The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey has issued a winter plan for 2015-2016 that includes measures to help minimize the potential impact of any winter events. The plan includes measures to speed snow clearance, coordinate terminal closings and provide guidelines for extensions of free storage time.
This winter the Port Authority plans to host 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. terminal closures, additional hours etc) will be communicated as early as possible via the PortNYNJAlerts system at paalerts.com and on the homepage of the Terminal Information Portal System (TIPS) at porttruckpass.com so that truckers and importers/exporters can better plan future container receipt and delivery.
When all terminals agree to a day-long weather closure, terminals will extend free time by 24 hours for all containers not in demurrage.
Intermodal Equipment Providers will 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.
This winter, the port authority will pre-treat roadways with brine before storms to reduce icing. The port authority and terminals also have stockpiled salt and snow removal equipment. 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.
Terminal operators have pledged to try to provide a week or more notice on extending their operating hours around Christmas and New Year’s, which will have consecutive weeks of three-day holidays.
During the next three months, U.S. Customs and Border Protection and customs exam station operators will provide extended hours to accommodate the peak season for cold-treated and perishable imports.
The rail carriers will continue to issue bulletins on their service level.
Trucking companies, importers and exporters, NVOCC’s and other service providers are encouraged to:
- Verify both chassis and container availability dispatching a driver to the port;
- ensure that all charges have been paid and releases are in place;
- confirm export receiving and cut off times
- utilize all available hours at the container terminals to conduct your transaction;
- make use of TIPS (porttruckpass.com) to help optimize your visit to the port, and;
- review the Truckers’ Resource Guide for procedures, Frequently Asked Questions and ways to avoid the Trouble Window
Drivers should remove all snow/ice accumulation from the tops of containers before coming to the port., otherwise it cause extra delays.