Longshoremen who work for the Port of New York and New Jersey may be used to the rushed pace and heavy workload involved in loading and unloading container ships. After all, it is the largest port complex on the East Coast. To continue to hold its own in global shipping markets, the Port Authority must now be able to accommodate the megaships that are taking their place in the industry.
MarineLink.com notes that longshoremen may be facing some big adjustments when loading and unloading these vessels, which can hold 18,000 twenty-foot equivalent units and more. Cranes must be larger, and skilled staff must be in place to operate them so the work can move quickly. The infrastructure to handle the increased traffic from the trucks, railcars and barges necessary to take the units to their next destinations must also be expanded. In many ports, container ship turnaround is expected to take one day or less.
According to gCaptain, the goal to bring in megacarriers and the challenges that come with them is becoming a reality due to $200 million in investments by APM Terminals. The improvement projects for the company's Port Elizabeth facility include the following:
- Adding new berths
- Purchasing four next-generation cranes
- Heightening the Bayonne Bridge from 151 to 215 feet
- Increasing terminal capacity from 1.5 million to 2.3 million TEUs
- Upgrading container handling equipment
- Expanding gate complex trucks
Other operational and infrastructure improvements are also being made. The company plans for continuous service throughout the expansion process, some of which has already been completed.