Tinian Marine Stevedore wants exclusive rights to Tinian port

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The Tinian Marine Stevedore, Inc., has submitted a proposal to the Commonwealth Ports Authority seeking exclusive rights to operate as a stevedoring and terminal operator at the Port of Tinian.

According to TMSI’s proposal, the company offers to pay CPA a franchise fee for exclusive rights to conduct terminal and stevedoring business at the Port of Tinian on top of the company’s current lease with CPA for off-dock premises, which requires TMSI to pay a monthly rent and an additional Gross Revenue Fee, equal to 1% of the gross revenues earned and collected on the premises.

“For the exclusive right to conduct terminal and stevedoring business at the Port of Tinian, we offer the payment of a ‘franchise fee.’ The fee will be based on the Stevedoring Operation Gross Revenue derived from within the port operations area footprint,” the company proposed.

In addition, TMSI offers an increase of the franchise fee rate of .5% every five-year period from the start of the exclusivity period.

“The arrangement would allow for further investments by TMSI to improve and secure financing in providing the best possible service. The longshoring industry is subject to heavy capital investment with equipment acquisition, repairs and maintenance and regulatory training requirements,” the proposal stated.

However, a number of Tinian residents and business owners shared their concerns and even opposed the proposal during a public hearing last week.

TMSI was incorporated on Oct. 15, 1985. The main purpose of the corporation is to engage in the business of stevedoring operations, terminal operations, warehousing, cargo checking, freight forwarding, and related activities, among others. In June the following year, TMSI entered into a Ground Lease with CPA for 4,578 square meters of property, for the purposes of constructing a warehouse terminal to house office space, space for the sale of ship’s stores and supplies, container storage yard and equipment staging area.

In June of 1987, additional property was leased from CPA to expand the container yard and equipment staging areas.

During the early days of operation, TMSi was competing with another stevedoring company on Tinian. The competition lasted for several years until it reached a level where the volume of business was too low that it was not viable to maintain two companies to serve the Port of Tinian. As a result, TMSI downsized its operations and went into stand-by mode.

In 2012, upon the closure of the other stevedoring company on Tinian, TMI was asked by CPA for assistance in reactivating its operations to serve the Tinian community’s needs.

Since reactivating in 2012, TMSI serviced a total of 194 vessels. The port calls averaged 22 vessels per year until 2020. Annual gross revenues averaged $135,000 annually during the same period. The most significant years for revenue was in 2016 and 2019, attributable to the typhoon relief and recovery shipments that were received.

Kimberly B. Esmores | Reporter
Kimberly Albiso Bautista has covered a wide range of news beats, including the community, housing, crime, and more. She now covers sports for the Saipan Tribune. Contact her at kimberly_bautista@saipantribune.com.
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