South Jersey Port Corporation, in 2016, recorded its third highest year of steel cargo with 741,691 short tons and saw a 29% increase in both recycled metals and cement tonnage.
“Cargo activity remained strong during the past year, as steel, cement, recycled metals, wood products, and Grancem© kept the terminals busy,” stated Kevin Castagnola, Executive Director of the South Jersey Port Corporation.
“2016 was a transitional year for the port facilities. Construction of the new Paulsboro Marine Terminal entered into the final stage, the transformative changes to the Broadway Terminal with the development of the Holtec Technology Center are rapidly being realized, and the Salem Port, closed for upgrades in 2016, returns to full operations,” he added.
“Our facilities in Camden, Paulsboro and Salem are poised to grow in 2017, both in the number of ship calls and cargo tonnage, with the commencement of operations at the Paulsboro Marine Terminal; the completion of the deepening of the Delaware River channel to 45-feet later this year; and technology enhancements at the Balzano Marine Terminal.”
The combined cargo tonnage for steel, cement and recycled metal in 2016 was 1,873,123 short tons compared to 1,732,055 in 2015. This 141,068 increase in tonnage for these commodities represents a year over year increase of 8%.
These three cargoes account for more than 80% of all cargo tonnage handled by the SJPC and greatly mitigated declines in other cargoes.
Last year’s closing of the Salem Port from March to December to upgrade the terminal facilities resulted the decrease in sand tonnage from 245,865 to 26,681. In turn, the Salem Port deficit triggered an overall slight decline in overall total tonnage to 2,293,657 for the SJPC.
However, 2016 tonnage was still 55,956 tons higher than in 2014 representing the stabilization of higher cargo tonnage as the region continues to rebound from the recession.
There were 182 ships that moved through the Port in 2016 registering 456 ship-days.
Steel, especially steel imports for the industrial heartland whose shippers have increasingly opted to use the SJPC’s marine terminals during the seasonal St. Lawrence Seaway shutdown, has been steadily growing with the shippers’ confidence in the SJPC.