Service Contracting, Transportation and Port Requirements

Licensing Agreement for Export Food Aid Commodity Warehouse Operators

Packaged Commodity Information


Transportation Services

USDA shipments move via motor carrier, intermodal marketing company, railroad, or ocean carrier service. Any interested transportation company that meets the requirements is welcome to participate in transporting USDA commodities.

Motor Carrier, Intermodal Marketing Company or Transportation Brokerage

If you would like to provide transportation services for USDA, please go to the Freight Transportation Service Providers (TSPs) Approval Requirements page on the General Service Administration's web site for more information on how to become a GSA Transportation Service Provider.


Railroad service is primarily used to transport commodities (dairy products) purchased through CCC price support programs. Rail carrier rate filings are utilized to determine if this transportation service will be appropriate for our shipments. Rail carriers are selected to handle shipments on the basis of rate, transit time, and service levels.

Ocean Carrier Service for Domestic Off-Shore Shipments

Ocean carrier service is utilized to handle shipments to and from noncontiguous domestic trade locations, such as Hawaii, Puerto Rico, Virgin Islands, Guam and the U. S. trust territories. Ocean carriers offer tender of rates and/or charge for transportation services for which an ocean carrier is to be compensated for handling cargo.

Ocean Carrier Service for Export Shipments

Ocean carrier service is utilized to handle shipments to foreign destinations in conjunction with PL-480 Title II, Food For Progress (FFP), McGovern-Dole Food for Education, and 416(b) programs. Shipments are made according to the requirements of the Merchant Marine Act of 1936, as amended, and the Food Security Act of 1985, as amended, which requires that at least 75 percent of the annual tonnage of all commodities under these programs be shipped on U. S. - flag vessels.

Refer to the Offering Ocean Rates/Services to KCCO notice (pdf), the Container, Barge, and Vessel Hold Inspection Requirements Title II, P.L. 480 and Section 416 Export Donations notice (pdf) and Foreign Food Assistance Programs document (pdf) for additional information. An Agency Letter Authorizing Steamship Company Representation should be submitted where applicable.


Export Shipments Regulations