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July 07, 2014

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WHAT DOES THE Port Authority of New York and New Jersey need to do to pre- pare for the rising cargo volume and larger ships expected to come with the raising of the Bayonne Bridge and expanded Panama Canal? Well, a lot. A task force seeking ways to improve New York-New Jersey's port performance has issued 23 recommendations covering chassis, trucking, communications, perfor- mance indicators and more. "Now the hard work begins," said John Nardi, president of the New York Shipping Association and vice chairman of the port performance task force. Winning adoption of the report's rec- ommendations will require change and compromise by multiple parties, said Nardi and the task force's chairman, Rick Larrabee, the port authority's top seaport executive. "Eventually, it may cost people some money to save money," Nardi said. "It's always difficult in today's environment to get people to pay for things when returns throughout the industry are so poor." "I think there's a basic understanding that we have to do things differently than we have in the past," Larrabee said. The New York-New Jersey initiative is the most comprehensive of several recent efforts by ports to address productivity issues. Virginia launched a similar industry task force in response to delays at Hampton Roads terminals last winter. Port Metro Vancouver in British Columbia also has con- ducted a portwide efficiency review. The New York-New Jersey recommen- dations are the product of 3,000 hours of meetings over nearly six months by the task force and five working groups that focused on terminals, drayage, intermodal equip- ment, rail and communications. The task force was a nnounced in December in response to last summer's gridlock at port terminals. Nearly 100 people representing 60 companies and orga- nizations participated in the group and its committees. The recommendations will be discussed at an open forum on July 15 in Newark, New Jersey. Task force recommendations were divided into three levels of priority. Atop the list were improved chassis manage - ment, notice of truck arrivals at terminals, improved information sharing, coordination of terminal gate hours and use of radio- frequency identification technolog y to accurately measure truck turnaround times. Ensuring adequate supply of chassis was perhaps the most complicated issue the task force faced. Most container lines have dis- engaged from chassis ownership, leaving New York-New Jersey dominated by three independent neutral pools in addition to trucker-owned chassis and independent fleets. Truckers and terminals often struggle to obtain enough usable chassis. After sometimes-heated discussion, the task force's chassis working group recom- mended creation of a "subject matter expert panel" to recommend future steps, possibly with a consultant's cost-benefit analysis. The task force identified interoperability of chassis and coordination of bookings among facilities as keys to improved efficiency. Another controversial issue was a truck appointment system to spread peak demand and make pickups and deliveries more pre- dictable. The task force stopped short of recommending an appointment system, which truckers oppose, but called for a "truck management system," beginning with an automated system to allow truckers to advise terminals of their planned arrivals. Truckers pushed for the recommendation that terminals use RFID to measure drayage drivers' total queue times, instead of only from in-gate to out-gate. The task force said additional readers outside gates might be needed, but that costs would have to be worked out with the RFID systems' private owners. INTERNATIONAL MARITIME IMPORTING | EXPORTING | PORTS | CARRIERS | BREAKBULK | GLOBAL LOGISTICS 42 THE JOURNAL OF COMMERCE JULY 7.2014 By Joseph Bonney NY-NJ'S TO-DO LIST Task force issues numerous recommendations to improve the port's productivity

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