Port authorities in Virginia and Georgia will be allowed to engage in discussions about a variety of commercial and operational topics as a result of the U.S. Federal Maritime Commission (FMC) voting to allow the "East Coast Port Gateway Terminal Agreement" to go into effect.
The Virginia Port Authority and the Georgia Ports Authority filed their agreement with the Commission on February 24, 2017. Their agreement becomes effective Monday, April 10.
Under the terms of the agreement, the port authorities will be able to discuss matters related to joint marketing; the acquisition, utilization, and best practices relating to operating systems and equipment; cargo handling practices and terminal operations; and optimizing service offerings to ocean carriers.
This agreement does not permit the two port authorities to jointly negotiate, set, and approve terminal rates or charges.
"The East Coast Gateway Terminal Agreement is the latest example of port authorities and MTOs looking to the Shipping Act and the Commission’s agreement authority as a way to improve service and operations which will ultimately benefit the American shipper and consumer," said Acting Chairman Michael Khouri. "The ocean transportation services sector is a dynamic and competitive business where the marketplace drives innovation. The port authorities in Virginia and Georgia are responding to a changing industry."