Global Container Terminals seeks injunction to block Maersk's New York exit - FreshFruitPortal.com

Global Container Terminals seeks injunction to block Maersk's New York exit

Global Container Terminals (GCT) is reportedly seeking an emergency restraining order to prevent A.P. Moller Maersk (APM)-owned Maersk Line and Hamburg Sud from pulling out from its facility on Staten Island, New York.

APM is seeking to switch over to the nearby Port Elizabeth, New Jersey, site operated by APM subsidiary APM Terminals (APMT), according to Yahoo News.

Maersk reportedly said in a letter on April 10 that Maersk Line and Hamburg Sud vessels would cease calls at GCT New York by May 1. It said it was willing to pay a settlement of US$5.5m, including an early termination fee of US$2.1m and additional consideration of US$3.4m.

GCT USA president John Atkins claimed in a court filing Monday that its agreement with Maersk ran through Dec. 31, 2022, and could only be terminated early on Dec. 31, 2021, and only if six months' notice is given.

Atkins said the termination notice was sent without cause 20 months before it was allowed on "the Good Friday public holiday ... in the midst of the ongoing COVID-19 emergency in the metropolitan area ... [with] a mere 20 days' prior notice in the middle of an unprecedented and crippling global pandemic."

"The timing could not be worse with social distancing and stay-at-home directives in place and attendant concerns about the spread of infections making an emergency management response ... extremely difficult," he said.

He reportedly alleged that Maersk and Hamburg Sud are attempting to move to Port Elizabeth "for the financial benefit of their sister company, APMT, which is a direct competitor of GCT," and that Maersk's "reprehensible conduct [its early contract termination] is magnified by the fact that Maersk is essentially stealing business from GCT to give to its own corporate affiliate, APMT."

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