NYCEDC's blog

City of Water Day: A Beer Bottle’s Journey


On Saturday, July 16th, about 15,000 people attended the Metropolitan Waterfront Alliance’s 4th annual City of Water Day Festival. City of Water Day is a free event that celebrates the magnificent waterways surrounding New York City, educating the public about the waterfront’s potential to be a vibrant and diverse place to live, work and play—in essence, a celebration of the City’s “sixth borough.”

NYCEDC participated by demonstrating the life-cycle of how one of New York City’s most important imported goods—beer—travels by water from Rotterdam in the Netherlands to neighborhood grocery stores and restaurants through the City’s Red Hook Container Terminal, which is managed by NYCEDC.

Ship To Table infographic

Over 830 million bottles of beer used to travel annually in 20,000 containers to Port Elizabeth in Newark, NJ. Each container was then loaded onto a separate truck and driven 50 miles inland to a warehouse in New Jersey, where it was stripped into smaller units, put back on trucks and then driven back into New York to local grocery stores and restaurants.

By shifting the port of call from Port Elizabeth to Red Hook for goods destined for “East of Hudson” markets (including NYC, Long Island, and New England), 20,000 trucks and millions of truck miles were eliminated from congested highways. Taking these trucks off the roads saves taxpayers $213,000 a year in infrastructure maintenance.

The containers that arrive at Red Hook are offloaded using zero-emission electric cranes and low-emission yard equipment, which has reduced air emissions by 30 percent to local neighborhoods

Trucks remain the mode of transportation for the last leg, or “last mile” of the trip, but these trucks are smaller and run on Compressed Natural Gas (CNG), a cleaner fuel that reduces emissions by 25% and particulate matter by 90% compared to diesel fuel.

We believe that other high-demand goods for “East of Hudson” markets, including cars, raw building materials, and food products, have the potential to replicate the goods movement model that we have demonstrated with beer at Red Hook.

City Of Water Day - Katie Axt and Andrew Genn

The authors of this blog post at NYCEDC’s booth at City of Water Day.

City of Water Day - attendees

New Yorkers on a boat.

City of Water Day - crowd

About 15,000 people took part in the day celebrating New York City’s waterfront.

Green, Waterfront



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