February 27 - The Georgia Ports Authority (GPA) and the Virginia Port Authority (VPA) have filed the East Coast Gateway Terminal Agreement with the Federal Maritime Commission (FMC).

According to the ports, the agreement encourages voluntary cooperation in the areas of operational and supply chain efficiencies, safety, communications and customer service.

"The US 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."

Additional areas of cooperation between the GPA and VPA include acquisition and utilisation of joint marketing materials and sharing best practices in areas such as terminal operating systems, training, cargo handling, access, turnaround times and infrastructure, as well as supporting the promotion of allwater routes from the US East Coast to the international marketplace via the Panama Canal.