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CONECTivity Coalition of New England Companies for Trade

Who We Are What We Do How We Can Help You!

• Member Benefits • Scholarship Info • An Interview with Our Man In DC • Event Photos

CONECT: Continued Growth for a Strong Future

We’re in this

TOGETHER For 60 years, Yusen Logistics has provided unsurpassed service to our customers. We offer a portfolio of transportation, warehouse and supply chain solutions designed to meet our customer’s needs. Leverage our expertise to optimize your distribution processes today. Rest assured we’ll be with you all the way.

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The Secrets of Our Staying Power By Carol Turner

Welcome to CONECTivity magazine, a celebration of the Coalition of New England Companies for Trade’s accomplishments since its founding more than two decades ago. What you’ll find inside is a look at CONECT’s current members as well as its board of directors, legal counsel, and office staff. You’ll also learn about CONECT’s updated member benefits and the opportunities this nonprofit trade association offers members in terms of industry education, networking, business building, and career growth. Twenty-odd years ago, when I attended my first CONECT meeting, I was also involved in a number of other international trade groups across New England. Most of them are no longer in existence. Yet CONECT is stronger than ever, and its membership continues to grow.

Over the next decade and beyond, CONECT will continue to grow, and its CONECT Young Professionals (CYPs) will fill its board seats. Let’s continue to work together to make our organization the best it can possibly be in the future: a place

for our young professionals to continue the CONECT tradition of learning, networking, developing business, and advocating for free and fair trade practices. Carol Turner is the Executive Director of CONECT. (

CONECT Membership Breakdown Ocean Carriers/NVOs/Agents Logistics Providers/ 3PLs

Port Authorities/Terminal Partners Warehouses Attorneys Government Offices Consultants Special Products/ Services

Insurance Providers

Freight Forwarders/ Customs Brokers

What has given CONECT its staying power? In my opinion, there are seven key elements: • A loyal group of over 1,000 CONECT members who continue their support year after year

Rail/Truck/Chassis Shippers Associations BCOs: Importers/Exporters

• A dedicated board of directors, some of whom have served for 25 years

• A legal counsel/trade advocate who is the ultimate “Washington insider,” providing members with valuable insights into what’s going on in government • Alliances with government and regulatory agencies to keep CONECT members abreast of important changes, new programs, and regulations

• A cadre of committed partners and sponsors, whose continued support helps to defray costs and make CONECT events affordable for members to attend • Great relationships with key media sources who act as advisors and marketing specialists • Staffers who truly enjoy what they do, who treat CONECT members as respected friends, and who produce exceptional events

CONECT Mission Statement CONECT’s mission is to educate the New England business community, as well as local, state, and federal government representatives as to the benefits and importance of free and fair trade to our region. CONECT serves the interests of New England businesses that depend on international trade. In today’s complex and challenging global trade environment, CONECT provides educational and networking opportunities to keep its members well informed. CONECT also serves as a unified and highly effective voice to enhance the trade and transportation infrastructure of New England. CONECT is comprised of importers, exporters, customs brokers, freight forwarders, port authorities, NVOCCs, intermodal carriers, logistics providers, banks, law firms, cargo facilities, consultants, and others active in international trade. Coalition of New England Companies for Trade


CONECT’s Benefits are Second to None By Karen Kenney

Back in 1991, few of us who attended that first meeting with Peter Friedmann in Reebok’s conference room would have guessed that we were founding what would one day become the largest international trade and transportation association in New England. Today CONECT, the Coalition of New England Companies for Trade, is recognized as an industry leader in free and fair trade advocacy and education. CONECT offers unparalleled access to industry leaders, learning and networking opportunities, and the chance to influence policy locally, regionally, and nationally. At CONECT, we get things done. From securing U.S. Fish & Wildlife status for the Port of Boston to advocating for local and national policies that benefit our members, we make things happen. Throughout my membership in CONECT over the years since the group was founded, I’ve personally exchanged ideas with every U.S. Customs commissioner who’s held office since 1991; discussed policy with senior-level Food & Drug Administration (FDA) and Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) officials; shared concerns with Federal Maritime Commission (FMC) commissioners and chairs; reviewed challenges and solutions with port directors

from around the U.S.; and even learned about free trade agreements directly from a U.S. trade representative. I’ve met future customers and vendors and have made lifelong friends. I’ve saved my company money and helped our organization secure new business. Because of the friends and mentors I’ve come to know through CONECT, I had the privilege of serving on the Commercial Customs Operations Advisory Committee, known as the COAC, alongside two of the customs commissioners I met in the early days of CONECT, an honor I’ll never forget. If you are interested in networking, meeting industry leaders, learning something new, growing professionally, influencing policy, expanding your horizons, and getting things done, then this is where you should be. Become a CONECT member. Come to a CONECT event. It’s a smart bet. I am incredibly thankful for the tremendous value CONECT has brought to me both personally and professionally. I hope to meet you at a future event! Karen Kenney is President of CONECT and V.P. Global Partnerships, Janel Group Inc./Liberty.

CONECT: The Key Connection for Northeast Shippers

Time is money.


most direct way to move goods between the Far East and most of the U.S. The Panama Canal takes


10 days longer. The Suez: longer still. All you need to remember: Port of Long Beach. PANAMA CANAL

31 2

Coalition of New England Companies for Trade

Incorporated in 1991, CONECT was founded by 10 Massachusetts businesspeople involved in international trade, including its first president, Joan Padduck, who was employed by Reebok at the time. The catalyst for its creation was the filing of an apparel and footwear quota bill in Congress in 1989. Peter Friedmann, Reebok’s attorney, told senior management that if the bill passed, Reebok’s ability to import footwear would be compromised. He suggested that the company contact Bay State congressmen and inform them that the quota would negatively affect many Massachusetts importers. Senior management supported the idea, sending Friedmann and Padduck to Washington.

CONECT’s formula of trade advocacy coupled with networking and education has helped it grow to more than 1,200 members, representing basically every facet of international trade. A board of directors governs the organization, and a board member who serves as a state chair represents each of the New England states.

In D.C., Friedmann and Padduck found that the New England congressmen were shocked to hear from constituents who were in favor of imports. They said that they typically heard from the other side of the fence: the labor unions lobbying to impose quotas. It was evident to the Reebok representatives that this was not just a quota issue – it was a trade policy issue. There was a widespread misunderstanding by congressmen who believed that manufacturing was still strong


in New England, when in fact that scenario had changed over the prior decades.

The Southborough, MA-based nonprofit is composed of importers, exporters, manufacturers, traders, trade associations, customs brokers, freight forwarders, NVOCCs, logistics and transportation providers, financial institutions, law and accounting firms, warehouses and distribution centers, and port authorities.


Long Beach is the fastest,

The Coalition of New England Companies for Trade, better known by the acronym CONECT, is the most important international trade association in the Northeast.

The footwear bill was stopped and the need for an international trade group was made obvious. Peter Friedmann became counsel for CONECT and now monitors trade-related issues for the group. He is instrumental in organizing CONECT’s annual Federal Trade and Transportation Policy Briefing in Washington, which enables members to meet their legislators and discuss trade issues.

CONECT – with its pro-trade advocacy – has been the voice of New England’s shippers since its inception. Many of its importer and exporter members are high-profile companies, such as Reebok, L.L. Bean, Staples, Christmas Tree Shops, TJ Maxx, Genzyme, Hasbro, CVS, Franklin Sports, and International Forest Products. However, others represented include smaller shippers in need of expert knowledge and a forum for discussing trade issues. And although it is associated with New England, over 25 percent of the membership is from outside the six-state region, a testament to the importance of CONECT’s voice in Washington. Excerpted and adapted by permission from the American Journal of Transportation.

Coalition of New England Companies for Trade


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CONECT’s Board of Directors with CBP Commissioner Kerlikowske Front (L to R): Linda Wood, Bennett & Company; Christa Hurley, H.C. Starck; Susan Albatal, Staples; Paula Connelly, The Law Offices of Paula M. Connelly

Middle Row (L to R): Andy Rosener, Christmas Tree Shops; Karen Kenney, Janel Group Inc./Liberty; Bette Little, adidas-Group; Deb Koppenaal, Koch Membrane; Jim Mitchell, OOCL (USA) Inc. Back Row (L to R): Jack Bender, A.N. Deringer; Alison Leavitt, WSSA; Commissioner R. Gil Kerlikowske, USCBP; Joe O’Connor, Franklin Sports; Kevin Laffey, Port of Boston; Luiz da Costa, OvaScience

Not Pictured: Andy Abraham, Meeks & Sheppard; Rob Shepard, International Forest Products; Bob Leadbetter, OUTSOURCE Inc.

“CONECT has become a key educational and networking resource for me, bringing together industry experts at events to discuss a wide variety of international trade topics. CONECT members can participate and provide feedback on issues affecting us. In the ever-changing world of international trade it has become extremely helpful to be part of this group.” Julie Doane, Autopart International, Inc.


“We want to make sure great American companies such as those in New England have access to 95% of the world’s population… Thank you for everything CONECT is doing on this front.” Myron Brilliant, U.S. Chamber of Commerce

(L to R) Karen Pim, Membership Services Manager; Carol Turner, Executive Director; Stefanie Jessiman, Business Manager

Coalition of New England Companies for Trade


Coalition of New England Companies for Trade


Coalition of New England Companies for Trade CONECT Member Benefits As a CONECT member you’ll get all this and more:

Membership Types

• Discounted registration for all CONECT events

CONECT offers two types of memberships:

• Numerous annual educational, policy-focused, and networking conferences, seminars, and meetings, including “members only” events (see “CONECT Annual Events”)

• Corporate – Unlimited number of employees from a company

• CONECTivity newsletters with unique, members-only content

• Individual – One employee only from a company, nontransferable

• Important notices from U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP), the Consumer Products Safety Commission (CPSC), U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), and other regulatory agencies • Breaking news on critical trade and transportation issues

• Active representation on Capitol Hill and regular updates from Peter Friedmann, “Our Man in D.C.” • “Ask the Attorney,” a newsletter column where trade attorneys answer your legal questions • “Members only page” privileges on the CONECT website • Opportunities to earn CCS points from the NCBFAA, coordinated by CONECT staff

• Access to CONECT’s job board to post résumés or positions

• CONECT Young Professionals (CYP) program to allow junior members of your organization to learn at discounted prices • Access to sponsor candidates for CONECT’s annual Chafee Memorial Scholarship Program • Opportunity to serve on CONECT committees: Programs, Scholarship, Sponsorship, CYP, Membership, and more • Invitation to apply for a CONECT board of directors seat when available • Special offers from CONECT members and partners (discounted subscriptions, free trials, retail sales, etc.)

Go to | 508-481-0424

What Can CONECT Offer You? Crucial Industry Knowledge – Timely educational seminars and conferences on critical trade and transportation topics Breaking News – CONECTivity e-newsletters with membersonly content, industry news, legal advice, and advance notice of upcoming events Influence – Advocacy on your behalf with policymakers and regulators in Washington, D.C. Connections – Networking opportunities to share best practices with peers Development – Professional development through NCBFAA continuing education and for CONECT Young Professionals

CONECT Annual Events CONECT offers a wide range of educational, networking, and policy-focused events throughout the year. These programs are always well attended, and feedback from attendees confirms their value and importance to CONECT members and their companies. •N  ortheast Trade & Transportation Conference – two-plus days of programs featuring high-level speakers on critical trade and transportation industry topics, held each spring, often in Newport, R.I. •N  ortheast Cargo Symposium – full-day conference on hot topics, held each fall •P  roduct Classification Seminars – multiple commodities offered throughout the year, with participation by appropriate government agencies •S  eaport, Airport, and Inland Cargo Facilities Tours – offered multiple times per year 6

Coalition of New England Companies for Trade

•W  ashington D.C. Federal Trade Policy Briefing – one and a half days of meetings with members of Congress, Customs and Border Protection (CBP), Federal Maritime Commission (FMC), and White House and U.S. Trade Representative staff on Capitol Hill •L  ocal Congressional Roundtables with New England’s U.S. senators and congressional representatives •W  ebinars on critical industry topics •O  ther networking and educational opportunities as requested by members

Coalition of New England Companies for Trade


Northeast Trade & Transportation Conference CONECT produced its first Northeast Trade & Transportation Conference (popularly known as “T&T”) in 1996, and has continued to do so every year since. The T&T conference is CONECT’s biggest endeavor each year, bringing members and friends together to learn from industry experts and peers, to express their concerns and opinions, and to meet suppliers and partners. This multiday conference is held in the spring, often in Newport, R.I. Programs include daily keynote addresses, panel discussions on industry “hot topics,” an “Off the Record” forum (with no government or media representation allowed), CONECT Young Professional (CYP) presentations, Chafee Scholarship awards, sponsor awards, and an offsite dinner at a Newport landmark, such as the Astors’ Beechwood, Rosecliff, and Oceancliff mansions. “Rhode Island companies should flock to take part in the (T&T) conference. This is an opportunity in our own backyard to attend what is one of the premier supply chain forums of the year. It’s packed with a “Who’s Who” of the international logistics and supply chain field. There’s a lot to be learned. You’re getting really useful information from people who are facing the same challenges you are, learning some of the things they’ve done to drive efficiencies, and hopefully coming away with some best practices you can put in place back at your job.” Steve Silva, Care New England

Mario Cordero, Chairman, Federal Maritime Commission

“I did find your conference very valuable and the opportunity to have open discussions with colleagues of other ports authorities was indeed much appreciated. Believe me, I am not one of these ‘happy campers’ who is always positive about any event they go to. Sincere thanks for the quality of your event.” Guillaume Lamothe, Port of Montreal

“Thanks for a great conference and your support of and use of our supply chain degree students. It was a great experience. Doug Hales, URI

Coalition of New England Companies for Trade


Coalition of New England Companies for Trade


Senator John Chafee Scholarship Program By Bob Leadbetter

Avalon congratulates CONECT

The Senator John Chafee Memorial Scholarship Program was inaugurated in 2000. Since the program’s inception, more than $100,000 has been awarded to undergraduate and graduate students to help defray the onerous cost of a college education. John Chafee left a legacy of service and commitment to both state and country. He served as state representative, governor, and U.S. senator from the state of Rhode Island, as well as secretary of the Navy and in the U.S. Marine Corps during both World War II and the Korean War. Senator Chafee was a great friend to CONECT during its formative years. It was a natural decision to name CONECT’s scholarship program after him, and it is an honor for scholarship recipients to be associated with Senator Chafee, even in this small way. CONECT offers two scholarships dedicated to trade- and transportation-related studies as well as other awards that are open to students in any major. The program requires students to be entering their second year of an undergraduate program or higher. Students must be sponsored by a CONECT member, and they must write an essay explaining to the scholarship committee why they should be considered for an award. There currently are four legacy scholarships: the Donald F. Cameron Scholarship, bestowed upon a deserving student in a trade- or logistics-related area of study; the Gemini Shippers Association Scholarship, which is geared toward business-related majors; and the Dorea International and Boston Foreign Commerce Club scholarship awards, which are earmarked for students of exemplary merit in any field of study.

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All four of the legacy scholarships are funded by dedicated people within our industry who want to “give back” to our community. Our thanks go to the Camerons, the family of the late industry “captain” Don Cameron; the senior management of Gemini Shippers Association; the managing partners of the international trade consulting firm Dorea International; and the dedicated leadership of the Boston Foreign Commerce Club.

Avalon Risk Management provides CONECT members with the best tailored coverage for your operations and the most cutting-edge technology in the industry. Cargo Insurance • Customs & Transportation Bonds • Errors & Omissions Insurance Cargo Legal Liability Insurance • Property & Casualty Insurance • Truck Insurance Courier Insurance • Credit Insurance

Coalition of New England Companies for Trade

General scholarships are provided through funds raised from the CONECT membership via raffles and donations. The number of scholarship awards we have made to date is a testament to our members’ dedication to this worthy cause and is truly an extension of Senator Chafee’s commitment to service. This work may be carried out on a different stage, but it is nonetheless an admirable commitment to something Senator Chafee supported and believed in: helping our community’s younger generation achieve their dreams of success. If you would like to establish a legacy award or make an individual donation, please contact any member of CONECT’s board of directors or staff.

Visit for more information.

Bob Leadbetter with Chafee Scholarship Recipients

Bob Leadbetter is Vice President, Business Development at OUTSOURCE, Inc., CONECT Director, and Chairman of the Chafee Scholarship Committee. 10

CONECT and the Senator John Chafee Memorial Scholarship Fund wish to thank the following legacy donors, whose generous donations enhance CONECT’s member donations each year. The Cameron Family – Don Cameron Legacy Scholarship Gemini Shippers Association – Gemini Legacy Scholarship Dorea International – Dorea Legacy Scholarship Foreign Commerce Club of Boston – FCC Legacy Scholarship Your giving spirit helps deserving students move toward a better future!

Coalition of New England Companies for Trade








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CO NECT CONECT celebrated its 25 years of commitment to the New England trade community on April 13, 2016, at a soiree in Newport, R.I.’s historic Rosecliff. Nearly 250 CONECT members and friends enjoyed the opulence of the famed Gilded Age mansion. A reception on the terrace overlooking the Atlantic and Newport’s famous Cliff Walk featured cocktails, hors d’oeuvres, networking, and live music. Later, dinner in the gorgeous Rosecliff dining salon was followed by an extraordinary dessert display and a lively after-hours piano recital.


Coalition of New England Companies for Trade

Coalition of New England Companies for Trade


It’s Your Money!

The man to see in D.C.

Since 1988

New England Do you qualify for Drawback Specialists, Inc.

An Interview with Peter Friedmann


It’s no surprise that Peter A. Friedmann’s e-mail address is “OurManInDC.” That handily sums up the role he plays on behalf of industry associations, individual companies, and local government agencies that depend on transportation and international trade.

You qualify for a DUTY DRAWBACK program if: • You import goods and later export them in the same condition • Your Bill of Material includes some imported components to manufacture products which are later exported.

Friedmann, who holds a law degree from the University of Washington, is well-known in transportation and trade circles as someone who understands both private industry and government – and is adept at getting the two to communicate with each other.

RETROACTIVE THREE YEARS = substantial refunds available

Bob Kenneally, President


Even before he finished law school, Friedmann knew he wanted to get involved in policy rather than work in a traditional law practice. That’s exactly what he did, signing on as Legislative Counsel to U.S. Senator Bob Packwood of Oregon in 1979 and serving as senior counsel to the U.S. Senate Committee on Commerce, Science & Transportation from 1980 to 1986. While working with the Senate, he helped to write and implement such influential laws as the Ocean Shipping Act of 1984, several Foreign Trade Zone amendments, and legislation for the Harbor Maintenance Fee and Trust Fund.

Since 1988

New England

Drawback Specialists, Inc.

Friedmann now heads FBB Federal Relations, the governmentrelations arm of the Portland, Ore.-based law firm Lindsay Hart LLP. In that capacity, he represents the interests of individual companies, local governments, port authorities, and transportationand trade-focused associations like the Coalition of New England Companies for Trade (CONECT).



Coalition of New England Companies for Trade

Which organizations do you represent, and what responsibilities do you carry out on their behalf ?

We represent many exporters and importers, both as individual companies and as members of some of the coalitions we’ve created. One of them is CONECT. Nothing has been more central to my belief in the power of grass-roots organizations to advance national interests, and nothing has provided greater personal satisfaction than the establishment of CONECT. Another is the Agriculture Transportation Coalition, which is very active in the ocean shipping arena, particularly promoting U.S. exports. Then there are other association clients that are quite active in international trade, such as the Pacific Coast Council of Customs Brokers and Freight Forwarders and the Pacific Northwest Asia Shippers Association. We also represent Indian tribes. And we help port authorities, transit agencies, state and local governments, and Indian tribes get funding for infrastructure, ranging from wastewater plants to ferry boats and roads.

We become the vehicle to communicate their interests to members of Congress. We organize visits like the annual CONECT Trade Briefing in Washington, and we help them draft their comments and position papers to make sure they’re heard. We provide advice on developments we believe are coming long before they hit the pages of the press. So we provide a crystal ball and a continual “heads up” alert.


Why is it important for companies engaged in international trade to know what’s happening in Washington?


So many issues that the federal government deals with can have a direct impact on the livelihoods of individuals and the businesses for which they work. It’s often hard to keep track of what Congress and the executive branch are doing and when agencies like Customs and Border Protection (CBP) promulgate new rules. Some rules are obscure, while others find their way onto the front page of The Wall Street Journal or The New York Times. How Congress and the executive branch act on those issues directly affects many companies. They want to know about potential threats to their businesses as early as possible. For example, if Congress or the International Trade Commission imposed retaliatory and punitive duties on certain products from China, it could put an importer out of business. The sooner that importer knows what’s being considered, the sooner it can plan for that possibility, such as adjusting sourcing. It can also get engaged by trying to impact, through lobbying, the decisions that Congress and federal agencies make.


Why is international trade such a contentious subject?

The complexity of all trade policy issues lies in the fact that there are winners and losers every time. There is no clear black and white; there are lots of grays. For example, a persistent political issue in Congressional trade debates is China’s so-called currency manipulation. It may sound like a good idea to increase the value of the Chinese yuan – a lower dollar would create more opportunities for our exports to China and other countries as our products become more affordable relative to the Chinese products. But many U.S.-manufactured goods include Chinese-made components. If those components become more expensive, so will the finished U.S.-assembled products. If our consumers can’t afford to

Coalition of New England Companies for Trade


pay for higher-cost goods sourced entirely or in part in China, then declining sales will lead to job losses in the retail and logistics supply chain serving those imports. That’s the two-edged sword of trade issues.

Washington D.C. Federal Trade Policy Briefing

Even a question like whether the Generalized System of Preferences should be renewed [has two sides]. If it isn’t renewed, it will create great dislocation for anyone who imports things like baskets from Indonesia or ceramics from Guatemala. It could impact a lot of things we take for granted, like the coffee mug you’re holding. If that mug comes under GSP and GSP is not renewed, would it then be manufactured here in the United States, or would it just become more expensive to import?

CONECT’s annual Federal Trade Policy Briefing gives members access to some of the most influential D.C. insiders, both on and off Capitol Hill. The program (open to CONECT members only) begins on a Tuesday with a working lunch briefing featuring meetings with U.S. Customs and Border Protection, the Federal Maritime Commission, and leaders of major manufacturing, retail, and importers’ trade associations. Dinner that night with a senior government official is always a special event. On Wednesday, the group begins a busy day with a motivational breakfast at the Capitol Hill Club with the Chief Trade Counsel for the U.S. House of Representatives. We then proceed to Capitol Hill to take our messages directly to the New England congressional delegation. There we split into small groups, visiting delegates and their staffers in their offices to convey CONECT’s pro-trade message. A wrap-up session in a well-known Washington, D.C., watering hole gives group members a chance to swap stories of their day before heading to the airport.

Peter at the helm of one of his very popular “Off the Record” Sessions at CONECT’s “T&T” Conference. The point is, while it may be apparent to some of us that more trade is good for You have many notable achievements on your résumé. Can the economy, efforts to promote trade will be opposed by many enyou point to one you’re particularly proud of ? trenched labor interests and some domestic manufacturers. This is Playing a role in the establishment of CONECT, which driving the contentious debate over the TransPacific Partnership; continues to be the leading pro-trade organization in New it’s what makes this legislative stew we keep stirring so interesting. England, has been particularly noteworthy. More specifically, emA number of countries (including the United States) and ploying creative means to help small business achieve meaningful at least one intergovernmental body – the World Customs policy victories, at times over the opposition of much larger and Organization (WCO) – have developed their own cargo security better-funded interest groups, really makes me happy. programs. Will these security regimes eventually be harmonized? For example, we did an event for a U.S. senator, a very powerful chair of an important committee. We organized a group of his conWe are already getting close to harmonized security stanstituents, all small businesses. Some employed only two or three dards. For example, following 9/11 CBP promulgated the people; the largest employed maybe 50. These folks were import“24-hour rule,” under which cargo manifest information has to be ers and customs brokers concerned about possible retaliatory duties submitted to U.S. Customs 24 hours prior to the loading of the inagainst certain imports from Vietnam and China that were being bound vessel at the foreign port. The European Union, China, Kopursued by powerful anti-trade interests. How could they get across rea, Canada, and others have implemented their own 24-hour rules. the message that this would hurt their businesses? These are key elements of the effort at the WCO to create a single database so that export data submitted by an exporter becomes the We held a meeting on the floor of a warehouse in the senator’s home import data for the customs agency overseas. state. We put picnic tables out on the floor, with equipment working



The real issue with all these security measures, in my view, is whether we’re creating an industry devoted to providing security without continuous and vigorous assessment of the impact of those security measures on commerce and on our lives generally. Every time we undertake a new security measure, not only are we adding a dollar cost but we’re also adding costs through additional delays and reduced efficiency of trade processes. These costs become in themselves barriers to international trade. For example, CBP’s Customs-Trade Partnership Against Terrorism (C-TPAT) program has been the subject of debate and Congressional inquiry as to its cost/benefit for security and trade. You’ve heard of the military-industrial complex? I fear we are in a “security-industrial complex” now. The need for security must be balanced against trade facilitation, the capacity of taxpayers to pay for it, our way of life, and our civil liberties. 16

and people doing their jobs, forklift drivers whizzing around, and the noise of container doors opening up. The senator saw how many people, including Teamsters and other blue-collar workers, were employed in this import business, and it gave him a better perspective on the needs of small business and the benefits of trade – which was much more effective than a visit from suit-wearing Washington lobbyists bearing campaign contributions. That’s what I really like to do: help small businesses cut through the noise of the federal bureaucracy and fundraisers. There’s a little bit of a sense of David taking on Goliath – even though when interests do align, we are very glad to work with Goliath. Toby Gooley is Senior Editor, DC Velocity, and Editor, CSCMP’s Supply Chain Quarterly. Adapted and reprinted by permission from DC Velocity.

Coalition of New England Companies for Trade

“This mission was truly an outstanding use of two days in Washington, D.C. The organization of events was perfect: first starting us off with readable and focused background briefing papers, followed by an internal roundtable to make sure the concerns of each of us in the CONECT group would be addressed. Then to some outstanding presentations by government officials and insiders regarding what we should expect next year. The open forum allowed a free flow of Q&A, frequently with candor one would never see in the press. And then to talk with key staff for New England congressmen and senators (and sometimes the legislators themselves!) was truly a golden opportunity. I cannot say enough about this year’s D.C. Mission. You’ve set the bar very high for yourselves.” Geoff Giovanetti, Vernon Group, Reston, VA

“My thanks to Peter and his team for organizing such a great program. The takeaways from the meetings will certainly benefit me in my day-to-day activities, as will meeting with those on the Hill and getting insights on many issues that are important to us..”

“This trip is very well done! It’s the easiest way to get and give essential information, and stay current on trade issues that are important to you and your company. This trip will help you understand how important your voice is, and how one person can make a difference. Once you go for the first time you will be wondering why the heck you hadn’t signed up before now.” Christa Hurley, H.C. Starck

“Thank you so much, Peter and team, for making our visit down to D.C. so great. When we get back to “the trenches” after our D.C. trip, our jobs are so much richer and more interesting after having been up on the Hill where so much is decided (or not decided), and having met so many of the key folks who generously share their insight and knowledge on important issues.” Linda Wood, Bennett Imports

Deb Koppenaal, Koch Membrane

Coalition of New England Companies for Trade


CONECT Young Professionals (CYPs)

CONECT’s leaders recognize that our younger members will eventually become the organization’s leaders. The more they learn now about CONECT and the trade and transportation industry, the stronger and more effective the future CONECT organization will be. The CONECT Young Professionals (CYP) subgroup was formed in 2012 with a goal of creating varied opportunities for CYPs to learn from each other, and to build a strong and viable network of up-and-coming trade and transportation professionals within CONECT. These opportunities currently include: • A convivial and casual CYP Annual Meeting • Industry facility tours

• Community volunteer days

• O utreach at college career programs

Northeast Cargo Symposium (NECS) This popular annual fall event is a shortened version of the Northeast Trade & Transportation Conference held in the spring. Over 200 people gather for a full-day symposium to hear from trade and transportation experts on critical industry topics. Panels of industry executives and government specialists focus on specific topics or programs, and a keynote presenter offers a “big picture” view. Plenty of networking gets accomplished at breakfast and an evening cocktail reception. NECS also raises donations for the Chafee Scholarship fund to be awarded to deserving college applicants in the spring.

“These events have always been the best place to get the most up-to-date information regarding imports, exports, transportation, government issues, and Customs programs. These seminars and symposiums are so well run, informational, stress-free, and just a great meeting place… CONECT has been a large part of my life for the past 25 years. It has brought me knowledge and information that makes me a valuable asset to my employer.” Cindy Benway, TACO

• Special breakout sessions at annual CONECT events

• Invitations to speak on “Young Professional Voices,” a “Talking Logistics” video series where young professionals offer their perspectives on supply chain and logistics trends All CONECT members under the age of 34 are eligible and are encouraged to join the CYP group at no extra cost. CYP benefits include admission to all CYP events and discounted registrations at most other CONECT events.

“Thank you, CONECT! As always, you did a wonderful job of providing the perfect mix of information and networking. Thank you for all you do for us!” Betty Robson, JF Moran



Coalition of New England Companies for Trade

Coalition of New England Companies for Trade


Seminars and Workshops

Giving Freight a Voice

Classification Seminars CONECT’s Product Classification Seminars cover many products, as requested by members. Officials from various government agencies and customs attorneys share their expertise and instruct attendees on best practices in assessing and classifying variations of the products in question. CONECT has run seminars for the following product categories: • Biotech products

• Chemicals

• Footwear

• Toys and games

• Medical devices • Apparel

• Festive articles

“The apparel seminar was very informative, reinforcing what I did know and also clearing up the gray areas and adding new knowledge that will make my job less confusing.” Donna VanAernam, Swany America Corp.

By Barry Horowitz

The Coalition of New England Companies for Trade (CONECT) is the largest nonprofit, member-based international trade organization in the U.S. Northeast. Its membership includes companies and individuals from six states – Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Connecticut, Vermont, New Hampshire, and Maine – and across all industry sectors – importers and exporters; ocean carriers, ports, and terminal operators; freight forwarders, non-vessel-operating common carriers, customs brokers, and distribution centers; banks, attorneys, and consultants; state agencies; industry associations; media organizations, and others. CONECT’s broad and deep membership forms the basis for its mission of trade advocacy, continuous education, and networking activities. The fall Cargo Symposium is one of two major annual CONECT events, the other being the Northeast Trade and Transportation Conference, held each year in Newport, R.I. Other significant activities include a group mission to Washington, D.C., to meet with, brief, and be briefed by New England federal officials, and various other trade-related meetings. While the old industry adage that “freight doesn’t vote” remains true, CONECT doesn’t take this to mean that cargo has no voice. From the organization’s beginning in 1991, it has represented the interests of New England importers and exporters in matters of international shipping and logistics as well as all issues dealing with Customs and every other regulatory agency that has any impact on companies’ ability to efficiently move their products into or out of the United States. It’s a very ambitious agenda and one that isn’t often accomplished in such a sustained and focused manner.

Consumer Product Safety Luncheon

ACE Seminar

Darlene Elmblad, Acushnet Company, Louann Spirito, SGS, and Diane Weinberg, Meeks & Sheppard covered consumer safety aspects of footwear and apparel, along with ACE requirements, CPSC eFiling, and best practices for CPSC compliance.

STR’s Mark Tallo gave a practical training seminar on CBP’s Automated Commercial Environment (ACE) web portal to help attendees improve efficiency and identify cost savings.


Coalition of New England Companies for Trade

The fall symposium provides an excellent example of the wide range of subjects of interest to CONECT’s members: the changing landscape at Customs and the Department of Homeland Security, of which Customs is a part; the movement and security of products and people across all of America’s borders; the potential impact of ocean carrier alliances; and other issues that lie ahead of our industry, including waterfront labor uncertainty, carrier overcapacity and weak demand for space, the ongoing chassis dilemma, and the continued downward pressure on rates and the effect on carrier financial results. Panels discuss such topics as the ongoing hours-of-service rules for the trucking industry; regulations in the airfreight industry; CBP’s agenda for importers, exporters, forwarders, and brokers; and the agency’s Centers of Excellence and Expertise. Peter Friedmann, an international trade attorney, provides an insider’s look at what goes on in the halls of the federal government.

acknowledgment of an important issue facing this business in the future: the need for a more serious approach to succession planning across our entire industry. CONECT aims to build a network of young professionals of the next generation who will form the cadre of industry leaders over the next three to four decades. This extended review of CONECT isn’t intended as a promotional vehicle. I’m neither a member nor even a regular participant at the organization’s events. I just wanted to highlight the excellent service CONECT offers to the local and regional international trade community and the effective trade-promotion activities, for exports as well as imports, of this group. If you don’t know CONECT, check them out at If you have a similar group in your area, attend their meetings and get involved. If you don’t have access to a similar organization, get together with your local industry friends and colleagues and get one started. Freight may not vote, but we can speak with one voice. Make sure you’re heard. Barry Horowitz is principal of CMS Consulting Services. Adapted and reprinted by permission from The Journal of Commerce.

INTRAL corporation SINCE 1987




The CONECT Young Professionals group was established in 2012 for relative newcomers to our industry (age 33 and younger) as an

Coalition of New England Companies for Trade


Boston Cargo Facilities Tours

Trade with Canada Seminars

CONECT offers two to three cargo tours in Boston per year (spring, summer, and fall). These tours are comprehensive, full-day events, incorporating breakfast at Massport’s Fish Pier offices, followed by visits to U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) at the International Cargo Port and to Conley Container Terminal, where the group interacts not only with CBP, but also with Massport officials, security officers, and longshoremen. A networking lunch follows at Liberty Wharf in the bustling new Seaport District. The group then moves on to Logan Airport’s Cargo Complex for an aviation overview, visits the 9/11 Memorial, and observes a K9 demonstration by CBP at Boston Freight Terminals’ General Order warehouse. The busy day ends with an optional tour and tasting at the Harpoon Brewery. This event is the most comprehensive tour of its kind in New England and always sells out.

“Best CONECT event this year was the Boston cargo port tour. It was an exceptional and rich experience, visiting the terminals and observing the truck portal, touring the port, and meeting with Massport and CBP folks. And on top of it being a great learning experience, it was a firstclass session. Hard to beat!”

CONECT has partnered with the Consulate General of Canada in Boston, which serves all of New England, to shed light on the benefits and best practices of New England companies that are trading with Canada. At these events, consuls general have laid out the “Beyond the Border Action Plan” for interested CONECT members in the states of Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Maine, and Vermont. Speakers have included CONECT BCOs from those states who currently trade with Canada, as well as U.S. Customs and Border Protection and Canadian Border Services Agency officials; customs attorneys; and cross-border business consultants.

“CONECT is our go-to source for knowledge, expertise, and connections related to all aspects of our import and export supply chain operations. Through the tangible value delivered at CONECT educational events, we have become a trusted advisor to our clients for expertise regarding their import and export operations. When we do not have an answer in-house, we can find the subjectmatter expert through the CONECT network.” Tim Barrett, Barrett Distribution Centers

Worcester Cargo Facilities Tour

Jim Rice, MIT

The Worcester cargo tour included a meeting with Customs officers at Euro-American’s airport warehouse, where officers explained the system of cargo processing through Worcester. A CBP K9 unit successfully performed a currency search and seizure demonstration. A tour of Worcester Airport followed, just before the group traveled to Intransit Container’s yard to view the double-stack rail terminal and intermodal yard, which offers daily rail service to NY/NJ, trucking, a neutral chassis pool, and a transload warehouse. CSX’s state-of-the-art rail facility, a domestic intermodal freight yard, was the last official stop of a busy CONECT day.

“Thank you all for your efforts in arranging and providing us with a very informative tour last week. Stefanie and Karen did a fantastic job with every aspect of our day in Boston. I found them both to be very knowledgeable, well organized, and thorough.” Noreen Morgan, CPM

“My company has sent all of our buyers on the CONECT Boston port tour, which has helped them greatly to understand how freight moves in and out of the country. It is always a great venue to stay in touch with people who understand your business better than anyone else.” Cindy Benway, TACO 22

Coalition of New England Companies for Trade

Coalition of New England Companies for Trade


CONECT’s Congressional Roundtables Congressman Stephen Lynch (D-MA) joins Massport CEO Tom Glynn in a discussion of Boston’s trade and transportation issues at a CONECT Roundtable Luncheon, held at the Harpoon Brewery. CONECT board of directors members meet with Senator Jack Reed at Quonset Development/Port of Davisville, R.I.

CONECT meets Congressman Jim McGovern (D-MA) at Euro-American’s offices in Worcester, MA

CONECT regularly hosts member meetings with New England’s congressional delegates to keep them apprised of trade and transportation issues affecting their constituents and to advocate for trade. The intimate size of these events allows for lively interaction between congressional representatives and CONECT members. Here are just some of the Congressional Roundtables CONECT has hosted over the years: • Congresswoman Niki Tsongas (MA)

• Congressman Richard Neal (MA)

• Congressman David Cicciline (RI)

• Congressman Michael Capuano (MA)

• Congressman Stephen Lynch (MA) • Senator Jack Reed (RI)

• Congresswoman Chellie Pingree (ME) • Congressman Jim McGovern (MA)

• Congressman Peter Welch (VT)

• Congressman Barney Frank (MA) • Congressman Chris Shays (CT)

• Congressman Joe Moakley (MA)

For a Congressional Roundtable in your district, contact CONECT at 508-481-0424.

Congressman Michael Capuano (D-MA) greets CONECT at Teradyne in Boston.

CONECT Thanks Our Partners


Coalition of New England Companies for Trade

CONNECTING BOSTON & NEW ENGLAND TO GLOBAL MARKETS • Direct Weekly Container Services to Asia, North Europe, Mediterranean, Caribbean and South America.

• 10 Gates, No Delays, Average Turn Times = 32 Minutes • Fast, Efficient, Reliable Service • Excellent Highway Access - I-90, I-93 and I-95 • Easy Access To 14 Million New England Consumers • 100% Credit On Harbor Maintenance Tax For Massachusetts Companies

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