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.
How to File an MTO Agreement
Agreements may be filed electronically using the eAgreements application.
Please note that you will need a user account to file an agreement in this application. User accounts can be requested by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org:
- your name,
- email address, and
- a brief description of the agreement you are seeking to file.
Please note that any agreement filed through this application will immediately be made available to the public.
Agreements may be filed in hard copy by sending the appropriate documents to:
Office of the Secretary
Federal Maritime Commission
800 North Capitol Street
Washington, DC 20573
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