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June 23, 2014

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INTERNATIONAL MARITIME THE JOURNAL OF COMMERCE 47 By Joseph Bonney WHE N JIM PE LLICCIO looks around Port Newa rk Container Termina l, he sees something other terminals may crave: land to expand. "We're the only terminal in the port that has land for expansion," said Pel- liccio, PNCT's chief executive. The terminal handles one-fifth of the Port of New York and New Jersey's container volume and is in a multiyear program to nearly double the terminal's capacity. Workers are assembling three super- post-Panamax gantry cranes that will span 22 rows of containers. The cranes are designed for ships that will arrive in the Newark-Elizabeth port complex after the roadway of the Bayonne Bridge is raised next year. The new cranes make an impression. They will stand 256 feet above the dock, or 385 feet with booms up. Despite their size, they're almost lost in the terminal's con- struction bustle. Capacity is being doubled at PNCT's intermodal railyard, which last year was linked to the terminal by a truck f lyover ramp that avoids street traffic. Old ware- houses are being demolished to clear more space for container handling. The terminal's straddle-carrier fleet is being upgraded and expanded. A 1,200-foot stretch of berth is due for rehabilitation to handle post-Pana- max cranes and ships. The projects are part of a $500 million expansion that will boost PNCT's annual 745,000-lift capacity to 840,000 lifts this year, 1.1 million within two years, and 1.4 million by 2019. The terminal's 259 acres on a jagged L-shaped footprint will grow to 300 acres in a more rectangular shape. The expansion plans were laid three years ago when PNCT extended its existing lease through 2030. The terminal's owners agreed to upgrades and to guarantee at least 1.1 million container lifts a year by 2030. PNCT is owned 50-50 by Ports Amer- ica and TIL, an affiliate of Mediterranean Shipping Co. MSC has been the terminal's primary customer since 2009. Like other terminals in New York-New Jersey and elsewhere, PNCT is trying to keep pace with larger ships and their result- ing cargo surges. When the Bayonne Bridge roadway is raised to 211 feet above water level next year, Newark-Elizabeth terminals will be accessible to ships with capacities of about 12,500 20-foot-equivalent units. The largest vessels in the port now are about 9,200 TEUs. Pelliccio said rising cargo volumes are inevitable because of growth in the pop- ulation and economy, and that terminals must prepare. "We believe in the Port of New York and New Jersey, and we are placing ourselves in what we know will be the path of growth." Pelliccio said. "We remain bullish on this port, and our expan- sion and upgrades are ref lective of that sentiment." PNCT's three new super-post-Panamax cranes will add quay capacity. The terminal now has six ship-to-shore cranes that Pel- liccio said "may be the most highly utilized in the port." PNCT plans to have 12 cranes when its expansion is completed. The new ship-to-shore cranes are being installed on a 1,200-foot berth that's been deepened to 50 feet. By 2019, PNCT plans to rebuild a decommissioned 1,200-foot berth section that abuts the flyover to the railyard, and to install three post-Panamax cranes on it. An efficient terminal requires a balance of quay and container yard capacity. "Oth- erwise it's like going from a 10-inch pipe to a two-inch pipe," Pelliccio said. The new cranes will temporarily boost PNCT's quay capacity above its yard capacity. Pelliccio expects the yard to catch up by the end of the year. PNCT expanded its container stacking capacity by 25 percent last year by adding 2,600 ground slots on 33 acres previously occupied by obsolescent warehouses. Addi- tional space will be opened during the next two years for container stacking and chassis storage. The expansion will allow construction of new gates that will place the truck queue inside the terminal instead of outside on Tyler Street, a public thoroughfare that PNCT now shares with other port tenants. It also will allow truckers to pick up chassis from an adjacent site instead of having to move them on the street. PNCT's equipment fleet has 84 strad- dle carriers, 13 empty-container handlers, five reach-stackers and three rubber-tired gantry cranes. The RTGs operate in the rai- lyard, where the 5,000 feet of track is being doubled. The terminal has replaced 24 straddle carriers with new strads, 14 of which can lift one container over three in a stack. The remainder of the terminal's straddle carri- ers will be replaced over the next four to five years, Pelliccio said. The Por t Aut horit y of New York and New Jersey has invested more than $2.6 million in dredging, intermodal rail, roads and other improvements during the last several years. Pelliccio said PNCT's expansion builds on those investments. He said he's optimistic the improvements will help change negative perceptions that have dogged the East Coast's busiest port. "I think we are and can be a catalyst for a lot of good things that can happen in the future," he said. "We must deal with the perception, and the best way to change per- ceptions is to perform." JOC Contact Joseph Bonney at and follow him on Twitter: @JosephBonney. PNCT'S 'PATH OF GROWTH' With ample land for expansion, Port Newark Container Terminal is making way for some of the biggest ships afloat

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