Northern New Jersey 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 regions. There are four key elements of the freight distribution system:
Port: Northern New Jersey is the home of the largest container port on the Atlantic seaboard, third largest in the U.S. and the fourteenth largest in the world. Its traffic reaches 38 percent of the U.S. population.
Rail: Northern New Jersey is at the center
of expanding railroad operations resulting from the acquisition of Conrail by
Norfolk-Southern and CSX railroads. In 2003 rail moved 25 million tons of goods
in New Jersey.
Air: Newark Airport is one of the fastest
growing air cargo hubs in North America, moving 1 million tons in 2003.
Trucking: More than 90 percent of all freight
moving through New Jersey arrives at its final destinations by truck. This translates
to 309 million tons in New Jersey.
These and other aspects of the freight distribution system are discussed in the freight sections of NJTPA's Regional Transportation Plan.
Freight Initiatives Committee
This committee serves as a forum for discussion of regional freight issues. It 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.
Freeholder Peter Palmer,
Freeholder Somerset County
Current Freight Planning Activities
Morris/Warren County Rail Corridor Study - This study will examine the infrastructure and operational improvements necessary to modernize the primary rail freight corridor serving Morris and Warren counties, helping it accommodate taller and heavier cars and generate future economic development. The corridor consists of Norfolk Southern’s Washington Secondary Line between Phillipsburg and Hackettstown in Warren County and NJ TRANSIT’s Morristown Line from Hackettstown to Morristown in Morris County.
Rail Freight Capacity and Needs Assessment to Year 2040 - The primary focus of this study shall be the NJTPA Region’s major freight Corridor Lines as follows: CSX River Line, Conrail Northern Branch, P&H Branch, Conrail Lehigh Line, Norfolk Southern Lehigh Line, and CSX West Trenton Line. The freight mainlines along with connecting trackage owned or operated by the major Class I railroads or regional shortline railroads shall be examined as an integrated network under both current conditions and future operating scenarios determining its adequacy and identifying potential upgrades and improvements needed to enable the system to meet projected future freight and passenger demands. The project will take twelve months and is being conducted for NJTPA by a consultant team of HDR Engineering, Inc. with Cheng Solutions LLC, and Egan Consulting Group.
Short Sea Shipping and Marine Highways - The NJTPA has, over the last several years, been looking at the potential of Short Sea Shipping as both an alternative and a complement to the existing freight transportation system. Recent developments at the federal level (MARAD Marine Highway Program) are generating a great deal of interest and creating potential for successful implementation of coastwise transport of international and domestic containers as well as containers on wheels.
2040 Freight Industry Level Forecasts - The primary goal of this project is to develop a clear, accurate and comprehensive picture of regional freight activity, both current and future. The end product is to provide an accurate picture of where concentrations of goods movement activity can be expected to occur in the region in the future, the types of commodities that will be moving, and where strategic investments should be made. The project is being conducted for NJTPA by a consultant team of Cambridge Systematics, Inc. with Parsons Brinckerhoff (PB), A. Strauss-Wieder Inc., and the Rutgers University Center for Urban Policy Research (CUPR).
Completed Freight Planning Activities
Quiet Zone Designation in New Jersey: An Informational Guide - The federal requirement that train horns be sounded at every grade crossing in or near communities nationwide has sparked a number of questions with regard to the establishment of quiet zones. The North Jersey Transportation Planning Authority (NJTPA), as northern and central New Jersey's Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO), has put together an informational quiet zone brochure as a guide to communities throughout the state.
Cross-Harbor Freight Tunnel Comments: The
following are NJTPA Staff Comments submitted 9-28-04 on the Cross Harbor Freight
Movement Study Draft EIS which calls for a freight tunnel to be built between
Brooklyn and Jersey City. Investigation of the Cross-Harbor Freight Tunnel initiative
has been renewed in 2007 with funding from a federal earmark (pdf files):
NJTPA Staff Comments (283K)
A. Consultant Q&A -(717K)
B. Freight Ferry Analysis by TransTech Marine Co. (6M)
C. Tunnel Capital Costs (339K)
Cross Harbor website: www.crossharborstudy.com
Rail Merger Report - A final report on the effects of the 1998 Conrail, CSX, Norfolk Southern (NS) railroad merger on North Jersey rail services has been released. The report was submitted to the US Surface Transportation Board in June 2004.
Brownfields Planning - The NJTPA and NJIT have concluded a study designed to help the State of New Jersey harness growing international trade and redevelop abandoned and underutilized industrial sites in and around the port of northern New Jersey. The three-year, federally funded study examines ways to transform these fallow industrial properties - known as brownfields - into productive, tax-paying facilities that will allow the region to reap maximum economic benefits from rapidly increasing international trade. At the same time, the study looks at ways to steer this flow of goods to avert further congestion on the region's already heavily traveled transportation network. The NJTPA and NJIT are working to follow-up on the study recommendations.
Other Regional Freight Planning Activities
New Jersey Institute of Technology's International Intermodal Transportation Center completed a report in 2008 entitled "Extended Hours of Operation at the Port Facilities in New Jersey: A Feasibility Analysis." The Final Report is available on their website: "Extended Hours of Operation at the Port Facilities in New Jersey: A Feasibility Analysis"
New Jersey Department of Transportation's Freight Planning Division deals with all modes of freight distribution. Information on current and past efforts is provided on their website: NJDOT Freight Planning.
Delaware Valley Regional Planning Commission (DVRPC), the Philadelphia-Camden-Trenton MPO, provides information on current and past freight planning activities on their website: DVRPC Freight Planning.
The New York Metropolitan Transportation Council (NYMTC), the New York City- Long Island-lower Hudson Valley MPO, provides information of current and past freight planning activities on their website: NYMTC Freight Planning.
Completed Freight System Studies