The Port of NY/NJ Prepares for Winter of 2014-2015

The Port of New York and New Jersey has started to take measures have been taken  to help minimize the potential impact of severe weather.  Last winter was exceptionally cold and snowy across most of the United States and the weather had a profound impact on the port’s ability to remain efficient and provide reliable service to  customers.

The Port Authority of NY & NJ will continue to host planning conferences in advance of each predicted weather event. The terminal operators, trucking associations, labor, equipment providers, and US Customs and Border Protection will all work together to develop a unified plan to address any weather-related closings and to plan recovery efforts. Any changes in hours of operations (i.e. weather related closures, additional hours etc) will be communicated as early as possible so that truckers and Beneficial Cargo Owners can better plan future container recovery.

After a trial last winter, the Port Authority will pre-treat the roadways with brine before driving conditions deteriorate. Terminals have revised snow-plowing procedures and worked with the International Longshoremen’s Association on a tiered staffing plan based on predicted weather or snow removal.

In the event that a joint decision is made for all container terminals to close for the entire day due to inclement weather, the Terminal Operators have agreed to extend freetime by 24 hours for all containers not already in demurrage. Intermodal Equipment Providers have agreed to waive per diem charges for the day of the port closure for all chassis on daily or pool usage agreements provided that they are returned to an authorized Stop Location within 24 hours of the closure. The above does not apply to chassis on term lease agreements.
The timing of both the Christmas and New Year’s holidays will result in two three-day work weeks. The Terminal Operators will review their vessel schedules and inventory levels and make an effort to decide with a week or more notice on extending their hours of operation during the holiday weeks.

The equipment providers of chassis continue to increase their buffer stock and increase the number of roadworthy units in the region. To ensure pick up on the first day of availability, Customs Exams Stations (CES)  increased the size of the dedicated chassis fleet and drivers.

To accommodate the peak season associated with cold treated/perishable imports during the next three months, CBP and the CES operators will be providing extended hours of service and will be prepared to take extraordinary measures if necessary to clear any exam boxes.

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