Wednesday, December 4, 2013

So Sue Me

Truckers prepare legal action against NY-NJ container terminal delay charges.

The carriers who make up the New Jersey Motor Truck Association say they’ve waited long enough. At the Port of New York and New Jersey, their drivers are routinely kept waiting for hours outside terminal gates – but the terminals only count the time once the rigs enter the terminals’ yards.

Terminal tariffs require detention payments to truckers whose turn time exceeds a certain period, generally two hours, but the RFID readers at the gates have long ignored the time it takes drivers to reach those gates.

“I think we have to send a message. We’ve had enough meetings. We can’t keep doing what we’re doing,” said Tom Adamski, chairman of the NJMTA intermodal council. The association is considering both a lawsuit and a complaint with the Federal Maritime Commission, reported the Journal of Commerce.

A combination of labor shortages, terminal construction and the glitchy deployment of a new operating system this summer delayed operations to the point where shippers were diverting ships to other ports. That situation has eased, but delays still remain and are often unpredictable. The carriers say many owner-operators are refusing assignments that involve serving marine terminals.

According to Chuck Connors, president of H&M International Transportation, truckers are less interested in detention payments than in speeding up turnaround times at the ports, pressuring terminals to “get the trucks in and out, and to keep the drivers in the business.” 

Kirk Shearer
1-800-989-0054 x103

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