Marine Terminal Operators
Marine Terminal Operators (MTOs), as defined in 46 CFR §525.1(c)(13), 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, and
- Private terminal operators that lease terminals from a public port authority (which acts as a landlord) and operate the leased terminals as a private business.
MTO Registration and Schedules
Under Commission rules for MTOs:
- An MTO must notify the Commission prior to commencement of operations using Form FMC-1. Any changes to FMC-1 information must be updated with the Commission.
- An MTO may make available a schedule of its rates, regulations, and practices to the public at its discretion. (46 CFR § 525.2).
- An MTO conference must publish its schedule. (46 CFR § 525.2).
- 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 Commission publishes the location of terminal schedules available to the public on its website.
MTO Agreements Required to be Filed with the FMC
Agreements among marine terminal operators must be filed with the FMC (46 U.S.C. § 40302) unless specifically exempted by Commission regulations at 46 C.F.R. part 535. Examples of terminal agreements include the following:
- Terminal Rate Discussion Agreements are agreements between MTOs that allow for the discussion of any kind of rates and/or charges related to marine terminal operations.
- MTO Cooperative Working Agreements are agreements between MTOs that establishes exclusive, preferential, or cooperative working relationships that are subject to the Act, but that do not fall precisely within the parameters of any specifically defined agreement.
The FMC conducts a preliminary review of all filed agreements to determine if the agreement is in compliance with the Shipping Act and monitors ongoing agreement activities once an agreement becomes effective.