The Port of New York and New Jersey witnessed a record-breaking year as it handled over 7 million TEU in 2018 for the first time in its history.
The record-setting amount of cargo, totalling over 7.17 million TEUs, exceeded the previous year’s numbers by almost 7 percent, allowing the port to maintain its position as the busiest on the East Coast and the third busiest in the nation following Los Angeles and Long Beach.
The boost was fueled by an 8.2 percent increase in imported goods, over the previous record for imports set in 2017. The port also handled one third of all containers on the East Coast of North America, representing an increase in market share of 2.8 percent over last year.
The growth was in part attributed to the completion of the Bayonne Bridge Navigational Clearance Project in June 2017, which raised the clearance under the bridge from 151 feet to 215 feet, allowing the world’s largest container ships to pass under it and serve port terminals in New York and New Jersey.
Since the bridge project was completed, the port has seen a surge in the size of vessels calling on the port, with nearly 30 percent of all containerized cargo at the port now carried on vessels with the capacity to handle 9,000 or more TEUs.
At the passenger ship terminals, more than 856,000 travelers used port facilities in both Brooklyn and at the Cape Liberty Cruise Terminal in Bayonne. Passenger volume was up more than 17 percent when compared to 2017.
The port’s bulk cargoes including commodities such as road salt, scrap metal and edible oils, also realized strong growth of more than 16 percent as compared to 2017 with a total of 3.68 million metric tons handled in 2018.