Maher Terminals said a fifth ship has been diverted to a nearby terminal as the Port of New York and New Jersey’s largest container facility struggles with congestion and delays for a second week.
Four ships that arrived between Friday and Sunday were diverted to other facilities — the Guangdong Bridge, APL Egypt and MOL Destiny to APM Terminals, and the Hanjin Kingston to New York Container Terminal in Staten Island, N.Y.
Maher said it will extend gate hours and waive free time and demurrage for another week because of delays resulting from glitches in a new Navis terminal operating system that went live last week.
The terminal had a scheduled closing Friday, June 7, for the cutover to the new system, but encountered problems when the system went fully live on June 10. Truckers say delays are starting to ease but remain severe.
The company said its main terminal and off-dock facilities would be open this week from 6 a.m. to 7 p.m. in an effort to clear the backlog, and that free time and demurrage would be waived through Friday, June 21. Free time and demurrage also were waived last week.
Drayage companies say those actions help but still leave them with unrecoverable losses that their low-margin business can’t easily absorb.
Dick Jones, executive director of the Association of Bi-State Motor Carriers, said truckers face additional costs for container storage, chassis rental and per diem pay, and that many drivers report difficulty in finding chassis.
Jones provided e-mail messages from several motor carriers who recounted their drivers’ experiences last week. Several said their drivers sat in line for hours as terminal gates were intermittently closed when lines grew too long.
Many drivers were shunted to the “trouble window” for resolution of discrepancies such as containers being unavailable. One driver shared cellphone photos showing dozens of his colleagues standing in line at the window with their trucks parked nearby.
Most port drivers are owner-operators who are paid by the trip and face additional loss of earnings if their waiting time makes them hit their hours-of-service limits.