Freight News, Sea

Pick up your empties or pay the price says Port of New York & New Jersey

[ August 3, 2022   //   ]

The Port of New York and New Jersey said on 2 August that it would implement a new quarterly container imbalance fee for ocean carriers in to handle record cargo volumes spurred by peak cargo season and a cargo shift from the West Coast.

The container management fee, targeting excess empty containers being stored in the port for long periods, will be effective from 1 September, pending a mandatory federal 30-day notice period. The fee aims to reduce the empty containers dwelling at the port and free up much-needed capacity for loaded import boxes, said the bi-state agency.

The port has been handling a cargo increase of nearly 12% year-to-date compared to the same period last year and 34% more than in the same period pre-pandemic in 2019. The Port Authority said it was taking proactive steps as the East Coast’s largest container port prepares for the US holiday shopping season.

Port Authority chairman Kevin O’Toole said: “As we continue to manage record cargo volume and work with our tenants and port stakeholders for the removal of empty containers in a timely manner, we call on all industry stakeholders to find sustainable, long-term solutions to an industry-wide problem affecting many US ports.”

Port Authority executive director Rick Cotton added: “Our seaport has largely managed to avoid many of the national supply chain challenges affecting other US ports due to our continued collaboration and communication with port partners and stakeholders. This new proactive container management approach is an example of our Port Department’s ability to identify and implement solutions before they cause logjams in our region.

“We must use every tool in our toolbox to ensure that the flow of goods and business will continue as it has done throughout the pandemic thanks to the hard work of our waterfront labour and our partners.”