Cocoa ship stranded in Red Hook, Brooklyn
The “DS Freeway,” a 600-foot vessel loaded with 36 million pounds of cocoa, has been kept waiting at Pier 9 in Red Hook, Brooklyn, N.Y., for more than three days because of a dispute between the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey and American Stevedoring.
The port authority, which operates the Red Hook piers, has refused to rent an empty warehouse to American Stevedoring, which means there isn’t enough space dockside for the vessel’s cargo of Ivory Coast cocoa intended for use at chocolate factories in Pennsylvania.
As a result, the “DS Freeway” waits beside an empty terminal at a cost of $30,000 a day. The port authority said American Stevedoring had overbooked its smaller Red Hook site. “In the past, we’ve been willing to help them out, but we’re not willing to provide the additional space so that it can be mismanaged again,” said Steve Coleman, a spokesman for the Port Authority.
The port authority, which has evicted stevedores from two piers to create space for a cruise ship terminal and a waterfront development, said it will not renew American Stevedoring’s lease on five other Brooklyn piers next year.
American Stevedoring said the dispute at Pier 9 over the “DS Freeway” threatened to turn other vessels away from the port’s principal bulk commodity facility.
The cocoa on the vessel amounts to 10 percent of all West Africa cocoa coming into the United States during the current harvest season.