In the summer of 2018, the City of New York unveiled « Freight NYC », a $100 million investment plan to kick-start barge and rail transport within the city.
Much of the existing infrastructure dates from the early 20th century and is largely obsolete, with almost 90% of intra-city freight being transported by truck. Some 198 million tonnes of goods passed through New York in 2016, a figure estimated to rise to 312 million tonnes by 2045. The dominance of trucks is already a major cause of congestion. For example, an estimated 30,000 trucks per day cross the Washington Bridge, the second most congested stretch of highway in the United States. It is though that traffic congestion cost $862 million in 2017, and that figure could rise to $1.1 billion by 2045 if the problem is not tackled. This is without considering the environmental impacts.
With changes in consumer behaviour, the growth of e-commerce, emerging technologies (augmented reality, 3D printing, blockchain, etc.) and the need for distributors and retailers to provide just-in-time services, new logistical infrastructure models are required.
Of the $110 million, a total of $65 million would go towards developing barge-based container shipping via new terminals and alternative distribution platforms throughout the city. The South Brooklyn Marine Terminal and a Distribution Platform for foodstuffs in the Bronx have been targeted. The service could take inspiration from the existing arrangement between the container terminals at Port Newark and Red Hook, which carry goods into Brooklyn.
The remaining $35 million will be used to carry freight by rail much closer to its final destination, notably by creating five trans-shipment sites in Brooklyn and Queens.
More information: Freight NYC