The Port of NY and NY remains open, fully-operational and committed to moving goods as efficiently as possible in light of the global pandemic, COVID-19. Even during these unfamiliar times, our rail network continues to demonstrate remarkable growth. Through four on or near dock ExpressRail facilities: ExpressRail Port Newark, ExpressRail Elizabeth, ExpressRail Port Jersey and Express Rail Staten Island – we’re continuing to maintain cargo fluidity. Our facilities are directly served by two Class 1 railroads: CSX and Norfolk Southern (NS). In addition, Consolidated Rail Corporation (Conrail) is the local switch operator working for CSX and NS within the port delivering and departing trains on a daily basis to the four ExpressRail facilities, the auto terminals, bulk operators and select warehouses. The Port of NY and NJ’s ExpressRail system has 37 working tracks and a capacity for 1.5 million lifts per year.
For decades, these three organizations have committed to serving their customers regardless of the circumstance, and this could not be truer than now. Tim Tierney, President of Conrail, said, “In conjunction with our parents, CSX and Norfolk Southern, many contingency plans and triggers were developed in the event the toll of the pandemic on our employees reached a point where some service to customers would be interrupted on an ongoing basis. Fortunately, through proper planning of our resources and the resiliency of our workforce, this has not occurred.” Dedication to customer service and safety protocols by all parties has ensured that vital routes between the Port of NY and NJ and key markets in New England, the Mid West, Eastern Canada and more remain fluid.
The movement of critical PPE and medical supplies during the pandemic has been increasing via rail. CSX states, “as the COVID-19 pandemic continues, CSX remains focused on safeguarding the health and safety of our employees while working tirelessly to ensure essential goods are being delivered to preserve public health and sustain families — such as delivering the critical PPE for front line workers, chlorine-based disinfectants for water, enabling e-commerce, transporting food and moving energy products to support electricity demands. We are seeing many shippers leverage the intermodal network to transport COVID related supplies.” This commitment to keeping the supply chain moving has ensured communities are provided with the necessary goods on schedule without delay.
Railroads have been the backbone of many recovery efforts in the history of this country. NS noted, “Norfolk Southern has been around for many decades and we have seen many disruptions: financial crises such as the Great Depression and Great Recession and natural disasters such as hurricanes and flooding. We have weathered those storms and will weather this as well.” The essential workers that keep our supply chain running including our port facilities and railroads have consistently stepped up during these challenging times. This includes our port operators, the ILA, USCBP, the railroads, truckers, and many other essential stakeholders.
To learn more about shipping via rail at the Port of NY and NJ, please visit https://www.panynj.gov/port/en/shipping/rail.html