The New York New Jersey Foreign Freight Forwarders and Brokers Association is pleased to honor Carlos Rodriguez, Partner, Husch Blackwell LLP with its 4th annual “Captain of Industry” Award for 2019. This award is bestowed on individuals who have given generously of their knowledge, time, and commitment to the association over the years. Carlos has been Transportation Counsel to the association since December 28, 1990 and continuously providing his legal expertise, representation, and information related to ocean and surface transportation matters. His broad experience in the maritime industry started with his service as an officer in the U.S. Navy. Upon his departure from the military, he became an Equipment Manager for Seatrain Lines, a pioneer in containerization at a time when practices were just being developed in interfacing equipment between ocean and surface carriers (rail and motor carriers). Carlos graduated Seton Hall Law School, Newark, N.J. in 1975, worked as an investigator and trial attorney for the Federal Maritime Commission, and then entered private practice in 1978.
His many important undertakings with the Association and individual members of the association over the years include the following:
- Political action in the mid-90s to reform the Shipping Act of 1984, which led to the passing of the Ocean Shipping Reform Act of 1998. This legislation, among other things, started the process of rolling back much of the commercial powers then concentrated in shipping conferences, which imposed collective rate and service levels while operating with complete anti-trust immunity. It was from this time on that conferences could no longer prohibit their members from taking independent action by entering confidential service contracts with their shipper customers, including NVOCCs. After this significant change, ocean carriers individually dealt with NVOCCs directly as shipper parties to service contracts for full container loads.
- Ensuring that the Ocean Transportation Intermediary Perspective is heard. Over the years, Carlos has been a valued resource in interfacing with federal agencies on behalf of the association and in particular maintaining constructive relations with the Chairman and Commissioners of the Federal Maritime Commission to ensure that this important agency has the ocean transportation intermediary perspective when involved in rule-making and other proceedings. He has routinely assisted in developing and formulating OTI policy, structuring meetings with key agency staff, and submitting comments in rule-making and other federal agency proceedings.
- Supporting the association’s strong educational program. Carlos has been diligent in presenting or chairing panels involving relevant and cutting-edge issues such as the following:
Retail and OTI Supply Chain Responses to E-Commerce
- The Fourth Industrial Revolution and Maritime Shipping: Challenges for a Changing Global Context
- Recent FMC Staff Co-loading Rules Interpretations That Can Lead to Penalties---The California v. Yang Ming Case.
- IMO SOLAS: An Overview on the Eve of Implementation
- Cyber Attack/Data Breach: The Maritime Context
- Maritime Issues & Regulations: View from the Private Sector
We look forward to working with Carlos as the ocean intermediary industry adapts to meet new challenges on the horizon such as:
- Improve the regulatory climate for OTIs to remain competitive;
- The continuing impact of e-commerce;
- Changing information technology solutions being introduced by an ever-changing competitive logistics industry;
- The evolving blockchain and artificial information environments; and,
- The fast development of ocean carrier logistics services as new competitors to the 3PL and traditional transportation intermediary sectors.