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Big Shippers Mount Drive For Confidential Contracts
Richard Collin's attendance at a shippers' gathering might not seem extraordinary - he has, after all, emerged over the past few years as one of the premier spokespersons for the nation's shippers.
But Collins's appearance at the second annual meeting of the Agricultural Ocean Transportation Coalition was indeed noteworthy because the company of which he is president, Draco Marine, Ltd., is not an exporter of farm or forest products. Draco is an importer of European food products, the best known being Perrier mineral water.
His presence at the AgOTC meeting signified that bulk cargo and merchandise shipper organizations are talking with one another - that they appear well on the way to jelling as a political force - something that until just a few years ago seemed highly unlikely.
Also significant at the meeting - held June 22 in the San Francisco Airport Hilton Hotel - was the participation of two major shipping-conference executives: managing director Ronald B. Gottshall of the Transpacific Westbound Rate Agreement and West Coast representative Allan Teicher of the U.S.A.-North Europe Rate Agreement.
Carrier representatives were not on the initial list of invitees but AgOTC officials said afterward that their participation in the proceedings could prove fruitful.
Possibly, the exchanges between the conference executives and the approximately seventy shippers who attended the meeting has spawned "an opportunity to develop real working relationships" between the two sides, remarked AgOTC executive director Peter Friedmann.
The Key Issues. Of the myriad matters brought out for discussion, confidentiality of service contracts, container load limits and the level of terminal-handling surcharges that conferences assess loom as the hottest, Friedmann and other AgOTC leaders told American Shipper in a post-meeting …