State of Port Affairs – July 2022

State of Port Affairs – July 2022

Moving over 859,953 TEUs (twenty-foot equivalent units) in June 2022, the Port of New York and New Jersey’s cargo volumes remain elevated at 40.7% over pre-Pandemic levels (June 2019). June was the second-busiest month of container activity in the Port’s history behind March 2022 volumes. 

We are acutely aware of the current challenges associated with these extraordinarily high volumes, including periods of significant port roadway traffic, instances of longer than normal turn times, limited chassis availability, and lack of empty return locations.  We wanted to take this opportunity to provide important updates on measures that are being taken to try and address these issues.

  • The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey has been meeting on a weekly basis, since the end of February, with the container terminal operators under the auspices of a Federal Maritime Commission Discussion Agreement. The group has discussed potential capacity and fluidity improvements designed to improve the trucker experience. Additionally, the Port Authority has met with the Ocean Carriers Equipment Management Association (OCEMA) and been directly communicating with all major ocean carriers to prioritize the evacuation of empty containers from the Port of NY & NJ. We expect additional empty sweeper vessels to arrive shortly, freeing up much needed space for additional empty container returns. The Port Authority, with support from the Council on Port Performance, continues to work with our key partners and customers to ensure frequent and transparent communications about current and expected conditions, as well as proactively work towards solutions to persistent challenges.  An extensive review of all truck activity in the Port reveals that despite the major container terminals consistently providing Saturday gate hours for the last twenty months, less than 4% of the total container exchanges took place on Saturday followed by an equal reduction in activity on Mondays. Similarly, additional hours of operation provided during the week have been grossly underutilized.  With an increase in container volume of more than 30%, it is vitally important that all shippers work with their service providers (truckers and warehouse/distribution center operators) to make full use of all available hours of operation provided by the container terminals. It is simply not realistic to think that we could move so much more cargo in the same amount of time.
  • New on-Port depot/yard capacity for long dwelling import and empty containers has been established.
    • As of May 2022, Columbia Container Services Elizabeth Chassis Depot (ECD) is accepting, and grounding long dwelling loaded import containers. Columbia can dispatch loads from a block stow (last in, first out) and/or, based on availability and yard capacity, by specific container number.  Any trucker or shipper who needs extra storage capacity for loaded imports is encouraged to contact Columbia Container Services directly (Jason Kirin or Cheech Estevez at 908-991-0001 / 908-848-4220 or jkirin@columbia-group.com). 
    • By consolidating some of the Port’s automobile business, C&C Maintenance has been able to open a new 8-acre container depot (Yard 3), on Export Street effective June 27th. This location accepts empty returns for multiple ocean carriers including Hapag Lloyd, CMA, ONE, Yang Ming and Sea-Lead and will provide much needed extra empty capacity. Yard 3 is currently open to returns for one ocean carrier a day from 6am-4pm and by appointment only. Please be sure to contact the ocean carrier equipment management staff to reserve an appointment for returns to C&C Yard 3. The operation of Yards 1 & 2 remains unchanged.
    • A new Port Newark Depot recently opened a grounded operation accepting both empties and import loads at the old Ironbound location. The site is currently 20 acres with a future expansion up to 50 acres. Any trucker, shipper or ocean carrier who needs extra storage capacity for loaded or empty containers can contact Port Newark Depot directly (Michael Berritto 973-901-4267 or mberritto@salson.com).
  • In order to help you facilitate communications with the various ocean carriers, we have prepared a quick reference guide for all Ocean Carrier Contact Information.
  • Outreach continues to the warehousing and distribution industry across NY & NJ. The Port Authority is developing a Warehouse Directory to better serve Port customers in need of available storage space and added services across the region. Enhancing the relationship with this sector of the supply chain will help better serve the logistics and distribution industry by providing more visibility into Port operations, equipment availability, and data sharing.
  • An anonymous Feedback Form will be released shortly allowing truck drivers to provide comments and suggestions directly to the Port Authority. Drivers will be able to access this form through a QR Code which will be displayed throughout the Port including at terminal gates and the Truck Service Center.
  • Although the Truckers Resource Guidebook includes extensive information to help a trucker successfully navigate the terminals, we are working to deliver a condensed Trucker Resource Placard for drivers. Information will include each terminal’s customer service contacts, PAPD and PANYNJ Operations contacts, as well as information on restroom locations and other key processes and procedures. Please also stay tuned for a new Trucker Resource Video which will be introduced as a new step when obtaining or renewing a SeaLink credential.

We recognize that your hard work and dedication has allowed us to move record breaking cargo volumes, and we trust that the steps highlighted above will help to improve customer experience and increase efficiencies at the Port of New York & New Jersey. We appreciate and welcome your continued feedback to work through issues in our shared mission to support the region and its consumers.