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November 25 2019

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10 The Journal of Commerce | November 25 2019 www.joc.com Cover Story WITH ONE IN eight vessels now arriving at the Port of New York and New Jer- sey greater than 10,000 TEU, and an average cargo discharge that is 20 per- cent higher this year than last, the pressure on port resources is rising. Armed with a master plan that predicts a doubling of cargo volume over the next 30 years, a new — and more aggressive — leadership team at the second-largest cargo gateway in the United States says it will demand high performance from its partners in the port as it competes for a larger share of East Coast cargo, especially rail-bound discretionary cargo to and from the Midwest. Sam Ruda, who was appointed ports director for the Port Author - ity of New York and New Jersey (PANYNJ) in April, told The Journal of Commerce he is satisfied with the port's performance but isn't content to let the authority sit on its laurels, and that means stepping in when congestion strikes to help terminals relieve the pressure. "I like where we are right now," he said. "But you never stop planning. I take nothing for granted. I don't think our terminal operators do. We're always looking at the next thing, effi - ciencies and improvements." According to port authority offi- cials — which in addition to Ruda include a new deputy port director and a relatively new executive director — and port users, the port's chassis delivery system, long a cause of concern for stakeholders, now is operating relatively smoothly. Outside of a few isolated incidents, truck congestion generally hasn't been excessive, and rail dwell times are lower than in the past. The most visible problem is an excess of empty containers — due to the imbalance of imports over exports — that clog port container yards and force truckers to NY–NJ faces big-ship era with new and active leadership Hugh R. Morley Setting course

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