The East Coast’s busiest container port joined West Coast partners in Los Angeles and Long Beach to threaten carriers with penalties for using their terminals for storage.
Port officials in Los Angeles and Long Beach, which have postponed weekly charges since last fall instead of implementing them, say the threat alone is enough to improve output.
According to an announcement, the Port of New York and New Jersey plans to use the proceeds to offset the cost of providing additional storage capacity and other costs incurred as a result of too many empty containers,
As carriers carry more cargo to avoid congestion on the West Coast, New York and New Jersey reported a 12 % increase in cargo year-over-year, representing a 34% increase compared to 2019. Because of the surge, a queue is formed near the port with a longer stall time as vessels wait to be unloaded at the docks.
The announcement did not show details on empty containers or average dwell time. For charging purposes, incoming and outgoing containers include both loaded and empty containers, excluding rail volumes.
The high number of gaps affects regional supply chains that are already under pressure from various sources across the country, Bethany Rooney, port division manager for the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, said in a statement. She further said that they are requesting ocean carriers to step up their efforts to evacuate empty containers quickly and in large volumes to free up the capacity needed for imports to manage the commerce moving through the ports and regions.
The Port Authority noted it had taken other ways to provide enough storage capacity, including the repurposing of 12 acres at the Port Newark and the Elizabeth-Port Authority Marine Terminal for storing temporary empty and long-dwelling containers. The port is negotiating for and scouting for more storage space.