Rep. Payne, Jr. Praises Port Authority for Work to Limit Cargo Unloading Delays

October 12, 2021
Press Release

Rep. Payne, Jr. speaks about shipping delays at Port Newark

Media Contact:  Patrick Wright   --  Patrick.Wright@mail.house.gov

Washington, D.C. — Rep. Donald M. Payne, Jr. praised the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey today for its work to limit the cargo delays that have caused severe problems on the West Coast.  Rep. Payne, Jr. and Rep. Josh Gottheimer held a press conference this afternoon to discuss shipping-related issues at New Jersey ports due to the COVID-19 global pandemic.  Thanks to Port Authority officials, the backlog at Port Newark is four vessels at anchor and an average wait of more than one day compared to 60 vessels and four days for ports on the West Coast, such as Long Beach, CA.      

“I think that today’s meeting was a very good start to deal with the issues of unloading cargo at the port,” said Rep. Donald M. Payne, Jr.  “We are doing everything we can to minimize these issues as we approach the holiday season.  The situation at Newark is not nearly as large as the problems faced on the West Coast and that is due to the great work of Port Authority workers.  But I am outraged to hear that the cost to move a shipping container has risen from $1,000 before the pandemic to more than $22,000 today.  We will not tolerate any arbitrary price increases that are not directly related to legitimate market forces.”

The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey has been handling record volumes of cargo because of higher consumer demand and companies increasing product shipments in case COVID-19 variants cause a shut down in global production.  In 2020, the Port Authority moved a record 7.6 million shipping containers and projects to move a record-breaking 8.5 million containers in 2021.  It serves 28 million consumers in the New Jersey area and another 106 million throughout the Northeast, Midwest, and Eastern Canada.      

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