APM submits new filing in bid to take over Virginia port
By Robert McCabe
© July 25, 2012
In a new filing with the state, APM Terminals Inc. has put on the table level-playing-field provisions to address concerns by some big container shipping lines that APM's proposal to take over some major port operations could leave them at a competitive disadvantage.
The filing on Monday was made, in part, "to address comments submitted regarding our proposal," wrote Eric Sisco, president of APM Terminals Americas, in a letter to Ryan Pedraza, the state's point of contact for the port proposal process.
The proposed provisions in any comprehensive agreement include a commitment to honor all contracts between Virginia International Terminals Inc. and shipping lines and other customers in effect on April 4, when APM filed its unsolicited bid with the state.
APM also would establish a market-based tariff providing "competitive prices and services." The tariff would apply to any new contracts after an agreement took effect and to any current customers after their existing contracts expire.
Changes to the tariff and incentives would be overseen by the Virginia Port Authority to make sure that any price changes were based on the consumer price index, labor and other similar factors.
The new addendum came two months to the day after the state announced APM's unsolicited proposal to take over the operations of the Port of Virginia for 48 years. APM values its offer at up to $4 billion, in today's dollars, to the state.
APM Terminals Inc. is a corporate affiliate of Maersk Line, the world's biggest shipping line, which does a lot of business at the port.
During a meeting of the Virginia Port Authority's board on Tuesday, Art Moye, executive vice president of the Virginia Maritime Association, a trade group representing port stakeholders, shared how its membership weighed in on a "for-or-against" question about a proposed change in port operations, part of a nine-question survey.
The results, Moye said, were 15 percent in favor, 71 percent against and 13 percent who said they needed more information
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