The Port of New York and New Jersey in January handled a record number of containers record levels of cargo for that month, despite losing the better part of a week’s work to a snowstorm and labor issues.
Imports of loaded TEUs – a common measure of shipping container volume – rose 5% in January compared with the same month in 2015, to 247,129. Loaded exports fell 1.5% in January, compared with a year earlier, to 102,669.
Loaded imports fell by 1.5% between December and January, which is typical consumers cut back spending after the holiday shopping season.
The container terminals serving the New York City area experienced delays due to Winter Storm Jonas, which dumped nearly 28 inches of snow on the northern New Jersey area. The storm hit over the weekend of Jan. 22, but most port terminals remained closed on Monday and Tuesday for snow removal.
Three days later, on Friday, January 29, members of the International Longshoremen’s Association stages a surprise walkout, effectively shutting down the port for the day. The union said the work stoppage was the result of a dispute with the port’s corruption watchdog, the Waterfront Commission of New York Harbor.
Despite the strong numbers, January didn’t feel very busy, according to Jeff Bader, president of the Association of Bi-State Motor Carriers, which represents port trucking companies.
“January was not a very busy month, and productivity-wise it really wasn’t great either, because of all the days we lost,” he said. “We’re all at capacity, but nobody is backlogged as far as I know.”
Source: Wall Street Journal