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Thread: Howland Hook Marine Terminal

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    Default Howland Hook Marine Terminal

    NY takes bigger load as S.I. port grows
    More ships, new rail line destined for Howland Hook



    By Shira Boss-Bicak

    Staten Island's Howland Hook Marine Terminal is deep in expansion mode. The 24-hour operation that loads and unloads ships has purchased four new $6 million cranes and is updating and expanding its warehouses. Dredging in the harbor is making room for bigger ships, and construction of a rail line is under way.

    Begun as a Dutch trading post in the 1600s, New York still reaps great economic benefits from its position as one of the nation's most important port cities. Last year, the Port of New York and New Jersey shipped a record $100 billion worth of cargo, bringing $20 billion worth of economic impact to the region.

    "When New Yorkers wonder how they can buy strawberries at their deli in the middle of the winter, it's because guys were down here on the docks unloading them from ships in the middle of the night," says Jim Devine, president and chief executive of New York Container Terminal, which operates Howland Hook.

    Over the past few decades, New Jersey has come to dominate the region's waterfront shipping industry, with giant container terminals at Port Newark and Port Elizabeth.

    The Port of New York and New Jersey's business has been exploding, as goods manufactured overseas are shipped back to the American market. Situated within a one-day drive of more than 80 million people, the port is the entry point of choice for many shippers. Over the next decade, the amount of cargo coming through the port is expected to double. The top imports: beverages, vehicles and plastic.


    Doubling in size


    Howland Hook, however, is about to reclaim some of that growing business for New York.

    "We'll be doubling the size of Howland Hook in the next few years," says Joseph Seymour, executive director of The Port Authority of New York & New Jersey, which has invested $350 million in the Staten Island terminal.

    It has also moved to remedy one of the facility's biggest disadvantages--the lack of a rail connection. The Port Authority purchased 124 acres next to the terminal. The area, known as Port Ivory, was where Procter & Gamble made Ivory soap. The leveled land will be the site of a rail yard, expected to be completed next year, that will allow the terminal to connect with the "Chemical Coast" rail line in Elizabeth, N.J.


    Microcosm of larger port


    Howland Hook is a microcosm of the way the port itself affects the economy. The terminal, which covers 150 acres on the southwest corner of the island and handles 4,500 containers per month, generates $1.1 billion of economic benefit. In addition to union workers, the terminal supports truckers, freight forwarders, insurers, lawyers, bankers, storage facilities, importers and exporters.

    The New York Container Terminal is the largest employer on Staten Island, with 800 workers. Waterfront jobs are coveted, with wages for experienced positions climbing to the mid-$20s per hour.

    "These are well-paying jobs for unskilled people," Mr. Devine says.


    Copyright 2004, Crain Communications, Inc

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    Excellent to see. It's about time the God-damn PANYNJ put up some money for NYC ports. The western shore of SI is a virtual wasteland...very underutilized I think. This port should be vastly expanded, and soon.

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