“For more than four decades the dockside workers from Delaware River Stevedores (DRS) have teamed with the South Jersey Port Corporation’s (SJPC) crews to deliver the reliable, drama-free, high-quality, efficient services that our mutual customers depend upon,” Andy Saporito, said the CEO of SJPC.
“We’ve had a very long and successful business at the South Jersey Port terminals because of our mutual goals and collaboration,” explained Robert W. Palaima, DRS’s president. “Our mutual success is built on the tonnage we move through the SJPC terminals, and the more cargo we handle, the more jobs with good salaries and benefits we create.”
It’s a successful partnership from the dock to the warehouse to the office. It’s built on mutual respect, shared experience, and almost indistinguishable except for logos on the hardhat. Everyone knows their task – as well as that of their partners – and they are always flexible to deal with the inevitable variables: weather, late arrivals, special-handling cargo.
It requires choreography of an always-changing, international, multi-lingual cast of dockside gangs, ship crews, truckers, and railroad crews. “Our crews are a Swiss Army Knife of adaptability to always-changing cargo,” says Palaima. “Whether it’s specialty steel or cattle, our expertise in special handling and our adaptability is key to our ‘trust’ formula.”
Tata Steel Europe invested its trust in the ability of the SJ Port / DRS partnership to handle their steel shipments to the American industrial heartland during the winter months. Initially, it started out small but as the SJ Port / DRS partnership exceeded expectations, the business relationship has grown exponentially – even beyond the ice season.
At South Jersey Port Corporation in Camden, DRS handles breakbulk steel from Northern Europe and Korea, cocoa beans from Ivory Coast, and plywood from Malaysia and Indonesia. Major customers include Clipper Steel Services, Tata Steel Europe, Thyssen Krupp Steel North America, ArcelorMittal, Western Bulk Carriers, Oldendorﬀ, Unicargo, SK Shipping Co., Ltd., PACC Line PTE, Ltd. and John Lawrie Tubulars.
DRS generates more than 650,000-man-hours per year in the tri-state area of the Philadelphia- Camden Port and is known for its ability to handle just about any type of cargo—from steel to cars to cocoa beans—even massive beer-making tanks from Germany to satisfy the demand for local breweries.
That all translates into jobs – good-paying, family-sustaining jobs – which is a key goal of the South Jersey Port Corporation.
“We are all hungry and we never forget how competitive our industry is,” added CEO Saporito. “We all recognize our jobs – from our administrative offices to the wharves to the security gates and the warehouses – depend on our customers – our current customers and future customers. We only succeed if they succeed.” “That’s the focus of our partnership,” Palaima emphasized. “Happy, successful customers and jobs!”