The Port Authority of New York-New Jersey said its cargo traffic increased by 21.3% year-on-year (YoY) in 2020 and predicted volumes will remain strong in 2021.
In a statement, the Port said it moved 7.58 million TEU in 2020, an increase of 1.5% YoY, a sign it is recovering from the COVID-19 pandemic.
This followed record-breaking traffic in August and September as production factories, retailers and shoppers restocked supplies and prepared for regional shutdowns.
New York-New Jersey has joined other ports in the US that have seen fluctuations in container traffic as a consequence of the pandemic. After a steep decline in March 2020, traffic volumes have recovered after exports from China resumed and the global economy showed some signs of recovery.
The seaport was the only area of the Port Authority’s operations which saw growth. Its airport, vehicle and overall passenger traffic plummeted by record volumes because of the pandemic.
Airport traffic fell by 75% YoY and bridge and tunnel volumes declined by 19% YoY. In August the Port Authority lost $800 million in revenue, which amounted to an average loss of $240 million a month since March.
That followed a plea to the federal government for $3 billion in direct financial assistance. The sum is the amount it expects to lose on current levels by March 2022 should the pandemic’s effects continue unabated.