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Companies across the transport industry are working to develop today's vision into tomorrow's reality ─ from intercity transportation to global transport. To exploit emerging opportunities, the world's leading transportation companies and service providers are turning to Holland & Knight because of our extensive experience, our deep knowledge and our prompt responsiveness. With a long history of representing clients in transportation matters, we advise clients at nearly every point in the supply and distribution chains and deal with the myriad issues that have emerged in the industry. Some of the issues our clients are facing include:
- Aviation and aerospace clients are looking at how to maximize opportunities in the next frontier ─ commercial space transportation. Aerospace companies expanding into this sector are busy planning for these operations, but are hesitant on some fronts due to the emerging regulatory and legal issues that will surround this new mode of transportation and tourism.
- Existing aircraft fleets are becoming too old and uneconomical to operate at current projected future fuel prices and, therefore, need to be replaced. At the same time, demands for travel capacity are increasing, as is the per unit capital cost of aviation equipment. Carriers must determine how long to keep their less efficient equipment in service and defer the acquisition ─ and capital expense ─ of replacement equipment. Once they opt to replace equipment, carriers must find sources of capital to finance their needs. Traditional bank lending capacity is challenged by existing financial conditions. Export credit agencies have provided enormous quantities of capital already to fill gaps. Hedge funds have made significant investments in the sector and continue to do so. Capital market transactions were a major source of capital until the 2007 credit crisis and are only now starting to emerge as a viable source of capital once again.
- Maritime industry leaders are calling for radical change to improve customer service in the face of declining freight rates, increasing operating costs and a growing sensitivity to environmental concerns. As the market evolves, those with the talent, the resources and the fortitude to make the necessary changes will succeed.
- Transit providers and their private sector partners are looking for a streamlined project approval process at the federal, state and local level, as well as seeking to expand the use of innovative approaches to delivering major capital projects. The industry is anticipating an expanded use of project finance utilizing dedicated sources of revenue and expanding the role of the private sector to operate and maintain transit services.
- In the worldwide marketplace, goods and products are moving across boundaries ─ triggering oversight by state and national regulatory entities. Adding to compliance with local operational rules and regulations is a renewed commitment to comply with laws such as the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) and the False Claims Act (FCA). Companies doing business with domestic and international governments are increasingly undertaking internal investigations and compliance initiatives to assure adherence with these laws.
- Transportation finance players continue to sift through the substantial landscape changes stemming from mergers, consolidations and other upheavals among lenders. As a result, borrowers are finding that ─ with the dust settling ─ lending is even more relationship-driven but that the lenders are also more cautious and decisions and turnaround times are even longer than in the past. The market is also experiencing further growth in international deals.
- For timely updates on transportation issues, bookmark the Holland & Knight Transportation Blog.
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