Federal, State, and International Regulation of Marine Terminal Operators in the United States

The purpose of this Article is to outline those key federal, state, and international regulations that expressly mention or materially affect marine terminal operators in the United States. There are four major areas in which these regulations fall. Part II of this Article will discuss the federal regulation of marine terminal agreements and tariffs. Part III will outline a marine terminal operator's liability for cargo damage under federal, state, and international law. Part IV will address the environmental regulation of marine terminal operators on the federal, state, and international levels, and Part V will discuss those state and federal regulations relating to the protection and security of waterfront facilities. The topic of federal, state, and international regulation of marine terminal operators is a very broad one. By focusing upon the foregoing four major areas of express regulation of marine terminal operators, this Article necessarily excludes the following from its scope: (1) federal, state, or international regulations that apply to United States marine terminal operators indirectly; (2) federal, state, or international regulations that apply to every business, including marine terminal operators, merely by virtue of being in business; and (3) minor or immaterial federal, state, or international regulations that pertain to United States terminal operators.  


Terminal Workers' Injury and Death Claims

When a maritime worker is injured or killed, his legal rights and the obligations of those who may have caused the injury or death are determined by an analytical process that first defines the worker's particular employment function, and then determines which body of law governs the rights and obligations between the worker and the employer. This determination dictates both the rights of the worker against third parties and the employer's rights and obligations vis-a-vis third parties. Essentially, the maritime worker is placed into one of three categories: (1) a vessel crew member (loosely called a seaman), whose rights against his employer are determined by various statutes applicable solely to seamen, including most prominently the Jones Act, and by general maritime law which specifies certain duties owed to the seaman by his employer and third parties; (2) longshoremen, shipyard and repair workers, other harbor workers, and certain offshore workers covered by the Longshoremen's and Harbor Workers' Compensation Act (LHWCA); or (3) workers who, by virtue of the nature and location of their duties, have rights against their employer under state workers' compensation laws. Once a worker is put into one of the three categories, a determination of his rights against his employer and third parties is fairly straightforward since most of the major legal questions in that regard have been resolved. But the threshold question of determining the proper category in which the worker belongs is fraught with legal problems with which the courts and Congress have struggled, frequently at cross purposes, for much of this century. This Article will focus on the threshold categorization problem, with particular emphasis on that problem as it applies to terminal workers.


Terminal Operations and Multimodal Carriage: History and Prognosis

The purpose of this Article is to provide an overview of the historical development of multimodalism, including an examination of the regulatory and legal structure under which it has evolved and of its impact on terminal operations and traditional patterns of carge routing. It is hoped that this Article will furnish a useful introduction to the analysis of other writers in this symposium who will consider specific current legal and operational problems.  


United States Statutory Regulation of Multimodalism

Though the result of multimodalism is transportation efficiency, regulatory and legal confusion are its by-products. For example, who, if anyone, decides what constitutes a fair charge for this intermodal transportation? To whom does the shipper turn if the cargo is damaged? What are the limits on the carriers' liabilities? When must parties file claims and suits? These and related questions are the subject of this Article. First, we shall discuss the statutes and regulations currently governing multimodal transportation in the United States. Next, we shall address the confusion that results from these overlapping regimes. Finally, we shall suggest ways of dealing with the problems resulting from this confusion.


Liabilities of Multimodal Operators and Parties Other than Carriers and Shippers

This Article focuses on one aspect of these issues: the frustrating problems posed by conflicting laws and regulations for certain shoreside participants in the multimodal transportation process. With the trend toward multimodal transportation showing no signs of abatement, it is likely that the problems discussed will arise with increasing frequency. Therefore, these problems must be addressed and rectified.  


Apportionment of Risk in Vessel and Marine Terminal Contracts

Besides memorializing an agreement to perform certain tasks, an important function of vessel contracts and marine terminal contracts is to apportion the risks attendant to performance between the contracting parties. This Article addresses the issue of how and to what extent risks may be allocated in vessel and marine terminal contracts. An understanding of the ways in which the applicable statutes and case law permit or forbid the parties to allocate the risks, for example, of loss or damage to cargo, of unseaworthiness of the vessel, or of injury to a crewmember, is essential to the effective drafting and negotiation of these contracts.  


Legal Relationships: Terminal Owners, Operators, and Users

This Article will search for methods to minimize the differences in the liability standards between the terminal in its various roles and other participants in the transportation industry. If the entire multimodal system is to operate under one set of laws, the terminal's liability standard should not change with the particular role it is performing at any given moment; rather, it should be as close as possible to the standards of other participants in the contract of carriage. All parties to the multimodal system should be entitled to contract to carry cargo under one contract governed by one set of laws. The uniformity and predictability that would flow from such a system would encourage quicker settlements and more efficient insurance placement.