Investing in modern facilities, technology and equipment allowed the Port of Coeymans to quickly become a key Northeastern hub.
By Eric Slack
Based 10 miles south of Albany and 100 miles north of New York City, the Port of Coeymans is a privately owned, full service, deep-water marine terminal. Boasting modern facilities, state-of-the-art technology and equipment, and an experienced labor pool, the port can provide customers with solutions for their shipping, processing, warehousing and inland transportation needs.
“A decade ago, water transportation was often an afterthought,” Vice President of Sales and Business Development Stephen Kelly says. “Current conditions such as increased bridge restrictions, regulations on trucking and higher tolls have more companies looking at water and doing projects by utilizing water access and transportation. That is a big change and has helped facilitate our growth.”
Sprung to Life
Located on the site of the former Powell & Minnock Brick Company brickyard, the Carver Companies has put a lot of work into developing the Port of Coeymans since purchasing the site in 2002. Historic brick buildings on the site were turned into office space and the warehouse was redesigned, all using environmentally friendly materials to increase energy efficiency and reduce the carbon footprint.
Other key elements of bringing the port to life included the installation of a high load dock and dredging of the Hudson River to a 30-foot depth. Shoreline repairs included excavation, cleanup, heavy load capacity dock improvements and inlet channel construction.
Facility and infrastructure upgrades included renovations to existing buildings; electrical, gas, water and sewer upgrades; relocation of main roadways into the port; grading, paving and improvements. Machinery and equipment upgrades included purchasing five cranes, more than 20 barges, seven tugs, five material handlers and additional equipment such as bulldozers, loaders, forklifts, telestackers, a conveyor system and portable office trailers.
The port also invested in a $1.1 million privately-owned and financed 90-foot by 20-foot steel access bridge, which redirects truck traffic and connects the 125-acre port to an additional 285 acres of industrial property. “We have two adjacent facilities,” Kelly says. “The 125-acre port is what we call the water side of our operation, and Coeymans Industrial Park is the industrial property that is the land side of the port.”
Altogether, Carver Companies invested more than $30 million to create the Port of Coeymans and turn it into a Northeast hub. “In some ways, most of the port world is just like ships: big, slow and taking a lot of time to change directions,” Kelly says. “We are like a jet ski and can turn on a dime. When we recognize an opportunity, we have the flexibility to adapt and change very quickly to incorporate any clients’ needs and wishes.”
Today, the port has over 300,000 square feet of indoor storage, and its dock is capable of handling ships up to 750 feet in length with 30-foot fresh water deep draft and offers 3,500 feet of direct riverfront access. Additionally, it offers a 300-foot inlet channel with 15 foot draft. Its deep-water port allows the organization to handle some of the largest ships on the Hudson and take on complex projects. Its services include stevedoring, tug and barge service, break bulk, heavy lifts, custom crushing, warehousing, property rental, equipment rentals, dredging, outdoor storage, welding, cutting, grinding and more.
“There are a few key areas for us, including shipping, barge services and marketing ourselves for specialty construction projects,” Kelly says. “We can accommodate complex projects that need large items to be transported by water. The port is one-stop shop because we can provide elements such as barges, tugs, lay down areas, labor, cranes, forklifts and more, making us a sort of hybrid specialty operation.”
Accessible by ship, truck and rail, the 400-acre port has established itself as a key bridge assembly, construction, resource and disaster recovery hub in the Northeast. The port is capable of doing everything from shipping steel around the world, moving precast concrete structures for regional highway and bridge construction to importing salt, gypsum, bauxite and slag for manufacturing companies. In fact, the Port of Coeymans has played a key role in a number of high-profile projects.
In 2014, it was awarded new bridge contracts through Tappan Zee Constructors for property leasing for steel fabrication and mechanicals and the stevedoring contract for precast work. It has also been a key off-site project coordination facility for projects including the Governors Island downstate shoreline rehabilitation project, Brooklyn Bridge Park, Willis Avenue Bridge, Astoria Cooling Towers, Route 36 Sandy Hook, Nassau Expressway, 145th Street Bridge, Rikers Island Turbines and more.
“We reach out to the industry and keep our eyes out for any big projects that are in the developmental stages so we can inform companies about our capabilities and the benefits of doing projects by water,” Kelly says. “It is less expensive to transport bigger pieces of equipment by water and has fewer restrictions. We can bring in large structures in whole shiploads, offloading and transporting them in ways that keep them out of heavily congested traffic zones.”
In the years ahead, the Port of Coeymans will continue to look for ways to grow its ship traffic and export and import business. It also sees ample opportunity to grow its presence in the construction world. “There is a lot of development taking place in the wake of Superstorm Sandy, and we see more precast and large stone material being shipped by water,” Kelly says.
In the end, the Port of Coeymans has built its business by staying true to a mission statement that focuses on providing customers with value-added services. Thanks to a premier location for customers in need of shipping, processing, warehousing and inland transportation services, the Port of Coeymans is a versatile organization that can provide solutions within many industries.
“Our main goal is to increase activity at the port and expand our ability to provide more for our customers,” Kelly says. “There are so many avenues for us to pursue, and our versatility is unlimited in terms of the companies that can benefit from our services and help us to grow.”