By Joshua Burd
The port industry of New York and New Jersey, one of the key drivers of the Garden State’s booming industrial real estate sector, accounted for nearly $8.5 billion in tax revenue last year.
That’s according to a new economic impact study released Thursday by the New York Shipping Association, which also found that the industry supported more than 400,000 jobs last year. The New Jersey Transportation Planning Authority, which conducted the study, said that includes 229,000 direct jobs and another 171,000 indirect positions, with the overall total having grown nearly 20 percent since 2014.
“The NJTPA is focused on maintaining and optimizing our landside infrastructure — the roads, the rails and connections among all modes,” said Peter S. Palmer, chairman of the NJTPA. “We recognize the value of this infrastructure as the connective tissue between the maritime terminals and regional businesses.”
The tax impact includes federal, state and local tax revenue, the association said. In addition, the port industry was responsible for $25.7 billion in personal income and $64.8 billion in business income.
The association said that expanded economic footprint is the result of a growth in cargo movements, the expansion of the cruise industry and an unprecedented increase in the region’s industrial space. According to research from JLL, the real estate services firm, industrial tenants have preleased millions of square feet of new space under construction in New Jersey this year, with 89.3 percent of 2017 deliveries already preleased, including much of the 6.4 million square feet of product that was under construction through the third quarter.
“The significant economic contribution the Port of New York and New Jersey makes to this region has been demonstrated once again,” said John Nardi, president of the New York Shipping Association. “The cargo and passengers that move through our ports provide a substantial benefit to the region in terms of jobs and tax dollars and those benefits continue to grow.”
Already home to one of the largest concentrations of industrial and distribution space, the region — which encompasses 31 counties in New York, New Jersey and Pennsylvania — added tens of millions of square feet of capacity between 2014 and 2016.
As a result of the growth, the region’s maritime facilities handled:
- Nearly 6.3 million twenty-foot equivalent containers (TEUs), up from 5.8 million in 2014
- Close to 663,000 vehicles
- 4 million tons of bulk cargo, up from 42 million in 2014
- Nearly 140,000 tons of breakbulk cargo, up from nearly 110,000 in 2014
- 260 cruise vessels
“The billions of dollars we’ve invested to raise the Bayonne Bridge, deepen port channels and expand our on-dock rail capacity have made this an attractive place for international shippers to do business and provided a substantial boost in the jobs and economic activity supported by this port,” said Molly Campbell, director of port department at The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey. “Our goal is to continue to invest in infrastructure that will make this port the most attractive place for shippers to do business.”