The 2011 numbers show increases of 4.1% for inbound loads, 6.8% for outbound loads, and 0.3% for empty containers. The port authority’s on-dock ExpressRail system also set a new record in 2011, handling 422,144 containers, or 12% more than in 2010.
Based on container volumes the bi-state port ranks first on the East Coast and third in the Americas, behind the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach.
With the steady rise in cargo volume, the port authority is continuing to invest in several critical port projects. In December 2011, US$39m was authorised to design and reconstruct a section of a road along with the wharf and culvert at Berth 3 in Port Newark. This followed action to widen a road in the Elizabeth-Port Authority Marine Terminal.
Additionally, work continued on the 50 foot (15.2 m) harbour deepening project, which is scheduled for completion to the marine terminals in Port Newark, Elizabeth and Port Jersey by the end of 2012 and to the New York Container Terminal by 2014. These projects are all designed to provide unimpeded ocean and landside access capacity to and from the port.
Engineering and design work is continuing on the plan to raise the roadbed of the Bayonne Bridge to accommodate new, larger post-Panamax vessels travelling to and from port terminals. Currently the bridge’s navigational clearance cannot accommodate the largest of these ships, which are expected to serve the port when the Panama Canal expansion is complete. US$1 billion has been committed toward this project.