Continuing growth in Asian trade boosted container volumes in the Port of New York and New Jersey by 14.6 percent during the first half of 2003, New York Governor George E. Pataki and New Jersey Governor James E. McGreevey announced last week.
Imports from Far East Asia grew
by 38 percent, while imports from Southeast Asia grew by 31 percent. Asian imports, which include furniture, clothing, linens, toys and lighting products, now account for 41 percent of all cargo handled by the New York-New Jersey port. This makes Asia the port’s largest market, surpassing Europe for the first time.
New York Governor Pataki said, “As the national economy begins to recover, the port has clearly given the New York region a much needed boost. During the past year, 1,100 new longshoremen were hired; further increasing employment for an industry that already supports 228,000 jobs in the region. By making smart, targeted investments in our port, we will continue to create jobs and economic activity.”
New Jersey Governor McGreevey said, “The prosperity of the port has provided critical jobs and economic activity, and is central to the region’s quality of life. During the first half of this year, the port handled $42.9 billion in cargo, and with our billion-dollar investment over the next five years, we expect it to remain the premier East Coast destination for international shippers for many years to come.”
Port Authority Chairman Anthony R. Coscia said, “Investing in our port is a top priority if we are to sustain the region’s economic and job growth in both states. That is why the Board has committed $1 billion over the next five years to upgrade rail access and increase terminal space at the New Jersey Marine Terminals to ensure that our port remains the leading East Coast destination for international shippers. Our plan includes deeper shipping channels to allow larger ships carrying more cargo to use our port. This summer, we signed the final construction contract that will result in 45-foot shipping channels in the New York harbor by the end of next year.”
Port Authority Vice Chairman Charles A. Gargano said, “These numbers reflect the key role that the Howland Hook Marine Terminal in Staten Island plays in helping to bolster the region’s and the city’s economy. Howland Hook is being transformed into a state-of-the-art facility that soon will have rail access, longer berths, and deeper channels to accommodate larger, modern ships.”
Port Authority Port Commerce Director Richard M. Larrabee said that total general cargo rose from 10,195,000 metric tons in the first half of 2002 to 11,582,000 metric tons in 2003, a 13.6-percent increase, according to an analysis of data from the U.S. Census Bureau.
General cargo imports rose by 16.8 percent, from 7,195,000 metric tons in the first half of 2002 to 8,404,000 in 2003, Mr. Larrabee said. General cargo exports rose 5.9 percent, from 3,000,000 in the first half of 2002 to 3,178,000 in 2003, he said.
According to data reported by the Port Import-Export Reporting System (PIERS), imports and exports from the New York-New Jersey ports measured in 20-foot equivalent units (TEUs) rose 14.6 percent during the first half of 2003 compared to the same period in 2002. Container volumes for imports rose from 823,881 TEUs during the first half of 2002 to 961,151 during the first half of this year, a 16.7-percent increase. Container volumes for exports rose from 364,162 TEUs during the first half of 2002 to 400,085 in 2003, a 9.9-percent increase.
In addition to Asia, the Port of New York and New Jersey also reported significant increases in trade with Latin America, up 19 percent; Africa, up 32 percent; and Australia, up 38 percent. Trade with Europe grew by 3 percent.