The Port of New York and New Jersey handled a record 286,798 cargo containers of all sizes in November as an increase in import loads offset a dip in loaded exports at the largest U.S. East Coast port.
Measured in 20-foot-equivalent units, volume was 500,608 TEUs, up 3.3 percent year-over-year. Import TEUs rose 4 percent, to 249,112 TEUs, while export loads slipped 3.7 percent, to 116,983 TEUs. Exports of empty boxes totaled 132,923 TEUs, up 10 percent from November 2014.
Volume growth slowed late in 2015 at several East Coast ports after double-digit increases in the early months of the year, when shippers sought alternatives to West Coast ports crippled by delays during longshore labor negotiations. The Port of Virginia, the second-largest North Atlantic port, posted a 2.5 percent year-over-year decline in TEU volume in November but still expects record volume for the year.
Container lifts of all sizes exceeded the previous record of 280,118 TEUs, set in November 2014. Loaded imports totaled 143,213 boxes, up 3.3 percent year-over-year. Export loads amounted to 65,668 lifts, down 3.9 percent. Lifts of empty boxes for export totaled 76,778 boxes, up 7.4 percent.
Through the first 11 months of 2015, the New York-New Jersey port’s volume totaled 5,972,495 TEUs of full and empty containers. Loaded imports rose 10 percent, to 2,962,536 TEUs. Loaded exports were down 2.2 percent, to 1,281,821 TEUs. Empty export TEUs jumped 27.7 percent, to 1,608,251 TEUs.
Container lifts of all sizes through November totaled 1.7 million containers, a 9.2 percent increase. Lifts of loaded exports totaled 719,485 containers, down 2 percent. Empty export lifts rose 24.9 percent, to 938,548 units.
The port authority’s ExpressRail system set a record for the month of November, handling 41,194 cargo containers. The previous best November for rail traffic was in November 2014, when 36,541 cargo containers were handled.
The port handled 44,175 automobiles in November 2015, up 55.3 percent from the 28,445 vehicles handled in November 2014.