Five of the largest terminal operating companies in the world along with a European port authority have jointly filed a discussion agreement with the Federal Maritime Commission (FMC) in hopes to initiate a structured organization to improve the container port industry. The initial members of the agreement include APM Terminals, DP World, Hutchinson Port Holdings, PSA International, Shanghai International Port Co. and the Port of Rotterdam Authority. This discussion agreement is known as the “Global Ports Group Agreement” and its purpose is to give the group authority to provide a forum for the members to discuss, meet, exchange and collect information in order to implement actions that will improve the efficiency and effectiveness of the container port industry as a whole.

The “Global Ports Group Agreement” includes many highlights and provisions including: the group will meet in person twice per year, its geographic scope will extend between the U.S. and foreign port points, members will respect and comply with all antitrust and competition laws, etc. The proposed agreement can be compared to the International Council of Container Ship Operators which is also an organization that provides a forum for top liner company executives.  Read more.