James J. Devine, president and chief executive officer of GCT USA, the U.S. arm of Vancouver, British Columbia-headquartered Global Container Terminals Inc., will retire at the end of this month.
"Jim is an exceptional leader who has capably navigated the company through challenging market conditions. GCT's success is a testament to his tireless work and vision," said Stephen Edwards, the president and CEO of Global. "We are grateful for innumerable contributions."
Edwards said that in the coming years, Devine will serve as a senior advisor to continue supporting the strategic growth of GCT USA.
John Atkins will to succeed Devine as president of GCT USA, effective July 1. Atkins is currently the chief operating officer for GCT USA, and he has held successively senior positions since joining the company in 2002.
GCT USA operates two terminals in the Port of New York and New Jersey — the Global Terminal in Bayonne and Jersey City in New Jersey and New York Container Terminal on Staten Island — and the parent company also owns two terminals in Vancouver.
Devine has worked for GCT for 13 years and is widely credited with revitalizing its U.S. operations. He has been recognized numerous times by the industry, honored with more than 25 awards for leadership and service including the Maritime Good Scout Award, the Malcolm McLean Memorial Award, and the Connie Award. In 2009, Devine was recognized for distinguished service by a Proclamation from the City of New York. In 2010, Devine was inducted into the International Maritime Hall of Fame.
He joined the company in October 2001 when it was owned by the shipping company OOCL. It was sold in 2007 to the Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan.
New York Container Terminal was originally built in the 1970s and was used by U.S. Lines for many years.
While smaller than other container terminals in Newark and Elizabeth, N.J., and handicapped because trucks must pay a toll crossing from New Jersey onto Staten Island, Devine said the terminal has grown its volumes because of the superior performance of its workforce and excellent road links to the New Jersey Turnpike and other highways.
NYCT is located in the shadow of the Goethals Bridge that spans the Arthur Kill, the waterway that separates Staten Island from New Jersey. Last year, a program was put in place to reduce the cost of tolls for trucks moving to and from NYCT, and last month construction began on a bridge to replace the aging Goethals Bridge.
The terminal also benefited from the start-up of "Expressrail" intermodal rail service by the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey and the agency's acquisition of the former Proctor & Gamble “Port Ivory” property which has given the terminal potential to add a fourth berth. Another adjacent piece of property, a former GATX tank farm, is being developed by UTEX Environmental Services and could eventually become a warehouse and distribution center.
Meanwhile, in Bayonne and Jersey City, GCT’s Global Terminal will start up this month of an expanded section that will be one of the most sophisticated container terminals in the country, featuring semi-automated, rail-mounted gantry cranes (RMGs), large new postpanamax cranes, specialized shuttle carriers, and a new automated gate.
“I’ve been wanting to work with RMGs for over 15 years,” said Devine, who noted that he has worked at terminals using a wider variety of equipment — from terminals where containers were mounted on chassis, used top-loaders, rubber tire gantries, and straddle-carriers.
“I was always convinced, there was a better, safer way to do it,” he said. “Safety has always been very paramount in my mind, and what we have done with the help of a lot of other people is put together a really first class operation.”