Riding Off Into The Sunrise

A study by the Port of NY/NJ back in 2004 revealed that the annual number of TEU handled in that port would increase from that year’s volume of 3 million to 19 million by the year 2040. More than 3,000 acres were required to handle the 3 million TEU in the year 2000 and it was anybody’s guess as to how much more land would be needed to accommodate 19 million TEU. Whatever the guess, the acreage just isn’t there. Nor would additional trucks be permitted to haul higher volumes of containers because environmentalists are already balking at the number of vehicles now on the road, and the miles and miles of railroad cars that would be required for transport are out of the question. It would be a nightmare. Authorities would have a revolution on their hands. A little to the south, however, other Port Authorities were sizing things up. Conventional handling systems on NY/NJ limited acreage, they knew, had been hard pressed to handle the 3 million TEU, and it was obvious that the overflow would soon be diverted to alternate East Coast ports.

1. The North Carolina ports at Wilmington and Morehead, The Sanford Herald announced, have already begun an expansion program that will bring in an additional 500,000 container units over the next 5 years, and the purchase of a 600-acre parcel fronting the Cape Fear River by the port authority is being prepared to handle 2 million containers annually.

2. From The Virginian-Pilot on Jan. 12th — “With its deep-water channels and additional cargo terminals, Hampton Roads eventually could surpass the Port of New York – New Jersey as the leading port along the East Coast for ocean-container traffic, an executive of the Virginia Port Authority said Wednesday …

“‘The Big Apple is on top, but Virginia is poised to take over the No. 1 position,’ Jeff Keever, deputy executive director of the port authority, told 160 people attending a program sponsored by the Hampton Roads Maritime Association … In 2004, Hampton Roads handled 1.8 million 20-foot equivalents, the industry standard for measuring container traffic … However, a container terminal under construction in Portsmouth will boost the port’s capacity when it opens in 2007, Keever said … Meanwhile, the Virginia Port Authority is expanding the container-handling capacity of its Norfolk International Terminal by 50 percent and is preparing to build a giant container terminal at Craney Island in Portsmouth …”

3. The Delaware River Port Authority announced a $ 5 billion waterfront development plan that would create thousands of jobs, new housing and improved ports. The Authority plans to:
• Develop 50 miles of New Jersey waterfront , from Pennsauken in Camden County through Gloucester and Salem Counties;
• Develop a cargo ship facility at a former oil terminal in Paulsboro;
• Improve and enhance marine facilities in Carney’s Point, Gloucester City, Greenwich Township, and the ports at Camden’s Broadway and Beckett Street terminals;
• Include buffer or transition zones, and roadway and rail access to each port.

[East Coast officials have already decided to “Run to daylight”. Are you listening out West?]