Curto calls for NY port unity
Joseph Curto, president of the New York Shipping Association, called for unity among all players in the Port of New York and New Jersey, as he accepted the “Person of the Year” award from New York/New Jersey Foreign Freight Forwarders and Brokers Association Wednesday night.
“At a time when infrastructure investment and the subsequent job creation are synonymous with economic recovery, we as a region and as an industry are well positioned to take advantage of those opportunities,” he said.
“It is incumbent upon us to be certain that as we improve our infrastructure to support our port - that we also build into all that we do, the mechanisms to be absolutely certain we are a port that is highly productive, efficient and safe.”
Curto worked at Maher Terminals, the largest container cargo facility in the Port of New York and New Jersey, for 37 years and eventually became president before he joined NYSA in 2009.
NYSA promotes the port and advocates for maritime interests and negotiates with the International Longshoremen's Association. Curto said he expects negotiations with the ILA on a new contract to replace the agreement that expires on Sept. 30 to begin in late March.
Curto noted that "we are taking a strong look at how we stack up against our competition - because in part we are now preparing for the impending negotiations with the ILA for a new labor agreement - and I can tell you that today we are not as efficient, productive or even as safe as some of our competitors. We have a remarkable opportunity ahead of us and we must do everything we can as a community to be ready."
"We can’t afford to be divided as a community - we can’t fight each other or raise petty issues that could create friction amongst ourselves. We cannot become our own worst enemies," he added. — Chris Dupin