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We are experienced in assisting port and terminal operators in relation to their commercial and regulatory needs.

Port and terminal operators occupy a unique position within the transport chain, straddling the interface between seaside and landside logistics. As a result, operators are exposed to dual commercial and regulatory regimes, each with their own particular focus. Port and terminal operators work in a challenging commercial and legal environment, having to coordinate the integration  of sea, road and rail transport, whilst simultaneously catering to commercial and cruise shipping interests and managing the involvement of towage companies and ancillary marine service providers. 

As a result, port and terminal operators operate in one of the most complex and dynamic maritime environments. The need to successfully manage a large and varied number of stakeholders make robust commercial structures and maritime governance practices key.

Legal Expertise

We are experienced in assisting port and terminal operators in relation to their commercial and regulatory needs, including in relation to:

  • Drafting port user terms of service
  • Risk allocation agreements for supply chain participants
  • Negotiating and drafting terminal services agreements
  • Recovering wharf and terminal storage charges, including the registration and enforcement of liens and security interests under the Personal Property Securities Act (2009) (Cth) (PPSA)
  • Handling liability claims for port/terminal closure, strikes and delays
  • Handling recovery actions for damage and destruction of port infrastructure and machinery
  • Coordinating investigations into maritime incidents and preparing risk management strategies in response
  • Advising on aspects of port risk management and maritime governance
  • Development and implementation of chain of responsibility compliance programs
  • Employment, industrial relations and workplace health and safety, including safety investigations and prosecutions.

Relevant Experience

  • Advising the largest NSW bulk shipping port in relation to its vessel arrival system, vessel queuing and entry arrangements
  • Handling negotiations between salvors, port authorities and terminal operators in relation to entry and security requirements for vessels in distress
  • Advising the largest national terminal operator in relation to issues of port risk management, regulatory requirements and maritime governance
  • Acting for a leading national port and bulk logistics provider in relation to drafting standard terms and conditions
  • Conducting incident investigation and making risk management recommendations in relation to berth breakaway incident in high winds
  • Acting in property damage claims for damage to maritime assets.

Key People

Geoff Farnsworth | Sydney
Nathan Cecil
| Sydney

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