Governor Corzine, Port Authority announce new port security initiatives

International cargo volumes in the Port of New York and New Jersey hit record levels in 2005, New Jersey Governor Jon S. Corzine, Port Authority Chairman Anthony R. Coscia and Port Authority Vice Chairman Charles A. Gargano said as they revealed new port security initiatives, including a public-private task force and a demonstration of technology to enhance security at the East Coast’s largest seaport.

During a press conference at the APM Terminal at the Elizabeth-Port Authority Marine Terminal, Governor Corzine, Chairman Coscia and Vice Chairman Gargano noted the following highlights and initiatives:

  • Containerized cargo volumes in the Port of New York and New Jersey rose 7.6% in 2005 to a new record high, continuing to exceed the authority’s projected cargo growth levels. The dollar value of all cargo moving through the port exceeded $132 billion for the first time, up 15.6% from 2004. The record cargo volume was attributed to a 17% increase in trade with Far East Asia and a 15% increase in trade with Southeast Asia, a trend that began three years ago.
  • ExpressRail, the Port Authority’s rail terminal network in New Jersey, attained a new record, handling 303,032 containers in 2005, nearly 7 percent more than in 2004.
  • A port security task force, led by Chairman Coscia, will study ways to enhance port security, and develop recommendations in six months.
  • A pilot test is under way to track the status of approximately 25 cargo containers from their points of origin to their destinations. The first containers that are part of the program have left Europe and will arrive here on or about March 13.

New Jersey Governor Corzine said, ‘The increased volume of cargo passing through our ports highlights both our strong economic growth and our increasing security needs. I look forward to working with the Port Authority to implement new security measures that will ensure our safety and the continued prosperity of our ports.’

Port Authority Chairman Coscia said, ‘Most of the federal government’s attention has been focused on aviation security because airports and airplanes affect the lives of so many people. However, our nation’s ports are equally if not more vulnerable and deserve our full attention. That’s why I’ve asked a number of key stakeholders from New Jersey and New York to explore ways we can better secure our port and develop realistic recommendations that we can implement. While the public generally has little interaction with day-to-day activities at the port, we want to do everything in our power to make sure that we can greatly reduce any security risk port activities may pose.’

Port Authority Vice Chairman Gargano said, ‘The dramatic increases in cargo we have seen underscore the need for us to be more vigilant, and compel us to focus efforts on moving cargo more efficiently on and off the port property.

That’s why we continue to invest in new and better rail facilities at our marine terminals, including one at Howland Hook that will open this summer to allow cargo containers to be moved on and off the terminal by rail for the first time.’

Port Authority Executive Director Kenneth J. Ringler Jr. said, ‘The security of all of our facilities has and will continue to be our top priority. At the seaport, we have invested approximately $70 million since 9/11 to better secure port terminals, including better fencing, lighting, closed-circuit television and access systems. During the next two years, we will invest an additional $6 million for enhanced security projects, such as more closed-circuit television cameras and a biometric access control system at the Port Authority’s Administration Building, at public berths and at other critical infrastructure.’

Port Commerce Continues Robust Growth

Port Authority Port Commerce Director Richard M. Larrabee said that in 2005, the total amount of containerized cargo handled in the Port of New York and New Jersey