SMMC is one of the two companies responsible for lightering at the port of Toamasina. Stevedoring operations are carried out by two concession holders. One, MICTSL, exclusively handles container goods, while SMMC takes charge of the rest, referred to as "Conventional Goods". Goods come in a variety of forms, including bags, vehicles, "solid bulk" and "liquid bulk goods". Given the diverse nature of these goods, some operators handle their own requirements. Known as "permit holders", they have contracts with the Port Authority for an agreed period. Also, given their specific characteristics and the risks involved in their handling, hydrocarbons are covered by a third "Concession Agreement" with the Port Authority. The Port of Toamasina is organised as follows: - PORT AUTHORITY: SPAT (Société du Port à Gestion Autonome) - CONCESSION HOLDERS: SMMC (Conventional Goods), MICTSL (Container Goods), PTP (Oil Products) - PERMIT HOLDERS Despite the volume of goods currently handled, SMMC continues to be a very significant operator, as in addition to dealing with long-haul international shipping, it is also responsible for the operation of national traffic, i.e. cabotage and fishing. However, at its present stage of development, the company is still well short of the optimum performance required by port operations. For this reason, SMMC’s top priority remains the creation of a short and medium term development plan, in line with Madagascar’s vital economic policy.