SHIPPING: Ebb Tide in New York

Since the days of the three-masters, merchant seamen the world over have regarded New York harbor as by far the U.S.'s premier port of call. Now the tide is changing. Chronic labor strife, rampant pilferage and the rising cost of doing business are forcing many shippers to steer around the Port of New York, which is an 833-mile labyrinth of piers stretching from northern New Jersey to western Long Island. Less than 13% of the nation's ocean-borne foreign trade passes through the port, a drop of more than 50% in the past...