If it fits (under the bridge) it ships. Why our port is now number 2 in the USA.

Earlier last month, Port Authority officials rededicated the rehabilitated Bayonne Bridge with its now centerpiece and completed raised bridge deck.

Officials revealed the region is seeing the payback for $4 billion in investments to raise the bridge, improve waterfront railroad facilities and modernize Port Newark and the Port of Elizabeth. The region’s port is now the nation’s second busiest port, said Rick Cotton, Port Authority executive director.

“They just expanded their railroad capacity to be competitive for additional cargo coming in to the port, that enabled the port, for the first time in two decades, to become the second busiest port in the United States, passing Long Beach,” Cotton said. “It rides on the shoulders of raising the Bayonne Bridge and our state-of-the art rail system.”

Between 2009 and 2018, the number of containers handled at the Port of New York and New Jersey grew from more than 2.6 million to almost 4.1 million each year, a 54% increase, Port Authority officials said.

Between January to April 2019, the Port of New York and New Jersey handled 20,774 more loaded containers, known as 20-foot equivalent units, which they call TEU’s in the trade. The Port of New York and New Jersey handled 1.69 million TEU’s handled compared to Long Beach’s 1.669 million TEU’s, officials said.

The port had a record May with an 8% increase and is handling more cargo than any other year on record, Cotton said on Thursday.

The port’s more competitive position and infrastructure investment has several benefits that will help the state economy, said, Seung Hee Choi, The College of New Jersey finance department chairwoman.

The port’s ability to handle and move more cargo helps the state’s job market, the rail freight network and switching from trucks to trains, will help the environment, she said.

“When it comes to helping the local economy, infrastructure investment and modernizing infrastructure is essential,” Choi said. “It allows New Jersey to have efficient intermodal transportation that serves not only the tri-state region and the Midwest. That will attract a lot of jobs back to the state.”

What’s preventing highways from being choked with container trucks is completion of the ExpressRail Port Jersey facility, which is the final piece of the Port’s bi-state intermodal rail network with facilities in Elizabeth, Newark and Staten Island, officials said.

What that means to drivers (and traffic) is every container moved at ExpressRail from ship to train, eliminates 1.5 truck trips, officials said.

ExpressRail Port Jersey connects Global Container Terminal Bayonne to CSX and Norfolk Southern railroads. Shippers can transfer cargo from ship to rail and transport it to key markets in the Midwest, New England, Eastern Canada.

The first mammoth container ship sailed under the raised Bayonne Bridge deck in September 2017. Vessels must pass below the bridge to get to container terminals in Newark and Elizabeth, which handle 80 percent of port’s cargo.

The result is that 75 percent of all container carrier services make the Port of NY/NJ their first port of call on the East Coast, authority officials said.

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