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The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey's (PANYNJ) cargo volumes set a record during the first six months of 2017, the authority announced this week.Volumes through June 30 were 4.4 percent higher than during the same period in 2015, when the previous record of 3,093,789 20-foot equivalent units (TEUs) was set, according to a PANYNJ press release.From Jan. 1 through June 30, the port handled 3,229,675 TEUs, compared with 3,041,287 TEUs handled during the same period last year. In June alone, the port handled 584,606 TEUs, the best June on record and the second highest monthly volume ever recorded in port history.ExpressRail, the port's ship-to-rail system serving New York and New Jersey marine terminals, also posted increases during the first half of this year. Through June 30, ExpressRail handled 273,991 lifts, up 2.8 percent from the previous record in 2016, when 266,624 lifts were handled. In June alone, ExpressRail handled 50,693 lifts, the first time the rail system handled more than 50,000 lifts in a month.The port's $600 million investment in ExpressRail — which includes the completion of the ExpressRail Port Jersey now under construction — has been critical in addressing the need for on-dock rail to improve port efficiency, boost competitiveness and reduce emissions, port officials said.When the ExpressRail Port Jersey opens next year, it will give the port the capacity to handle 1.5 million container lifts a year."This summer's completion of navigational clearance on the $1.6 billion Bayonne Bridge project was a major game changer for this port, and we believe will be a catalyst for continued port growth as the world's biggest, modern, fuel efficient vessels can now call on our terminals," said Port Department Director Molly Campbell.
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