What to expect from the 10th annual Surface Transportation Summit

Ten years ago, my colleagues at Newcom Media and Dan Goodwill & Associates set out to create a high quality educational and networking event for Transportation Professionals and Decision-Makers. From humble beginnings, the conference has evolved into Canada’s premier event in the Surface Transportation Industry. The Surface Transportation Summit now attracts hundreds of Logistics executives, Transportation Industry owners and leaders, vendors to this industry, government officials, consultants, educators, and students.

To celebrate the tenth anniversary of the Summit, the organizers, in partnership with the Freight Management Association of Canada, the Canadian Trucking Alliance and the CSCMP Toronto Roundtable have created an agenda that encompasses the most important issues of the day and assembled an elite group of moderators and panelists to address these topics. As always, the conference will begin with a discussion of the top forces that have shaped the economies and the freight industry in Canada and the United States in 2018 and will power it in 2019. Paul Ferley, Assistant Chief Economist, Royal Bank of Canada, will provide an overview of the direction of the Canadian economy. He will be followed by Walter Spracklin, Managing Director, RBC Capital Markets and David Ross, Research Managing Director, Stifel Financial Corp who will discuss the trucking and rail industries in Canada and the United States. This will be followed by a moderator led discussion with Paul Roach, President & CEO, Belmont Meat Products and Scott Smith, President, JD Smith & Sons who will share their insights on the economic projections for 2019.

The will be followed by an inside look at New Freight Transportation Technologies for Manufacturers, Distributors, and Retailers. In brief interviews, Brian Hodgson, VP, Transportation Strategy, Descartes Systems will provide some thoughts on Shipment Visibility, Dave Brajkovich, Chief Technology Officer, Polaris Transportation Group, and Iliana Oris Valiente, Managing Director, Accenture | Founder at ColliderX Blockchain R&D Hub, will discuss the Blockchain movement, Martin Abadi, Counsel, Borden Ladner Gervais LLP will provide his insights on Connected Trucks and Charles Fallon, Principal, Supply Chain Intelligence will talk about Warehouse Automation.

The Shipper-Carrier Roundtable has always been a popular track. This year Dan Einwechter, Chairman and CEO, Challenger Group of Companies, Tracy Raimondo, Vice President, Logistics, Normandin Transit, John Ferguson, President, Purolator, Andrew Fuller, Assistant Vice President, Domestic Intermodal, CN Rail, Geoffrey Joseph, President & CEO, Joseph Haulage Canada, Martin Pede, Manager Zinc Sales, Hudson Bay Mining and Fiona Renzi-Fantin, VP, Supply Chain, Maple Leaf Foods will debate some of the hot issues facing shippers and carriers in 2018.

The afternoon will feature three tracks that will run in parallel. This allows the attendees to select those topics that are the best match for their interests and priorities. While today’s supply chain is becoming longer and more complicated, customers are demanding shorter delivery times at low or no cost. Kerry Rambalie, Senior Manager, Domestic Transportation, Gap Inc. and Michael English, Managing Director, Accenture will address how a cost effective Last Mile Delivery option is the ticket to entry in the Ecommerce market.

The mandated implementation of electronic logic devices in the United States in December 2017 has had a significant impact on capacity and on the provision of some truckload services. Mark Seymour, President, Kriska Transportation Group, Stephen Laskowski, President, Canadian Trucking Alliance and Barry Somerville, Safety Project Manager, FedEx Ground, based in Pittsburgh, PA will share their experiences on the US ELD implementation and provide some tips for the upcoming implementation in Canada.

The third track in this set will provide the attendees with opportunities to meet in small moderator-led groups to discuss LTL shipping, truckload shipping, intermodal and rail transportation and Canada’s new trade agreements. Ray Haight, Founder, Stack Up, Andrew Fuller, AVP Domestic Intermodal, Sales & Marketing, CN Rail and Bob Armstrong, President, Chartered Institute of Logistics and Transport in North America will be three of the moderators.

This set of tracks will be followed by three more. Driver shortages, tight capacity, and rising freight rates are among the challenges being faced by shippers in 2018. Jack Bradley, Vice President, Supply Chain, Inventory Control and Logistics, Strongco, Nick Nanos, Vice-President, Distribution and Logistics, LCBO and Jim Bonsteel, Area Vice President, Transportation, Customs and Compliance – Global, Anixter will share their thoughts on how to manage a freight budget in 2018.

The majority of fleets in Canada have 20 trucks or less. This track will focus on strategies that small carriers can employ to achieve success. Leanne Quail, Operations Manager Paul Quail Transport and Brian Taylor, President, Liberty Linehaul will provide their thoughts.

The Freight Brokerage/Freight Management industry is being re-engineered as digital freight matching services are now available as an app on a smartphone. Mark Hong, VP, North America, CH Robinson, Eric Beckwitt, President, Freightera, Valerie McSween, Vice President, Eastern Region, Mactrans Logistics Inc. and Devlin Fenton, CEO, Go99 will participate in a panel discussion on the challenges and opportunities in this important sector of the freight industry.

The Summit will conclude with a soon to be announced high quality keynote speaker. A prize draw/cocktail party hosted by the Freight Management Association of Canada will wrap up the day. As always, the Summit will feature networking breaks throughout the day so those who register can meet friends, customers, colleagues, and prospects. There will be sponsor tables just outside the main conference hall, so the attendees can learn more about the services they provide. The Early Bird Registration is still in effect. Register now to secure your seat for this important industry event.

To stay up to date on Best Practices in Freight Management, follow me on Twitter @DanGoodwill, join the Freight Management Best Practices group on LinkedIn and subscribe to Dan’s Transportation Newspaper (http://paper.li/DanGoodwill/1342211466).

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Dan Goodwill, President, Dan Goodwill & Associates Inc. has over 30 years of experience in the logistics and transportation industries in both Canada and the United States. Dan has held executive level positions in the industry including President of Yellow Transportation’s Canada division, President of Clarke Logistics (Canada’s largest Intermodal Marketing Company), General Manager of the Railfast division of TNT and Vice President, Sales & Marketing, TNT Overland Express.

Goodwill is currently a consultant to manufacturers and distributors, helping them improve their transportation processes and save millions of dollars in freight spend. Mr. Goodwill also provides consulting services to transportation and logistics organizations to help them improve their profitability.

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