Last year, the number of loaded and empty TEUs (20-foot equivalent units) handled by the Port grew to 4,478,480, compared to 4,067,612 in 2003. Total value of all cargo handled was more than $110 billion, also a record.
Asia remains the port’s largest origin-and-destination market for containerized cargo. For a number of reasons, one of which must be congestion at the Ports of Long Beach and Los Angeles, five new all-water services from Asia to New York/New Jersey began last year. The total is now 24 all water routes, with 17 using the Panama Canal and seven moving through the Suez Canal.
After China, the Port’s next largest trading partners in order were Italy, Germany, Brazil and India. The Port reports that trade with Taiwan grew 29.8% last year and trade with Brazil by 28%, allowing it to pass India in volume.
More port facts: 5,299 ships called in 2004, compared to 5,280 in 2003. The top three import cargos commodities on a tonnage basis were beverages, vehicles and furniture. Top three export commodities were wood pulp, plastic and machinery.
Plans are underway to address issues of future growth at the Port. A preliminary study has identified more than 20 sites around the Port as possible locations as warehousing and distribution centers; steps are being taken to complete a project to deepen the Port’s channel by 50 feet as quickly as possible; and the Port Authority plans to invest $600 million to install rail terminals and support infrastructure at all New York and New Jersey marine terminals.