Fleet Management

Congestion Causes 6 Mile Lines at NY/NJ Ports

April 10, 2015

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The terminals that make up the Ports of New York and New Jersey. Graphic via Ports of New York and New Jersey
The terminals that make up the Ports of New York and New Jersey. Graphic via Ports of New York and New Jersey

The Port of New York and New Jersey is facing costly delays for truckers and cargo owners as record imports come through, according to a report on JOC.com.

As a result, lines as long as six miles stretch out from terminals and local highways are gridlocked with truck traffic.

The ports have been delayed for weeks now as both have begun handling larger ships and extra vessels, which were deployed to the area to compensate for the recent West Coast port problems.

Unlike the West Coast port delays, which were caused by labor disputes with the Longshoremen’s Union, blame for the delays is being spread around. Trucking companies are blaming it on ports taking in too much volume and the terminals are blaming it on truck volume surges.

Large ships often compound the problem as the large amounts of cargo they deposit at one time puts a premium on the speed of pickup. Containers are initially allowed to remain on the dock for free but are charged fees the longer they remain. Fees for containers can reach as high as $355 per day after nine days and refrigerated cargo is charged even more, according to JOC.com.

This causes surges in trucks arriving at terminals as trucking companies compete to offload the expiring cargo as quickly as possible. The trucks line up ahead of gate hours to get an early start on pickups and to maximize the amount of runs in a day. That causes massive traffic backups throughout the day.

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