The Port of New York and New Jersey’s various factions must work together to improve a port that is “not as efficient, productive or even as safe as some of our competitors,” said New York Shipping Association President Joseph Curto.
Curto, a longtime Maher Terminals executive before he was named to head the NYSA, spoke Wednesday night at the annual dinner of the New York/New Jersey Foreign Freight Forwarders and Brokers Association, which presented him ithe group’s annual Person of the Year award.
He said construction of larger Panama Canal locks, raising the Bayonne Bridge and modernization of port infrastructure will provide New York-New Jersey an opportunity to gain market share, but that port businesses, labor and government agencies must cooperate to make it happen.
“We can’t afford to be divided as a community. We can’t fight each other or raise petty issues that could create friction amongst ourselves. We cannot become our own worst enemies,” Curto said.
The NYSA represents port employers in negotiations on a local contract with the International Longshoremen’s Association. The ILA and United States Maritime Alliance, the employers’ coastwide umbrella group, are preparing to begin negotiations this spring on a new contract to replace the one that expires Sept. 30.