Maritime Intermodal and Terminals

  • Holland & Knight has always been a vanguard in drafting the laws regulating the ocean carrier industry.
  • All aspects of intermodal transportation are represented in our Maritime Law Practice.
  • Our maritime attorneys have a unique perspective concerning the multimodal Rotterdam Rules and their impact on carriers around the world.
Cargo Ship


Since the dawn of containerization, Holland & Knight has been at the forefront of firms advising on the law that governs all modes of transportation of cargo. Today, our maritime attorneys lead the way in representing the U.S. delegation for the Rotterdam Rules – the multimodal cargo transportation treaty that sets forth rules for the 21st century that could potentially affect you.

Because Holland & Knight has been on the cutting edge of the law governing the carriage of goods by sea, our clients receive the benefits of our generations of work in this area. In 1924, Charles S. Haight, a founding partner of Haight Gardner Poor & Havens, with whom Holland & Knight amalgamated in 1997, chaired the international convention where rules (Hague Rules) that continue to have an impact on the majority of ocean cargo carried throughout the world were drafted.

Handling the Full Scope of Transactional Work Our Clients Demand

Each day we work with clients dealing with issues touching upon the Uniform Intermodal Interchange and Facilities Access Agreement (UIIA), "roadability" of intermodal transportation equipment, and the law and regulations affecting ocean transportation under the Federal Maritime Commission (FMC), as well as rail and motor carrier transportation and regulation under the Surface Transportation Board (STB) and the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA).

All aspects of intermodal transportation are represented in our Maritime Law Practice, including:

  • the acquisition of intermodal chassis, containers and trailers, and the interchange of such equipment under UIIA
  • the establishment of chassis pools, shipper-broker-rail and motor carrier agreements, owner-operator lease agreements and the ocean and inland transportation by rail and motor carrier of both loaded and empty equipment

In addition, our international maritime law attorneys assist with all legal aspects of:

  • security and logistics, including working with U.S. Customs and the U.S. Coast Guard
  • marine construction disputes
  • casualties, including allisions
  • crane and equipment procurement and financing
  • terminal operations

Representative Cases

  • advised the largest marine terminal operator on the U.S. East Coast in connection with proposed revisions to the interchange provisions of a chassis pool, operated at the terminal, affecting most major ocean carriers calling the terminal as well as the motor carriers that interchange equipment under UIIA at the terminal
  • represented major U.S. East Coast terminal operator on the $55 million financing of new shore cranes
  • frequently advise a Class One railroad on its participation in chassis pool agreements, on intermodal rail transportation services agreements and on significant line sales
  • advised publicly traded logistics providers on their motor carrier lease agreements with owner-operators, including acting as class action defense counsel in a class action challenging leases of that kind
  • drafted template broker-motor carrier agreements for a Class One railroad to use with the motor carriers it engages on a contract basis to fulfill TOFC/COFC service
  • advised a publicly traded non-asset based logistics provider on its agreements with various ocean carriers
  • advised a publicly traded non-asset based logistics provider on its participation in chassis pool agreements proposed by an association of ocean carrier equipment providers
  • advised a publicly traded non-asset based logistics provider on its long-term rail carrier agreement with a Class One railroad
  • frequently advise clients on the acquisition of intermodal equipment, including containers, trailers and chassis
  • frequently advise publicly traded shippers and/or logistic providers on the terms and conditions of intermodal brokerage agreements, shipper-broker, broker-carrier and shipper-carrier agreements
  • in-depth experience with the rules governing the interchange of chassis, trailers and containers under UIIA and Association of American Railroads agreements, COFC/TOFC service and all regulatory requirements


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