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July10, 2017

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INTERNATIONAL MARITIME IMPORTING | EXPORTING | PORTS | CARRIERS | BREAKBULK | GLOBAL LOGISTICS 14 THE JOURNAL OF COMMERCE JULY 10.2017 By Hugh R. Morley THE PORT OF New York and New Jersey is honing guidelines on how best to navigate mega-ships to berth after electronic simula- tions showed the port's ability to smoothly handle up to 18,000-TEU vessels. The simulations showed that intense planning, coordination, and communication will be needed to prevent vessel delays and backups, and potentially cargo holdups on the land- side, because of the unique difficulties that bringing mega-ships into the port will create. Providing benef icial cargo owners (BCOs) reliability is key as the port works to jumpstart Asia import growth by capital- izing on its ability to handle such ships now that the Bayonne Bridge project raising the span is completed. Big ships will take longer to get into the port because they will have to go more slowly through the main entry channel to three of the main terminals, the simulations showed. The ships' arrivals and departures will have to be carefully scheduled because they won't be able to pass another ship in the channel. And the ships' far greater drafts than in the past means they will have to arrive an hour on either side of slack water — high or low tide — requiring more exactitude in the timing of arrivals and departures than in the past. The simulations, conducted over the last year, formed the basis of a series of recom- mendations drafted by a committee of port users that consisted of ship and tugboat pilots and officials of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey and the US Coast Guard. Once refined, the recommendations will be presented to the Coast Guard for final approval. The recommendations high- light the unique requirements of mega-ships and the complexity of their transit to berth. "There is a heightened need for aware- ness," said Beth Rooney, assistant director of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey's port division, who helped put the recommendations together. "And that's going to take coordination and communication." The observations emerged from simula- tion exercises at the Maritime Institute of Technology and Graduate Studies in Linthi- cum Heights, Maryland. These highlighted the additional care needed to navigate mega- ships from the Ambrose Channel, about 15 miles outside the port, down the Kill Van Kull into the Newark Bay, and to three of the port's four main terminals. The waterside factors are expected to further complicate the job of handling cargo on the land, where it's anticipated that the arrival of larger ships — and the resulting need to unload a large volume of cargo in a short space of time — will place additional demands on terminal resources, manpower, space, and equipment. Delays in a ship entering the port will hold up shipments, and bunching of ships will have a greater impact when the ships are bigger, because the volume of cargo to be unloaded is likely to be greater. According to PIERS, a sister product of The Journal of Commerce within IHS Markit, more than 60 percent of the cargo on each ship worked in New York-New Jer- sey is unloaded there, resulting in more than 4,000 container moves per vessel call. In the past, ships bigger than 9,500 TEU couldn't reach the three terminals on the other side of the Bayonne Bridge — APM Terminals and Maher Terminals in Eliza- beth, and Port Newark Container Terminal in Newark — because large ships were too tall to pass under the 151-foot-high bridge. Large ships could only reach GCT Bayonne, but the opening of the elevated bridge — with a height of 215 feet — means all four terminals are accessible to big ships. In preparation for their arrival, port ter- minal operators have spent about $2 billion on upgrades, and the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey and federal government have spent $4.7 billion on dredging, rail access, and other projects, including raising the Bayonne Bridge. New York-New Jersey is one of three ports on the East Coast with a 50-foot channel depth; others are Baltimore and Miami. The largest ships to enter New York- New Jersey have been just more than 10,000 TEU to date, the result of a steady escalation in the size of the ships coming into the port. From 2012 to 2015, the average capacity of ships calling at the port rose 25 percent, to 4,896 TEU in 2015 from 3,900 TEU in 2012. In 2014, 4 percent of the container ships that came into the port could carry more than 9,000 TEU, rising to 7 percent — or about 150 — of the 2,236 container ships that stopped at the port in 2016. In June, Maersk Line had two ships of that size pass under the Bayonne Bridge on their way to the Port Newark Container Terminal. In addition the 10,000-TEU Zim Antwerp, sailing for Zim Integrated Ship- ping Services, sailed under the bridge June 26 on its way to berth. That trajectory is likely to accelerate in the coming years. As mega-ships of 18,000 to 21,000 TEU are deployed in the Asia-Europe BAYONNE AND BEYOND Tugboat pilots and NY-NJ port honing navigation for ships up to 18,000 TEU "There is a heightened need for awareness. And that's going to take coordination and communication."

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