The Port of New York and New Jersey had a record monthly volume this August in rail cargo. Port officials see this as a payoff from years of intermodal investment that is to provide them a competitive advantage with the advent of the ever larger ships.
49,628 containers were handled at the port’s rail facilities in August of 2016, the largest monthly total, and a 9 percent increase from August of 2015. While just 16 percent of the port’s containers move by intermodal rail, port officials hope to increase this percentage to alleviate truck congestion and attract additional inland cargo from the larger ships expected to call at the port.
Global Container Terminal (GCT) and port officials have recently completed an agreement for a new $149 million near-dock rail facility at the GCT Global terminal at Bayonne. The new rail development is expected to increase the port’s capacity from 1.25 million container lifts to 1.5 million.
In other news, the Pacific Maritime Association and the International Longshore and Warehouse Union have opened talks on a possible extension of their contract that covers 29 West Coast ports.
The current contract is set to expire on July 1, 2019. The contract was reached following a nine month period of bargaining and severe congestion issues with labor slowdowns that began in May of 2014, and did not end until a tentative agreement was reached on February 20, 2015.
A contract extension would go a long way in providing beneficial cargo owners certainty when planning their transportation supply chains.
Unites States Maritime Alliance and International Longshoremen’s Associations officials on the East Coast will be monitoring this matter closely, they are also considering negotiations for a contract extension with the current contact set to expire in September of 2018.