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New York City Economic Development Corporation (NYCEDC) today issued a Request for Proposals (RFP) seeking a consultant to conduct an in-depth study of the air cargo industry, which will focus on identifying opportunities to increase and expand the air cargo industry at JFK International Airport. JFK is the region’s leading international cargo gateway, processing 1.3 million tons of air freight in 2010 and directly supporting 49,000 jobs. The study is being funded by the New York City Industrial Development Agency (NYCIDA) and the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey (PANYNJ).
Though JFK Airport maintains a 57 percent share of total regional cargo volume, the airport’s long term air freight industry growth faces serious challenges. From 2006 to 2009, air cargo processed at JFK dropped from 1.63 million tons to 1.14 million tons. This reduction in air cargo volume was most evident in 2009, when JFK’s cargo volume dropped 21.2% from 2008 levels, in comparison to an average volume loss for the top 50 airports of 10.1%. While there was a slight rebound in 2010, JFK’s air cargo volume is still well below 2008 levels, and this downward trend results in significant economic losses to the regional industry.
“The air cargo industry, which employs thousands of New Yorkers and generates billions of dollars in economic activity, is an essential piece of the region’s economy,” said NYCEDC President Seth W. Pinsky. “With air cargo competition increasing across the country, this study will help identify opportunities to keep our region competitive and growing.”
“JFK is one of the nation’s premier air cargo hubs, handling more than 1.3 million tons of cargo a year and generating billions in economic activity for the New York region,” added PANYNJ Executive Director Chris Ward. “Our partnering with EDC on this study will give us the tools we need to ensure that JFK continues to be a worldwide leader in the air cargo industry.”
Approximately 2.3 million tons of air cargo were handled by the three largest regional airports (JFK, LaGuardia, and Newark) in 2010. This regional system directly supports over 84,000 cargo jobs, $3.6 billion in wages, and generates $10.8 billion in sales. In addition, more than 1,000 companies, including airlines, cargo handlers, brokers, truckers and freight forwarders, do business in the region.
The selected consultant will be responsible for researching other cargo gateways in the U.S. and identifying JFK’s competitive position with regards to international air freight. The consultant must also research market conditions and trends for air cargo, the specific costs and benefits of doing business at JFK, and opportunities for infrastructure and financing programs to encourage industry growth. The findings of the study will address opportunities to retain and expand the industry.
New York City Economic Development Corporation is the City’s primary vehicle for promoting economic growth in each of the five boroughs. NYCEDC’s mission is to stimulate growth through expansion and redevelopment programs that encourage investment, generate prosperity and strengthen the City’s competitive position. NYCEDC serves as an advocate to the business community by building relationships with companies that allow them to take advantage of New York City’s many opportunities. Find us on Facebook, follow us on Twitter, or visit our blog to learn more about NYCEDC projects and initiatives.