Global ready to ‘go global’
Upgraded container port will compete with other cities, keep jobs in Hudson County
by Al Sullivan
Reporter staff writer
May 07, 2014 | 1863 views | 0 0 comments | 41 41 recommendations | email to a friend | print
ON TARGET – The new improved Global container port is forging ahead with up-to-date equipment and more capacity.
ON TARGET – The new improved Global container port is forging ahead with up-to-date equipment and more capacity.
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After more than four years of planning and two years of construction, Global Terminal opened its first semi-automated facility in the Port of New York and New Jersey in late April.

The terminal is among the newest and most up-to-date facilities of its kind in the nation, Global owners said, and because of its location in New York Harbor on the Jersey City/Bayonne border, ships will save as much as two hours of docking time.

As part of $350 million upgrade, Global has added 10 stacks of additional capacity, which will more than double the capacity of the terminal to 1.1 million lifts annually.

Terminal cranes lift container freight and put it into stacks for eventual shipping by rail or truck to other locations. The capacity increase combined with new technology and equipment means Global will have quicker turnaround times, allowing it to unload a ship and let it sail again more quickly than in the past. Global will be able to unload the new larger container ships prior to the raising of the Bayonne Bridge.

The expanded Global Terminal is now open. Global took delivery of the last five of its 20 Rail Mounted Gantry (RMG) cranes in April. This completes upgrades started in 2012. An official unveiling of the improved facility is scheduled for a June ceremony, officials said.

Global has also expanded its operations into the former Greenville rail yards, which the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey purchased in 2007. Thanks to an $11.4 million U.S. Department of Transportation TIGER Grant, Global was able to develop a system for unloading ships. Cargo will be put directly onto train cars, a move officials say will reduce truck traffic on local highways.

“This means a future of continued growth for the port,” said U.S. Sen. Robert Menendez, who was present for the groundbreaking in 2012. “By expanding the rail capacity in and out of the terminal, the grant helps the largest port on the East Coast compete for new business from the Panama Canal expansion project. The bottom line is: we are keeping jobs right here in New Jersey.”

Improved safety and security

The terminal features new container handling technology that will achieve higher efficiency while improving safety and security for the International Longshoremen’s Association (ILA), AFL-CIO workforce. The technologically-advanced marine terminal will also improve the competitiveness of the Port of New York and New Jersey with its ability to handle the largest container vessels at greater throughput density per acre. The rail link will also reduce the use of trucks, reducing pollution to communities where people live and work. TIGER funds were used to procure two double-cantilever rail mounted gantry cranes, which load and unload double-stack rail cars in the 32-car rail car working intermodal yard. 

According to Menendez, the port supports about 279,200 jobs in the New Jersey and New York area and generates about $37 billion in business income.

According to Global officials, activity has been nonstop. Last May saw the completion of its 274 meter (900 foot) berth extension allowing Global to handle the latest Suez Max vessels. Later in July, the streamlined truck gate complex equipped with optical character recognition and radio frequency identification tags was successfully launched with the ability to handle more than 5,000 transactions per day.

The facility has been commissioning new equipment on an ongoing basis, which now includes a fleet of 17 shuttle trucks from Terex and 20 semi-automatic RMGs from Konecranes.

“The expansion team has been committed to ensure the facility serves our customers’ next generation of vessels quickly and reliably,” said Rich Ceci, project manager and vice president of IT at Global Container Terminals USA.

“It is gratifying to see the achievement of the company’s vision to develop a safer facility that meets the evolving needs of the industry while providing better working conditions for the workforce,” said Jim Devine, president and CEO of Global Container Terminals USA. “We couldn’t have met our target without the skill and dedication of our project team and the support of the Port Authority of New York/New Jersey.”

Al Sullivan may be reached at asullivan@hudsonreporter.com

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