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Ports & Transportation

Feb. 27 - Port Authorities of Georgia and Virginia file an East Coast Gateway Terminal Agreement

Savannah Business Journal Staff Report

February 27, 2017 – On Friday, Feb. 24, the Georgia Ports Authority and the Virginia Port filed 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, according to the port organizations.

“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.

The Virginia Port Authority (VPA) is a political subdivision of the Commonwealth of Virginia, and  owns and through its private operating subsidiary, Virginia International Terminals, LLC (VIT), operates four general cargo facilities Norfolk International Terminals, Portsmouth Marine Terminal, Newport News Marine Terminal and the Virginia Inland Port in Warren County.

The VPA leases Virginia International Gateway and Richmond Marine Terminal.

In fiscal year 2013, The Port of Virginia provided more than 374,000 jobs and generated $60.3 billion in total economic impact throughout the Commonwealth.

Georgia's deepwater ports and inland barge terminals support more than 369,000 jobs throughout the state annually and contribute $20.4 billion in income, $84.1 billion in revenue and $2.3 billion in state and local taxes to Georgia's economy. The Port of Savannah handled 8.2 percent of the U.S. containerized cargo volume and 10.3 percent of all U.S. containerized exports in CY2015.

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