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Port of New York Congestion Causes Indigestion

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Shipping delays  at the Port of New York are now causing concern among shippers and retailers before the start of the pre-holiday peak shipping season. The National Retail Foundation (NRF) recently sent a letter to the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey and the New York Shipping Association expressing concern about the two month hold up.

The initial cause of the congestion was the integration of new software by Maher Terminals, which handles a third of the port's volume. Delays spread throughout the port as ships were diverted to other terminals, including Bayonne, NJ which itself is undergoing major construction. The Port of New York is the largest container shipping port on the U.S. East Coast.

Maher responded that service had now returned to acceptable levels during the past several weeks, albeit at reduced volume." Maher had scaled back some of its software installation to effect delays. Ironically, the delay was caused by software intended to improve port efficiency. Instead, the software sometimes closed down terminals, sometimes for hours at a time.

Some retailers may turn risk averse at the thought of empty shelves during the Holidays while the nation is undergoing a slow economic recovery.The congestion at the Port of New York has led some retailers to consider using other ports, such as Baltimore and Norfolk, VA.