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PANYNJ touts cargo records, PATH ridership in 2018

The port maintained its position last year as the busiest on the East Coast.
Photo – PANYNJ


The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey (PANYNJ) last week announced its airports, seaport, Port Authority Trans-Hudson Corp. (PATH) system, bridge and bus terminal handled record or near-record volumes in 2018.

The port logged 7.2 million 20-foot equivalent units, surpassing 7 million for the first time in its history, which dates back to the 1950s, PANYNJ officials said in a press release. The port maintained its position as the busiest on the East Coast and the third-busiest in the nation following Los Angeles and Long Beach, California, they said.

The cargo growth was driven by an 8.2 percent increase in imported goods, including clothing, furniture, electronics and consumer goods. The port handled one-third of all containers on the East Coast, increasing its market share by 2.8 percent from 2017's level. Cargo handled by rail last year also set a new record at 645,760 containers, up 13.8 percent over the previous record set in 2017, port officials said.

Last month, PANYNJ announced a major expansion of its rail network, which will enable the authority to advance a five-year strategic goal to expand rail capacity for cargo destined for outside the region. The expansion will reduce congestion and emissions, and deliver goods to their destination more efficiently and at lower cost, port officials said.

"We are pleased that our facilities, which were built to handle customer and cargo levels from a bygone era, are able to support the record activity we are seeing today," said PANYNJ Executive Director Rick Cotton. "We are committed to rebuild and invest to assure the agency can meet future growth, as well as provide facilities of the quality that the region deserves."

Meanwhile, PATH in 2018 handled 81.73 million passengers, the second-highest annual ridership on record.

"The 2018 passenger levels would have been a new record had it not been for the anomaly of 1.2 million New Jersey Transit ticket holders who were cross-honored on PATH during the 2017 summertime track shutdowns to accommodate emergency repairs at New York's Penn Station," PANYNJ officials said.

In October 2018, PATH opened a new $256 million Harrison Station that replaced a station that dated back to the early 20th century. The new handicapped-accessible station offers better lighting, longer platforms and countdown clocks, PANYNJ officials said.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

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