The Georgia Ports Authority and the Virginia Port Authority filed on Friday, Feb. 24, 2017, with the Federal Maritime Commission (FMC) to create the “East Coast Gateway Terminal Agreement.”
The agreement encourages voluntary cooperation in the areas of operational and supply chain efficiencies, safety, communications and customer service.
“The U.S. East Coast continues to see larger vessels and cargo exchanges since the opening of the expanded Panama Canal last year,” VPA CEO and Executive Director John Reinhart and GPA Executive Director Griff Lynch said in a joint statement. “Increasingly, our customers are seeking gateway ports on the East Coast that can leverage sufficient landside infrastructure to ensure the free flow of cargo. The states of Georgia and Virginia have made the necessary investments to prepare for this new era in global trade. The East Coast Gateway Terminal Agreement is an innovative collaboration that will allow us to find new ways to become more efficient and effective.”
The agreement will enable the member ports to work together to find ways to become more efficient and effective, which will benefit the citizens of their respective states, as well as shippers and the carriers.
Additional areas of cooperation between the GPA and VPA include acquisition and utilization of joint marketing materials and sharing best practices in areas such as terminal operating systems, training, cargo handling, access, turn-times and infrastructure, as well as supporting the promotion of all-water routes from the U.S. East Coast to the international marketplace via the Panama Canal.
Georgia and Virginia are not the first terminal operators to file with the FMC to share information. In December 2016, APM Terminals, DP World, Hutchinson Port Holdings, PSA International, Shanghai International Port (Group) Co., and the Port of Rotterdam Authority filed the “Global Ports Group Agreement” with the Federal Maritime Commission to promote the efficiency and effectiveness of the container port industry.