Measures Taken at the Port to Handle Increasing Container Volume

Measures Taken at the Port to Handle Increasing Container Volume

The Port of New York and New Jersey handled record-breaking container volume in August and September, and that trend is expected to continue for October and the rest of the year. 

Surging freight volumes are attributed to several effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, including retailers replenishing depleted stocks, a transition to the “stay at home” economy, and inventory management strategies that incorporate more “just-in-case” stock levels. 

A busy, robust port offers a glimmer of hope during these difficult times, leading to increased economic activity and the creation of more jobs. As we look forward, and with an eye on maintaining the integrity of the supply, our port partners and stakeholders continue to work diligently to manage the strong volume levels, taking extra measures to keep the supply chain fluid. 

These efforts include:

  • Keeping marine terminals open on holidays.
  • Adding extra hours of operation on nights and weekends.
  • Infusing extra chassis into the network.
  • Working overtime to keep chassis units roadworthy.
  • Adding empty rail cars into the intermodal network, including adding additional trains. 

The maritime cargo supply chain’s resiliency has been encouraging as we collectively navigate through the pandemic, and it is at times like this that the interconnectedness of the various supply chain handoffs is evident. Our partners are united in managing these extraordinary volumes and handling tight capacity throughout the supply chain to keep commerce moving. 

The Port is asking all partners (terminals, depots, truckers, warehouses, etc.) to:

  • Extend and coordinate operating hours to match additional work times where applicable.
  • Proactively update the availability of extra warehouse capacity or space to ground containers. Visit www.panynj.gov/port/en/publications or contact Nick Raspanti at nraspanti@panynj.gov.
  • Make special effort to ground containers to free up the chassis to support the inbound flow. 
  • Move containers to off-terminal locations as quickly as possible reduces inefficiencies for terminals.

Most importantly, our combined efforts to follow COVID-19 prevention protocols have effectively slowed the spread of the virus at port facilities and among our waterfront labor workforce. However, with cases climbing in our region, we must remain vigilant and ensure strict adherence to all safety measures to keep the port, transportation, distribution, and logistics workers safe and healthy.  

We thank you for your continued support during this peak season and extraordinary year. We are working well together to keep the Port of New York and New Jersey gateway open and fluid. By continuing to work together, we will get through this pandemic.