Update on the second-phase of the National Export Initiative 

The Containerization and Intermodal Institute (CII) held its "2014 Transportation Outlook: Challenges and Solutions" seminar in Charleston, SC on May 20, 2014. The event tackled a variety of issues affecting the transportation industry, including providing an update on the National Export Initiative. Pictured at center is Michael DiVirgilio, President of CII, with event's headliners, James I. Newsome, III, President & CEO, South Carolina Ports Authority on the left, and, on the right, Antwaun Griffin, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Domestic Operations, US Department of Commerce, International Trade Administration.

CHARLESTON, SC (May 23, 2014) -- The Containerization and Intermodal Institute (CII), the premier international trade and transportation association in containerization in shipping, held the "2014 Transportation Outlook: Challenges and Solutions" seminar and networking event on May 20th in Charleston. The one-day, three-panel seminar and networking event took place at the Renaissance Charleston Historic District Hotel with keynote speaker Antwaun Griffin, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Domestic Operations, U.S. Department of Commerce, International Trade Administration and luncheon speaker, James I. Newsome, III, President & CEO, South Carolina Ports Authority.  

Griffin spoke with an update on the governments' National Export Initiative (NEI), which was launched in 2010 as an effort to help U.S. companies increase exports, expand into new markets, and compete globally. In 2013, U.S. exports reached $2.3 trillion, which resulted in jobs supported by those exports reaching 11.3 million. Up more than 1.6 million since 2009, the government recognizes the growth but will be launching NEI Next, the second phase of NEI.  

"The second phase of NEI was based on four years of input from the business community and all of our stakeholders," said Griffin. "Launched last week by (US Commerce) Secretary Penny Pritzker, NEI Next is a data-based and customer service driven initiative to ensure that more American businesses can fully capitalize on markets that are opening up around the world."  

Jim Newsome followed with his speech on "Big Ships, Bigger Alliances Drive Change" with topics on the mega-alliances and its effect on the industry and an update on South Carolina's port expansion. Newsome noted that­­ the harbor deepening project in Charleston is on track to be completed in 2018.   The seminar hosted three panel discussions, which began with the first panel topic "Container Freight Outlook" with Joseph Bonney, Senior Editor, Journal of Commerce as moderator and panelists James R. Brennan, Partner, Norbridge and Mark Condon, Business Development Manager, Datamyne.  

The second panel followed with "Encouraging Export Growth" with Hayes Howard, CEO, American Shipper as moderator and panelists Enrique Cabrera, Director of Transportation & Import/Export, Michelin North America and Marc Waetjen, Director of Sales & Customer Support, FMS Logistics.  

The final panel focused on the topic "Modal Shift, Increasing Rail Volume" with Barry Horowitz, Cargo Business News as moderator, and panelists Doug Beddome, Trader, Lansing Trader Group, Terry L. Bunch, Vice President Business Development, PLG Consulting; and Ed Elkins, Group VP International Intermodal, Norfolk Southern.  

CII awarded $1,500 scholarships to two deserving students at Charleston-area colleges. The scholarship recipient was Savannah Monaghan, a senior at the College of Charleston, majoring in Accounting and Business Administration with a minor in Global Logistics and Transportation. The second student was Patrick Lewis a junior at The Citadel, who has a major in Business and a specialization in Supply Chain Management.  

About CII: Containerization & Intermodal Institute (CII), a non-profit organization founded in 1960, promotes industry awareness, preserves the history of intermodalism, and engages scholarly interest in the field by organizing educational conferences and seminars, serving as an information resource, providing networking opportunities, offering career guidance, arranging internships and facilitating scholarships. For more information, visit www.containerization.org

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