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Rep. Norcross Announces $750,000 for South Jersey Port Infrastructure Improvements

February 27, 2023
CAMDEN CITY, NJ – U.S. Congressman Donald Norcross (NJ-01) today announced $750,000 in new funding that the congressman secured in the FY 2023 omnibus package. The money will be used to stabilize Berth 1 at the Balzano Marine Terminal so the port can meet increasing business activity.

“The ‘liquid highway’ that is the Delaware River is an economic lifeline for South Jersey and the surrounding region,” said Congressman Norcross. “By investing in our critical infrastructure, we are increasing the capacity of our ports and local businesses to access markets not just here in South Jersey, but across the country. Additionally, this funding will create good-paying jobs. I’m proud to have fought for this funding in Congress and look forward to seeing the positive economic impact this project has on our region.”

“We want to thank Congressman Norcross for his advocacy in Washington and his ongoing support of our mission at the South Jersey Ports,” said Andy Saporito, executive director and CEO of the South Jersey Port Corporation. “This investment directly translates into job retention and creation – from the construction workers who will build it, to the dockworkers loading and unloading ships, to the truckers hauling the cargo, to jobs in the industries on the end of the supply chain. It’s a multiplier that is great for our link in the global supply chain.”

“The Port of Camden is one of the busiest along the east coast, so this funding will go a long way to ensure it remains an economic engine,” said Camden Mayor Victor Carstarphen. “I am grateful to Congressman Donald Norcross for fighting for this critical funding, grateful for his commitment to invest in much-needed infrastructure upgrades, and grateful for new employment opportunities coming to Camden and this region.”

The funding is one of 15 local projects Congressman Norcross secured funding for in the FY 2023 omnibus funding package. In total, he brought back over $10 million in community project funding for New Jersey’s 1st Congressional District.

About the Infrastructure Improvements at Berth 1 of Balzano Marine Terminal
Berth 1, which is adjacent to the location of the Battleship New Jersey, has been progressively collapsing over the past 20 years, rendering the structure unsafe and off-limits for use. At the west wall of the adjacent Transit Shed 1 building, which is used to store cargo and load rail cars, voids have developed due to the washout of the shoreline. The recent surge in business activity necessitates these repairs to enable the Port to better utilize the shed for cargo storage and transfer to rail cars for transcontinental delivery.

The scope of work will entail removing the northern portion of existing collapsed Berth 1 material and placing riprap stone to reestablish shoreline stability, thus preventing further washout of the material and voids from forming at the existing west side of the Transit Shed 1 building. This early-action construction project is part of a planned program for the Balzano Marine Terminal berth improvement program when additional funding sources become available.

About the South Jersey Port Corporation
The South Jersey Port Corporation was created in 1968 to operate marine shipping terminals in the South Jersey Port District which consists of seven counties: Burlington, Camden, Gloucester, Salem, Cumberland, Mercer and Cape May. The SJPC is a quasi-state agency, which reports through the Department of Treasury to the Governor of New Jersey.
The purpose of this state-created corporation is to provide meaningful public employment, tax ratables and business incentives to the South Jersey region. The SJPC owns and operates the Joseph A. Balzano and Broadway Marine Terminals in the Port of Camden, the Salem Marine Terminal at the Port of Salem, and is constructing the second phase of Paulsboro Marine Terminal at the Port of Paulsboro.


For the Delaware River Stevedores (DRS) new leader Andy Sentyz, it’s a role that has deep roots in his family. “I’m a third-generation stevedore,” said Sentyz with pride. “My grandfather was a stevedore. So were four of his five sons, including my father. So, when I was 18 years old and found out that I was going to be a dad – my father told me: ‘You’re going to the docks. You’re going to work. You got a family to support.” He worked his way up through the ranks and possesses first-hand knowledge of the frontline operations of loading and unloading ships and the critical importance the stevedores’ role in the supply chain.

For families, like Sentyz’s, living in the brick rowhomes along the South Philadelphia waterfront, the docks of Camden and Philadelphia were – and still are – a place where you didn’t have to go to college – or even high school – to make good money to support your family if you were willing to work hard.

Now, at 44 years old and a quarter of a century later, the South Philly high school dropout – who earned his high school diploma, college degree and MBA while a working fulltime as a stevedore – is a grandfather and president of DRS with a staff of thirty that manages 250 union stevedores who handled a million tons of cargo last year from rolled, coiled and structural steel to plywood, cocoa beans, plywood and lumber.

He commands DRS’s operations in Camden, New Jersey; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; and Wilmington, Delaware in a maritime world that has morphed from his grandfather’s days of the cargo hook and muscle to a more sophisticated, efficient, mechanized, and safer operation.

“We work hand-in-glove with South Jersey Port Corporation’s (SJPC) Executive Director and CEO Andy Saporito and his team,” Sentyz said. “They are our partners. They do a fantastic job bringing unique value to our mutual customers. Collectively, DRS and SJPC understand that without the customers there is no SJPC, no DRS. So, we work together in a way that makes the line between the SJPC and DRS invisible to the customer.

“We don’t win customers on price. We’re an all International Longshoremen’s Association (ILA) union operation which means we are paying living wages and benefits that comes at a higher cost. To keep a customer, we must constantly provide customers with service that exceeds the premium they are paying. We win and keep them based upon the consistent quality of our collective customer service. That means our labor partners – our ILA stevedores – and Andy Saporito and his team at the South Jersey Port and DRS work seamlessly on customer satisfaction…a happy customer is a constant customer,” Sentyz added.

Following in the footsteps of one of his mentors, recently retired DRS president Robert Palaima, it’s Sentyz’s job to lead DRS into the next generation of a constantly evolving maritime cargo business by balancing the needs of greater efficiency and productivity with safety, cargo integrity, and the conversion to “greener operations” to address the negative impacts of climate change.

Over the past 25 years, international cargo volume increasingly moved to containers for greater efficiency and the supply chain tightened as industry and manufactures slashed onsite inventory in favor of just-in-time supply. “Whatever shippers could fit into containers and do it cost-effectively, they containerized,” explained Sentyz. “Over time, supply chains meant producers didn’t need to tie up their money in warehouses filled with inventory if the supplies they need arrived on time in the production process. When the pandemic hit, this just-in-time supply chain broke. Freight rates for containers doubled, tripled, quadrupled. An extreme example is a 40-foot container from Asia through the West Coast that cost $4,000 went as high as $40,000.”

Shippers recalibrated their cargo balance and, where feasible, shifted some cargos, especially raw materials, to break bulk. “What I am hearing from many customers is that they are planning to keep at least a portion of their cargo in breakbulk so they can keep some resiliency in their supply chains so they don’t get the same sticker shock that they experienced over the last several years,” explained Sentyz. “I think the old mentality in the supply chain was to use just-in-time to drive down inventory holding costs. Now, with all the supply chain problems, people are realizing that they need to keep more inventory whether at ports or at inland facilities.”

While DRS will continue to nimbly morph to deal with the never-ending challenges of the industry, there are two immutable things that have been the hallmark of DRS’s corporate culture that will never change; focusing and prioritizing safety and customer service.
“The safety of our employees, the dock and ship crews are paramount to everything else,” said Sentyz. “There are lots of dangers flying around a marine terminal with accidents waiting to happen if you don’t adhere to safe work practices. We want our people to go home the way they came to work; safe and sound and in good health.” Sentyz speaks from experience. As a young 25-year-old crane operator, he injured his shoulder on the job. Thankfully, it wasn’t more serious but his longshoring days ended and he landed a supervisor’s job that became available. He credits his journey to leadership to DRS executives Bob Palaima and Chuck Farthing who became his mentors and encouraged him to go to college while still working and then to get an MBA – solidifying his success on the management track.

The second equally important bedrock principle of DRS is customer service. “Our business is happy customers, worker-safety, and a green, environmental-sustainable operation.”
DRS takes climate change seriously and is greening its cargo-handling fleet as fast as possible within the constraints of available green technology, terminal infrastructure to support it and an erratic supply chain on electric vehicles. “We’ll get there but the greatest obstacles right now are the supply chain, lack of charging infrastructure, sufficient electric supply, and battery capacity,” Sentyz lamented. “In the interim, we’re using the cleanest burning equipment we can as we continue down the path to lower our emissions and our operational footprint. It can take up to 84 weeks right now from order to delivery of an electric vehicle with a battery capacity for an 8-hour shift and we work 13-hour shifts at a time. It sounds daunting but evolving technology will solve the equipment issues and SJPC is working to get the electric it needs and the charging infrastructure to support greener port operations. Whether its customer service, worker-safety, or protecting this planet that we all share, we’re in a collaborative partnership to get things done.”


The successful 30-year partnership between Clipper Americas shipping lines of Copenhagen and the South Jersey Ports was marked – not by bands or the popping of champagne corks – but by the orchestra of cranes, forklifts, and cargo-moving equipment as crews off-load rolls of high-quality European steel coils, tin, and structural steel from Clipper ships. The materials are then instantly dispatched and transported to manufacturers and construction projects throughout the heartland of America and Canada.

“Our business and tonnage grew tremendously at the South Jersey Ports from one ship a month 30 years ago, to now when we have three to four off-loading in Camden in a month,” said Peter Svensson, Senior Vice President, Clipper Americas. “Tonnage to Camden grew from under 200,000 tons a year to over 1 million last year. Our customers, especially our specialty steel customers, expect quality service and that is what our partnership delivers.”

It’s a partnership that has prevailed – and continued to thrive – over several economic recessions, a near-depression, changes in trade policies and a global pandemic that leaves persistent impacts.

Now add to the challenges-climate change and the need for everyone, from individuals to large corporations, to reduce their carbon footprint to protect our planet. “We survived 50 years in this industry by adapting to the challenges before us,” Peter explained. “Climate change is real. Reducing carbon emissions is a shared priority for our company and South Jersey Ports,” said Peter. “Working with South Jersey Port on our dunnage recycling program has virtually saved a small forest. Our fleet will continue to be among the most energy-efficient on the seas.”

Clipper is attacking the problem on a variety of fronts including investing in an increasingly efficient fleet with dramatically lower CO2 emissions and the dockside recycling of dunnage.
In the past, it was simply cheaper to dispose of the wood dunnage used in transit to support steel cargo than hauling back to the originating port. The wood dunnage that went into the landfill was replaced by freshly cut lumber. Climate concerns have changed that. The wood dunnage is now loaded by crews into cargo containers and returned to the originating port, and as the wood loses its viability, it is being replaced by plastic and rubber dunnage with a greater shelf-life that can be recycled.

New ratings of ships for CO2 emissions, set by the European Common Market, go into effect in 2024 that will impose increasing financial penalties on levels of CO2s the vessel releases into the atmosphere. The lower the efficiency rating of the ship, the more it must pay to sail, giving a competitive edge to ships with higher efficiency ratings and lower CO2 emissions.

“We’re confident our current fleet will be rated among the most highly efficient,” predicted Peter. “I’m also confident that as technologies evolve and our fleet turns over, it will continue to be a leader in reducing emissions. It’s good business. It’s good for the environment. It’s the right thing to do as we and our families share this planet too.”

It’s a business axiom that has been the foundation of the partnership between Clipper and the South Jersey Ports. “As a marine terminal operator, we can’t control global economics, trade policy or pandemics but we sure can control two things: our carbon footprint and the quality of customer service that we and our partner Clipper and the stevedores provide to our mutual customers,” said Andy Saporito, Executive Director and CEO of the South Jersey Port.

Good customer service translates into higher efficiency and lower emissions. “Get in, get off,” Peter explained. “The quicker we get into the port, off-load, and get off to sea, the more efficient our ships run which lowers emissions. Good for business. Good for the environment.”

Clipper is a vital link in the steel supply chain to North America. The flow of specialty metal products from the steel and tin plants throughout Europe course through the ports of Belgium to Clipper’s ships and ultimately to manufacturers in North America for cars, appliances, building, and highway construction.

Over three decades, South Jersey Port’s Balzano Marine Terminal in Camden, New Jersey became a franchise port of call for Clipper. It’s importance and tonnage grew, especially in winter months, as shippers of European specialty steel for manufacturers along the Great Lakes found the Camden port a reliable, efficient, and skilled replacement for the Saint Lawrence Seaway. Now “winter-steel” business at Camden is growing towards a year-round port of choice.

“Location is important, and Camden has excellent road and rail connections to the industrial heartland, everything is within hours of our terminals – a day at most,” said Saporito. “But the x-factor is the partnership and the cargo expertise that has been forged over these decades with Clipper, the stevedores, and South Jersey Port. There is a seamless relationship with one goal: a happy customer keeps coming back and spreads the word to new customers.”


South Jersey Port Corporation (SJPC) was awarded a $1,108,254 grant from the New Jersey Department of Transportation’s Rail Freight Assistance Program to advance its Rail Integration Program. The program increases the efficiencies of port operations and provides greater options for customers and transporting cargo. Rail shipping is a cost-effective option that can save time and money, and reduce emissions with estimates showing that on average moving freight by rail can reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 75%.

The grant will enable SJPC to purchase an electric rail car mover and two mobile loading docks. “This is another step in the program to ensure that our ports have competitive rail options so that our customers can take advantage of the three Class 1A railways that service our terminals,” said Brendan Dugan, Assistant Executive Director and Chief Commercial Officer for SJPC. “We are also investing $6 million to upgrade the rails at our Joseph A. Balzano Marine Terminal which will triple the amount of cargo we can handle by increasing the efficiency of load times.”

The improvements provide an opportunity to expand the local economy as crucial products like steel, cocoa beans, wood, and project cargo will get to businesses and consumers in the region more easily while also providing job opportunities for area residents.

SJPC’s Paulsboro Marine Terminal, which is the first new port built on the Delaware River in 50 years, opened in 2017 with 21,000 linear feet of on premise rail tracks. The rail tracks serve as a key transport option for the millions of tons of steel slabs that are imported to support the region’s steel manufacturing plants.

SJPC also offers on-demand commercial rail service to the Port of Salem with connections to both Class 1 Railroads – Norfolk Southern and CSX Transportation. Over the past decade, $40 million has been invested to upgrade the Salem Rail Line. Rail service for industries in South Jersey and beyond offers better freight costs which strengthen companies’ bottom lines and support growing jobs in the region. Having reliable rail service also gives companies another reason to look at the region as a potential location.

The continuing upgrade of regional rail lines is key to New Jersey’s plan to spur economic development in the southern part of the state. It also strengthens the region’s position in building and support of offshore wind projects along the East Coast. A $300 million wind port will be located just seven miles south of SJPC’s Port of Salem, providing the opportunity for an integrated rail to barge service for the supply of offshore wind components.


Lehigh Hanson, a core South Jersey Port Corporation tenant/partner, and aggressive ally in battling climate change, is working hard to reduce its environmental footprint and is committed to becoming carbon neutral.

“The climate is changing in ways that impact our planet and contribute to rising temperatures, rising seas, flooding, and droughts,” said Lusmerlin Lantigua, Plant Manager of the Lehigh Hanson slag grinding facility in Camden. “We all must strive to reduce our energy use, conserve water, and protect our natural resources. As a company, we are committed to achieving net zero emissions. ”

HeidelbergCement, the global parent company of Lehigh Hanson, is one of the world’s largest integrated manufacturers of building materials and solutions, with leading market positions in aggregates, cement, and ready-mixed concrete. As a forerunner on the path to carbon neutrality, HeidelbergCement crafts material solutions for the future.

As part of its commitment to be a worldwide leader, the company has increased its focus on sustainable products, driving the circular economy through an emphasis on recycling and recycled products and working to decarbonize the industry.

“Lehigh Hanson has been a good business partner in creating good paying jobs through its operations and importing and exporting millions of tons of product to support the region’s infrastructure needs and it is admirably, a leading ally in the port’s commitment to becoming, with great urgency, a better neighbor by operating cleaner and greener,” said Andy Saporito, CEO and Executive Director of SJPC. Saporito noted that SJPC is in the process of purchasing $6.6 million worth of electric cargo handling equipment and installing an electric charging station at its Balzano Marine Terminal.

Lehigh Hanson’s carbon-neutral strategy goes beyond reducing the carbon footprint of its plant. It also focuses on the cement, concrete, and other construction materials it produces. “Cement is the key ingredient in concrete, the most widely used building material in the world,” explained Lantigua, manager of the Lehigh Hanson plant located at SJPC’s Broadway Marine Terminal in Camden. “Our slag cement significantly lowers the environmental impact of concrete.”

Slag cement is 1.2 times stronger than Portland Cement and, more importantly, emits six to fifteen times less carbon into the air than regular Portland Cement. The slag is the waste from making steel and is repurposed to make stronger concrete to build dams, bridges, highways, airports, and buildings which in turn will reduce overall emissions at upwards of fifteen times.

The alchemy in the Lehigh Hanson strategy is converting a waste product to reduce carbon emissions, a win-win for the environment. With two slag cement plants in North America, they are the market leader for slag cement.

With a capacity for 600,000 tons annually, Lehigh Hanson’s highly efficient Camden plant at Broadway Marine Terminal is 90% automated and employs fourteen full-time employees, not including the stevedores, truck drivers, and other supporting workers. It imports steel slag from Japan and, by barge and truck, supplies its slag cement product for the construction industry throughout the mid-Atlantic, from Virginia to upstate New York.


Supply chain discussions are often dominated by global corporate giants, but the world’s supply chain depends on thousands of local small companies like Page Lyons’s Tri-State Bulk Handling to be the ball bearings that make the global trade machine run smoothly.

“America is built on small business and so is the world’s supply chain,” said Lyons whose family-owned-and-run stevedoring companies have moved tens of millions of tons of bulk cargo at the South Jersey Port Corporation’s marine terminals in Camden.

“Page is a fantastic partner who we, at the port, and his customers trust to get the job done,” said Andy Saporito, Executive Director and CEO of the South Jersey Port Corporation. “He is successful because he is customer-focused and handles cargo the way the customer wants: fast, safe, and efficient. And, by the way, he is a people person which is important in our industry where personal relationships are the coin of the realm.”

An affable man with a quick wit and an appetite for prudent risks, Lyons is a first-generation port man pro, born in the steel town of Weirton, West Virginia. Graduating in 1972 from Bethany College, a small Christian liberal arts college in his native state, he moved with his college sweetheart to Malvern, Pennsylvania, where they started a family. He spent the next nine years bouncing from job to job until his gig as the charming tennis pro at a local club landed him a job as manager of bulk sales and operations at Lavino Shipping Company.

A quick learner with a gnawing ambition to branch out on his own, three years later, Lyons took the biggest risk of his life. At age 37, he started his own stevedoring company, Tri-State Bulk Handling, and the clients he developed at Lavino followed him to South Jersey Port’s marine terminals in Camden, New Jersey, which is a national leader in bulk and breakbulk cargo. Nine years later, he would take another risk and create Broadway Conveyor Corporation to improve the efficiencies of his operations.

“It’s all about relationships in this industry and the trust you build,” said Lyons. “You maintain clients by delivering beyond what is expected and by developing trust with everyone who is moving that cargo, from truckers to machine operators, from the terminal management to the ship’s crew. There are robust discussions and strong opinions that are resolved by relationships. You help them to be successful, they help you be successful. It’s mutual success.”

A case in point is the contract that Lyons has today with Lehigh Hanson Cement to move 600,000 tons of bulk slag cement annually. From 1984 to 1999, Lyons handled iron ore, coal, pet coke, sand, and magnesite on lease parcels at SJPC’s port terminals in Camden. He always evolved with the changing times and changing market needs. In 1999, the South Jersey Port Corporation wanted to lease Lyons’ parcel to Saint Lawrence Cement (the predecessor of Lehigh Hanson). Lyons gave up his leases as part of the deal to land St. Lawrence Cement which included significant capital investments along the pier and a new crane and economic development in Camden. Saint Lawrence gave Tri-State a 10-year contract and it has been renewed by multiple owners since – a testament to the service his company provides.

To better serve his customers, he created the Broadway Conveyor Corporation and invested $5 million to a state-of-the-art conveyor system to move the granular materials efficiently. With the exception of a one-hour “hiccup,” the Lyons’ team has fed the cement manufacturing plant for 23 years without shutting it down. The final loading of the barges and trucks from the silos is completely automated through an underground system to prevent dust. Additionally, Lyons’ team at the Balzano Marine Terminal helps feed 100,000 tons of gypsum annually to the Georgia Pacific operations.

Lyons has a strong commitment to his operation’s host city, Camden. Most of his fourteen employees are city residents. He even invested in a local restaurant but equally important is his sensitivity to the impact of his operations on the community. “We are always working to be a good neighbor,” he said.

All of Tri-State’s bulk-moving equipment are powered by Tier 4 diesels, the Environmental Protection Agency’s strictest emissions requirement for off-highway diesel engines. “In time, we’ll move to an electric fleet to further reduce our carbon footprint” Lyons predicted.


(September 2022) The Board of Directors of the South Jersey Port Corporation (SJPC) strengthened its management team with the recent appointments of Lisa M. McLaughlin as Treasurer and Chief Financial Officer and August E. (Gus) Knestaut as Director of Legal and Regulatory Affairs.

“These are two excellent, highly-experienced and accomplished professionals who now have responsibility for some of the most critical aspects of the SJPC’s legal, regulatory and financial operations,” said Andy Saporito, the ports’ Executive Director and CEO. “They have the skills and, just as importantly, the personalities and work ethic that synchs well with the executive leadership team we have built over the past two years.”

McLaughlin is a Certified Public Accountant with an MBA from Georgian Court College who served as Chief Financial Officer for Monmouth County Ocean Hospital Service Corporation. She has decades of experience in budgeting, finance, auditing, and billing and collections.

McLaughlin lives in Seaside Park, N.J., and graduated from Rowan University with a Bachelor of Science degree. She served on the adjunct faculty of and taught Federal Income Tax Accounting at Ocean County College.

Knestaut has decades of experience as a lawyer and manager, both in the private and public sectors. He has successfully navigated the complexities of governmental regulations at local, county, state, and federal levels.

Knestaut previously served as First Undersheriff to the Gloucester County Sheriff and Assistant Gloucester County Counsel. A graduate of Widener University Law School, he has been admitted to the bar in New Jersey, Pennsylvania, the U.S. District Court, and the Third Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals. He served as solicitor or prosecutor for numerous municipal-level entities. Born in Woodbury, N.J., he grew up in Paulsboro and graduated from Paulsboro High School (Class of 1984). He and his wife, Angela and their two children (Cassandra and Matthew) live in West Deptford, N.J.

The South Jersey Port Corporation (SJPC) was created in 1968 to operate marine shipping terminals in the South Jersey Port District, consisting of seven counties: Burlington, Camden, Gloucester, Salem, Cumberland, Mercer, and Cape May. SJPC is a national leader in bulk and breakbulk cargo, shipping and receiving to and from Africa, Asia, Latin America, and Europe. SJPC’s four international seaport facilities in South Jersey handle more than four million tons of bulk, breakbulk, and containerized cargoes annually.


The South Jersey Port Corporation (SJPC) has deployed its first all-electric terminal tractor, the vanguard of 27 cargo-handling “green machines” which are funded by a $6.6 million grant from Governor Phil Murphy’s Administration. It’s all part of the Governor’s $100 million initiative to grow the green economy by creating new jobs while battling climate change by turning to clean energy alternatives and making New Jersey fully powered by clean energy by 2050.

“As we work determinedly to safeguard New Jersey against the impacts of climate change, we must electrify not just light-duty vehicles, but the medium- and heavy-duty tractors and equipment upon which our thriving logistics industry depends,” said Governor Murphy. “There is no better place to continue our efforts than at the South Jersey Port Corporation, which is contributing to our state’s national reputation as an offshore wind hub. Here in South Jersey, we’re proving that transitioning to clean energy both complements and catalyzes the growth of new industries and the generation of good-paying jobs.”

“Creating family-sustaining jobs is one of our prime objectives,” said SJPC Executive Director & CEO Andrew Saporito. “But, as Governor Murphy warns us, there will be no jobs if we destroy our planet and communities in the process. Jobs are inextricably connected to how we protect our environment and shrink our carbon footprint to zero. We strive to be a better neighbor in the communities we serve by making our operations cleaner and greener while also building the green economy on initiatives such as offshore wind development.”

The governor is funding his “green machine” initiative by leveraging proceeds from the reentry into the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI) and money from the Volkswagen Mitigation Trust Fund. In addition, New Jersey and private corporations are investing a billion dollars to build port facilities and infrastructure to make New Jersey the epicenter of the job-rich $100 Billion offshore wind energy industry.

“This is another important step in the Murphy Administration’s commitment to improve air quality in communities overburdened by air pollution and to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from vehicles that fuel climate change across New Jersey,” Department of Environmental Protection Commissioner Shawn M. LaTourette said.

With this $6.6 million investment, SJPC will replace twenty-seven pieces of older gasoline and diesel forklifts and cargo handling equipment with new electric-powered units and associated charging stations. SJPC aims to systematically convert all of its energy-consuming assets to zero-carbon within the next decade as suitable replacement equipment becomes commercially available.

From steps as simple as planting trees in its host cities to updating warehouse lighting to LED to investing millions in improving direct ship to rail access, SJPC has been working aggressively to reduce its carbon footprint. Instead of retrofitting its vehicles – it can afford to convert its fleet from carbon fuels to electric.

SJPC has become the cornerstone of New Jersey’s growing Green Energy Economy. Its unparalleled location combined with available land and warehouse space and an integrated network of highway, rail, and marine facilities provide the infrastructure to support offshore wind energy investments along the Atlantic Coast. It’s Paulsboro Marine Terminal (PMT) has already emerged as the prime manufacturing site for components of offshore wind turbines.

We’ve Moved

South Jersey Port Corporation moved their corporate headquarters to the Camden waterfront last week. We are occupying office space in the Ferry Terminal Building which is just a short drive from the Balzano Marine Terminal. The new office will allow SJPC to consolidate the executive, engineering, administrative, and accounting departments into one location allowing for better efficiency and meeting space for business development and administrative functions. The move will also result in creating additional space to meet future port operational and space needs. Our new address is 2 Aquarium Drive, Suite 100, Camden NJ 08103.

Customer Spotlight: Camden Yards Steel

“2021 was our best business year ever,” Michael J. Amato, president of Camden Yards Steel Company at the South Jersey Ports’ Broadway Terminal proclaimed proudly as he cast an optimistic but cautious eye toward 2022.

Sales volumes and imported tonnage of steel all hit record levels in 2021 for the family-owned-and-operated steel fabricator which, in turn, contributed in part to an overall record tonnage year for the South Jersey Ports. The company increased its steel imports by 20% to 200,000 tons last year.

Camden Yards Steel is an International Organization for Standards (ISO) certified prime flat rolled steel service company that specializes in the processing and distribution of full truckload quantities flat rolled steel. With over fifty years of experience in the steel industry, they service customers across the entire United States and parts of the Mid-Atlantic region.

“Camden Yards Steel has been a great long-term partner of ours and is an example of the type of family-owned business that is the backbone of our economy,” said Andy Saporito, Executive Director and CEO of South Jersey Port Corporation. “We congratulate them on their record-breaking year and look forward to continuing to support their growth and success.”

 “Our business has grown steadily since we opened in 2002 and we just invested another $10 million in our Camden facility to upgrade our equipment and sharpen our business in a very competitive sector that demands high quality and tight margins,” Amato added.

The investment has increased efficiency and productivity and propelled Camden Yards into a new business sector of galvanized steel for HVAC (Heating, Ventilation, Air Conditioning) manufacturers where other long-time suppliers, according to Amato, had grown complacent.

“We are very, very service oriented and very, very customer-oriented,” he boasted. “We showed we provide service and quality at a competitive price and as a result our galvanized steel business has grown consistently and dramatically, from 200 tons a month six years ago to 4,000 tons a month last year and it keeps growing from Maine to Florida to Ohio,” he said. “The leadership at South Jersey Ports helped us find laydown space to support our business growth, which was appreciated given the overall space constraints at ports nationwide.”

While optimistic about the future, the steel-eyed businessperson in Amato is cautious about predicting a consecutive record-breaking year in 2022.  While it would be nice, realistically businesses just do not keep having endless record-breaking years especially in a business hostage to variables in steel prices.

Camden Yards, with fifty full-time employees to support in Camden, was able to navigate the whipsaw impacts of COVID, steel tariffs, supply-chain shortage in 2021 in which steel prices rose to $1.00 a pound with pent up demand; and then, suddenly dropped to 30-cents a pound, sticking the company with high priced inventory to meet its commitments.

“Half of our business is contractual, and half is transactional,” he explained. “We are committed to our customers to deliver what we said we would deliver, when we said we deliver and at the price we agreed on.”

It just happens that the price for steel goes way, way too high and then suddenly goes way, way too low.

“We try to buy on the down but it’s like trying to catch a falling knife without getting cut,” Amato explained. Sometimes you catch the handle, sometimes you don’t. Whatever, the outcome, Amato protects his customers. “That’s how we earn the trust and business of our customers,” he said. The Russian invasion of Ukraine is expected to have a major impact on the world economy in 2022, especially on steel prices. “We don’t use Russian steel for our products, so we don’t anticipate any dramatic impact for our customers, but we’ll deal with whatever high and lows as we have in the past. It’s the nature of our business.”