WASHINGTON — On Wednesday, June 16, Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) Deputy Administrator Meera Joshi visited the Port of New York & New Jersey to discuss ongoing supply chain disruptions after the COVID-19 pandemic and the need for infrastructure investments.
The visit is part of the Biden administration’s approach to addressing supply chain disruptions. On June 8, the administration launched the Supply Chain Disruptions Task Force to address near-term supply/demand mismatches.
“The pandemic has presented unprecedented economic challenges including supply chain disruption,” Joshi said. “It’s vitally important as a nation that we address these challenges using the tools at our disposal to minimize the impacts on workers, consumers, and businesses and bolster a strong economic recovery. Today’s visit is critical in learning directly from port leaders and motor carriers about how we can help alleviate supply chain challenges while ensuring our roadways, including the ports, remain safe for truck drivers and all road users.”
Joshi met with leaders from the Port Authority of New York & New Jersey, Maher Terminals, the New Jersey Motor Truck Association and the Association of Bi-State Motor Carriers to discuss prioritizing truck safety and current supply chain challenges including trucking capacity, the historical increase in cargo volume, road congestion and delays related to the return of empty containers, as well the generational investment the American Jobs Plan provides, $17 billion investments for ports.
“The Port Authority looks forward to working with FMCSA Deputy Administrator Meera Joshi on key issues facing our seaport, our maritime stakeholders, and the national logistics and distribution industry to ensure that the supply chain remains strong and fluid,” said Sam Ruda, port director of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey.
“Our seaport, which is the largest on the East Coast, is a critical part of the nation’s economic recovery as a major job creator and gateway of nearly all goods, supplies and commerce to the New York-New Jersey region as well as to the Northeast, parts of the Midwest and the mid-Atlantic states,” Ruda continued. “We share the Biden administration’s goals of improving the nation’s infrastructure whether by road, rail or sea.”
Lisa Yakomin, president of the Association of Bi-State Motor Carriers, noted that the intermodal trucking industry has unique concerns.
“(We) appreciated the opportunity to meet with Administrator Joshi and share information with her on issues of concern to the truckers who move freight at the largest port on the Eastern seaboard,” Yakomin said. “We look forward to continuing the dialogue with Administrator Joshi in order to tackle the unique challenges facing the intermodal trucking community at the Port of NY/NJ and working together to support supply chain efficiency and fluidity nationwide.”
The Department of Transportation, along with other agencies that are part of the task force, will be holding meetings with stakeholders this month to diagnose problems and surface solutions — large and small, public or private — in an attempt to help alleviate near-term transitory bottlenecks and supply constraints, according to a DOT statement.