The logistics industry would be nothing without shipping ports providing a gateway around the world for goods. Each of these ports is unique, an important piece of the complex puzzle that is global distribution. To highlight the value each of these ports brings to the table, we present Port Report. This weekly series shares some of the history behind shipping ports around the world. This week, we discuss the Port of New York/New Jersey, the United States’ busiest air freight center.
While it ranks 24th in the list of the world’s largest ports, the Port of New York/New Jersey is also one of the most widely-recognized. With a container volume of 7.5 million TEU passing through the port in 2020 alone, this port has a fascinating history we’re excited to share with you this week.
Port of NY/NJ – History
At the turn of the 20th century, a significant amount of business activity took place in the waterways surrounding New York City, including on the East and Hudson Rivers. New York and New Jersey frequently clashed over which areas of the Hudson river belonged to which state, and there were frequent conflicts leading to discord between the two areas. However, in 1921 the two states decided to put their difference aside and sign a compact, leading to the formation of the Port of New York Authority.
This compact allowed the two states to work together to bring the entire port area up-to-date, and achieve synchronicity regardless of which side of the state line business occurred on. This cooperation continued, and in 1948 the Port Authority took over New Jersey’s Port Newark. The Port Authority proceeded to modernize the entire port following the damage caused by the recent wars.
In 1962, logistics history was made when the Elizabeth-Port Authority Marine Terminal, the world’s first Container Port, opened in Elizabeth, New Jersey. Elizabeth would subsequently become known as the container capital of America.
In 2010, the Port Authority purchased Bayonne, NJ’s Military Ocean Terminal, and began to further develop the area. This included the massive undertaking of raising the Bayonne Bridge to allow for larger container freighters to pass beneath it. The world’s first attempt at this kind of modification to an existing facility, the project was successfully completed in May 2019.
In addition to the sea ports, the significant number of airports in the area around the port has allowed the Port of New York and New Jersey to develop into the nation’s busiest Air Freight center.
The Port of New York and New Jersey’s emphasis on sustainability is reflected in its business practices. Ships traveling through the port lead the way in fuel efficiency and environmental-friendliness. One major focus of the Port Authority has been the reduction of Greenhouse Gases. The Port has announced a goal of a 35% reduction by 2025, and an 80% reduction by 2050, one of the most aggressive commitments in the industry.
Every year, in early September, the port hosts Port Industry Day in Jersey City, NJ. This event, taking place September 12, 2022, provides an opportunity to learn even more about the port region. Find more information about Port Industry Day here!
Can’t get enough Port Report? Click here to check out last week’s edition, about The Port of Rotterdam!