Terminal Executive Says NY-NJ ‘Not Ready’ for 2014

Terminal Executive Says NY-NJ ‘Not Ready’ for 2014

A marine terminal executive at the Port of New York and New Jersey questioned whether the port’s infrastructure will be ready to handle larger ships that may come to the port with the expansion of the Panama Canal.

“We’re not ready for it … I’m concerned we still have infrastructure issues,” said Jim Devine, president and CEO of GCT USA, which operates Global Terminals and New York Container Terminal.

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Devine spoke at the annual New York-New Jersey Port Industry Day in Bayonne, N.J. He was among several conference speakers who emphasized the need to improve productivity and address infrastructure bottlenecks at the port.

He said the port needs to address labor productivity, truck turnaround times, access roads, off-dock storage and other issues to meet rising competition from other ports.

“There are a number of ports that would take the volume out of this port and when they take out the volume, what do they take with it? They take the jobs,” Devine said.

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Bill Baroni, deputy executive director of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, noted that the port authority is nearing completion of a study of what to do about the Bayonne Bridge, whose vertical clearance is too low for the largest container ships.

The bistate port authority has committed $1 billion toward replacement or alteration of the bridge to allow clearance by taller ships. Baroni also cited port authority actions to expand the Global Terminals at Bayonne, to redevelop the nearby Greenville Yards as a container terminal and to acquire three parcels of land at the former Military Ocean Terminal at Bayonne.

-- Contact Joseph Bonney at jbonney@joc.com.