Marine Terminal Operators
Marine Terminal Operators (MTOs) provide wharfage, dock, warehouse, or other marine terminal facilities to ocean common carriers moving cargo in the ocean-borne, foreign commerce of the United States. MTOs include:
- Public port authorities that own and maintain the docks and other facilities, and sometimes directly operate the marine terminal that ocean common carriers use
- Private terminal operators are companies that lease terminals from a public port authority (which acts as a landlord) and operate the leased terminals as a private business
MTO Agreements Required to be Filed with the FMC
Agreements among MTOs, or between MTOs and ocean common carriers involving ocean transportation in the foreign commerce of the United States are required to be filed with the FMC (46 USC § 40302) if the agreement authorizes the parties to engage in the following:
- discuss, fix, or regulate rates
- regulate other conditions of service
- engage in exclusive, preferential, or cooperative working arrangements
The FMC conducts a preliminary review of all agreements to determine if the agreement is in compliance with the Shipping Act (46 USC Chapter 403), and ongoing monitoring of activities once an agreement becomes effective.
Minutes of Meetings Required to be Filed for MTO Agreements
For as long as an agreement remains in effect, Minutes of MTO Agreement meetings must be filed (46 CFR § 535.704) if the agreement authorizes the parties to discuss or establish any type of rates or charges.
Agreement minutes should be sent to: Director, Bureau of Trade Analysis, Room 940, 800 North Capitol Street, NW, Washington, DC 20573, or may be filed by direct electronic transmission.
How to File an MTO Agreement
Agreements may be hand-delivered during normal Commission business hours, 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, or mailed to: Secretary, Federal Maritime Commission, Room 1046, 800 North Capitol Street, NW, Washington, DC 20573
Per the Commission's rules, agreement filings are required (46 CFR Part 535 Subpart D) to consist of the following:
Publication of MTO Schedules
When publishing a MTO Schedule (formally called MTO Tariffs):
- A MTO may make available a schedule of its rates, regulations, and practices (46 CFR § 525.2) to the public at its discretion
- A MTO conference, an agreement under which two or more MTOs discuss and agree on rates, charges, and conditions of service, must publish its Schedule
- Whether a MTO decides to make its Schedules available to the public, a complete and current set of schedules of rates, regulations, and practices must be maintained for five years, and available to the Commission upon request (46 CFR § 525.3 (a))
- The MTO must notify the Commission prior to commencement of operations using Form FMC-1, and once reviewed, it will be assigned an organization number
- Any change to the above information must be immediately updated using Form FMC-1
- The Commission publishes the location of terminal schedules available to the public