,615 metric tons in 2003. Bulk imports declined from 51,953,591 metric tons in 2003 to 51,768,248 metric tons in 2004, a 0.4 percent decrease. Bulk exports increased by 14.4 percent, from 2,973,024 metric tons to 3,401,579 metric tons. Total cargo volumes (bulk and general cargo combined) grew by 2.8 percent, from 78,465,541 metric tons in 2003 to 80,643,991 metric tons.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Census, the total value of all cargo that passed through the port in 2004 was $114.54 billion, a 14.1 percent increase over the $100.36 billion total cargo value in 2003.

The Port of New York and New Jersey continues to set records in ocean-borne auto-handling. The number of automobiles handled through the port, including small trucks, vans, SUVs and other personal vehicles, was up 16.4 percent, from 625,798 units to 728,720 units.

On-dock rail activity grew by 22 percent, with rail movements totaling 283,529 compared to 232,867 the year before.

Other 2004 trade highlights include:

China continues to be the port’s largest trading partner, accounting for 19.9 percent of the port’s activity. Trade with China grew 30.5 percent in 2004. In addition, Asia continues to be the port’s largest origin-and-destination market for containerized cargo, with a 43.2 percent share.

Italy, Germany, Brazil and India round out the top five trading partners. Brazil surpassed India in the trade rankings..

Trade with Taiwan grew by 29.8 percent and trade with Brazil grew by 28 percent..

The top three import cargo commodities on a tonnage basis were beverages, vehicles and furniture. The top three export cargo commodities were wood pulp, plastic and machinery..

Five new all-water services from Asia to the Port of New York and New Jersey were added in 2004, bringing the total all-water services to the Far East/Southeast Asia/Indian Subcontinent trade lanes to 24. Of these, 17 travel via the Panama Canal and the remaining seven travel via the Suez Canal..

There were 5,288 ship calls to the Port of New York and New Jersey in 2004, compared to 5,280 ship calls in 2003".

March 16th, 2005, 10:22 PM
"A packed port seeks room to grow
Newark/Elizabeth facility looks at polluted sites for warehouses
Wednesday, March 16, 2005

A vacant, polluted site in Linden, another beside Jersey Gardens Mall in Elizabeth and a third beneath a rail bridge on Newark Bay top a "short list" of properties that state officials hope will ease the coming space crunch at Port Newark/Elizabeth.

The full list of 20 properties won't be unveiled until sometime this spring, but officials at the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey and the state Economic Development Authority are already wooing developers.

What is driving the discussion is a vast expansion of the port, brought on by the region's growing dependence on overseas merchandise. This afternoon, acting Gov. Richard Codey and Port Authority Chairman Anthony Coscia will announce that 2004 was another banner year at the port.

They also will talk publicly about a quiet initiative under way for six months that is intended to help private developers build modern warehouse and distribution sites that the port desperately needs.

Last year, officials announced that port traffic had grown by 8 percent in 2003, when a record 78 million tons of cargo was handled. Items ranging from new cars to frozen orange juice enter the port, stocking the region's malls, supermarkets and outlets.

With explosive growth in recent years at what was already the East Coast's largest port, officials are concerned that increased congestion will hamstring future expansion.

At a meeting last week of the Urban Land Institute in Newark, top port representatives laid out the situation for developers and offered help in assembling properties and getting them cleaned up.

Sam Crane, a vice president for Maher Terminals, the port's largest container terminal operator, said his company is spending $400 million to double the capacity of its operation to 2 million shipping containers annually.

"There is no end to the growth," Crane said. Although Maher is doubling capacity on the same amount of acreage, Crane and others said the port is running out of room.

Tractor-trailers already queue up for hours awaiting loads, and with a major dredging project that will bring the channels to a depth of 50 feet, the forecast calls for bigger ships and much more cargo.

Michael Francois, the Port Authority's chief of economic development and real estate, said the agency wants to add at least 1,000 acres of warehouse and distribution sites -- high-tech facilities where workers label, assemble or otherwise prepare goods for sale. Hemmed in by Newark Airport, the port wants those facilities placed so they are accessible by rail, highway or barge.

But there are concerns that private developers might be unwilling to pursue some polluted or unassembled industrial properties that could provide relief. Six months ago, port officials teamed up with the EDA to make the sites more palatable, said Timothy Lizura, the EDA's director of real estate development.

"These sites are extremely important to the economic future of New Jersey," Lizura said. "The port needs to add facilities near enough that it can continue to deal with cargo efficiently."

While the state is focusing on difficult sites -- where smaller properties must be joined or pollution problems are more vexing -- others are much closer to being developed.

Linden Mayor John Gregorio said he is hopeful that a 350-acre industrial site on the Arthur Kill may soon produce 5 million square feet of warehouse space -- something akin to five shopping malls.

Gregorio, who has been an elected official in town since 1964, remembers when factories on Tremley Point were so busy that owners had to stagger shifts to avoid traffic jams. But with the decline of manufacturing, hundreds of acres have been idled.

"Expenses are constantly on the rise for the town," Gregorio said. "I just got hit with a health insurance increase of $1 million for no extra coverage. I've got to get some revenue in here without raising taxes."

To that end, the council voted last year to declare the acreage "in need of redevelopment" and handed the project to the Rutherford-based Morris Cos. Negotiations continue with property owners ISP Corp. and DuPont, but the action means Linden can take the property using its condemnation powers if no deal is reached.

Gregorio said he would like to see the project finished in three or four years. And he said the New Jersey Turnpike Authority has plans to build an access road linking Exit 12 in Carteret directly to the site, bypassing most residential parts of Linden.

In Newark, an abandoned 50-acre waterfront site owned by Motiva Enterprises, a division of Shell Oil, is being eyed by the port for acquisition.

Meanwhile, Elizabeth officials signed a contract last week with the port and Catellus Commercial Group. Catellus will build 850,000 to 1.2 million square feet of warehouse space on roughly 70 acres of a 177-acre property once owned by AlliedSignal.

As part of the deal, the city bought 108 acres of wetlands on the site for $5 million, promptly flipping it to the Port Authority for $17.5 million. While Francois was trumpeting the port's efforts at open-space preservation last week, Elizabeth Mayor Chris Bollwage said the agency may have other plans.

"The Port Authority is not in the environmental business," Bollwage said. "It is looking to expand, and by taking ownership of the wetlands, it gives them a future opportunity to fill it in and create more buildable space."

August 5th, 2005, 05:44 PM
Foreign-car trade is thriving at the Port -- but it's running out of room

Friday, August 05, 2005
Star-Ledger Staff

The hulking Maersk Teal, a ship built to haul thousands of automobiles across the world's oceans, rested in the channel as an afternoon rain pelted Port Newark's Berth 17.

Its arrival was unceremonious and its presence as routine as a delivery truck parked along a city street with another day's worth of fresh bread for a neighborhood market.

But at the water's edge, the delivery of hundreds of automobiles is much more involved: Two white vans, carrying crews of longshoremen, raced up a ramp and disappeared through a garage-door-like opening in the side of the vessel. A few minutes later, they reappeared with empty seats, followed by a caravan of new Land Rovers and Jaguars.

Again and again, vans darted in and out of the ship's hull, and luxury cars and sports utility trucks streamed out until they filled a nearby parking lot. At the port, though, the lot is known by a much more dignified term: the first point of rest.

But now the port faces a vexing problem: It is running out of land to accommodate a thriving automotive business.

The space shortage is forcing port officials and auto processing companies to weigh the idea of going up, stacking vehicles in multileveled structures that bear a striking resemblance to urban parking garages. The cost, however, is daunting, especially to the companies that would have to foot the bill.

"The luxury of surface lots is going away," said Anthony Coscia, chairman of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey.

"We have a benefit and a challenge at the same time," he said. "The port's business is growing at a healthy clip, but its location at the edge of population centers limits expansion, if it doesn't make it impossible altogether."


Of all the trade bustling within the Port of New York and New Jersey, nothing compares with cars. The number of imports coming in already makes it the top port in the country for processing foreign- made vehicles, and the business is still growing steadily.

Last year, imports rose 16.4 percent, to 728,720, up 16.4 percent from 2003, according to the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey.

Automobile processors, which import the vehicles, prepare them for sale and then distribute them to dealers across the region, have seen their business increase 40 percent since 1999. As China starts exporting cars, trade is expected to surge even more.

From the turnpike or the train, the port looks like a jumble of skyscraper-sized cranes and a maze of railroad tracks. Cargo containers are everywhere. They are double- stacked on trains and piled in the port like giant Legos in tall, rectangular mountains.

But even from a distance, nothing may be as noticeable as the rows of cars, sport utility vehicles and trucks. Many will spend up to three days at the port.

After being unloaded from ships such as the Teal, the vehicles go through intensive quality assurance inspections at a clip of 300 to 350 a day. The work involves cosmetic touch-ups, electronic upgrades, minor repairs and, sometimes, the installation of DVD players.

Foreign-made luxury cars -- the Jaguars, Lamborghinis and BMWs -- don't stay at the port for long. Toyotas and Nissans may stick around much longer, stored on those large lots the same way merchandise is kept in a warehouse.

The port's dwindling storage space is particularly pressing since trade in automobiles is highly competitive. The auto processors are constantly vying against competitors in Baltimore, Jacksonville, Fla., and even Halifax, Nova Scotia, for new business opportunities.

"The question isn't do you want to handle more cars? The question is how do you handle more cars," said Richard Larrabee, who oversees the port's operations.

Building up isn't the only solution. The port authority is also trying to motivate auto processors to accelerate productivity, which would move the vehicles out of storage -- or, off the lots -- more quickly. The demand for space may also force the port to re-evaluate how its land is used, especially if it's being occupied for something other than water-borne cargo.

One automobile processor, FAPS, for instance, has identified about 200 adjacent acres that might be available if existing businesses were relocated to other parts of the port.

But the efficiency of going up, or stacking, isn't hard to understand if you've ever thought about the rationale behind a parking deck. An automobile processor can use a 19-acre lot or a multilevel structure on 3.4 acres to hold roughly 4,000 vehicles.


There's a downside to innovation, though: It's expensive. Multilevel storage structures -- auto processors grimace if you refer to them as parking garages -- cost up to $40 million. The price could be even steeper because the soft fill at the port requires deep cement pilings for support.

"The vertical systems require capital and the amount someone is willing to add on (to a car) because of a structured deck makes it very difficult to do," Coscia said.

But they still represent one of the best options for creating more storage space.

"We're limited to 76 acres," said Gary Jones, a senior vice president of operations at Distribution & Auto Service, an auto processor at Port Elizabeth. "If we brought another manufacturer in, we would have to go up."

Vertical facilities already exist. Auto processors are using them in Germany, Holland, Spain and the United Kingdom. At the marine terminal in Jersey City, BMW of North America built a three-story structure 15 years ago to maximize its 16 acres.

The building gives BMW an additional 30 percent of storage space, enough for 992 vehicles. "BMW had the foresight to maximize its footprint. Even then, port property was a premium," said Brett Dixon, BMW's vehicle distribution center manager at the port.

In hopes of spurring the development of another, the port authority negotiated a new lease with FAPS, the port's largest auto processor, containing an incentive of lower rent in exchange for a study and, ultimately, construction of a multilevel structure.

"We're trying to promote innovate thinking," Larrabee said.

FAPS, a 49-year-old company that shortened its name from Foreign Auto Processing, didn't need much of a nudge. They had already visited vertical structures at other ports and studied the feasibility of an automated structure.

Now, the company is studying the possibility of converting a World War II-era building into a storage facility. If the foundation proves sound enough to support a four-level structure, it could create storage for an estimated 2,000 vehicles, according to the company's early calculations.

"We've been aggressive in developing trade at the port, but it requires infrastructure," said Gary Love, the director of sales and marketing at FAPS.

"We're trying to be progressive," he said. "We believe we will have to go vertical, but we don't want to do that while there's land we still might be able to use"

Susan Todd may be reached at stodd@starledger.com or (973) 392-4125.

March 21st, 2006, 12:27 PM
Pair of giant cranes delivered from China - growth for Global

Tuesday, March 21, 2006
They came by sea, from across the world.

Two giant cranes arrived aboard the Zhen Hua at Global Terminals on the Jersey City/Bayonne border Friday - taking a little more than two months to reach New Jersey from the manufacturer in Shanghai, China.

The ship's landing was delayed several days by strong headwinds preventing the boat from entering the port, Global president Maurice Byan said.

Once safely docked, the first of the two Superpost Panamax cranes was unloaded Sunday and its twin was taken off yesterday, Byan said.

Byan said that each costs about $6 million and stands 225 feet tall - the equivalent of a 30-story high-rise - and can handle loads stretching 22 containers across.

Each can be run by a single operator, he said.

Byan said the new cranes - which will supplement four similar ones acquired in January 2000 - were ordered to help Global handle the cargo growth anticipated by the port in the next several years.

"We expect to increase Global's productivity by 30 to 40 percent, increasing capacity from about 300,000 container units to between 450,000 and 500,000 container units," Byan said.

He predicted that over the next year alone, the increased production should lead to 100 to 500 new jobs.

Byan said the cranes could be put into use within two weeks using temporary supports, but that for the long run Global plans to extend its dock by 800 feet. The company figures to invest $40 million in dock improvements.

"We're still going through the permit process with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the state Department of Environmental Protection," he said.

Once all the approvals are secured, Byan said, construction of the new pier should be completed by late 2007 or early 2008.

March 23rd, 2006, 11:26 AM
Two giant cranes arrived aboard the Zhen Hua at Global Terminals on the Jersey City/Bayonne border Friday - taking a little more than two months to reach New Jersey from the manufacturer in Shanghai, China.

Even the cranes unloading all the goods coming from China are now made in China. Scary.

March 23rd, 2006, 09:31 PM
Ed, is the story the same in Canada as well, the lopsided trade with China, that is?

March 24th, 2006, 10:55 AM
Pretty much the same situation in Canada vis a vis China. The big difference with America is that overall we are still reporting a trade surplus.

Canada's trade surplus takes a spill
Falling gas prices partly to blame

Canada's trade surplus narrowed sharply in January as the world turned its back on natural gas and Canadians went on a record-setting buying spree in emerging markets, especially China.

Exports dropped 3.3 per cent in January from a month earlier, while imports were virtually flat over all, cutting the trade surplus to $6.3-billion from a sky-high $7.7-billion in December.

The Canadian dollar softened on the news, closing at 86.1 cents (U.S.), down from Wednesday's close of 86.48 cents.

But Canada's trade position is not as weak as it looks at first glance, economists said, because the surplus had soared to dizzying heights in previous months as natural gas prices spiked.

Now, as natural gas cools off and prices settle at a more realistic level, Canada's trade surplus is settling down too. Natural gas exports dropped 24 per cent last month, because both prices and volumes fell, Statistics Canada said.

"The late-2005 spike in natural gas prices ran the surplus up to unsustainable levels, and the ensuing plunge in these prices is bringing trade totals back down to earth," said Douglas Porter, deputy chief economist at BMO Nesbitt Burns. "Still, the surplus is well above year-ago levels, and the overall trade picture remains quite healthy."

Exports were up 12 per cent from a year ago, while imports rose only 6 per cent, despite the appreciation of the Canadian dollar that made imports cheaper for Canadians.

Much of the momentum in rising imports comes from new attention being paid to emerging markets, the Statscan report shows, particularly China.

Imports from emerging markets rose 2.4 per cent in January to a record high $5.2-billion.

For the year, imports from these countries climbed about 20 per cent, Statscan said.

Canada's trade deficit with China now accounts for about half of Canada's overall trade deficit with countries outside the United States, Mr. Porter pointed out. It's as large, in proportion to Canada's economy, as the U.S. trade deficit with China that is causing so much angst and political tension south of the border.

However, Canada's trade deficit with China is not as worrisome as the American situation because Canada, over all, has a large and consistent trade surplus, while the United States has a ballooning trade deficit, Mr. Porter added.

The U.S. trade deficit widened by $3.4-billion (U.S.) last month from a month earlier to a record $68.5-billion. The deficit with China rose almost 10 per cent on the month, to $17.9-billion.

March 27th, 2006, 07:58 AM
What folks abroad --including the Chinese-- want that the U.S. produces is pop culture. Trouble is, with digital technology they can get that without paying. That's the price of running an intellectual-property economy.

June 3rd, 2006, 11:09 PM
Development at New Jersey ports gets boost from government

Ports see increased traffic due to more Asian shipping; program aims to rehab old industrial sites

By John Celock

Increased shipping from Asia, rising gas prices and a government push to rehabilitate abandoned industrial sites are fueling revived development in New Jersey's unloved but commercially vital ports.

The Port of Newark and Port of Elizabeth have been the prime beneficiaries of the increased volume of exports from China and other Asian nations. Shipping that has clogged up California ports has led importers to send goods to the East Coast instead -- specifically to New Jersey -- via all-water routes through the Panama and Suez canals.

At the same time, a trend in which developers built warehouses and distribution centers on farmland in rural New Jersey and Pennsylvania and trucked containers to and from the ports has been reversing itself, thanks to rising gas prices.

Also, there has also been renewed emphasis by the government on rehabilitating abandoned or underused industrial and commercial properties where redevelopment is complicated by actual or perceived environmental contamination -- all of which is leading to more planned development.

"Because of heightened awareness that the state is putting in the area, there is a commitment to getting port properties up and running," said Michael McGuiness, executive director of the New Jersey Chapter of the National Association of Industrial and Office Properties. "We're basically seeing developers trying to get property cleaned up with state help and to build warehouses and storage facilities."

The New York metropolitan area is the third largest industrial marketplace in North America, behind Los Angeles and Chicago. Traffic into the region's port is projected to double over the next 15 to 20 years, and New Jersey sites will play a significant role.

As gas prices rise nationally, some experts have been citing this as the reason that distribution firms want to be closer to the ports, in order to cut down on the gas costs of truck trips to warehouses farther from the ports.

The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey and the New Jersey Economic Development Authority launched the Portfields Initiative to stimulate development in the port district. The project, first launched in 2004, calls for both agencies to dedicate $300,000 apiece for three years to identify and redevelop what are known as "brownfield" sites, which are contaminated or at least viewed as contaminated.

Since the program's launch, 17 sites have been identified and are in the process of being developed. The most advanced projects are the Elizabeth Business Park, the Port Reading Business Park in Carteret and the Linden Municipal Airport, according to Tim Lizura, director of real estate for the New Jersey Economic Development Authority.

The agency recently signed an agreement with the state Department of Environmental Protection to help facilitate the environmental remediation of the brownfields sites in the project. Lizura said that each site has a different set of environmental issues to be addressed before construction can begin.

The Port Reading Business Park, being built by Prologis, is a 3.6 million-square-foot facility of eight warehouses. Located off Exit 12A on the New Jersey Turnpike, the facility has recently completed the first building, which is three quarters leased out.

"It is the first new warehouse built in close proximity to the port at this time," said Stan Danzig, executive director at Cushman and Wakefield, who is overseeing leasing for Port Reading. "There is a built-up demand for people who want to be close to the port."

Danzig said the demand for the Port Reading project has allowed for rent to be in the low to mid six-figure range and the site is being used for both imported and exported goods.

Danzig noted that there is a lot of development around Exit 8A and Exit 7 on the Turnpike, which are located in rural Middlesex County, and said the Rockefeller Group is doing a new industrial project in Jersey City.

In addition to the Port Authority and the state's environmental agency, transit officials are pushing for development closer to the ports, on the brownfields.

John Hummer, project manager at the New Jersey Transportation Planning Authority, said by being closer to the ports, shippers can cut down on the wear and tear on infrastructure while being closer to important rail links, which will allow them to ship across the country without using gasoline.

"Real estate, like warehousing, is being built on the last remaining farms of New Jersey around Exit 8A," Hummer said. "Taking up open space and creating sprawl is a bad idea, when we have many acres of brownfields around. There are more goods moving into the port and the region. As global patterns change, the warehousing needs to take place near the port."

The economic development agency said that bonds issued by the New Jersey Environmental Infrastructure Trust Fund offset environmental remediation costs for private developers. As a part of the Portfields initiative, the development group facilitates the bond process for developers.

According to Tim Tucci, senior managing director at CB Richard Ellis, land prices around the ports have been rising over recent years to around $1 million an acre.

Tucci noted the Trembly Point area of Linden as a waterfront location that could see a spike in redevelopment with infrastructure improvements. He said that a bridge connecting the hard-to-access location to the Turnpike and other roads would spur development there.

"If the bridge goes up, that area will open up," Tucci said of Trembly Point. "The land owners are looking at the redevelopment there and the community is pushing for it."

Copyright © 2003-2005 The Real Deal.

September 14th, 2006, 09:17 PM

Date: September 14, 2006
Press Release Number: 67-2006

Fueled by a continuing increase in Asian trade, the Port of New York and New Jersey set a new cargo record during the first six months of 2006, surpassing 1.8 million loaded 20-foot equivalent units (TEUs) handled during the period for the first time.

During the first half of 2006, the port’s overall loaded containerized cargo rose by 10.1 percent, exceeding projections of 7 percent growth. The increase was due primarily to Asian trade, which accounted for 48 percent of the port’s total trade in the period. Approximately 870,000 TEUs to and from Asia were handled in the port during the first half of the year.

New Jersey Governor Jon S. Corzine said, “The port has been a vital component of New Jersey’s economy, supporting 233,000 jobs and generating $12 billion in wages for the region. With cargo volumes projected to increase in coming years, the State of New Jersey and the Port Authority are working cooperatively on strategies to convert vacant brownfield sites near the port into critical warehousing and distribution facilities that will support future port activities.”

New York Governor George E. Pataki said, “The successes achieved by our port have been the driving force behind the region’s economic growth and prosperity. Port-related activities result in $6 billion in state and local tax revenues in the region, which clearly shows the port’s importance to the regional economy. We will build on our achievements through targeted investments in our port terminals, including $350 million we have earmarked for the Howland Hook Marine Terminal on Staten Island to provide infrastructure improvements.”

Port Authority Chairman Anthony R. Coscia said, “Given the port’s importance to the millions of people who live and work in the region, we have developed a 10-year strategic plan to allow us to continue growing by a projected 7 percent a year with growth in cargo such as beverages, furniture, clothing and other goods that our region’s consumers are demanding. Our plans call for investing more than $1 billion to deepen port channels and to make sure we have the infrastructure in place that continues to make our port attractive to international shippers and moves more goods without increasing congestion on our roads.”

Port Authority Vice Chairman Charles A. Gargano said, “One of the biggest success stories in our port is the resurgence of Staten Island’s Howland Hook Marine Terminal. To accommodate the phenomenal growth experienced by the terminal during the past decade, we are preparing to launch rail service from the terminal later this year, providing a major benefit for shippers looking to do business in the region.”

Port Authority Executive Director Kenneth J. Ringler Jr. said, “The tremendous cargo growth we continue to experience presents us with a major challenge. We’re responding with a $600 million investment in rail infrastructure that will help us to improve productivity at the port, and we continue to work closely with the private terminal operators to provide longer gate hours and new technology that will allow cargo containers to be moved on and off the port more efficiently.”

Port Authority Port Commerce Director Richard M. Larrabee attributed the growth in containerized cargo to increasing demand for all-water shipment directly to the New York-New Jersey region. “As large and small importers find that direct all-water service from Asia to our region is the best method to secure a reliable supply chain, we will continue to see growth in these important markets.”

Mr. Larrabee said that as cargo volumes grow, the Port Authority will continue its vigilance and activities to enhance port security. “We have spent nearly $85 million since 2001 on port-related security initiatives. Together with our partners in the local, state and federal governments, as well as in the maritime industry and labor, we are working closely to ensure a safe and secure port.”

Overall, the Port of New York and New Jersey handled 1,803,526 loaded TEUs for the first six months of 2006, compared to 1,654,483 TEUs for the same period in 2005, according to the Port Import-Export Reporting System (PIERS). Imports for the period were up 11.7 percent – from 1,164,338 TEUs in 2005 to 1,291,042 TEUs in 2006. Exports rose by 6.5 percent – from 490,145 TEUs in 2005 to 512,484 TEUs in 2006.

Leading the growth of containerized imports were paper and paperboard (31,002 TEUs), up by 23.8 percent over 2005; women’s and infant clothing (28,758 TEUs), up 1.5 percent; and beer and ale (28,305 TEUs), up 19.8 percent over 2005. The top export categories were paper and paperboard (103,750 TEUs), up 4.8 percent over 2005; and automobiles (34,077 TEUs), up 4.4 percent.

The top two cargo-growth trading partners during the first half of the year were Pakistan and Belgium. Cargo volumes from Pakistan were up 28.9 percent, and included increases in commodities such as sheets, towels, clothing and other fabrics. Cargo volumes from Belgium were up 28.6 percent, and included increases in commodities such as paper and paperboard, nonalcoholic beverages, auto and truck tire tubes, and beer and ale.

September 22nd, 2006, 08:09 PM

Date: September 19, 2006
Press Release Number: 69-2006

The Port Authority is creating an online system, or Virtual Container Yard, that will allow truckers to locate an empty cargo container near their point of origin rather than having to make an extra trip to a Port of New York and New Jersey terminal to get one.

The system, being created by eModal.com LLC of Irvine, Calif., will serve as a clearinghouse for cargo containers. It will allow trucking companies to locate an empty container close to the site where they have an export pickup, rather than having to make an unnecessary trip to a port terminal, where empties are typically stored. The system also will alleviate the need for a trucker to return an empty container to the port. The system is designed to save truck operators time and money, and will reduce traffic and its impact on local communities.

The Port of New York and New Jersey will be the first East Coast port to launch this system when it goes online in spring 2007. The ports of Los Angeles/Long Beach and Oakland are either using the system or experimenting with it.

Port Authority Chairman Anthony R. Coscia said, “This program will continue our efforts to balance the significant annual growth of cargo volumes in our port with our responsibility to be good environmental stewards. By limiting the number of truck trips we need to keep the region’s economy strong, we will greatly reduce harmful air emissions throughout the Port District.”

Port Authority Executive Director Kenneth J. Ringler Jr. said, “With the Port of New York and New Jersey experiencing double-digit cargo growth, it is critical that we find innovative ways to limit the number of trucks traveling to and from our port terminals. We hope this system will help reduce congestion on our property and along major roads throughout the region.”

Port Commerce Director Richard M. Larrabee said, “This system requires the cooperation of many partners, including ocean carriers serving our port and the trucking industry, if it is to be successful. We believe this program, combined with steps that already have been taken to expand the port’s rail capacity and to extend terminal gate hours, will allow us to improve the port’s productivity and efficiency.”

Under the system, ocean carriers and trucking companies would provide information on the location of an empty container. When this information is compiled, it would provide truckers with a master list of empty containers that would be available to them and where the containers are located. The virtual exchange will be done via the Internet, with e.Modal’s existing Web-based port community system providing the platform for the application.

Funding and operational support for the program will be provided by the Port Authority, the I-95 Corridor Coalition, the New York State Department of Transportation, the New Jersey Department of Transportation, the Association of Bi-State Motor Carriers and ocean carriers.

January 21st, 2007, 06:04 PM
Canadians acquire Global Terminal in Jersey City

Saturday, January 20, 2007

Will some Canadian educators soon be carrying longshoreman hooks to class?

The Ontario Teachers' Pension Plan has bought Global Terminal & Container Systems, Inc., at Port Jersey Boulevard, of Jersey City and Bayonne, along with the New York Container Terminal (formerly known as Howland Hook) in Staten Island and two marine container terminals in Vancouver for $2.4 billion.

"We view this as a very positive event for Global," said the company's president and CEO Maurice J. Byan. "(OTPP) are long-term investors and (the sale) gives us resources to proceed with growth programs we have in place, and we look forward to providing more job opportunities and economic benefits to Jersey City and Bayonne."

He added that "the present management will remain in place" and that "the transition will be seamless."

Global pays Jersey City $829,971 in taxes on nearly 57 acres of mostly storage property while Bayonne collects about $1 million in taxes for 41 acres, much of which is underwater, records show.

Last year, the company acquired two new 225-foot-tall cranes for about $6 million apiece to help handle the cargo growth anticipated by the port in the coming years and is planning $40 million in dock improvements within a year or so. It employs anywhere from 180 to "upwards of 350," depending on the volume of business handled, Byan said.

OTPP spokeswoman Deborah Allan said the pension fund, with $84 billion in assets, closed the deal on Global last week, acquiring the Port Jersey Boulevard property from Orient Overseas International Limited of Hong Kong.

Allan said the properties "will be part of our infrastructure portfolio as a longterm commitment to our members. Our investments tend to be well tied to stability and for that reason we feel that the terminals are a very good fit for us."

Aaron Ellis, spokesman for the American Association of Port Authorities, of Alexanderia, Va., said the investment "ties into the widespread trend of port trade volumes continuing to escalate, and with a diminishing amount of waterfront property to develop new terminals or to expand existing ones, you're seeing an increasing demand for terminal assets."

February 17th, 2007, 04:59 AM
P.A. relents on sale of Dubai firm's terminal

Saturday, February 17, 2007
Star-Ledger Staff

Under intense political pressure, the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey said yesterday it would step aside and allow a Dubai company to sell its shipping terminal business in Newark.

In exchange, the new buyer has agreed to invest $50 million for improvements at the terminal over the next 23 years.

The Port Authority had been withholding its consent of the sale of Port Newark Container Terminal, a move that angered political leaders who wanted the United Arab Emirates company to divest its U.S. port holdings as soon as possible.

The agreement resolves this week's flare-up of the controversy that erupted last year when the Dubai firm, DP World, acquired port operations in Newark, Philadelphia, Baltimore, Miami and New Orleans.

Under the agreement, the Port Authority will receive $10 million toward a $23 million project to build an overpass linking the Newark terminal to a freight line, and another $40 million for future improvements to the site. The Port Authority had been asking for $84 million.

The money will be paid by Ports America Inc., an affiliate of AIG Global Investment Group, which is buying the Newark operation and five other major U.S. terminals from DP World, officials said. Industry experts say the deal is worth more than $1 billion.

"The parties believe that Ports America's commitment will help ensure the continued growth of jobs and economic activity at the port," Port Authority officials said in a statement.

Chris Winans, a spokesman for Ports America, said the company was thrilled everything worked out.

"We look forward to a long and successful relationship with the Port Authority and to ensuring that PNCT is a best-in-class terminal operation for the New York and New Jersey economy," Winans said.

Officials say the sale of the terminals likely will become final in April. The Port Authority owns the terminal and leases out its operation.

In 2005, Port Newark Container Terminal handled 1 million 20-foot cargo containers, making it the second-largest operation at the Port of New York and New Jersey, the largest port on the East Coast. Industry experts said that the Newark terminal was the key asset in the sale.

DP World officials, who had warned that the Port Authority's actions were jeopardizing the deal, issued a brief statement yesterday saying the agency's "press release speaks for itself" and would not comment further.

Besides seeking payment from the private companies, the Port Authority had expressed concerns about having an investment firm with no port experience taking over the terminal operation. Those concerns, however, were quickly resolved.

"In addition, the Port Authority concluded that materials and information it received regarding Ports America and its ownership have confirmed that it will be a suitable terminal operator and partner committed to making investments that are critical to the continued strength and viability of the Port of New York and New Jersey, the leading East Coast destination for international shippers," said the Port Authority's statement.

Joe Malinconico may be reached at jmalinconico@starledger.com or at (973) 392-4230.

March 2nd, 2007, 07:04 PM
Authority adding track to increase freight shipments from Port Elizabeth

Friday, March 02, 2007
Star-Ledger Staff

There's only one way for freight trains to get on and off the docks at Port Elizabeth -- a single-track bridge that crosses McLester Street.

For now, that works fine for the three trains that haul cargo each day to and from the terminals in Elizabeth.

But in a few years, one track won't be enough, terminal executives say, not if business at the ports keeps growing as projected, not if transportation officials want to avoid clogging the region's busy roads with more and more trucks.

So the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey recently approved a $28.3 million contract to build a second track and widen the bridge to Port Elizabeth, a project that is part of the agency's $530 million investment to improve rail access at the docks.

"This is a critical development so that as we grow we'll be able to move more cargo by rail," said Sam Crane, a vice president for external affairs at Maher Terminals in Elizabeth, which runs the largest cargo operation in New York Harbor.

"Every one of those rail cars is one more truck that we can take off the roads," said Port Authority Chairman Anthony Coscia.

In 2006, freight trains hauled 338,882 cargo containers from the ports in Newark and Elizabeth -- an 11.8 percent increase from 2005.

At present, port officials say 13 percent of all cargo from the ports is being sent by rail and 87 percent by truck. Within the next decade, they want to increase the portion handled by rail to 20 percent. That shift would equate to about 700 cargo containers per day moving by rail instead of by truck.

Not everyone is happy to see more freight on the state's railroads, especially residents and officials in towns through which the trains run.

For example, traffic on busy Inman Avenue in Edison has to wait three to five minutes for freight trains to pass, said Mayor Jun Choi. The township is asking federal officials to designate the rails in Edison as a "quiet zone," which would provide money to improve the road crossings and let the municipality impose restrictions on the use of train horns, the mayor said.

"We recognize the economic and regional benefits of this," Choi said. "But it becomes a quality of life (issue) for us."

For the most part, freight trains from the ports are headed to cities hundreds of miles inland, such as Pittsburgh, Cleveland, Cincinnati and Chicago. Port officials fear that if New York and New Jersey do not continue improving their rail system, importers and exporters will switch to the growing ports in Norfolk, Va., and Savannah, Ga.

"To be a competitive modern maritime terminal, you need good rail access," said Ken Spahn, a senior manager who oversees the Port Authority's port rail programs.

In addition to building an extra rail track to the docks in Elizabeth, the Port Authority also is:

Planning to spend $95 million to increase the number of tracks within the 1,254-acre Port Elizabeth terminal itself.

Designing a new $40 million bridge connecting the roads in Port Newark Container Terminal to freight rail lines.

Allocating $69 million to expand the tracks just outside the docks, near the New Jersey Turnpike.

Working with New York City to complete a $161 million project, including refurbishing an old rail bridge, that would allow cargo from the port in Staten Island to cross the bay into New Jersey on trains rather than by truck over the Goethals Bridge.

Joe Malinconico may be reached at jmalinconico@starledger.com or (973) 392-4230.

March 7th, 2007, 02:18 AM
Press Release

U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey Announce the Completion of the Arthur Kill Channel 41-foot Navigation Project

Date: March 06, 2007
Press Release Number: 18-2007

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers New York District and the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey announce the completion of the Arthur Kill Channel 41-foot navigation project.

The project entailed deepening the channel from 35 to 41 feet in the Elizabeth, N.J. Port Reach and the North of Shooter’s Island Reach, N.Y. areas of the channel.

The Arthur Kill navigation project is part of an overall harbor deepening program that is being conducted by the Corps and the Port Authority in the Port of New York and New Jersey.

Col. Nello Tortora, the Corps' New York District Commander said, "Deepening the Arthur Kill Channel to 41 feet is critical to realizing the full potential of the New York Container Terminal and marks an important milestone in building a world-class Port and estuary. The deeper channel will serve New York's largest marine terminal, which can now accommodate deeper draft vessels. In addition, this project consisted of the restoration and enhancement of approximately 23 acres of inter-tidal salt marsh, a win-win for both the port, the environment and the economy."

Port Authority Executive Director Anthony E. Shorris said, "Deepening the harbor channels is a critical part of our strategy to grow the Port business and to create jobs and economic activity for the region. Deeper channels and berths, combined with a new on-dock rail system that will open shortly, will give Howland Hook the tools it needs to continue to compete for international business. These projects will significantly increase the Port's cargo capacity - a clear indication of the Port Authority's commitment to Howland Hook now and for years to come."

The Arthur Kill Channel 41-foot navigation project spans the New York/New Jersey Harbor from the confluence of the Kill Van Kull and Newark Bay Channels to the New York Container Terminal in Staten Island and is an important link in the harbor estuary system. The Arthur Kill navigation project was authorized by the Water Resources Development Act of 1986 and also includes deepening the channel to 40 feet Mean Low Water (MLW) from the New York Container Terminal to the Conoco Phillips (Tosco) Oil Terminal in New Jersey and GATX facilities in New York, as well as the environmental restoration and enhancement of approximately 23 acres of intertidal salt marsh at two sites in the Arthur Kill watershed. The total cost-shared project cost is approximately $ 190,000,000.

Contact: U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Peter Shugert
917 790-8007

Port Authority, Steve Coleman
212 435-7777

March 12th, 2007, 09:02 AM
Railroad bridge is found shaky in tests
Link to Staten Island has had problems with track alignment, officials report

Monday, March 12, 2007
Star-Ledger Staff

Much depends on the reopening of the dormant railroad bridge between Elizabeth and Staten Island.

The traffic-choked Goethals Bridge would handle about 150 fewer tractor-trailers a day when the rail connection opens.

Elizabeth residents would no longer have to put up with New York City's garbage trucks rumbling through their streets.

And the Port of New York and New Jersey would gain a vital asset for handling the anticipated growth in cargo shipments over the next decade.

But all that has to wait, because the bridge -- which is almost a year behind schedule -- has not done well during recent testing.

"The delay has been too long. It's starting to cause alarm over here," said New York City Councilman Michael McMahon, chairman of the council's committee on solid waste management. "The longer it takes, the worse it is for everybody."

Most parts on the bridge -- an old-fashioned vertical lift mechanism that originally opened in 1959 -- are the same as in 1990, when it stopped operation, officials said.

Officials need to make sure there are no kinks in the lift apparatus; if the bridge were to get stuck in the down position, it would block traffic on the bay, and if it got stuck in the up position, rail freight would get stranded on Staten Island and be late for delivery.

That hasn't been a problem during the preliminary tests, said Joan McDonald, senior vice president of transportation for the New York City Economic Development Commission, the agency that owns the bridge.

But several times during 40 test runs, the railroad tracks did not line up when the bridge was lowered, McDonald said. In those instances, within a minute or so, the bridge was raised and put back down in the proper position, she said.

"I don't want to minimize this, but I don't want to blow it out of proportion, either," McDonald said.

This week, Conrail is sending one of its movable bridge experts to the Staten Island span to try to solve the problem with the track alignment, McDonald said.

Conrail officials, however, were reluctant to discuss the project, referring questions to the city agency.

"It's their bridge and they're in charge of the operation and whatever repairs are being made to make it functional for rail service," Conrail spokesman John Enright said.

McDonald said she expected the bridge would be ready to start handling trains within four weeks.

That can't happen too soon for Elizabeth residents. Since 1999, New York City has been sending the bulk of Staten Island's garbage -- roughly 1,000 tons per day -- by truck to transfer stations on Julia and Front streets in Elizabeth. That's about 130 truckloads.

Elizabeth officials tried to stop New York's garbage from coming, but lost the case in court.

"We're had complaints about odors and spillage," Mayor J. Christian Bollwage said, "but I don't recall any vehicle-to-vehicle or vehicle-to-pedestrian accidents."

Meanwhile, the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey has been anxious for the rail bridge to open and ease traffic on the Goethals Bridge.

Not only would the garbage trucks stop using the Goethals Bridge, but so would hundreds of tractor-trailers that haul freight each week from the New York Container Terminal in Staten Island, official said. The Port Authority estimates the rail bridge would take 40,000 trucks from the Goethals during the first year of operation.

The reopening of the dormant bridge is so important to the Port Authority that the agency picked up most of the $160 million price tag for the project, which also includes laying new tracks, installing signals and building a rail yard.

The rail bridge also is vital to expansion plans at New York Container Terminal (NYCT). The company is spending $350 million to build a new berth, which would increase the number of cargo ships it could handle at one time from three to four. Without the rail connection, the terminal would not be able to move the additional cargo from the docks quickly enough.

NYCT already has sent about a dozen of its longshoremen to learn how to operate the locomotives to run the freight from the docks to a Conrail yard nearby. Company officials say they may be the only longshoremen on the East Coast to have such training.

For at least the first month, however, only two garbage trains -- one empty, one full --will be allowed to use the bridge, officials said. It may takes weeks or months before the freight trains start running across the Arthur Kill, McDonald said.

Also, once trains start using the bridge, the Coast Guard will conduct its own test for at least 90 days to measure its impact on maritime traffic. During that time, the bridge will be limited to one opening in the morning and one in the afternoon, with the timing based on the tides of the bay, said Coast Guard spokeswoman Martha LaGuardia.

Joe Malinconico may be reached at jmalinconico@starledger.com or (973) 392-4230.

March 16th, 2007, 02:45 AM
P.A. says feds endangering port security
DHS denies it ignored a cargo test

Friday, March 16, 2007
Star-Ledger Staff

The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey accused the federal government yesterday of jeopardizing port security by failing to follow up on a $20 million pilot project that the agency helped test last year to safeguard cargo containers worldwide.

A spokesman for the Port Authority, which leases the region's seaport facilities in Newark, Elizabeth and Staten Island to worldwide terminal operators, told The Star-Ledger that the Department of Homeland Security has ignored repeated requests to proceed with the fledgling program and other initiatives. A homeland security official disputed the allegation.

"It appears (the program has) fallen into a bureaucratic black hole...," said Marc La Vorgna, the Port Authority spokesman. "With all the attention that is finally being paid to port security, it's really unconscionable this program isn't being followed up on. We've reached out to (DHS) repeatedly and we've gotten no answer."

DHS spokesman Russ Knocke said that's not the case. In fact, he said, his agency has invited Port Authority officials, as well as representatives from West Coast ports, to a March 29 meeting in Washington, D.C., to discuss the initiative. High-ranking DHS officials also are scheduled to attend the meeting, he said.

"I'm going to dispute the characterization that there's been a lack of dialogue with our partners," Knocke said. "It's a somewhat distressing claim because there has been dialogue ... We very much value the role our partners ... play.

"It's a critical relationship. A lot of important work has been done," he said.

La Vorgna said Port Authority officials were unaware of the March 29 meeting, but said they would attend.

The pilot project, part of an overall initiative called Operation Safe Commerce, is designed to help develop ways to protect cargo from terrorists who may try to use container ships to smuggle radiological, biological or chemical weapons into the United States.

As part of its role in the project, the Port Authority last year tested a component -- about the size of a cigar box and mounted on the inside of a cargo container's door -- that was able to track a shipment's exact location and whether it had been tampered with at any point between its original location and Port Newark/Elizabeth. Similar tracking devices were tested at ports in Seattle/Tacoma, Wash., and in Los Angeles/Long Beach.

In August, representatives from all the test ports wrote to the deputy homeland security director to offer their opinions on how to improve the overall system. They also requested results of tests on other anti-terrorism technologies and vulnerability assessments.

The port officials, however, say their suggestions and requests for more information have been ignored.

La Vorgna said the Port Authority believes that tracking containers offers the "most substantial security measures you can take at the ports" by safeguarding what enters and leaves the harbors.

Currently, only a small percentage of cargo containers entering Port Newark/Elizabeth are tested, either by X-ray machines or physically by customs officials.

Knocke, the homeland security official, said pilot programs by nature involve testing products that may or may not ultimately be deemed suitable for the task. The goal, he said, is: "How do you maximize technology in a way that brings the greatest level of security and also facilitates the flow of commerce?"

Yesterday's back-and-forth between the two agencies was the latest in a series of incidents in which the Port Authority has found itself at the center of issues involving port security.

Last month, the agency gave in to relentless political pressure and signed off on a deal allowing a Dubai company to sell its shipping business in Newark. DP World was at the center of a furor last year when it came to light that the United Arab Emirates firm had acquired port operations in Newark and four other U.S. cities.

And in December, Gov. Jon Corzine and Port Authority chairman Anthony Coscia called on the federal government to pay far more attention to the terrorism risk at the nation's seaports. They outlined a series of measures from a local task force, including establishment of a "port security user fee" to fund programs to safeguard cargo containers.

In response, a U.S. Customs and Border Protection spokesman said that only President Bush and Michael Chertoff, the U.S. homeland security secretary, create and implement port protection policies.

Ron Marsico may be reached at rmarsico@starledger.com or (973) 392-7860.

March 20th, 2007, 10:52 PM
German bank is buying N.J.'s top cargo terminal

Tuesday, March 20, 2007
Star-Ledger Staff

Maher Terminals, which handles the bulk of the region's port cargo, will be acquired by a real estate investment subsidiary of the giant German-owned Deutsche Bank, an executive with the company said yesterday.

Maher, the nation's last family-owned marine terminal operator, is a vital hub in Port Elizabeth for moving goods from around the world into the hands of the region's consumers. In recent years, as imports flooded into the U.S. from Asia, Maher handled an average of a million containers a year. In 2006, the terminal handled about 1.2 million containers, or 45 percent of the goods moving through the seaport.

"It was a very difficult decision," chief executive Brian Maher said in a telephone interview. "We've been in the business since 1946. We've been a major part of the port.

"You can't sell something like this and not have regrets about it," Maher said. "But we think it's absolutely the right thing to do and the right time to do it. You have to take advantage of events as they play out."

The sale comes on the heels of several other major terminal deals, including the controversial bid by Dubai Ports World to take control of leases at six major U.S. terminal operations as part of its acquisition of British-owned P&O Ports last year.

The U.S. government's Committee on Foreign Investments, which was created to review foreign acquisitions in order to protect the nation's security, is required to approve the deal. The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, which leases about 600 acres to the company on a long-term basis, also must approve.

The deal calls for Brian Maher, 60, and his brother Basil, the company's 55-year-old president, to remain in place indefinitely. It provides for "a sharing bonus" to be distributed among Maher's 246 employees and keeps the family name on the terminal business.

Neither executives at Maher Terminals nor representatives of Deutsche Bank's U.S. subsidiary, which operates under the name RREEF Infrastructure, would disclose the sale price, citing a confidentiality agreement. The terminal company, which is private, is not required to publicly disclose financial information about its business.

The decision to sell is as much a reflection of how hard it is for a family business to stay competitive as it is about the changing times: Port terminals, with their long-term, stable revenue streams, are considered hot investments.

More than a year ago, Brian Maher announced his company was searching for a minority partner to help it raise the money needed to support its growing business. Not long after spending $450 million on renovations at its 450-acre main terminal at Port Elizabeth, the company was faced with the prospect of raising $250 million more.

The company's growth strategy included a $60 million investment to create a container terminal in Prince Rupert, British Columbia, an ambitious project to help capture the explosion of trade from China.

Maher's quest for a partner was under way when P&O Ports, part of the British icon Peninsular and Orient Steam Navigation, announced its acquisition by Dubai Ports World, Maher said.

The political controversy that ensued over the $6.8 billion deal never obscured an underlying fact in the business world: The valuation of port terminal operations had been pushed to a much higher level.

Months later, Dubai Ports World sold off P&O Ports' six major U.S. operations, including the Port Newark Container Terminal, for an estimated $700 million.

About the same time, Hong Kong-based Orient Overseas International Ltd. sold four of its container terminals to a Canadian teachers' pension fund looking for businesses with long-term cash flow. The deal, which included Global Terminal in Bayonne and the New York Container Terminal in Staten Island, was estimated to be worth $2.4 billion.

At that point, Brian Maher said the company started reconsidering its strategy. "Maybe what we really needed to do was sell the business," he said.

Maher said negotiations quickly fell from as many as seven potential buyers to RREEF Infrastructure. After three months of talks, the sale was completed late last night in the Manhattan office of Maher's attorneys.

RREEF Infrastructure, which is part of RREEF Alternative Investments, focuses on facilities such as port terminals as well as toll roads. "The plan is to invest in the business and to grow," Deutsche Bank spokesman Ted Meyer said last night.

One maritime investment banker, Peter Shaerf of AMA Capital Partners, said that whether the buyer is a pension fund or a real estate investment group, the attraction of port terminals -- as well as toll roads and airports -- is always the same.

"There's been a huge move into infrastructure plays," Shaerf said. "There's a tremendous amount of private equity out there and the private equity firms have seen fit to pay high prices for long-term stability and steady revenue streams."

"It's old steel," Shaerf said. "It's a reversal of the dot.com days."

Susan Todd may be reached at stodd@starledger.com or (973) 392-4125

September 20th, 2007, 05:53 PM
Car terminal likely in P.A. deal

Thursday, September 20, 2007

After 10 years of trying to buy land on the former Military Ocean Terminal in Bayonne, the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey has reached an agreement with city officials.

But the tentative $50 million deal for about 126 acres, which is scheduled for approval today, comes with a critical provision - the Port Authority cannot use the land to build a new cargo container terminal.

Officials say the Port Authority, which owns about 3,000 acres in and around the harbor, most likely will put a terminal for handling car shipments on the site.

Statistics for the first half of 2007 show the Port of New York and New Jersey is booming, whether measured by car shipments (an increase of 8.7 percent compared to 2006) or cargo containers (up 7.7 percent over 2006).

That restriction against building a container port - included at Bayonne's insistence - has riled longshoremen who say a container terminal would produce more and better paying jobs than would other port operations. It has also drawn criticism from some port interest groups who see the old military base as the ideal location to handle large shipments of cargo.

"I feel very betrayed that our politicians are not working along with our local to generate quality jobs," said Anthony Falcicchio, president of Bayonne Local 1588, International Longshoreman's Association. "We are losing work to areas like Virginia and Georgia. I can't figure it out.

"The Ontario (Canada) Teachers Pension Fund is investing in our industry (by acquiring Global Terminal and another container facility in Staten Island) so if people from outside our area can see an opportunity for profit, why can't our own city?"

Instead, Falcicchio said, Bayonne seems focused on encouraging development of "luxury housing" at the former MOT and a nearby private golf course for millionaires.

"These are intended for people outside the area - not Bayonne residents," he said.

Bayonne officials say the noise and traffic from a container port would interfere with the city's plans to develop housing and commercial space on the peninsula that juts into New York Harbor. Moreover, they argue, the area could not handle the heavy truck traffic that a container terminal would generate.

"If you've tried to get in or out of Bayonne at rush hour, you know it's a disaster," said Nancy Kist, executive director of the Bayonne Local Redevelopment Authority. "That's now, without any new development."

Bayonne's contracts with two developers who are planning to build homes on other portions of the 430-acre peninsula include commitments from the city to exclude a container terminal from the site.

"It's obvious why Bayonne has made that stipulation," said Tom Wright, executive director of the Regional Plan Association, an independent planning group. "As long as the Port Authority still feels the site has value, then it sounds like a good compromise."

The Port Authority's board is scheduled to vote on the purchase at its meeting this afternoon, while Bayonne's redevelopment board will vote in the evening.

Jersey Journal staff writer Ronald Leir contributed to this report.

September 21st, 2007, 04:02 PM
For once the Union folks are absolutely right, the largest container ships have to wait to enter Newark bay, wait for traffic and wait for low tide to clear the Bayonne bridge. The continuing growth of these container vessels are why the Port Authority is looking at replacing or raising the Bayonne bridge, the largest container ships should use Bayonne. They don't have to wait for traffic to exit the Kill Van Kull nor do they have to wait on the tides. The former Military Ocean Terminal has rail access and is right next to the Turnpike, I don't like the fact that Bayonne wants to put residences or retail on the Pennisula. I can understand why they want to do it but to me the best use is to use it for what it was built for, ships. The Port Authority should control the entire Penninsula, build a modern cruise terminal facility and a huge container terminal.

September 22nd, 2007, 12:00 AM
STT I couldn't agree more. I don't think residences belong out there it should be another port.

September 23rd, 2007, 12:29 PM
Between the Military Ocean Terminal, the adjacent Global Marine Terminal and expanding Howland Hook on Staten Island the Port Authority might be able to free up some of the land of Port Newark to facilitate an expansion of Newark Airport's runway capacity. Something that is desperately needed as the airport is always in the bottom three in delays, leave Port Elizabeth a container terminal but convert the Port Newark portion to a new runway and taxiways for Newark Liberty International.

October 5th, 2007, 03:42 AM
Car terminal deal tripped by law

Friday, October 05, 2007

Just as the deal for a car import terminal in Bayonne rolled into the Bayonne Local Redevelopment Authority's plans, it will have to roll right out of them again, city officials confirmed yesterday.

City Council President Vincent Lo Re Jr., who is also a BLRA commissioner, admitted the BLRA was not in compliance with the Open Public Meetings Act when it gave notice of the special Sept. 20 meeting where the $50 million deal with the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey was approved.

"I've been informed by legal counsel that there was a technical defect in the legal notice of the Open Public Meetings Act, and I'm considering all my options to make sure that the city receives the best offer for the maritime district," Lo Re said.

The admission appears to come as the result of legal pressure from Councilman Anthony Chiappone and Local 1588 of the International Longshoremen's Association.

Chiappone and the ILA's general counsel, Louis Nikolaidis, of New York-based Lewis, Clifton & Nikolaidis, P.C., sent separate letters to the BLRA stating that the meeting failed to comply with state public notice requirements for public meetings.

ILA officials and others claim that the BLRA jumped at the Port Authority offer and passed up more lucrative deals that would have also brought Bayonne more jobs. Worldwide Group, a port operator, bettered the Port Authority offer by $25 million.

City Law Director John Coffey II admitted that Chiappone and the ILA are correct, because the BLRA only placed a legal notice about the meeting in The Jersey Journal. By law, the legal notice should have been placed in more than one newspaper.

The Port Authority deal has sparked so much controversy that Chiappone has taken the first steps to do away with the BLRA.

Chiappone says he is still pushing for the BLRA's demise and is demanding Coffey answer other legal questions about the contract. Coffey is also the BLRA's general counsel.

"This type of violation of the law is just one more reason why the BLRA should be dissolved," Chiappone said. But, he added, if the BLRA gave the council veto power over money decisions, he would back down.

The next BLRA meeting is Thursday, but it couldn't be determined if the Port Authority deal would be reintroduced. BLRA Executive Director Nancy Kist could not be reached for comment.

October 5th, 2007, 04:43 AM
Feds push Port of N.Y.-N.J. to back of the security line

Friday, October 05, 2007
Star-Ledger Staff

New Jersey's ports no longer will be among the first in the country to require dock workers to get new security ID cards.

The federal Transportation Security Administration has picked 12 other seaports where it will launch the security initiative, starting with Wilmington, Del., on Oct. 16.

Officials previously had said the Port of New York and New Jersey would be in the first wave of seaports issuing the Transportation Worker Identification Credential.

But officials said they have had trouble finding enough places where workers could go to enroll in the program. The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey estimates 150,000 people would have to get the security ID cards, including longshoremen, truck drivers, se curity guards, even port chaplains.

Sen. Frank Lautenberg (D-N.J.) was outraged by the delay.

"It is inexplicable that the TSA will enroll workers in a dozen loca tions but skip over the Port of New York and New Jersey, the largest on the East Coast," Lautenberg said. "The TSA is simply ignoring the fact that this port lies within the most dangerous two miles for terrorism in the country, according to the FBI. We need to fix this problem -- and fast."

The identification cards that would be issued in the coming months are low-tech, photo ver sions for which workers would undergo extensive background checks, including their criminal records, immigration status and whether they were ever linked to terrorist activity.

Ultimately, security officials will require biometric cards. Under that system, which is more than a year away, workers' fingerprints would have to match the imprint on their ID cards to gain access to the port terminals.

Federal officials said they picked the first 12 ports based on several factors, including risk, geographic location and size.

After Wilmington, the next ports getting the ID cards will be Corpus Christi, Texas; Baton Rouge, La.; Beaumont, Texas; Honolulu; Oakland; Tacoma, Wash.; Chicago/Calumet; Houston; Port Arthur, Texas; Providence, R.I., and Savannah, Ga. All of those places handle less cargo than does the Port of New York and New Jersey, the country's third-largest.

Transportation security spokeswoman Lara Uselding said the agency "has an aggressive schedule to quickly expand enrollment" to other ports. But federal officials would not say exactly when the program would start in New Jersey and New York.

Joe Malinconico may be reached at jmalinconico@starledger.com or (973) 392-4230.

November 26th, 2007, 09:10 PM
Port Authority sues Bayonne agency over waterfront deal

by the Associated Press Monday November 26, 2007, 8:28 PM

The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey today sued a redevelopment agency in Bayonne, asserting that the local group cannot scrap a $50.5 million deal for the bistate agency to purchase waterfront property for a "roll-on/roll-off" car port.

The Port Authority seeks a court order upholding a contract it reached in September with the Bayonne agency to acquire a 153-acre parcel for a future auto marine terminal and other maritime-related uses, according to the lawsuit, filed in state Superior Court for Hudson County.

The Bayonne Local Redevelopment Authority voted Nov. 1 to void the deal, saying that it did not place enough ads to legally advertise the September meeting when it approved the deal. The local authority also said it received a higher bid of $90 million from Iselin-based Ports America, which is owned by AIG Global Investment Group.

In response to the lawsuit, John F. Coffey II, general counsel for the Bayonne agency, said, "We believe that the BLRA was within its rights to act as it did."

The land at issue is part of the former Military Ocean Terminal, a 437-acre site previously operated by the U.S. Army as a dry dock and supply base. In 1995, the federal Base Realignment and Closure Commission designated the military facility for closure, and it was later transferred to Bayonne for redevelopment.

November 27th, 2007, 02:49 AM
P.A. sues BLRA over voided port contract

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey yesterday sued the Bayonne Local Redevelopment Authority for breach of contract in rescinding the sale of land at the Peninsula at Bayonne Harbor for development as an auto marine terminal.

And the bi-state agency has hired former U.S. District Court Judge Herbert Stern, who as a federal prosecutor in the 1960s won convictions of the "Hudson Eight" politicians on corruption charges.

John Coffey II, general counsel to the BLRA, had no immediate comment late yesterday.

"I've haven't seen the papers yet," he said.

In a 10-page complaint filed in state Superior Court in Jersey City, the Port Authority alleges that the BLRA committed "breach of contract" by failing to execute a contract it approved at a Sept. 20 board meeting. After concluding that it was in violation of its public notice provision, the BLRA voted to void the contract on Nov. 1 and agreed to reconsider the matter last night and picked Ports America over Port Authority, which chose not to make a presentation at last night's meeting.

The bi-state agency also named as defendants PortsAmerica, Inc.; Fortis Property Group, LLC; and World Wide Group/Shaw Environmental, LLC "who induced the BLRA to breach the contract by offering more money for the property than the Port Authority had contracted to pay."

After the contract was initially approved, PortsAmerica raised its offer from $75 million to $90 million for a portion of what the BLRA calls the "Maritime District" - about 90 upland acres, plus about 60 underwater acres - while World Wide/Shaw and Fortis had talked about a $75 million price. Fortis has since dropped out of contention.

The Port Authority contract - which was signed by the BLRA on Sept. 21 and recorded with the county register on Oct. 26 - called for a $50.5 million purchase price plus $1.8 million a year in payments in lieu of taxes for 20 years.

But in a press release yesterday, the agency said that the true value of the purchase actually came to $136 million because in addition to the $50.5 million, "the agency has committed $86 million towards the full redevelopment of the (Maritime) property and intends to make critical offsite road and rail improvements that will improve local traffic conditions."

December 5th, 2007, 09:57 AM
Ramos: Let's get a Hudson voice on P.A. board
Ramos to Assembly: Hudson should get seat on P.A. Board of Commissioners

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Taking a cue from yesterday's editorial in The Jersey Journal, Assemblyman-elect Ruben Ramos is calling for a Hudson County representative on the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey's Board of Commissioners.

In a letter written yesterday to the Office of Legislative Services, Ramos, who will be sworn in in January as a Democratic Assembly member representing the 33rd District, requests that an Assembly resolution be drafted calling for the Hudson County seat on the 12-member board.

"Such support from the General Assembly is critical in the immediate future, as the notion of (PATH) fare hikes have surfaced and countless Hudson residents utilize the crossings into New York City, for which the fares may increase," Ramos, who is also a Hoboken councilman, wrote in the letter.

The entrances to the Bayonne Bridge, Holland and Lincoln tunnels, as well as six of the 13 PATH stations, are in Hudson County.

"These crossings generate substantial revenue for the Port Authority," Ramos wrote.

Six commissioners are named by the governor of New York and six are appointed by the governor of New Jersey. None are currently from Hudson County.

Yesterday's editorial took to task Gov. Jon Corzine, who lives in Hoboken, for naming Jersey Shore residents to positions of prominence at the bi-state agency.

Corzine's office didn't return phone calls yesterday seeking comment.

December 13th, 2007, 05:09 AM
New phase in dredging of channel

Thursday, December 13, 2007

The next-to-last phase of the deepening of Port Jersey Channel, from 41 to 50 feet, in Bayonne and Jersey City has begun.

The $200 million project, which should be finished by fall 2009, is being undertaken by the DOT in cooperation with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey to make it easier for bigger ships to access the port, DOT Commissioner Kris Kolluri said in a written statement.

Great Lakes Dredge & Dock, of Chicago, Ill., is the contractor.

Experts predict that cargo volume will increase by 5 to 7 percent in the coming year and the dredging work should help accommodate it, DOT spokeswoman Erin Phalon said.

Part of the work includes realigning the channel - by cutting away part of the "Jersey Flats" area, just northeast of the Northeast Auto Marine Terminal - to improve navigation to that terminal, Global Marine Terminals, the U.S. Coast Guard station and the Cape Liberty Cruise Terminal at Bayonne by eliminating the current east-to-west dogleg route that ships now take.

No dredging will take place alongside the Maritime District at the Peninsula at Bayonne Harbor - where PortsAmerica plans to operate an automotive marine terminal in the future and where Royal Caribbean International runs a cruise port.

The DOT said the dredging will involve the removal of more than 3.6 million cubic yards of sand, silt and glacial till sediments, of which nearly 1 million cubic yards will be used to create a fish habitat on the south side of the Peninsula at Bayonne Harbor; and 750,000 cubic yards of silt will be mixed with Portland cement for capping landfills and brownfields in New Jersey and New York

February 19th, 2008, 11:19 AM
Doldrums hit the docks
Reduction in cargo at port reflects economic slowdown

Tuesday, February 19, 2008
Star-Ledger Staff
It was a sign of the boom at the Port of New York and New Jersey.

In 2006, Maher Terminal in Elizabeth created an overnight shift, assigning longshoremen to rearrange stacks of cargo containers that had been delivered during the day to make room for new shipments.

Now, in a sign of the downturn on the docks, Maher this month eliminated the overnight shift. The terminal just isn't that crowded with cargo anymore.

"The economy isn't doing real well," said Sam Crane, spokesman for Maher Terminal in Elizabeth, the largest terminal in the port. "We're not exempt from the economic cycles."

After several years of robust growth, shipping terminals in the Port of New York and New Jersey -- which in 2006 handled almost 3 million containers -- have run into an economic wall, along with other seaports around the country.

Port officials and business executives say the volume of cargo shipped to the docks in Newark, Elizabeth and other terminals in New York Harbor has been declining for several months.

"This is an industry that's gotten used to 5 and 10 percent growth," said Edward Kelly, executive director of the Maritime Association of the Port of New York.

The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey is still tabulating its trade statistics for 2007. Richard M. Larrabee, the agency's port commerce director, said initial indications are that the volume of containers increased by about 4 percent compared with 2006. But that growth mainly came from a surge in business in the middle of the year, he said.

"It was slow at the end of the year," Larrabee said.

Since Jan. 1, the volume of cargo has been down about 1 percent compared with 2007, Kelly said.

Those numbers could be worse were it not for changes in several trade routes that used to go through ports on the Pacific Coast and then used trucks that drove cross-country to deliver goods on the East Coast, he said.

At least four of those routes now come through the Panama or Suez canals to terminals in New York and New Jersey, largely because of increases in fuel costs, Kelly said.

Economic analysts are predicting the port slump should continue for several months.

"The ports are a very good mirror of what's happening with the economy," said J. Craig Shearman, a spokesman for the National Retail Federation, a trade group that helps produce a monthly report on the seaport industry. "The cargo that comes through the ports is a hard and fast representation of what retailers expect to sell."

Port executives said terminals in New York and New Jersey also are coming under increasing competition from seaports to the South, including Norfolk, Va., and Savannah, Ga.

Norfolk, in particular, has invested hundreds of millions of dollars in facilities that connect its docks to railroads, making it more attractive to businesses looking to send their goods to inland cities.

"The competition with the other ports -- that's really where we should be putting our attention," said John Stokes, a board member with Ports America Group, the company that owns Port Newark Container Terminal and property it plans to convert to a car ship terminal in Bayonne.

It's not that the terminals in New York Harbor have been slacking off when it comes to sending cargo from the docks out by rail. A new port-rail system opened on Staten Island last year and work is ongoing to expand existing programs in Newark and Elizabeth.

Last month, 32,732 cargo containers were hauled away on freight trains, or 23 percent more than in January 2007, said Larrabee.

Larrabee said there are other promising developments at the port. For example, he said the volume of exports has jumped by about 20 percent compared with 2006. Moreover, he said, the fact that there are so many consumers in the metropolitan area ensures that the port here will remain vital.

"Our business is still solid," Larrabee said. "The cargo has to come here because of the importance of this market."

Joe Malinconico may be reached at jmalinconico@starledger.com or (973) 392-4230.

March 22nd, 2008, 12:01 PM
While the court battle continues between the Port Authority and the BLRA over land they agreed the Port Authority would acquire on the Pennisula, the Port Authority just acquired another piece of valuable Bayonne waterfront property.


Ship comes to Port
Authority plan will make way for new container terminal
Friday, March 21, 2008

Back in September, former President Jimmy Carter was among several thousand people who watched a hillside in Panama get blown up, a noisy start to the 7-year, $5.3 billion widening of the Panama Canal.

Yesterday in Elizabeth, Gov. Jon Corzine announced the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey's plan to purchase the lease on the Northeast Auto Marine Terminal in Jersey City and have it flattened to make way for a new container terminal.

They are two events that, like so much else in today's global economy, are very much connected: The Port's $60 million investment to buy the lease is being done in anticipation of the 2014 completion of the Panama Canal widening.

During a news conference in which they congratulated themselves on yet another year of record-breaking cargo volumes, Port Authority executives said the new terminal will be able to handle approximately 500,000 TEUs (twenty- foot equivalent units) a year, a 10 percent increase in the Port's cur rent capacity.

Combined with a deepening of the Port Jersey Channel to 50 feet and the completion of an on-dock rail system -- a pair of previously announced projects slated to be finished by 2012 -- the new terminal means the East Coast's largest commercial port is ready for the future, officials said.

"The Port is an incredible economic driver for this region," said Corzine, who as governor has veto power over the Port Authority along with the governor of New York. "All of these investments will improve the capacity of the Port and keep it more successful in the years ahead."

Susan Bass Levin, a former Cor zine cabinet member who is now the Port Authority's first deputy executive director, called the acqui sition of Northeast Auto Marine Terminal (known by the acronym NEAT) "a significant coup for port expansion."

"Right now, there isn't any land left," Bass Levin said. "So the real question was: How do we use the space we have in the best way possible?"

The answer, Port Authority executives decided, was to have NEAT moved to a yet-to-be-determined location and use its 119 acres to build a new terminal.

Bass Levin said the Port Authority is currently in negotiations to determine which company would build and operate the new terminal, and said the only timeline to have it completed was "as soon as humanly possible."

There's little time to waste after another booming year at the Port. Led by an 18.8 percent surge in general cargo tonnage exports, the Port handled nearly 5.3 million total TEUs in 2007, a 4.2 percent increase over 2006.

Even with the economic slowdown that began in the second half of 2007, it was still the 11th consecutive year the Port of New York and New Jersey -- which serves 100 million consumers and employs 230,000 people -- has broken its own cargo record.

"When we look to the future, there's every reason to believe this growth will continue," Port Authority Chairman Anthony Coscia said, predicting the Port's business will double in the next 10 years.

While imports still outnumbered exports by a margin of more than 2-to-1 -- 22.0 million metric tons to 10.8 million metrics tons -- the increase in exports narrowed the import-export gap. Coscia and others attributed the narrowing to a weakened dollar, which makes U.S. products more affordable overseas.

China remained the Port's largest trading partner by a significant margin. Imports from and exports to the country represented 25.4 percent of the Port's total volume in 2007 -- more than the combined volume of the next five largest trading partners (India, Italy, Germany, Brazil and the Netherlands).

Port Authority officials said China's growing dominance further underscores the importance of expanding capacity. A majority of the ships from China and the rest of Northeast Asia -- including Hong Kong, Taiwan, Korea and Japan -- still go to the West Coast and ship their products east from there.

But that is at least partly be cause the Panama Canal, which was completed in 1914, is not nearly wide enough to handle the super-sized container ships that have become the norm in global shipping. The canal currently can only handle ships that are 4,000 TEUs and smaller, but a broadened canal is expected to be able to handle ships in excess of 10,000 TEUs.

And the Port Authority, which is in the midst of a $100 million effort to deepen the Port Jersey Channel to 50 feet by 2010, hopes its new terminal will handle the extra business.

"We want to be in the right place at the right time," Bass Levin said. "Once the canal widening is done, there are going to be a lot more ships that currently stop at the West Coast that are going to want come up the East Coast. We want to be ready for them."

James Drogan, a professor at SUNY-Martime College who studies the shipping industry and global business, said the port should be well-positioned to cap ture the new traffic through the Panama Canal.

He cautioned that port officials would need to make infrastructure improvements on land to handle the new capacity, but said the move should benefit both the port and the region it serves.

"A lot of jobs are going to be created," Drogan said. "The economic impact is potentially huge."

March 22nd, 2008, 12:07 PM
Northeast Auto Terminal photos, the auto facility will be replaced by a Container terminal byt the Port Authority.


More about NEAUTO from the Port Authority:


April 17th, 2008, 10:35 AM
Port Authority executive director to be axed

by By Ron Marsico/The Star-Ledger
Thursday April 17, 2008, 9:38 AM

Gov. David Paterson has decided to shake up the leadership of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey by removing the agency's executive director, individuals familiar with the change said Wednesday.

Anthony Shorris, who has held the approximately $275,000-per-year job since 2007 when he was appointed by former New York Gov. Eliot Spitzer, will be leaving, according to the individuals. They spoke only on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to publicly confirm Shorris departure.

The Associated Press reported that Shorris had issued his resignation today.

Paterson officials were mum on the changeover.

"We're not commenting right now," Jordan Isenstadt, a Paterson spokesman, said in an e-mail response.

By tradition, the New York governor gets to pick the bi-state agency's executive director, who is responsible for day-to-day operations. Conversely, New Jersey's governor gets to pick the chairman of the agency's board of commissioners, who gets to shape policy but is not paid for the post.

October 22nd, 2008, 11:39 AM
October 20, 2008
ExpressRail, Terminal X, Bayonne Bridge, environmental challenges are among the top priorities

Growth in cargo volume at the Port of New York and New Jersey may have come to a screeching halt by now as the world tumbles into a global recession, but record export growth fueled an impressive overall gain in container traffic in the first seven months of the year.

Imports were down about 2 percent from the same period last year to 1.5 million TEUs, but loaded export containers surged 25 percent to 910,000 TEUs, for a total of just over 2.4 million TEUs and overall growth of 6.6 percent.

While imports will always remain dominant at the New York-New Jersey port because of the huge consumer market measured against the region’s relatively small manufacturing base, it is becoming a gateway for exports from the Midwest, as shown by the increase in its rail traffic. Export containers totaled 153,395 lifts in the first nine months of the year, compared to 137,392 import boxes. The combined total of 291,057 lifts is about 11.7 percent over the same period last year.

Expansion of the port’s rail capacity is one of the top priorities for the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey and Port Director Rick Larrabee. The port authority has poured hundreds of millions of dollars into the system. All 18 tracks at ExpressRail Elizabeth, serving the APM terminal and Maher Terminals, are now in place, and next year the port will build a permanent rail facility at the Port Newark Container Terminal. ExpressRail Staten Island, serving the New York Container Terminal, often referred to as Howland Hook, has been operating for more than a year, and the port will add capacity there next year.

Most important, in mid-2009 the port will complete construction of a storage yard that will allow two trains to enter and depart at the same time. “We can’t do that now,” said Larrabee, who describes the railyard as the key to the future of the port’s rail business.

In addition, the yard will allow the port to take railcars from the three on-dock rail facilities and combine them into one 10,000-foot train headed for a specific destination, such as Chicago. That would reduce the need for CSX and Norfolk Southern to take cars from multiple sources and build them into a single train at their respective hubs in Syracuse, N.Y., and Harrisburg, Pa. A 10,000-foot train with a maximum double-stack configuration can hold about 330 40-foot containers.

Larrabee said the expansion of the Corbin Street Yard would enable the port the ability to move about 850,000 containers a year by rail. Last year it handled about 360,000 lifts.

Improving productivity is one of Larrabee’s top goals. “Right now we do about 2,400 to 2,500 containers per acre per year. We’d like to double that. We think it’s doable,” he said.

Meanwhile, the port authority is busily working on a host of other fronts. Top priorities include the development of a new container facility known as Terminal X, developing new road connections and improving environmental conditions. Looking ahead, it’s considering alternatives to the Bayonne Bridge. The bridge’s 150-foot vertical clearance restricts access by big ships to Port Newark-Port Elizabeth.

Terminal X would be located on a 75-acre property the port authority purchased earlier this year. It’s adjacent to the Global Terminal in Bayonne. The property is currently occupied by the Northeast Auto-Marine Terminal, which will be moving out by the end of November.

Larrabee said the port authority is negotiating with the Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan, which owns Global. “We’ve always had an interest in taking title to Global Marine Terminal,” he said. Acquisition of Global would enable it to operate a single 170-acre terminal.

A publicly owned terminal also would satisfy the requirement that a dredging project can receive federal funds only if the area being dredged is publicly owned or if there are two privately owned properties. With only one private operator on the narrow peninsula, the state of New Jersey would have to bear the entire cost of dredging the channel leading into the terminal to 50 feet. Ships that carry cars only need water that is 35 feet deep.

Whether it’s a single publicly owned terminal, or two privately operated terminals, the project would still qualify for federal funds, but a single terminal would be much more productive, Larrabee said.

Global last year handled about 300,000 containers, but he estimates that the combined terminal would be able to accommodate about 1 million lifts annually.

Larrabee said no specific timetable has been determined, but that he hopes the new terminal could be completed by the time the expansion of the Panama Canal is finished in 2014 or 2015. The expanded canal will be able to handle ships with a capacity of up to 12,000 TEUs, more than double the current maximum of about 4,800 TEUs.

Once that work is done, New York-New Jersey and other East Coast ports can expect a lot more services that deploy ships in the 8,000-TEU-plus range.

Future steps for Terminal X would include the construction of a rail facility and improved road connections. Containers at the Global property currently are drayed to the Express Rail Terminals in Staten Island or Elizabeth.

The $60 million deal with Northeast Auto-Marine Terminal also included the purchase of a separate 44-acre parcel adjacent to a BMW terminal. Larrabee said that property would continue to be used for automobiles.

He declined to estimate the total price tag for Terminal X. Nor would he comment on the lawsuit between the port authority and the Bayonne Local Redevelopment Authority over a 95-acre property at the former Military Ocean Terminal at Bayonne, which is across the Port Jersey Channel from Global and the Terminal X site.

The Bayonne agency, which acquired the land from the Army in 2002 after the MOTBY site was decommissioned, sold the property to the port authority for $50.5 million, then rescinded the deal and agreed to sell the site to Ports America for $90 million.

The port authority contends it had an irrevocable contract and has sued to force the Bayonne agency to consummate the original sale agreement. The case is pending in Hudson County Court in New Jersey.

The port authority plans to use the property for an auto terminal.

Despite the current worldwide economic slowdown, port authority projections call for long-term average annual cargo growth of 4 percent, so capacity expansion is vital.

Development of Terminal X is critical because vessels calling there do not have to squeeze under the Bayonne Bridge. Some vessels with a capacity of 8,000 TEUs can make it, depending on how they are built, while some 5,500-TEU ships have a problem., Larrabee said. The Army Corps of Engineers is assessing the effects of the bridge’s narrow clearance on vessel traffic, the size of existing ships, those under construction or on order, demand for cargo, and the costs and benefits of various alternatives to the existing bridge. Port authority engineers are studying those options, which include the construction of a new bridge, elevation of the existing bridge, or construction of a tunnel.

Larrabee said the corps’ study should be completed by late summer or early fall of 2009.

“We’ll know more in the next 10 or 11 months. This is one of those projects that will include an extensive amount of planning,” he said. The cost would probably range from $1.5 billion to $2 billion at current prices, he said.

As important as the bridge is to port commerce, it will have to get in line behind various other projects already under construction or in advance planning stages, including the World Trade Center, the PATH commuter rail terminal there, the transportation hub in lower Manhattan, replacement of the Goethals Bridge, and the construction of a new commuter rail tunnel under the Hudson River between New York and New Jersey.

Another top priority, dredging the port’s channels to 50 feet, is well under way and still on schedule to be completed by 2012. Both the port authority and the corps have money in their budgets to finish the work, though it’s getting more expensive, especially because of rising costs for upland placement of dredged materials.

The port authority also plans to spend between $350 million and $400 million over the next 10 years on roadway improvements, primarily around the Newark and Elizabeth terminals, but also on access ramps to the Goethals Bridge. Like the Bayonne Bridge, it connects New Jersey with Staten Island, one of New York’s five boroughs.

Environmental challenges are another major priority. “We’re in the middle of developing a clean air strategy for the port,” Larrabee said. “That’s something we’re pushing very hard.”

The port is seeking ways to reduce pollutants such nitrous dioxide and sulfur dioxide, as well as diesel particulate matter and greenhouse gases.

The port is looking at the possibility of installing a cold-ironing facility at the Brooklyn cruise terminal, so that ships could shut down their engines and use auxiliary power while berthed, he said.

Other efforts include the replacement of diesel cranes with electric cranes.

Truck emissions are being reduced by the reconfigurations of gates at the marine terminals so that trucks will have shorter waiting times.

Larrabee said he does not envision a PierPass-type system at the port any time soon. The ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach introduced the system there in order to reduce congestion during normal working hours. Trucks that call at the terminals during those hours have to pay special fee.


November 7th, 2008, 12:27 AM
Auto marine terminal ready

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

The much-anticipated "roll-on/roll-off" auto marine terminal is rolling into the Peninsula at Bayonne Harbor within a week.

Ports America, Inc. - which leases 25 acres next to the Cape Liberty Cruiseport for more than $40,000 a month - has arranged to bring in several hundred used cars and trucks to jump-start the operation that will ship to Latin America, the Middle East and Africa.

Officials of the Bayonne Local Redevelopment Authority, the terminal's landlord, said the plan is for Ports America to bring ships into the N-5 berth along the Peninsula's northern shoreline, starting with one per week and then increasing to two per week, with Royal Caribbean International moving to the N-1 pier.

If there's a conflict over berthing space, RCI will get priority.

A spokesman for Bayonne Local 1588, International Longshoremen's Association, said he expects 40 to 100 longshoremen to be working when the ship is in and as few as 10 working when the ship isn't there.

Ports America plans to grow the business in phases, BLRA officials said. The next phase would involve 45 acres and then the full 90 acres Ports America plans to buy, they said.

For now, Ports America has installed three temporary trailers to use as its operating offices. Eventually the company plans to move into the Peninsula firehouse, formerly occupied by the Army, after retrofitting it to accommodate its needs, officials said.

October 29th, 2010, 05:30 PM
Port Authority begins development of ship-to-rail container facility in Jersey City

Published: Thursday, October 21, 2010, 9:05 PM Updated: Thursday, October 21, 2010, 9:59 PM
Steve Strunsky/The Star-Ledger

NJNP/Tom Kitts
A Conrail locomotive rolls though the ExpressRail shipping yard at Port Elizabeth pulling a combination of conventional and double stacked cargo railcars in this 1998 photo.

JERSEY CITY — A goal of the Port of New York Authority when it was founded in 1921 was development of a rail network to improve overall efficiency of the port region. It never happened, and the agency, later renamed the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, turned its attention to building bridges, acquiring piers and airports and developing real estate.

But rail transport has made a comeback at the Port Authority. And in its latest effort to reduce truck traffic and the carbon emissions that go with it, the bi-state agency yesterday approved the first step in developing a new ship-to-rail container facility in Jersey City.

The $3 million design study unanimously approved by the agency’s commissioners will result in what will be known as ExpressRail Port Jersey, to be completed by July 2014 on a 100-acre site in the city’s Greenville section. The facility will allow shipping containers to be loaded directly from large ocean-going vessels onto rail cars and shipped to markets inland and up and down the East Coast.

It will be the most recent component of the Port Authority’s ExpressRail system, which began as a small operation in Elizabeth in 1991, but has accelerated in recent years under the agency’s outgoing chairman, Anthony Coscia. In 2006 the agency completed an ExpressRail facility at its Howland Hook Terminal on Staten Island, followed by an significant expansion of its Elizabeth and Newark facilities in 2008 and 2009.

Jeff Tittel, executive director of the New Jersey Sierra Club, welcomed the new ExpressRail facility.

"One train can get up to 1,000 trucks off the road," Tittel said. "The more trucks we can get off the road the better we breath, but even better for our economy."

Right now, freight trains carry only about 15 percent of the 3 million or so containers that move through the port annually, with trucks hauling the rest. Last year, the total was 308,131, down from 377,827 in 2008 due to the sluggish economy, said Steve Coleman, a Port Authority spokesman. The Jersey City facility alone would have an annual capacity of 250,000 containers.

Port Authority Executive Director Christopher Ward said it was too early to estimate the cost of the new facility. To date, the agency has spent about $600 million on the ExpressRail system, Coleman said.

The Jersey City location will be in the Greenville Yard, an old lightering facility, where the Port Authority is also developing a barge-to-rail cargo terminal and a transfer station where New York City garbage in sealed containers will be loaded directly onto rail cars bound for disposal sites.

In a statement, Jersey City Mayor Jerramiah Healy welcomed the ExpressRail project. "We also look forward to discussing with officials from the Port Authority the potential for financial remuneration for the taxpayers of Jersey City," the statement said.