New York and New Jersey container terminals are still suffering as a result of labor shortages and congestion. It has been reported however that things are improving as there have not been the same amount of gridlock that has been seen in the past.
John Nardi is the president of the New York Shipping Association and he has said that this improvement has not happened by accident. He explained that a number of organizations had been working together to ensure that the there was a little disruption as possible throughout the holiday seasons. He accepted that there were a few problems from time to time, but it did appear as if things had got back to the way they should be during a summer season.
It has been reported that the problem comes about when there are large ships all arriving at the same time. It is the Global Terminal in Bayonne that has seen the worst of the problems and even here it is considered that the problems have been worse in the past and it could be that the issue is improving.
Last year it was blizzards that caused such disruption. The fact that a lot of the disruption was down to the labor shortage was not ignored and records show that there are new members of staff being employed even though there is still not resolution to the litigation that is underway.
Despite there being a 5 month recruitment delay last year, since February number have increased. Nardi continued by saying “the court case has not really slowed down the hiring, once….the hiring process continues to move forward.”
He is also happy that the rate in which new dock workers are being taken on means that they are able to get the training they need and accepts that it is in their interest to make sure it happens – they don’t want to be paying people who can’t work due to insufficient training.
It has not just been new personal that led to improvements. Holidays were restricted and existing staff were taught to work in different departments. It worked well for staff who were about to retire as some chose to work through the summer and into October providing they were paid more.
Nardi ended by saying that he was sure that the longshoremen will leave in October, but checkers could get an extension to their contracts