The Federal Maritime Commission Newsroom


FMC Commences Investigation Challenging Marine Terminal Practices of Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach

September 24, 2008

NR 08-12

CONTACT: KAREN V. GREGORY (202) 523-5725; e-mail:

The Federal Maritime Commission ("FMC") announced today that it has initiated an investigation to determine whether certain practices of the Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach ("the Ports") violate the Shipping Act of 1984. Among practices cited in the Commission's Order of Investigation are the employee-driver mandate, incentive payments and provisions denying access to marine terminal facilities to certain harbor trucking providers.

The FMC is responsible for enforcing the requirements of the Shipping Act of 1984, 46 U.S.C. § 40101, et seq. As the Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach operate as marine terminal operators (MTOs) under the Shipping Act, their activities as MTOs are subject to the Commission's jurisdiction and, in particular, to the statutory prohibitions found under section 10 of the Shipping Act. Among other things, section 10 of that Act prohibits MTOs from giving unreasonable preferences or imposing any undue or unreasonable prejudice or disadvantage.

The Commission appreciates the potential environmental and public health benefits under the Ports' Clean Truck Program ("CTP"); however, certain aspects of the Ports' CTPs may violate the Shipping Act. Accordingly, the investigation initiated today is tailored to focus on those elements of the CTP that cause the greatest concerns under the Shipping Act. The Commission's investigation does not delay the effective date of the Ports' Infrastructure and Environmental Programs Cooperative Working Agreement (Agreement No. 201170), which remains under separate review by the Commission pursuant to section 6 of the Shipping Act.

Commissioner Joseph E. Brennan voted not to initiate the Commission's investigation.

Press Contact: Karen V. Gregory (202) 523-5725; e-mail: