NY-NJ Port Unlikely to Reopen Before Weekend

NY-NJ Port Unlikely to Reopen Before Weekend

The Port of New York and New Jersey is likely to remain closed to vessel operations until at least Saturday when surveys of vessel channels are completed and marine terminals can clean up some of the extensive damage caused by the storm surge that Hurricane Sandy brought on Monday night.

Incoming vessels that were scheduled to call at the port are either waiting for the East Coast’s largest port to reopen or are being diverted to other ports.

Shippers with inbound cargo were having trouble getting information on their containers.  “We won’t find out until next week if there are carriers that say, ‘We’re not hanging around New York,’ ” said Geoffrey Giovanetti, managing director of the Wine and Spirits Shippers Association.

The Philadelphia Regional Port Authority said it was getting questions from shippers. “Our terminal operators want to be of temporary assistance to lines that can’t get into those ports for now,” PRPA  spokesman Joe Menta said. Terminals in the Port of Philadelphia reopened on Wednesday morning after their surveys showed little damage.

The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey said all the terminals in the harbor sustained damage to varying degrees.  They are in the process of assessing damage to cargo and equipment on terminal.

Power has not yet been restored at the terminals. Once it is restored, the terminals can assess the operating capabilities of their equipment. The port authority said this weekend would be the earliest time power would be restored.

On Thursday, NOAA and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers were in the process of surveying channels to ascertain any underwater obstructions. 

The U.S. Coast Guard is restricting access to the port’s channels until the surveys and any remediation actions are completed.  The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey said it anticipated that the surveys will be completed by this weekend.

The port authority is in the process of surveying berths for any underwater obstructions caused by Hurricane Sandy.  It said it expected that the surveys will be completed this weekend.

Customs and Border Protection is assessing functionality of portable equipment presently on terminal and will test once electricity is restored.  Customs exams stations are currently reviewing their operational status.

ExpressRail service to and from the port remains suspended, the port authority said. The railroads are in process of assessing any damage to their lines in the area impacted by Hurricane Sandy.

Contact Peter T. Leach at pleach@joc.com and follow him at twitter.com/petertleach.