Winter Weather Plan

Winter Weather Plan header image

The Port of New York and New Jersey is Prepared for the
Winter 2018-2019

The Port Authority of NY & NJ and our terminal operators have taken appropriate measures to help minimize the potential impact of any adverse weather events this winter. As in past years, the Port Authority will continue to host planning conferences in advance of each predicted heavy weather event. The terminal operators, trucking associations, labor, equipment providers and US Customs and Border Protection will all work together to develop a unified plan to address any weather related closings and to plan recovery efforts. As always, any changes in hours of operations (i.e. terminal closures, additional hours, etc.) will be communicated as early as possible via the PortNYNJAlerts system at

The following is a recap summary of actions that will be taken this winter:

Roadways & Terminals

The Port Authority will proactively pre-treat the roadways with salt brine in anticipation of a heavy snow event. This delays the buildup of snow and ice and allows plows to stay on top of any accumulation.

The Port Authority stands ready with staff and equipment for round the clock snow removal for the duration of a snow event. Over 500 tons of salt is on hand and dedicated for port application. Our maintenance fleet capability includes heavy trucks with salt spreaders and plows, pickup trucks with plows, plus assorted backhoes, pay loaders, bobcats and smaller snow clearing equipment. In the event of a major storm occurrence the Port Authority also has outside vendors contracted to assist in making the Port facilities accessible.

Terminal operators each have developed Winter Weather and Business Continuity plans to address yard clearing strategies and labor availability based on the weather conditions and changing operational demands as they develop.

Free Time & Per Diem

In the event that a joint decision is made for all container terminals to close for an entire regular weekday due to inclement weather:

The Terminal Operators will extend free time by 24 hours for all containers not already in demurrage.

OCEMA (Ocean Carrier Equipment Management Association) has recommended to its Ocean Carrier members to extend free time by 24 hours for all containers not already in demurrage.

Intermodal Equipment Providers will waive per diem charges for the day of the port closure for all chassis on daily or pool usage agreements provided the chassis have been out-gated from authorized Start location at least one business day prior to the day terminals are closed, and that they are returned to an authorized Stop Location within 24 hours of any of the terminals reopening. The above does not apply to chassis on term lease agreements.

Intermodal Rail Carriers

The rail carriers will continue to issue bulletins on their service level. You can sign up to receive service alerts on the individual railroad websites.

Customs and Border Protection (CBP)

CBP has a continuity of trade plan in place for weather related emergencies. The Port Office is available from 7:00 AM – 4:30 PM at 201-443-0250. In an emergency, the 24-hour supervisor can be reached at 201-443-0300.

Through February 2019, CBP and the CES operators will provide extended hours of service to accommodate the peak season associated with cold treated / perishable imports.

How Can You Help

Trucking companies, importers and exporters, NVOCC’s and other service providers are encouraged to:

  1. verify both chassis and container availability before dispatching a driver to the port;
  2. ensure that all charges have been paid and releases are in place;
  3. confirm export receiving and cut off times;
  4. utilize all available hours at the container terminals to conduct your transaction;
  5. make use of TIPS ( to help optimize your visit to the port, and;
  6. review the Truckers’ Resource Guide for procedures, Frequently Asked Questions and ways to avoid the Trouble Window.

Snow Removal on Trucks

Drivers should be reminded to remove all snow/ice accumulation from the tops of containers before coming to the port. It is against the law in many states including NJ (comparable law is pending in NY) to operate on a public road with snow/ice on your vehicle. Failure to do so could result in traffic stops and fines. You may also be denied entry to a terminal or delayed if the cargo handling equipment is unable to securely connect to the container.

Your compliance will increase efficiencies for everyone involved at the port, and the port community thanks you in advance for doing so.


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