This was up from 4.56m teu in 2009, just 7,080 teu bellow the peak cargo traffic record levels reported in 2007, with the port retaining its top East Coast container handling port ranking and third nationally, behind the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach.
In 2010, the port handled 376,770 containers through its ExpressRail system, up 22.3% and nearing the annual record set in 2008. The port’s total general cargo volume increased to 32.2m tonnes, up 28.2m compared to 2009. Imports alone grew by 14.3% to 21m tonnes, with general cargo exports growing by 13.9% from 9.8m tonnes (2009) to 11.2m tonnes last year.
To meet the challenges of future growth, the Port Authority is to invest US$283m this year to upgrade the port road network, enhance the existing ExpressRail system and continue its project to deepen the port’s channels to 15 metres (50 feet).
Engineering and design work has already started on the “Raise the Roadway” project for the Bayonne Bridge to accommodate larger ships after the Panama Canal upgrades are completed in 2014.
Development is continuing at the Global Container Terminal in Jersey City to accommodate future growth, including upgrading and expanding the capacity of the cross-harbour rail float barge operation between Brooklyn and Jersey City, along with plans to develop the Greenville Yards in Jersey City.
However, the limited increase in revenue to the port authority generated by the increase in cargo volumes does not cover the costs of the port’s annual state of good repair, nor does it cover all of the capital improvements needed to maintain the port’s competitive position.