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Ports & Terminals

Looking for America: Port Cooperation - is it a sign of the times?

The recent operating agreement between Seattle and Tacoma seems like a natural. It tightens operating budgets for terminal expansion and intermodal development in an era of mega-ship alliances and fierce regional competition for cargo market share. The ports of L.A. and Long Beach while not contemplating a joint operating agreement have tightened their collaboration on intermodal and infrastructure programs, which will assist Southern California shippers in goods movement.

It appears that Miami and Port Everglades are now considering further advantages to increased cooperation. While they have worked together for a number of years, Everglades Director Steven Cernak indicated in a recent article (MiamiToday) that the two ports were “…entering a phase that [is] more about regional focus.” There has even been talk of inland intermodal terminals being “shared” by different port authorities.

Have mega-ship alliances hastened the age of the “Mega-Port”? Will we perhaps see further cooperation between Gulf ports struggling to get and keep cargo? Bigger ships, mergers and acquisitions (CMA/APL and Cosco/China Ship) and larger Vessel Sharing Agreements (VSA) may just be the main ingredient in this mix.

Matt Guasco
Matt Guasco

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