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While industry experts have seen shipping contracts favor higher-volume shippers, one industry association is creating its own niche alliance. The Synthetic Organic Chemical Manufacturers Association (SOCMA), whose membership is composed of batch and specialty-chemical manufacturers, has formed the Chemical Shippers Association (CSA).
Higher rates for shippers of smaller quantities have created a need for a consortium that can combine volumes and lower total shipping costs. The transportation sector experienced a decade of change. Following the deregulation and consolidation of the railroad industry, the maritime industry has recently undergone similar changes. Changes in the shipping regulations do not go unnoticed by the largest exporting sector in the United States economy, the chemical and allied products industry.
Last summer, SOCMA’s International Affairs Committee realized the potential economic harm that further deregulation and consolidation of transportation sectors could cause, especially regarding smaller chemical businesses. The committee recommended that SOCMA’s Association Management Center (AMC) examine ways to lessen the burden for small- and medium-sized chemical shippers.
SOCMA’s AMC formed CSA to meet the challenges faced by shippers of chemicals and allied products. The primary mission is to leverage the combined volume and experience of its members and obtain more favorable shipping-contract rates and services. The association will represent its members in shipping-contract negotiations. CSA will also negotiate freight-consolidation services and intermodal-container leasing. Additionally, CSA will serve as a unique, central location for gathering and disseminating information about chemical logistics, and will hold informative seminars on current issues.
CSA’s membership is open to any company that ships chemicals and/or allied products, including those destined for consumer markets. There are no restrictions regarding the size of the company or the volume of shipments. All companies are welcome to join the CSA, regardless of their affiliation with other chemical trade associations. By opening the shippers’ association to all interested parties, CSA will maximize negotiable volumes and increase the benefits to all members.
The Chemical Shippers Association is located at 1850 M St., NW, Suite 700, Washington, DC 20036. The association’s Web site is www.chemshippers.com. James Cooper is the executive director and can be contacted by phone: 202-721-4158, fax: 202-296-8120, or e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.