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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):

Contact Information


Phone: 202-523-5793

MTO Schedules

Phone: 202-523-5856

Fax: 202-523-4372