Seatrade Maritime is part of the Informa Markets Division of Informa PLC

This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them. Informa PLC's registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 8860726.

Port of New York and New Jersey out-reaching way into the future

Port of New York and New Jersey out-reaching way into the future
At the board meeting held on 22 September, the commissioners of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey approved a $3.4m contract with Hatch Associates Consultants for its first ever comprehensive master plan.

The master plan will look 30 years out into the future and unlike many consultant studies, which always incorrectly extrapolate some piece of economic data, this effort is about out-reach, with the aim of: “soliciting ideas and opinions from a variety of internal and external port stakeholders”. These include federal, state and local government agencies, neighboring communities, tenants, industry representatives, elected officials, labor organizations and the public.”

As explained in its Spring, 2016 Request for Proposals, “The review will look at each of the port’s six container terminals as well as its auto, bulk, cruise and adjacent real estate holdings along with support services and operations.”

With the docks in Port Newark and Port Elizabeth now girding for the arrival of neo-panamaxes, thinking about trade flows, ship types and other logistical considers in the year 2046 is indeed a tall order. Nevertheless, the consultants will be trying to point the port towards a future where it can continue to serve as a major cargo hub- the busiest container port on the US East Coast, and the third nationwide.

Molly Campbell, port commerce director, now in her second year on the job, said: "we must take a holistic look at the entire port operation and develop an optimum plan that will allow us to efficiently grow the business for decades to come following a record 10.4% increase in cargo volumes in 2015”.

Unlike ports having proximity to greenfield sites with deepwater access, the New York New Jersey region is densely populated and space-constrained, with existing infrastructure often stretched beyond design capacity. Therefore, the path forward is analogous to “working smarter”, rather than simply “working harder”.

Already, an appointment system for motor carriers picking up boxes, Terminal Information Portal System (or “TIPS”), has been deployed in the port since late 2015. Bethann Rooney a PANYNJ veteran in the Port Department with Campbell, whose official title is assistant director, strategy & innovation provided further hints about exactly how “innovation” might play out, in a session at the New York Maritime Forum in mid September.

She mentioned a new container on barge service linking Red Hook, Brooklyn - a “gateway” to the 4m population in Kings, Queens, Nassau and Suffolk counties - with Port Newark, across the harbour where the large container vessels dock. The new service eliminates lorry movements over crowded motorways and bridges.