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Apr.3, 2017

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10 THE JOURNAL OF COMMERCE APRIL 3.2017 COVER STORY N EW YORK MAY be the cit y that never sleeps, but the four main terminals at its namesake port, the Port of New York and New Jersey, are closed by 7 p.m. That's raising questions about whether gate hours will need to be extended to handle the increasing surge of imports brought by mega-ships, and whether the industry is ready to make that adjustment. Evening or round-the-clock schedules are available at other ports, most notably in Los Angeles and Long Beach, but also Oak- land, and Seattle and Tacoma, with Houston planning to extend gate hours next year. But past initiatives to offer additional hours in New York-New Jersey, the East Coast's larg- est port, haven't lasted. Some port users believe the loom- ing prospect of larger ships will force the nation's third-largest port to adapt. "I think we have no choice," said Anthony Berritto, CEO of Newark, New Jersey-based truck- ing company SalSon Logistics, adding that he hopes for some increase in the port's gate times for this year's peak season. "I think it's the right thing to do. It's the only way you are going to reduce the dwell time at some of these terminals, and reduce the congestion." The question has emerged as new carrier alliances launch on April 1, and, most signifi cantly, a project to raise the Bayonne Bridge's clearance is completed late this year. Those developments are expected to help attract larger ships to New York- New Jersey. The bridge's current 151-foot clearance prevents container ships capable of carrying more than 10,000 20-foot- equivalent units from getting to three of the four main port terminals. Depending on their design, even some 5,000-TEU ships can't fi t under the bridge. Bigger ships are expected to mean that greater volumes of cargo must be unloaded in a shorter time, placing added stress on terminals. Extending gate hours is one idea under discussion to relieve the pressure. What's clear is that it would take a con- certed effort throughout the supply chain to make it happen. Less obvious is whether the port can corral the multitude of players needed to make extended gates work, even if the demand is there. "It would require a sea change in the way the industry works in New York-New Jersey," said Beth Rooney, assistant director of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey's port division. She added, however, that she believes it can be done if necessary. Truckers, warehouse owners, and bene- fi cial cargo owners that have to deal with the port's slow turnaround times and sporadic bouts of congestion believe extended hours will help them more speedily get boxes in and out of the port. They say trucks arriv- ing and leaving in off-peak hours can avoid the road and highway congestion that comes with an urban port located just more than 10 With new alliances and bigger ships coming, pressure is building for terminals at the East Coast's largest port to extend their hours of operation LATE GATES FOR NY-NJ? By Hugh Morley

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