Maher reinstates Saturday hours
Truckers spoke and Maher Terminals listened, as the Port of New York and New Jersey’s busiest container terminal has had a change of heart and decided it will remain open on Saturdays — at least for the next six weeks.
Maher said last week it was going to close its truck gate on Saturday because weekend traffic was declining and it was costing $1 million a year to remain open.
Sam Crane, senior vice president, said that after meeting with several draymen, the port decided to keep the terminal open on Saturday for the next six weeks, then evaluate whether usage has increased to the point where it makes sense to keep Saturday hours on a regular basis.
Crane explained that in recent months, use of the terminal has been light and declining. Only 76 trucks came to the terminal on one recent Saturday when the terminal was open from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., and 118 on another Saturday. That compares to 2,600 truck visits in a typical eight-hour period during the week and as many as 4,500 in a day, since Maher is normally open from 6 a.m.-10 p.m. on weekdays.
Crane said if usage picks up, the company would consider extending hours after Labor Day.
Crane also commented on a bill that was recently introduced into the New Jersey state legislature that would fine terminals if trucks are kept idling at gates for longer than a half-hour or if they turn trucks away because lines are too long.
While the bill might not apply to Maher, because there is an exemption for terminals with extended hours, he expressed concern that such a law might force some terminals to set up appointment systems rather than allowing truckers to pick up cargo when ever it is convenient for them.