New NITL ocean transportation chair shares his vision

In an exclusive interview with LM, Donald Pisano, chairman of the Traffic and Warehouse Committee at the Green Coffee Association, said his role with the NITL will initially to keep existing “momentum” alive.

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The new chairman of the National Industrial Transportation League’s Ocean Transportation Committee said this year’s agenda will stay focused on two key issues.

In an exclusive interview with LM, Donald Pisano, chairman of the Traffic and Warehouse Committee at the Green Coffee Association, said his role with the NITL will initially to keep existing “momentum” alive.

“We would like to see continued momentum in freight policy reforms ensuring adequate vessel and equipment capacity to meet the transportation needs of our members,” he said. “We are also keen on seeing the Rotterdam Rules pushed through to US ratification.”

As reported in LM, the “Rules” were strongly championed by Pisano’s predecessor, Michael Berzon.

Adopted by the United Nations Commission on International Trade Law (UNCITRAL) last year, these will replace the existing cargo liability regimes such as the Hamburg and Hague/Visby Rules.

Shipowner organizations firmly believe that this will achieve greater global uniformity for cargo liability, facilitating e-commerce through use of electronic documentation, reflecting modern “door to door” services involving other modes of transport in addition to the sea-leg and ‘just in time’ delivery practices.

At the same time, said Pisano, the NITL will continue to work with other shipper associations to efforts to further secure the supply chain against terrorism, narcotics, piracy, “mis-declaring of cargo by unscrupulous parties,” as well as cargo thefts while goods are in transit. 

“These are menaces to our society and our economy, afflicting a tremendous financial burden on the beneficial cargo owners, while causing significant disruption to cargo flows,” said Pisano.

The NITL’s Ocean Transportation Committee monitors and makes recommendations on all matters pertaining to import and export transportation by water. That extends to freight moving intermodally and through U.S. inland waterways. 

Pisano noted that The NITL endorses green technologies being introduced into the supply chain, but emphasized that scrutiny would also be employed.
“We would like to support all efforts to promote environmentally efficient transportation programs including greater use of our marine highways,” he said. “But we must be alert to programs and groups waving green banners in efforts to achieve other objectives.”

Finally, said Pisano, he expects that during his term, his attention will be mostly guided by the short-term and long-term needs of membership. 

“Coming from a small to mid-volume shipper background in the commodities field, I am fairly sure that I have had some experiences that perhaps were not shared by some of our larger members,” he observed.  “Certainly volume has its benefits, but I would work to ensure fair and equitable treatment of all parties in the supply chain.”

About the Author

Patrick Burnson, Executive Editor
Patrick Burnson is executive editor for Logistics Management and Supply Chain Management Review magazines and web sites. Patrick is a widely-published writer and editor who has spent most of his career covering international trade, global logistics, and supply chain management. He lives and works in San Francisco, providing readers with a Pacific Rim perspective on industry trends and forecasts. You can reach him directly at [email protected]

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