Source: Base map from Google Earth.
(Google Earth Placemark)
Port Elizabeth Intermodal Complex, Port of New York / New Jersey
The Port Elizabeth intermodal complex, which is part of the facilities of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey. This is where in 1956 containerization began. The complex is composed of two major terminals; Maher Terminal (acquired by the German financial firm RREEF in 2007) and APM Terminal (a branch of Maersk shipping company). Maher Terminal is the largest intermodal port terminal on the North American East Coast with an annual capacity of about 2.4 million TEU. From 1998, it went through a series of substantial renovations, including the combination of two terminals (Maher Fleet Street Terminal and Maher Tripoli Street Terminal) into one, a process that was completed in 2004. In 2008, gate renovations were completed, making it one of the most efficient in North America, able to handle 10,000 movements per day. Both terminals are adjacent to an on-dock rail facility of which was expanded to 18 tracks in 2007 (serviced by CSX, NS and CP). It is worth noting that the Maher gate complex takes about three times more space than the APM gate complex.
  Maher Terminal APM Terminal
Area 180 hectares 142 hectares
Piers 10,000 feet 6,000 feet
Portainers 16 portainers (9 super post panamax) 15 portainers (9 super post panamax)
Capacity 2,400,000 TEU 1,300,000 TEU
Reefer slots 990 1,275
Stacking Straddle-carriers RTG
Maher Terminal also undertook investments in information technologies, notably an entirely paperless gate system, a terminal managements system, an empty container storage system using GPS and a chassis pool. For the later, Maher was one of the first terminal operators to establish an off-site chassis pool. Initially, chassis pools were for the terminal users since they represented a captive market. But as vessel-sharing agreements have grown over the years, Maher's customers began calling other facilities, such as the adjacent APM Terminal, so it became critical to locate the equipment pool outside the gates. This also conveyed the benefit of freeing terminal space and thus expanding capacity. Also worth underlining is that a portion of the Maher terminal is dedicated to MSC. In late 2009, MSC transferred the totality of its port call to the adjacent PCNT terminal (not shown on the figure). However, PCNT turned out to be unable to handle such a volume. The outcome was a transfer back to a dedicated section of the Maher terminal of about 50% of its PCNT volume.
Both terminal operators have different terminal management strategies for their container yards. While Maher uses straddle carriers to move containers to a from the stacking piles, APM uses overhead rubber-tired gantry cranes (RTGs). The disadvantage of using straddle carriers is a lower stacking density since only two containers can be stacked, which is related to more space consumption by the stacking piles. The advantage is a faster average container retrieval. One must therefore be cautious about linking terminal efficiency and stacking density since lower density can be linked with a terminal design aiming at high throughput. Looking at the gate system and the stacking configuration clearly underlines the trucking orientation of the Maher terminal. The advantages of RTG is a higher stacking density and therefore a higher utilization level of the terminal's real estate assets. However, container retrieval can be longer and would involve more re-handles.
Adjacent to the terminals and chassis pools are also several transloading facilities that are transferring the contents of maritime containers into domestic containers (and vice versa). These activities are mostly for cargo bound further inland since local cargo tends to be brought to the distribution center directly from the maritime terminal.