Overview

We advise clients on a broad range of matters concerning commercial, regulatory, litigation, legislative and policy issues involving the transportation of goods and people by rail, truck, maritime vessel, aircraft and pipeline. We also counsel clients on matters involving homeland security and the transportation of hazardous materials.

We are highly experienced in the negotiation of international freight transportation-related contracts and have litigated numerous transportation contract disputes and other transportation-related issues before state and federal courts, administrative agencies, and domestic and international arbitration panels.

Experience
Representative Experience

Rail

  • Counseling an international port on options and remedies available to improve, restore or expand rail service for domestic and export traffic.
  • Advising an EU company on strategic, market-based issues and contract negotiation for transportation services related to export coal movements.
  • Counseling a Fortune 500 global power company on supply chain transportation logistics and contracting for international shipments of coal in multinational transactions involving rail and ocean transportation.

Motor

  • Representing shippers on the North American Committee on Surface Transportation, including negotiating and developing a North American Standard Through Bill of Lading for cross-border NAFTA motor carrier movements.
  • Advising a private motor carrier that carries cross-border shipments of hazardous materials on the extent to which its compliance with international standards and foreign regulations will satisfy its obligations under PHMSA’s hazardous materials regulations.
  • Representing Japanese and German airbag and seatbelt restraint producers in transportation matters.

Maritime

  • Advising on ocean contract drafting, negotiations and disputes:
    • Representing a U.S. automobile manufacturer in global bids and contract negotiations with ocean carriers and freight forwarders for the multimodal transportation of auto parts and finished vehicles, as well as materials management services and warehousing around the globe.
    • Drafting ocean service contracts and Non-Vessel-Operating Common Carrier (NVOCC) agreements filed with the Federal Maritime Commission (FMC).
    • Drafting global logistics agreements for multimodal transportation, warehousing, customs clearance and related services for companies across a broad cross section of industries, including retailers, manufacturers, chemicals, food, consumer products and automobile companies, among others.
    • Drafting a logistics agreement for a U.S. exporter of food products for transportation, warehousing and customs services performed in China.
  • Creating a Project Cargo workshop and drafting contract terms and conditions for domestic and international bulk transportation movements.
  • Counseling importers and exporters with respect to liability for cargo loss and damage that occurs at sea under U.S. COGSA and the Hague-Visby Rules.
  • Analyzing and processing waivers of application of the cabotage requirements of the Jones Act.
  • Representing a major manufacturer of power plant equipment in the arbitration of a dispute involving customs payments made by an international freight forwarder.
  • Representing a global fertilizer company in the arbitration of a charter party dispute regarding demurrage and cancellation charges.
  • Representing a global fertilizer company in the arbitration of a charter party dispute regarding cargo damaged in transit.
  • Representing a global fertilizer company in litigation involving the supply of bunkers under a charter party.
  • Addressing international maritime legislation and public policy.
  • Serving on the U.S. delegation to the United Nations Committee on International Trade Law (UNCITRAL) with respect to the negotiation of the Rotterdam Rules, an international treaty intended to harmonize maritime cargo liability rules around the globe.
  • Filing comments with the European Union in support of the elimination of antitrust immunity (i.e., block exemption) for ocean carriers serving the European trades.
  • Participating in workshops and meetings to address international maritime policy arranged by the Maritime Transport Committee of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) and the Comité Maritime International (CMI).
  • Representing an NVOCC in enforcement actions by U.S. Customs and Border Protection concerning the filing of electronic export information.

Aviation

  • Setting up a private U.S. airline charter to support West African oil company operations.
  • Establishing a U.S. crew base for a foreign air carrier.
  • Obtaining from the DOT, FAA, TSA and Bureau of Customs and Border Protection (CBP) all licenses required for a new foreign air carrier to serve U.S. points in record time – 30 days between Thanksgiving and the New Year.
  • Advising air carriers on rights available under U.S. air transportation treaties.
  • Advising foreign air carriers on rights, obligations, approvals and other regulatory issues relating to all varieties of cooperative agreements with both domestic and other foreign air carriers for service involving U.S. points.
  • Counseling U.S. and foreign carriers and shippers on global logistics issues.
  • Drafting and negotiating air freight forwarding and aircraft charter agreements for a U.S. automotive manufacturer.
  • Negotiating and drafting contract documents and addressing the closing requirements for a client’s purchase of a Gulfstream jet from a Dubai entity.

Hazardous Materials

  • Advising a client on the international standards governing the shipment of nuclear materials by vessel.
  • Advising shippers on PHMSA rules permitting use of international standards and regulations for transportation of hazardous materials to, from and within the United States.
  • Representing Swiss and German explosives producers in transportation matters.