Auto and Container Volumes Surged in NY/NJ Port in April

auto terminal New York
Auto volumes surged up by a quarter in April at the Port of New York and New Jersey while Baltimore was closed (PANYNJ)

Published Jun 5, 2024 2:32 PM by The Maritime Executive


While remaining the busiest port on the U.S. East Coast, the Port of New York and New Jersey saw a surge in volumes in April. The ports had pledged to aid while the channel was blocked in Baltimore and the Port Authority’s data shows the absorbed volumes.

The strongest gain came in vehicles. The Port Authority is reporting a nearly 24 percent increase in vehicles passing through the Port of New York New Jersey in April. Over 38,000 autos were handled in April while Baltimore, which has the largest vehicle terminal was blocked. The NYNJ volume was more than double the year-to-date increase of 12 percent for the first four months of the year.

The Georgia Ports Authority which handled autos at Brunswick however saw the biggest portion of the diversions in April. They reported a record 80,600 units of Roll-on/Roll-off cargo in April, an increase of more than 44 percent, or 24,760 units, compared to the same month in 2023.

Container volumes in New York/New Jersey also continued strong, maintaining the momentum gained in 2024 and further growth in April. Total container volumes increased 9.4 percent compared to April 2023 reaching a total of 709,469 TEUs. Imports were up 9 percent while exports were even strong up 10.5 percent.

April container imports were a further increase for the port building on the solid numbers in March and the second consecutive month above 700,000 TEU but it remains below the peak volumes of 840,000 to 850,000 being handled in NYNJ during 2022 and the surge in container volumes.

The strength of the volumes also put NYNJ in a solid third position between Los Angeles (770,337 TEU in April) and Long Beach (750,424 TEU). The Port Authority highlights that in 2022, the Port of New York and New Jersey was the country’s busiest for four consecutive months.

The Port Authority notes that it expects the seaport’s cargo volume to double or triple by 2050 as forecast in the seaport’s capital and operating master plan. They recently outlined several initiatives designed to maintain the growth in port operations. With the US Army Corps of Engineers, the Port Authority recently agreed to a $50 million harbor maintenance effort and a further $32 million to deepen the Gravesend Anchorage near the harbor entrance.  Additionally, $20 million was authorized at the end of 2023 for project engineering and design as the next step toward deepening and widening the harbor. They look to add five feet to the navigation channels which are currently at a 50-foot depth.

The Port Authority, the City of New York, and the State also announced plans in April to overhaul parts of the waterfront. Under the swap agreement, the Port Authority will take full operational control of the city’s 225-acre portion of the Howland Hook Marine Terminal on Staten Island and coordinate its expansion with CMA CGM’s planned investment in the terminal. The City of New York will expand operations on the Brooklyn waterfront including adding new specialized container cranes.