FAPS, Inc., a prominent “Automotive Port Processing Company” and Port Newark’s longest tenant, has partnered with a major OEM Automaker, key Marine Vessel Operator, and leading Stevedoring Company (Ports America) to speed delivery of auto parts to assembly plants amid ongoing global supply chain issues. This collaboration shifts conveyance of auto parts traditionally shipped via container vessels to crates loaded on main decks of Ro-Ro vessels. This innovative approach aims to keep the supply chain fluid and the assembly plants humming as an adaptation to the current difficulties and delays with containerized cargo.
The process launched in Q1 2022 highlights the quick and creative way that tenants at the Port of New York and New Jersey have adapted to current supply chain disruptions. This is but one example of the spirit of collaboration and cooperation, led by the Port of New York and New Jersey’s global automotive supply chain partners, as has been a hallmark throughout the pandemic and semi-conductor shortage.
The new process uses Ro-Ro vessels to ship the crated parts to U.S.-based automotive manufacturing plants rather than delivering parts using traditional container ships. The collaborative effort begins when the Ro-Ro vessels arrive at Port Newark. Working in concert with ILA deep-sea labor from Ports America upon a vessel’s arrival, FAPS handles the receipt and warehousing of the auto parts and components before loading them on tractor trailers bound for assembly plants throughout the nation.
While this process serves as a workaround, avoiding the problems of container ships working at capacity, queuing at sea, containers dwelling on facilities, limits on empty containers, and related trucker shortages, it also has distinct advantages. According to a top Ro-Ro vessel operator, Ro-Ro vessels are the safest, fastest, and most cost-efficient way to transport breakbulk cargo across oceans.
Should the process which is already proven to be successful continue to be a needed solution to complete vehicle assembly on time, it has high potential to become an “all new business model” for automotive manufacturers, again led by the resolve of the partners in the Port of New York & New Jersey.