Traffic Jams Clog Roads Leading Into New Jersey’s Busy Shipping Ports

Inadequate access roads, not enough dock workers among factors blamed for long lines of trucks

Rafael Alvarez, a driver for National Container Freight in New Jersey, sits in a mile-long line of trucks waiting to pick up containers at Port Newark.
So you think traffic’s really bad at rush hour on the New Jersey Turnpike? Try driving a truck to Port Newark or Port Elizabeth to pick up one of the thousands of shipping containers piled high at the two busy transport hubs. Drivers often find themselves waiting for hours in mile-long, slowly moving lines of traffic.

What’s the problem? Some say there aren’t enough longshoremen to help move the freight. Others note that the limited number of access roads heading into the ports – a problem compounded by the fact that the ports are hemmed in by the NJ Turnpike and Newark Liberty Airport, making major construction of more road problematic.

Some solutions may be in the offing, including installation of a more modern and efficient system for tracking containers. And, according to the New York Shipping Association, more than 650 new longshoremen have been hired since February in the Port of New York and New Jersey.

Read and listen to the full report by public radio’s “Marketplace.”