Port Newark's waterway
Port Newark’s waterway overview shot

Port Newark-Elizabeth Marine Terminal — commonly referred to as “Port Newark” or “Port Elizabeth” — is a staple in the international shipping community, serving as a major component of the Port of New York and New Jersey. The terminal consists of Port Newark and the Elizabeth Marine Terminal, both of which serve as the principal container ship facility for goods entering and leaving the New York Metropolitan Area. Its legacy stretches far back, having been formed during the early 20th century. As one of the largest shipping ports in the United States, the Port Newark-Elizabeth Marine Terminal has many secrets ready to be discovered including a church dedicated to mariners hidden between its towering shipping containers!

1. Before Port Newark, the area was beautiful marshland

Construction taking place at Port Newark-Elizabeth Marine Terminal
Construction taking place at Port Newark

The basis for Port Newark began during the 1910s when the city of Newark began to excavate an angled shipping channel in the northeastern quadrant of the Newark Meadows wetland. During World War I, work on the port’s channel and terminal facilities grew at an accelerating speed, with around 25,000 troops stationed at the Newark Bay Shipyard. More progress was made when the Newark Bay Channels were authorized by the Rivers and Harbors Act of 1922. Following the move of ownership to the Port Authority in 1948, the Port Newark-Elizabeth Marine Terminal would begin to modernize and expand southward.

Progress did not stop then. A new shipping channel was dredged to straighten Bound Brook—the tidal inlet forming the boundary between Newark and Elizabeth—which would be used to form the Elizabeth Channel. The Elizabeth Marine Terminal, which would later be built along the channel, has served as an essential model for the port’s future terminals; its Sea-Land Container Terminal became the prototype for all subsequent ones.