Murphy: Partnerships have helped Port Newark avoid supply-chain issues

Gov. Phil Murphy started the event at Port Newark with a startling statistic.

According to a recent report from the global logistics firm Shifl, ships leaving China can get to the Port of New York and New Jersey 25% faster than they can reach a port on the West Coast, due to a backlog of ships and processing.

“Think about that,” he said. “It’s anything but a direct line from China to New Jersey. And yet, a ship leaving China today can save itself nearly two weeks’ total time by logging thousands of additional miles and coming here, rather than making a beeline across the Pacific.”

Murphy said he came to Port Newark to bring attention to the efforts. After all, he said, the ports here have not been getting the screen time of those on the West Coast.

“Over the past weeks, our television screens have relayed story after story of supply chain and logistical breakdowns,” he said. “We’ve been shown monthslong backups of cargo ships, of cargo off-port. We’ve been warned of impending shortages of any number of products — and that includes products that are due for our kids.

“But, take a look around.  Those stories and those images have all come from ports on our Pacific Coast. Here at Port Newark and Elizabeth, especially, you’re not going to find those images.”

Through the state’s partnership with the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, organized labor partners at the port, and private-sector partners including terminal operators, New Jersey’s ports are busier and more appealing to the international logistics and freight industry than ever before, Murphy said.

Port activities support approximately 500,000 jobs in New Jersey and in New York and serve more than 134 million people regionally, the state said.

Actions taken by the state, PANYNJ and its partners include:

  • The PANYNJ’s harbor-deepening efforts, in conjunction with the raising of the Bayonne Bridge, enables larger cargo ships to call on the Port of New York and New Jersey;
  • 24/7 vessel operations, maximizing container velocity through the port;
  • Extending gate hours of operations at marine terminals;
  • Expanding the ExpressRail Intermodal Rail System;
  • The Motor Vehicle Commission’s concierge service for large fleets, expediting Commercial Driver’s Licenses and allowing New Jersey trucking companies to stay staffed;
  • The Route 7/Wittpenn Bridge Replacement, which opened in October, strengthening commercial access to the Port and to New York City.

Future projects include:

  • The New Jersey Turnpike Authority’s Newark-Bay Hudson County Extension roadway widening and reconstruction project, allowing for greater capacity of commercial and passenger traffic;
  • The 2022 revisitation of the State Freight Rail Plan, in which New Jersey will make the movement of goods to and from the ports a key focal point.