Source: Port Authority of New York and New Jersey.
On-Dock Rail Lifts, Port of New York, 1991-2016
The promotion of rail transport has been a priority to improve the
efficiency of the port, especially at Port Elizabeth and Port
Newark, which are the main container terminals. Three 'ExpressRail'
on-dick rail terminals were built; Port Newark, Elizabeth and
Staten Island. The first, a 35-acre
(14 ha) ExpressRail terminal, built by the intermodal freight operator
Maher Terminals (Port Elizabeth), opened in 1991. It enables direct doublestaking ship-to-rail
and rail-to-ship transshipment capabilities. To expand
on-dock rail capacity a new terminal with further
improved truck and rail access opened in 2003, implying that all the
main container facilities now have direct access to on-dock rail
facilities. On-dock operations were expanded in 2007 at the
Howland Hook on Staten Island. In 2016, construction started for
a new on-dock facility (ExpressRail Port Jersey) near the Global
Container Terminal. Once this project completed in 2018, all the
container terminal facilities at the Port of New York and New
Jersey will be equipped with on-dock rail.
From 43,000 containers handled in 1992, volumes grew to
above 500,000 lifts in 2016. It was expected that
the rail's share of intermodal movements would climb to 25-30 per cent of
transshipped containers by 2010. However, as of 2012, this share was
at 12.3%, implying that modal shift expectations have only attained
half the goal. This lower than expected share is in part attributed to the
main hinterland of the port of
New York, which is dominantly within the metropolitan area
and the adjacent states, all of which effectively serviced by
trucking. Still, the number of on-dock rail lifts in relation to
the total number of containers handled by the port of New York
has been steadily increasing. This is indicative a growing
market share as each container moved by rail replaces the
equivalent of 1.5 truck moves.