An agreement allowing two marine terminal operators to seek cooperation and commonality in both business and operating matters will take effect in Miami Dec. 31. A Journal of Commerce article notes that this agreement is the first of its kind to be approved by the Federal Maritime Commission and that the South Florida Container Terminal and the Port of Miami Terminal Operating Company plan to use it to jointly negotiate, set, and approve terminal rates, charges, rules, and regulations.

Discussion and cooperation agreements among ocean carriers are common, but the number of such agreements among ports, MTOs, and others is increasing as ports seek to address a number of economic and operational challenges. In July 2015 the FMC approved an alliance between the ports of Seattle and Tacoma that among other things authorized the establishment of a port development authority focusing on unified business retention and recruitment, coordinated enhancement of the value of marine cargo properties, improved intermodal rail service, improved freight capacities, the general promotion of maritime economic development, and other related port business activity. In approving the Miami agreement FMC Chairman Mario Cordero said the two facilities at issue “are located in very close proximity to one another” and that allowing them to communicate on different topics “creates an opportunity to achieve efficiencies that potentially can benefit both the Port of Miami and the shipping public more broadly.”

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