Agency Tariff

An Agency Tariff is a document published by a rate bureau that contains the rates charged for transportation services by its members. The tariff lists the origin and destination pairs for which each carrier will provide service, as well as the applicable rates. The tariff also includes rules and regulations governing service within the transportation market serviced by the rate bureau.

In most cases, a carrier must have its rate bureau file an Agency Tariff with the Surface Transportation Board (the “Board”) in order to offer service between designated points. The Board is a quasi-judicial federal regulatory agency that provides regulatory oversight over the interstate freight railroad, trucking, and bus industries.

Carriers may also file “private” tariffs which are filed directly with the carriers. A private tariff is essentially an agency tariff that only applies to a particular shipper. This system in effect grants individual customers of a carrier rate concessions in exchange for the customer allowing the carrier to set rates according to its own discretion. Thus, when that shipper has freight moved between points on a route, it pays the published rate.

Agency tariffs are regulated by the Board in order to ensure that rates contained within them are just and reasonable.

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