Surprise inspections of trucks by Jersey City police stalled traffic at Global Terminal for a second consecutive day Tuesday, bringing complaints from the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey and terminal management.
The inspections caused trucks to back up into the Bayonne, N.J., terminal. Cargo was delayed as drayage drivers waited in long lines. The congestion slowed terminal operations, including the transfer of containers from ships.
Jersey City officials said they planned to file a $400 million lawsuit against the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey over taxes the city claims it is due.
However, a police spokesman insisted the truck inspections were random safety checks and were not aimed at Global, a port authority tenant in Bayonne, N.J., on that city’s boundary with Jersey City.
“These are all about safety,” police Sgt. Pat McCarthy said. “We’re concerned with the safety of vehicles on our city streets. This is something we do this every year all over the city.”
Port authority and terminal officials said the police inspections created a safety hazard. Global handles about 2,300 gate moves a day.
“When trucks are jammed in like that, drivers become impatient and try to cut into line or out of line, or make turns that they shouldn’t make. That’s when accidents happen. That’s when people get hurt or killed,” Global CEO Jim Devine said.
The port authority said it was concerned about the impact on safety and on port operations and longshoremen’s jobs.
“We are extremely concerned about the impact of this week’s police action at the Global Terminal on public safety for truckers, port workers and the public who travel near the terminal due to gridlock that occurred the past two mornings,” the port authority said a statement.
“We are equally concerned about the impact on port operations and the thousands of ILA jobs that depend on a smooth operating port facility,” the port authority said.
The unannounced police inspections began Monday and resumed Tuesday before they were halted mid-morning. McCarthy said he could not say whether the inspections would continue outside Global.