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November 4, 2014

Within the past 6-8 weeks all four of the Council on Port Performance (CPP) Implementation Teams met and began working on the 23 recommendations and associated deliverables that came out of the PPTF Final Report. These are all complex issues and as with anything worth doing - it takes time to get it right. The teams are working diligently to address the highest priorities, which are also some of the more challenging issues to tackle. Following is a breakdown of the groups and a quick overview of their work:

  • Equipment: John Nardi is serving as Chairman of the Equipment Implementation Team. The participants of this team are comprised of Leasing Companies, Terminal Operators, The Port Authority, Trucker Associations, Labor, Ocean Carriers, Shippers, and Labor Associations. The group has narrowed down the pool operating models to two options. Discussions are also under way concerning the pool manager options. The group is working together in a collaborative manner and expects to conclude these two major decisions by the end of the year.
  • Rail: The Rail Implementation Team (RIT) met recently and established guidelines for the group and is nominating a Chair and Vice Chair. The RIT discussed and prioritized the four recommendations from the PPTF Report that have been assigned to them. A group of SMEs (Subject Matter Experts) in the area of Block Stowage will be enlisted for the next meeting.
  • Gate Operations: This team's initial focus is on the development of a Port Community System; a "one-stop shopping" community website, where information on all the terminals will be available in a single website. The team will meet again on November 19 to develop the scope and functional requirements of the system.
  • Customer Care: After prioritizing the eight recommendations that are assigned to their team, the Customer Care Team, chaired by Lori Smith of Johnson & Johnson Sales and Logistics Company, LLC. , went to work creating a trucker guidebook for the port. The table of contents has been developed and SME's have been invited to join the next meeting with the goal of finalizing the document by first quarter 2015. Customer Care has also begun work on the Key Performance Indicators.

While we work to address these challenges in the Port of New York and New Jersey, there has been a great deal of attention focused on the causes of congestion, not only here, but nationwide and abroad. Recently the Federal Maritime Commission, in response to concerns voiced by some in the intermodal trucking community, commenced a series of regional public forums on the subject of port congestion. Council on Port Performance leadership and members participated in the discussion in Baltimore, Maryland last month. They spoke of the broad coalition of port stakeholders who produced the Port Performance Task Force report and of the formation of the Council on Port Performance to oversee implementation of the 23 recommendations. They spoke to the particular problems relating to chassis management and the troubles faced by the trucking community and the drivers as well as the day-to-day challenges on the terminals.

The FMC has limited jurisdiction, and there was the general recognition that the solutions were to be found in the individual ports and with maximum stakeholder involvement. There also seemed to be consensus that while there are many contributing factors to port congestion, chassis management and the difficulties in the trucking community were universal issues among US ports. So we are not alone with these issues being felt nationwide, but we are clearly ahead of the curve in addressing them.

Port Industry Day in the Port of New York and New Jersey was another forum where the CPP was a focal point. Held on Tuesday, October 7, 2014 at 4 World Trade Center, New York City, the day's agenda was focused on A Stronger Region...A Stronger Port. The speakers and presentations focused squarely on the issues of capacity, the Panama Canal, cargo handling, the environment, logistics, port congestion, and partnerships in Port Performance.

The CPP continues to work collaboratively for collective change and to stay ahead, identifying solutions sooner rather than later. Thank you for your continued interest and involvement. Keep up the good work!

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