The NJTPA region is the platform for the distribution of goods to one of the largest and richest consumer markets on earth. This encompasses the New York-New Jersey-Connecticut metropolitan area and much of the mid-Atlantic and New England states. The region is also a leading US international gateway with the largest port on the Atlantic Coast and one of the largest air cargo operations in the US.
The region’s freight system includes:
Port: Northern New Jersey is the home of the largest container port on the Atlantic seaboard and, third largest in North America. In 2018, the Port of New York and New Jersey handled over 7.1 million TEUs (twenty-foot equivalent containers), a 7.0 percent increase over 2017. Nearly 30 percent of all containerized cargo at the port is now carried on vessels with the capacity to handle 9,000 or more TEUs – the size vessel that could not transit under the old Bayonne Bridge prior to the completion of the Bayonne Bridge Navigational Clearance Project in June of 2017. In addition to containerized cargo, the port handled 573,035 vehicles in 2018. The port also set a new all-time record for cargo handled by rail, moving 645,760 containers by rail, up 13.8 percent over the previous record set in 2017. Source: Port Authority of New York and New Jersey
Rail: Northern New Jersey is served by two Class I railroads—CSX and Norfolk Southern. This system includes the Conrail Shared Assets Area, extensive on- and near-dock rail operations that serve the Port, and several short line railroads. Overall, the State of New Jersey handled 50.5 million tons of rail freight in 2017. Source: Association of American Railroads.
NJTPA Freight Planning Tools
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Air: Newark Liberty International Airport handled nearly 848,000 tons of air cargo in 2018, up from 826,000 tons in 2017 and 747,000 tons in 2016. The movement of mail also increased to nearly 57,000 tons from nearly 56,000 tons in 2017 and nearly 46,000 tons in 2016. In 2018, the three leading airlines in terms of cargo volume were Federal Express, United and UPS. In 2017, the Airport was the 11th ranked air cargo airport in North America and 35th in the World. Sources: Airports Council International and Port Authority of NY and NJ
Trucking: Trucking moves the most freight in New Jersey and the NJTPA region. In New Jersey, 75 percent of goods moved—over 450 million tons—were handled by trucks. Source: New Jersey Department of Transportation.
Industrial Properties: As of the 2nd quarter of 2019, northern and central New Jersey had nearly 830 million square feet of industrial properties, one of the leading concentrations in North America, and an increase of nearly three million square feet from the 1st quarter of the year. Seven new industrial buildings were delivered to the area in the 2nd quarter with four of the new buildings are Route 287/Exit 10 submarket, two are in the I-295 submarket and one is in the Meadowlands. To date, 17 new industrial buildings have been added in 2019. A total of 31 new buildings were added in 2018 and 45 new industrial buildings completed in 2017. In the 1st quarter, nearly 6 million square feet of new space was under construction in 19 buildings. During the 2nd quarter, 20 new buildings totaling 6.7 million square feet were under construction in northern and central New Jersey. Source: CBRE
Freight planning activities at the NJTPA are guided by the Freight Initiatives Committee. Meetings of the committee serve as a forum for discussion of regional freight issues. The committee makes recommendations on action items to be considered by the full NJTPA Board of Trustees. The committee meets bimonthly. Its meetings are open to the public.
You can sign-up for notices of freight-related news, events and meetings through the NJTPA E-list.
Current and recently completed NJTPA freight planning initiatives are listed below. Past initiatives can be found on the NJTPA Studies page:
Current Projects & Studies
- 2050 Freight Industry Level Forecasts
The 2050 Freight Industry Level Forecasts Study will develop updated information on current and projected freight demand through 2050 for use in the freight planning activities of the NJTPA.
- Freight Rail Industrial Opportunity (FRIO) Corridors Program
The Freight Rail Industrial Opportunity (FRIO) Corridors Program established a framework for identifying and addressing locations in the NJTPA region that preclude access for national standard rail freight cars (including weight, height and width restrictions).
- Pilot Freight Concept Development Program
This consultant activity will establish a process for advancing regional and local freight initiatives that have been identified through planning studies conducted by NJTPA subregions, planning partners and NJTPA Central Staff—consistent with federal guidelines and the Project Delivery Process implemented by the New Jersey Department of Transportation (NJDOT). Two pilot projects have been selected for this initial Program Development and Pilot Study Phase: Dover and Rockaway Rail Realignment Project; Hackettstown Bridge over Drain Weight Restriction Elimination Project.
- Truck Parking
Truck parking shortages are local, regional and national safety concerns. Concerns on safety impacts of such shortage have risen with the implementation of the federally mandated Electronic Logging Devices (ELD) in 2017, which digitally monitor truck drivers’ compliance with the Hours-of-Service regulations. In North Jersey, truck parking shortages were first identified in the North Jersey Truck Rest Stop Study, completed in 2008, and continue to be recognized as a major issue affecting the safety and efficiency of freight movement in this region.