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NY -NJ port terminals to boost capacity and reduce unloading time

MARINE terminals in the Port of New York and New Jersey (PANYNJ) plan to increase their container handling capacity and reduce the time truckers spend at their facilities as the ongoing flood of imports into the US that began last summer shows no sign of letting up, reports IHS Media

09 May 2021 - 19:00
MARINE terminals in the Port of New York and New Jersey (PANYNJ) plan to increase their container handling capacity and reduce the time truckers spend at their facilities as the ongoing flood of imports into the US that began last summer shows no sign of letting up, reports IHS Media.

During a recent webinar sponsored by the PANYNJ, executives from Maher Terminals, Global Container Terminals, Port Newark Container Terminal, and APM Terminals laid out plans that include new ship-to-shore cranes and yard equipment, ways for shippers to more quickly retrieve containers, and faster gates for truckers.



The executives outlined the projects as shippers seek ways to move containers more quickly through New York-New Jersey. Bill Skinner, president of the New York-New Jersey Foreign Freight Forwarders and Brokers Association, said containers are sitting at the port for six to eight days currently, compared with a more typical three-day dwell.



Part of the problem is that customers aren't retrieving containers as quickly as possible because of limited availability at their warehouses, Mr Skinner said. He said NY-NJ was also able to avoid the vessel congestion that is still plaguing the US West Coast.



However, difficulties in port-side operations are also leading to higher costs for trucking, chassis, and detention and demurrage, Mr Skinner said. He added that his group is forming a committee that will provide input to PANYNJ on how to resolve the bottlenecks.



'They are moving their vessels, so it's not like what's happening in LA and Long Beach,' Mr Skinner said. 'The NY-NJ port is getting better, but I would say there's still congestion.'



In the 12-month period ending March 2021, imports into New York and New Jersey reached 4.12 million TEU, a 9.2 per cent increase from the previous 12 months, according to PIERS, a sister product of JOC.com within IHS Markit.



Marine terminal executives said the import surge surprised them as much as everybody. Despite a longshore workforce that is 15 per cent below its pre-Covid-19 level, marine terminals made the needed adjustments to deal with the volumes that were thrown at them.



Meanwhile, the Port of Newark, New Jersey recently received the largest container vessel in its history and the first 15,000 TEU vessel operated by MSC to the US East Coast.



The arrival of the new MSC Virgo also tied the record for the largest container vessel to visit the broader Port of New York and New Jersey seaport, reports The Maritime Executive, Fort Lauderdale, Florida.



Sailing under the Portuguese flag, the MSC Virgo measures 1,200 feet in length, with a beam of 167 feet and a draft of 47 feet. Built in 2020 by Hyundai Heavy Industries in South Korea, the MSC Virgo is deployed on MSC's INDUSA service that was introduced in September 2020 to reinforce its offering to the Indian subcontinent. The revised route connects Southeast India, Sri Lanka, and Bangladesh with the US East Coast.



The addition of the new ship to the route also marked a significant upgrade to capacity on the route. With a capacity of 15,000 TEU, she is the largest vessel on the route with the current average size vessel in the INDUSA service carrying approximately 8,000 TEU.



The arrival of the MSC Virgo at Port Newark on May 1 also made her the largest vessel operated by MSC to call at the Port of New York and New Jersey. Before the MSC Virgo, the largest containership to call in Port Newark was the 13,100 TEU MSC Cristina on April 14, 2021.


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