The Bayonne Bridge, with a Coast Guard vessel in foreground.<@SM>Coast Guard escort vessel, Port of NY/NJ. Photo by NAIOP-NJ CEO Michael McGuinness.<@SM>Global Marine Terminal in Jersey City is now the most highly automated container port on the East Coast.

JERSEY CITY, NJ - “What’s a little rain?” said Anne Strauss-Wieder when the skies opened up for the crowded boat tour of the Port of New York and New Jersey arranged for NAIOP’s I.CON: The Industrial Conference. “We’re logistics professionals!”

Strauss-Wieder, the principal of her own Westfield, NJ-based firm, set up the Thursday morning tour, which included a look at the underside of the Bayonne Bridge. The bridge is being readied for raising to accomodate the new super-size container ship vessels that will be coming into the port via a widened Panama Canal route.

About 700 people were in attendance at Thursday’s opening day of the national conference, many of them fresh off planes from around the country and Canada.

“A lot of our participants had never seen a container port up close,” said Strauss-Wieder, who is a freight and supply chain expert. “There were very few people that were not were not taking pictures.”

One of the most striking sights for many – even given the Statue of Liberty up close, the cruise and container ships passing by, and the highly automated new Global Marine Terminal – was aboard the Coast Guard escort vessels for the tour.

“People learned a lot about the issues of port security,” says Strauss-Wieder, with a Coast Guard captain on the tour boat to explain and many pictures snapped of the escort vessels, which have a manned machine gun mounted in the prow.  gathered up a few of the cell phone offerings and we share them with you here.