Under an agreement approved by the Board of Commissioners, the Port Authority will pay US$50.5m to the Bayonne Local Redevelopment Authority to acquire a 153-acre parcel to add to the approximately 3,000 acres it controls in the port. Cargo volumes have doubled in the past ten years and are expected to double again in the next ten.
The Port Authority intends to use the Military Ocean Terminal property for future auto marine terminal and other maritime-related uses. The purchase will allow existing parts of the port to be freed up to handle cargo where current capacity may not keep pace with growth in containers, autos or bulk commodities.
Port Authority port commerce director Richard M. Larrabee said, “In the next ten years, we expect our already strong cargo volumes to double, yet we have limited land on which to expand our facilities to accommodate this growth. This parcel is a gem in the New York harbour that will allow us to begin to address the critical issues we face in order to maintain our position as the leading East Coast destination for international shippers.”
In 2006, containerised cargo volumes rose nearly 8% to a new record high, led by continued growth in trade with the Far East, North Europe and Southeast Asia. The dollar value of all cargo moving through the port exceeded US$149bn for the first time, up 13% from the previous year.
The Port Authority plans to make US$2bn in seaport investments in the next ten years, including deeper port channels, an improved roadway network, and new and enhanced on-dock rail terminals. It has been in discussions with the City of Bayonne and the Bayonne Local Redevelopment Authority on and off since 1996 to explore the possibility of using a portion of the Military Ocean Terminal for expansion.