While the nation struggles with a background of supply chain snags and slowed deliveries, Gov. Phil Murphy promoted New Jersey’s supply chain infrastructure and its performance to-date.
“In working with our partners at the Port Authority, organized labor, and the private sector, New Jersey has avoided the supply chain and logistical breakdowns that much of our country has faced,” said Gov. Murphy.
Speaking at the Port of Newark on Dec. 17, the governor highlighted steps the state, the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey (PANYNJ), and other key stakeholders took to address the globally supply chain issues.
Faster from China
Murphy noted that according to the global logistics firm Shifl, it is now 25% faster for ships from China to reach the Port of New York and New Jersey than ports on the West Coast, resulting in savings of thousands of miles and weeks of time.
“Through a combination of proactive infrastructure investment, collaboration in state government, and the help of key partners, the Port of New York and New Jersey is breaking cargo records and getting consumer and commercial products onto trucks and buses headed across America,” the governor said.
Cryan Lauds Work Done
State. Sen. Joe Cryan (D-20) stated New Jersey was fortunate that it was not experiencing the same issues other states were when it came to supply chains. It was not blind luck, he argued, that was happening.
Cryan lauded the hard work put in at every level of the effort, from construction workers to those putting together the plans to ensure a stable supply chain.
“In New Jersey, our economy relies on an effective supply chain; the supply chain relies on safe roads, bridges and ports, and the infrastructure relies on maintenance and upgrades. This is more important than ever as we work our way out of the economic challenges created by the coronavirus crisis,” he said.
Actions Undertaken by PANYNJ
PANYNJ took a variety of steps to improve the efficiency of the Port of New York and New Jersey in recent years, including projects which deepened the harbor and rose the Bayonne Bridge to enable larger cargo ships to dock at the port.
PANYNJ additionally extended gate hours of operation and instituted 24/7 vessel operations to maximize container velocity throughout the port.
“The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey is proud to be able to keep our seaport operations smooth and continuous throughout this global health pandemic while at the same time absorbing significant capacity stemming from an ongoing cargo surge that has resulted in more than a year of record-breaking volumes and unprecedented growth,” said Port Authority Chairman Kevin O’Toole.
Help from MVC
Additionally, PANYNJ partnered with the Motor Vehicle Commission’s concierge service for large fleets, saying it expedited Commercial Drivers Licenses (CDLs) across the state and allowed trucking companies to stay staffed.
“We are working collaboratively with our port partners and stakeholders at every link in the regional supply chain to ensure our port operations remain fluid as it has since before and during the pandemic, which is a testament to the hard-working men and women of the International Longshoremen’s Association and the truck drivers who have been on the front lines to keep commerce moving,” concluded O’Toole.
Two future projects are on tap to improve the supply chain in the Garden State even more. One is a widening and reconstruction project for the New Jersey Turnpike Authority’s Newark-Bay Hudson County Extension roadway and the is a revisitation of the State Freight Rail Plan, in which the movement of goods will be a focal point of conversations.
“The New Jersey Turnpike may well be the most critical link in both New Jersey’s and the region’s supply chain movement,” said New Jersey Department of Transportation Commissioner and Chair of the New Jersey Turnpike Authority Diane Gutierrez-Scaccetti. “Widening the last original section of Turnpike from Interchanges 1 – 4 will provide our commercial customers with greater capacity and efficiency as they get everything from holiday gifts to needed food and medical supplies to their destinations.”
“Couple this major improvement with the NJDOT 2022 Statewide Freight Plan, and increased Federal funding through the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, New Jersey will enhance supply chain resiliency by planning for projects that increase the use of alternate modes of freight transportation and further support the strength of New Jersey’s economic competitiveness.”