Delays continued at Maher Terminals for a fifth consecutive day today, forcing truckers to wait in long lines at the Port of New York and New Jersey’s largest container terminal.
Maher warned customers to prepare for additional delays. The company said extremely heavy volume at its gates would force temporary closings of the terminal’s entrance “as necessary if volumes exceed our capacity to ensure the safety of all employees and visitors to the terminal.”
Truckers’ patience is wearing thin. They’ve been complaining all week about intermittent gate closings and long lines that have stretched onto roads outside the terminal.
“It’s been a week of hell,” said Jeff Bader, president of Golden Carriers and of the Association of Bi-State Motor Carriers. “The terminal is totally messed up. It’s taking six, eight, 12 hours to make a container move.”
Maher’s difficulties stem from a glitch in a new Navis terminal operating system that replaced in-house technology the company had been using for years.
After a scheduled closing last Friday to prepare for the cutover to the new system, Maher was forced to halt export deliveries Monday and has experienced intermittent shutdowns since then.
Maher has extended free time and waived demurrage through Sunday. It also will open its terminal for import deliveries and its empty-container depot on Saturday.
Container drayage companies say those measures haven’t offset truckers’ operating losses.
Bader said motor carriers are fielding complaints from shippers and consignees who don’t realize the extent of the delays.
He said the Bi-State association recommended on Tuesday that Maher divert ships to other port terminals until congestion can be eased. He said that even if the computer problems can be worked out quickly, the backlog could take the rest of the month to clear.
Update: Maher has advised its customers that it will close its terminal at 7 p.m. today. Its Saturday processing will be for import cargo only.