Erik Holck feels fortunate in a way.
When the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey reopens its ports Wednesday morning beginning at 6 a.m., the director of business development for Cranbury-based Port Jersey Logistics said he knows the company did everything it could to be in the best position possible for the daylong snowstorm that shut down ports up and down the East Coast.
"The storm hasn't been as bad as we expected and we were prepared." Holck said Tuesday afternoon. "After we got word Monday morning that the ports would be closing, we were trying to get as much (out of containers and) into our warehouses and out of warehouses onto trucks that night."
That being said, Holck said Port Jersey Logistics knows it's not going to be an easy day — or even an easy rest of the week.
"It's going to be a mad scramble to make up for a lost day of activity," he said. "Historically, it takes a week to catch up from a significant snowstorm that closes port operations and limits over-the-road truck activity."
Storms may be a welcome relief for school kids — and a respite for many in the workplace. But when it comes to an industry such as shipping and transportation, it's a big blow in revenue.
Ships are given limited time to get their product on land after clearing customs. And with more ships scheduled to arrive on a regular basis, you can't just push efforts back a day.
"There are so many people impacted by this," Holck said.
Holck said getting less snow than expected will help the cause, but not that much.
"The port operations will have snow piled up at the terminals and a terminal is only good as its available space," he said. "And while there was not as much snow as we were expecting in, there was more ice, which can still cause the same challenges and prevents a lot of things from happening."
Port Jersey Logistics has nearly 200 employees, more than 150 of which work in warehouse operations, whose efforts have a big impact on the New Jersey economy.
"We operate warehouses primarily in the 8A market," Holck said of the warehouses just off the New Jersey Turnpike. "Seventy percent of the inbounds we receive are containers bound for this market, moving through the New York and New Jersey port operations."
Holck describes Port Jersey Logistics as a mid-sized third party logistics provider. It can also be called a multimillion-dollar business, one that will spend Wednesday trying to catch up.
"There's going to be a backup," Holck said. "Most operators have a set workload for rest of the week and this will cause a lot of people to work significant overtime to get caught up as quickly as possible. That's an added expense and today was a non-revenue generating day."