Georgia and Virginia port authorities have received an approval from the Federal Maritime Commission (FMC) to start discussions on their East Coast Gateway Terminal Agreement.
GPA and VPA will now begin discussing ways the two ports can share information in certain operational areas to position themselves as the US East Coast’s leading gateways for containerized cargo.
A joint application to proceed with development of the East Coast Gateway Terminal Agreement was filed by the ports on February 24, setting into motion a 45-day review period, including a 12-day public comment period, by the Federal Maritime Commission (FMC).
The approved agreement encourages the exchange of information and best practices in five areas of operational and supply chain efficiencies, safety, communications and customer service.
The agreement does not cover discussions regarding purchase or lease prices for containers or chassis, and prohibits the ports from entering into agreements on rates, charges, terms or conditions on containers or chassis without filing an agreement with the FMC. Additionally, joint discussions that lead to an agreement under the Shipping Act must be filed with the FMC.
“Our industry is changing rapidly and as a result increased collaboration between ports is necessary to provide the service excellence our customers expect and deserve,” Griff Lynch, GPA’s executive director, said.
“We are making significant investments at our respective ports to handle the larger vessels and cargo volumes coming to the East Coast. Now we will begin discussing about how to best leverage these assets, collectively and position Georgia and Virginia as the East Coast’s primary cargo gateways,” John Reinhart, VPA CEO and Executive Director, said.