The Washington-based Institute of International Container Lessors (IICL) has appointed Dennis Lombardi to president, effective Jan. 1.
Lombardi will take over from Steven Blust, who will be retiring as president but will stay on at the IICL as a senior adviser.
Prior to this appointment, Lombardi operated his own consulting firm, Lusoco Consulting, and worked with Global Logistics Development Partners as an associate advising on maritime logistics.
He had spent 40 years previously working for the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, including serving as deputy director of port commerce and running the day-to-day operations for the department and preparing capital investments.
After his retirement from the port authority, Lombardi spent five years as an executive with third-party logistics services firm Romark Logistics.
This extensive experience is what attracted the IICL to hire Lombardi, said IICL Chairman Robert Sappio in a statement Monday. “We are confident he will serve as a strong leader who will guide the organization as the industry continues to evolve,” he added.
Blust has served as IICL president since 2006, after serving a four-year appointment to chairman of the U.S. Federal Maritime Commission. Before that, he served nearly four decades in the ocean container shipping industry.
The IICL said it benefited from Blust’s extensive industry and regulatory experience during his tenure as president. He guided the container leasing industry through complicated issues, such as combating counterfeit refrigerant usage and global financial market disruptions.
“Mr. Blust’s cooperative approach to developing an agile organization supported the membership in minimizing risk and adopting best practices to mitigate operational challenges,” the institute said.
Blust, 72, told American Shipper that he is most pleased with this work on technical matters that involved improving the economics and environmental integrity of the ocean container. This included designing a new floor system to reduce use of hardwoods and applying safer anti-corrosion coatings to the steel exteriors of the boxes.
Blust also pointed to the IICL’s work on container safety issues, such as container stacking and strengthening. In addition, the IICL has incorporated more operational and regulatory matters surrounding container chassis.
The IICL was founded as a trade association representing maritime container and intermodal chassis lessors in 1971. Its member companies include Beacon Intermodal, CAI, Direct ChassisLink, Flexi-Van, SeaCube Container, Textainer, TOUAX, TRAC Intermodal and Triton International.