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Dye Covid-19 Supply Chain Investigation Shifts Focus to NY/NJ in Phase Two

Commissioner Rebecca Dye’s Fact Finding investigation of COVID-19 related impacts to the supply chain (Fact Finding 29) is entering Phase Two with a concentration on issues related to operations at the Port Authority of New York & New Jersey (PANYNJ) and surrounding facilities. She is also announcing plans for an online seminar addressing key topics of interest to the industry.

Three teams consisting of truckers, terminal operators, shippers, intermediaries, and other parties critical to the movement of intermodal ocean cargoes through the PANYNJ facilities will support Phase Two of the investigation. These teams will study what operational adjustments will prepare the bi-state port complex for dealing with increasing cargo volumes in the future. Successes will be captured and analyzed for their applicability at other ports. Additionally, as in Phase One in Southern California, Phase Two Supply Chain Innovation Teams are tasked with identifying any operational challenges to efficient port and supply chain operations and then proposing an industry-driven solution for improving matters.

“I heard from many parties that Fact Finding 29 should take a regional approach in its examination of COVID-19 related impacts to the supply chain. Given its prominence as an East Coast gateway, the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey is the logical focus for Phase Two of my investigation. As with Los Angeles, we will be examining how the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey is both adjusting operations in response to the pandemic and laying the groundwork for handling higher cargo volumes in the future,” said Commissioner Dye.

As part of Fact Finding 29, Commissioner Dye will hold an online seminar where she will provide a briefing on service contracts and related vessel capacity and cargo forecasting issues. Details regarding the specifics of the event will be announced at a later date.

Concurrently, Commissioner Dye continues to engage key industry leaders in Southern California about progress they have made in implementing four approaches that can immediately address critical operational issues at the Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach. These objectives were identified by Supply Chain Innovation Teams created for Phase One of Fact Finding 29.

“A key to improving supply chain efficiencies is overcoming the lack of ‘ownership’ for the most serious operational issues. Everyone wants to see meaningful operational changes at our Southern California port gateway, but solutions will require serious engagement between ocean carriers and marine terminal operators. Toward that goal, we have directly involved the most senior U.S.-based executives of ocean carriers belonging to the three alliances and expressed the expectation they work with their terminal partners on the four issues identified by the Phase One Innovation Teams. In particular, priority will be given to allowing truckers to return empty containers to the terminal where they picked up the loaded container. We will continue supporting the progress to improve preparations for increased future volumes and will have continued conversations with the carrier CEOs and marine terminal operators in this regard,” said Commissioner Dye.

A later phase of Fact Finding 29 will focus on the Port of New Orleans.