‘Freight tsunami’ returned to New Jersey after pandemic shutdowns end

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Americans buying 30% more cargo overseas have helped create a logistical crisis at ports caused by labor shortages and shipping carrier practices that are compounding the problems.

Since the start of the pandemic, there has been a 30% increase in cargo volume entering the Port of New York-New Jersey, Lisa Yakominpresident of the Bi-State Motor Association CarriersTold The central square. The organization represents the trucking industry and industry-related companies that do business at the port.

“You would think, ‘Wow, that’s fantastic because that’s 30% more revenue and 30% more business in New Jersey,'” she said. “The problem is that it happened so quickly.”

At the start of the pandemic, several ship cancellations occurred because all overseas manufacturing ceased.

“Not only did it come back, but it was a tsunami of cargo that came back after the overseas lockdowns ended,” Yakomin said.

But the port did not have 30% more stevedores to unload ships or truckers to transport containers. And the equipment to move these containers has not increased by 30%, Yakomin said.

The biggest obstacles to hiring truckers are the harsh conditions at the port, she said. Previously, drivers could pick up a container, have it unloaded at the warehouse and drop it off at the same location, which is called a double move. Drivers could make three double trips a day, which was lucrative.

Now it takes four hours to drop off a container and another two hours to pick up a new container.

“It is all the more difficult to recruit new pilots because of the difficult conditions,” Yakomin said. “And it’s difficult to retain the drivers we have because of the difficult conditions.”

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