Transportation Law & Logistics

Our transportation law and logistics practice recognizes the interdisciplinary nature of the legal issues faced by users and providers of transportation and distribution services. We bring together expertise in laws relating to warehousing and goods-in-transit, extensive experience in the corporate, employment, real estate, and environmental laws that impact on a company's supply chain and unmatched practical hands-on experience. We regularly represent our transportation and logistics clients in transactions, dispute resolution, counseling and regulatory compliance. In 2015, Partner Ronald Leibman has been included in the Nationwide rankings for Transportation: Road (Carriage/Commercial) by Chambers USA: America’s Leading Business Lawyers. He is described by clients as “one of my favorite people on the planet,” saying “he has a great balance of lawyerly restraint while still understanding the business elements.”

Transactions

Our transactional experience includes:

  • Shipper/carrier transportation agreements for all modes of transportation and for exempt and non-exempt transportation
  • Third-party logistics agreements, including those for traffic and/or warehouse management, dedicated transportation services, freight handling, and yard management
  • Leases of warehouse management systems, vehicles (tractors, trailers, mobile equipment, with or without maintenance) and labor
  • Public and dedicated warehousing and distribution agreements
  • Equipment and property leasing or purchase
  • Sales and distributorship agreements
  • Advice on transportation and distribution issues in merger and acquisition transactions
  • Product supply and distribution agreements (wholesale/retail)

Specific transactional projects have included the drafting and negotiation of:

  • Full-service outsourcing agreements, including a facility assignment involving a large third-party logistics provider and two major consumer products manufacturers
  • Outsourcing of all Eastern and Midwest logistics functions of a large food products manufacturer to the largest 3PL in the United States.
  • Dedicated carrier agreements with large truckload and logistics services providers on behalf of a major distribution company
  • Renegotiation of regional logistics outsourcing agreements on behalf of a major food products manufacturer
  • Interlocking trailer leasing, fleet maintenance and real estate agreements between a major retailer and a leasing and third-party logistics provider
  • A traffic management agreement outsourcing perishables transportation functions to a 4PL on behalf of a large retailer
  • An international traffic management agreement for a multinational retailer regarding transportation in and among Europe, the United States and Latin America
  • Equipment leases and intercorporate sharing agreements in connection with an asset swap between two national wholesale/retail companies
  • A logistics supply and product fulfillment agreement between a web-based retailer and a third party logistics provider
  • Standard form contracts for motor carrier, broker and intermodal services for a major electronics manufacturer, several grocery retailers, several food products manufacturers, an international chemical manufacturer and a building products manufacturer, among others
  • Various regional warehousing agreements on behalf of a private label food importer
  • Equipment leases with fleet leasing companies on behalf of a household chemical producer and building supplies manufacturer
  • A sidetrack agreement between a Class 1 railroad and a grocery retailer/wholesaler
  • Lease and production agreements for an Italian manufacturer seeking to develop U.S. operations in the Midwest
  • Customer pick-up allowances on behalf of various retailers and wholesalers
  • Form supply and distribution agreements for major wholesaler/retailer
  • A purchase and sale agreement for import and supply of certain chemical products on behalf of importer/distributor
  • Sale and distribution agreements for sale of an upscale clothing and accessories manufacturer's products in Australia and Japan

Dispute Resolution

We advise clients with regard to disputes involving freight claims, freight payment, breach of contract and accident-related matters. We strive to find practical, cost-effective solutions to provide our clients with favorable outcomes short of litigation.

Specific dispute resolution projects have included advising and representing:

  • An international chemical manufacturer in regard to settlement of a dispute and canceling a contract for transportation services with a major international third party logistics provider
  • A name brand manufacturer of clothing in regard to obtaining payment of outstanding freight claims from a pool distribution service provider
  • A large northeast retailer in a multimillion dollar suit regarding product reclamation and ownership of goods
  • A food importer/distributor regarding a possible replevin action
  • A distributor regarding a breach of contract claim by a warehousing company
  • A major retailer in a proceeding in bankruptcy over alleged unpaid freight bills
  • A building materials manufacturer and supplier in connection with a fatal accident involving its private fleet
  • Various entities in regard to third party obligations for freight charges

Counseling and Strategic Advice

Beyond our knowledge of logistics laws, we understand the business models and operational concerns of our clients. We work with both in-house counsel and operations staff to find practical legal solutions.

Specific counseling projects have included advice on:

  • A corporate restructuring of the North American operations of a European 3PL
  • Development of a cross-divisional distribution and routing guide and compliance procedures for major wholesaler
  • Development of vendor supply policies and standards for national and regional grocery wholesalers/retailers
  • Development of policies and conditions relating to the use of on-site vendor and third party service providers for national and regional supermarket retailers
  • Development of purchase order terms and conditions for sales by a pharmaceutical supplier and a grocery retailer
  • Advice to investment fund regarding stock purchase of national 3 PL
  • Advice to national fulfillment company in regard to potential joint venture forming West Coast 3PL
  • Rollup of transportation assets of Fortune 100 corporation into a wholly owned subsidiary
  • The development and rollout of EDI based paperless freight and logistical service invoicing and payment system
  • A corporate restructuring to limit private motor carriage liability
  • Transfer of fleet assets as part of merger/sale transactions
  • RCRA's effects on product returns, reclamation and disposal
  • The development of an in-house property brokerage and "for hire" fleet operations
  • The formulation of insurance standards for domestic and international carrier selection
  • The use of "lumpers" and other independent contractors
  • The implementation and use of electronic proofs of delivery
  • Driver employment
  • The inter-relationship between the Robinson-Patman Act and Section 8 of the Motor Carrier Act
  • The development of warehouse and transportation key performance indicators and operations standards
  • The development and revision of purchase and sales terms to meet UCC and business needs
  • Advice on freight receiving procedures

Compliance

We advise clients on government regulatory compliance ranging from OSHA standards for powered equipment operators, to U.S. Department of Transportation fleet safety audits, to the Robinson-Patman Act.

Specific regulatory compliance projects have included:

  • Advice to a multi-national retailer regarding Robinson-Patman Act restrictions on customer pick-up programs
  • Advice to regional supermarket wholesaler regarding use of owner operators and development of lease agreements
  • Advice to national wholesaler regarding Hawaiian motor carrier requirements and restructure carrier relationships to attain compliance
  • Advice to several shippers in regard to the use of outsourced service providers, negligent hiring liability and proper due diligence procedures
  • Advice to a national distribution company and a regional wholesaler/retailer in regard to co-employment issues relating to the use of on-site dedicated transportation service providers
  • Advice to a building products manufacturer regarding the implementation of fleet safety controls to FMCSA/USDOT standards
  • Advice to consumer electronics manufacturer on off-invoice discount regulations and statutory waiver
  • Advice to a national perishables purveyor/broker and multi-national retailer regarding Robinson-Patman Act pricing restrictions

For further information on Riker Danzig's logistics practice, please contact Ronald Leibman at 973.451.8513 or rleibman@riker.com.