NEWARK, New Jersey (WABC) -- Governor Phil Murphy visited the Port of Newark Friday, joined by other state officials, to tout New Jersey's supply chain infrastructure and steps that have been taken to battle global supply chain issues.
The Port of Newark is on track this year to significantly outpace total cargo volume from 2020, which officials say ensures New Jersey plays its part in bolstering and alleviating the nation's supply chain issues.
"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," Murphy said. "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."
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.
The officials credited 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 in making New Jersey's ports busier and more appealing to the international logistics and freight industry than ever before.
Port activities support approximately 500,000 jobs in New Jersey and in New York and serve more than 134 million people regionally.
The officials touted the following actions to alleviate supply chain issues.
--The Port Authority'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 Drivers Licenses (CDLs) and allowing NJ 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 project includes the replacement of several bridges, including the heavily-used Newark Bay Bridge
--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
Also in attendance were Port Authority of New York and New Jersey Deputy Director of Port Department Bethann Rooney, Senator Joe Cryan, Port Newark Container Terminal CEO Jim Pelliccio, and International Longshoreman's Association Chief of Staff & Director of Public Relations Jim McNamara.
"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," O'Toole said. "The Port Authority's capital investments in regional infrastructure over the past decade - from the raising of the roadway of our Bayonne Bridge to serve the world's largest container vessels, to the dredging of the area's navigational channels to improve port operations - are paying off as the Port of New York and New Jersey has not missed a beat in keeping food, medical supplies and goods moving."
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