Port Newark is a massive economic engine where millions of tons of cargo move in and out of the port every single year, however, right now that engine isn’t running so smoothly.
Loading trucks sometimes wait seven or eight hours just to load and offload containers which is costing businesses both time and money.
Edgar Rivera is a truck driver with Best Transportation Inc. He said that these delays are taking their toll not just on his employer, but drivers personal finances as well.
“Every week my pay is getting smaller and smaller and that’s no good, I can’t pay my bills,” he explained.
So what’s the hold up? Trucking officials and company owners say that it’s not due to a lack of business, truckers or trucks, but the ports just don’t have enough people to move the cargo in and out quickly enough.
Best Transportation Inc. Owner Tom Heimgartner fears for his business if something isn’t done about the delays soon.
“I’m worried we’re going to lose customers who may relocate to other regions to get their cargo through other ports more efficiently and I’m worried about our ability to stay in business quite frankly if we continue to hemorrhage money like this,” he explained.
Even though Port Newark is the principal shipping facility in the New York City area and billions of dollars flow in and out of it annually, the port is only open eight hours a day.
The federally mandated Waterfront Commission was established in 1953 to help stamp out corruption in the Longshoreman’s Union, but now it seems like they are just delaying the process of new hires that would help speed up the pace at the port.
Dick Jones with the Association of Bi-State Motor carriers expressed his concerns.
“I understand there are prescreened 600 applicants that are ready to be hired and the Waterfront Commission has only approved 125 out of the 600 and those 125 have not been hired yet,” he explained.
In its defense however, the Waterfront Commission says that the Longshoreman’s Union isn’t pushing any veterans to be hired like they are supposed to and they are also not trying to hire any minorities. They also mentioned a long list of measures that they are taking to try and get the union to make new hires within an agreed upon set of rules.
So now only time with tell if the pace at the port actually picks up.Watch Chasing New Jersey weeknights at 10pm on My9 and don’t forget to like us on Facebook!