The Port of New York and New Jersey reported record volumes in 2017, shattering the existing annual cargo volume record, set in 2015, by 5.3 percent.
During 2017, the port handled 6,710,817 TEUs, compared to 6,371,720 TEUs recorded in 2015 when the previous annual record was established. The volumes also increased by 7.3% year-on-year from 6,251,953 TEUs seen in 2016.
The record volumes, driven by the completion of the Bayonne Bridge Navigational Clearance Project in June 2017, allowed the port to maintain its position as the third largest port in the United States with 15.4 percent market share and the busiest on the East Coast with a 32 percent market share.
The Bayonne Bridge project raised the clearance under the crossing from 151 feet to 215 feet, allowing ships as large as 18,000 TEUs to travel under it to port facilities in Newark, Elizabeth and Staten Island.
In addition to containerized cargo, the port also reported a 14.3 percent increase in vehicles imported into the port’s public berths – from 505,151 handled in 2016 to 577,223 handled in 2017.
There were 2,011 container vessel calls in 2017, down from 2,184 calls in 2016 and 2,251 in 2015. The fewer vessel calls illustrate that much of the containerized cargo coming into the port is arriving in larger ships, a trend the port expects will continue now that the Bayonne Bridge has been raised.
In addition to its cargo business, the Cape Liberty Cruise Port in Bayonne reported a record 593,403 passengers handled in 2017, a 16 percent increase over the prior year’s activity.The terminal is served by Royal Caribbean International, Celebrity Cruises and TUI Cruises. An additional 137,214 passengers were handled at the Brooklyn Cruise Terminal, a 9 percent increase over the prior year’s activity.