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  April 15th, 2014 | Written by

Port of New York/New Jersey

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Richard Larrabee, Director, Port Authority Port commerce

FTZ No. 49 • 1,480.6 total acreage • 50-ft. channel (2015) • ICTF

Rail: CSX, NS

Highway: I-87, I-280, I-281, N.J. Turnpike

Top export destinations: China, India, United Kingdom

Top export commodities: Paper, Automobiles, Metal


WITHIN REACH Port of New York/New Jersey says 20 percent of the nation’s population within within eight hours of its port.
WITHIN REACH Port of New York/New Jersey says 20 percent of the nation’s population within within eight hours of its port.

Richard Larabee: Let me just start by saying that the port is the largest on the East Coast. We serve a huge population of people here, about 21 million people within about 150 miles of the port, and it really does make the port a very essential part of the regional economy. We create about 280,000 direct and indirect jobs as a result of all of the activities that we do here. We have done, and are doing, an awful lot in the way of modernizing the port to handle not only more containers but larger ships, and a lot of our capital program is devoted to that.

Why come to New York? Twenty-one million people within 150 miles who are part of the largest, most affluent consumer market in the world. Twenty percent of the U.S. population is within eight hours of the port, and 30 percent of the U.S. population is within 48 hours. We serve 21 percent of the retail sales in the Northeast, that occur in the Northeast, and about 18 percent of the Midwest and 58 percent of the Canadian retail sales that take place in Ontario and Quebec, and those are the regions that we serve primarily by rail. We probably have more of the first-in and last-out calls of any port, actually the combination of all the rest of the ports on the East Coast, which is a big advantage to our shippers. We have very competitive services here in the sense that we not only have all the world’s shipping lines calling on the port, but we have competition with rail; we have two Class I railroads. We have about 16,000 truckers that serve the port, so there is tremendous competition between all of the service providers in the port. It’s those kinds of facts that make the port an attractive location. It gives shippers tremendous opportunity to not only bring in imports from all over the world at a competitive price but also to export, and a number of our exporters have said to us that as a result of the variety of services and the ports that they call on around the world, that they really have a great opportunity for shipping to just about any place and it makes the port very competitive from that standpoint.

Global Trade: Those two Class I railways that are serving the port, are those competing directly? Do they go to the same terminals by any chance?

Richard Larabee: Yes, they all serve our on-dock rail facilities, with the exception of Global Terminals, which will be in construction at the end of this year. We have on-dock rail facilities at all of our container terminals. We have a capacity of about 1 million to 1.2 million in terms of lift capacity on an annual basis, and we serve markets on the East Coast as well as in eastern Canada. So rail is a big part of our capability here. We have spent somewhere in the neighborhood of about $700 million to dramatically improve rail service at the port, and we have both CSX and Norfolk Southern that compete with each other at all our facilities.

There is a large warehouse and distribution community at the port, and it’s been named as one of the fastest growing warehouse and distribution regions in the U.S. We bring a tremendous amount of wine and beer. This is probably one of the largest markets in the U.S. for those kinds of commodities. There are other aspects of the port that really do things other than be in the container business. As an example, we handled about 460,000 vehicles last year, so automobiles are a big part of our market.

Global Trade: You mentioned you have a fast-growing warehouse base. Is that within the boundaries of the port or being built outside?

Richard Larabee: Some is inside, some is in the region around us. For instance, Amazon just built themselves a new distribution center, a fulfillment center in New Jersey, and lot of the draw in this region is to be able to satisfy the needs of people like Amazon. Things like edible oils; we handle a tremendous amount of things like palm oil and the kind of oils that are used in manufacturing, and it’s a critical part of that supply chain. If you’re in the baking business or any of the food businesses, these are critical elements of the supply chain.