For several years now we, along with our sister publication Fleet Executive and Dan Goodwill and Associates, have taken a proactive approach to improving shipper-carrier relations, by bringing the buyers and providers of surface transportation services under the same roof with the Surface Transportation Summit to discuss and debate key industry issues.
This year is no different and we are proud to open registration for what we think is the best lineup of topics and speakers we have yet put together. This year’s Surface Transportation Summit takes place once again at the Mississauga Convention Centre on October 14. Visit www.surfacetransportationsummit.com to register.
We are particularly excited that the Freight Management Association of Canada has jumped on board this year as a partner, helping us with the shipper portion of the conference. Another new wrinkle this year is the Business Matching program. Those participating in the Business Matching session will be able to pre-select in advance of the conference the companies with whom they wish to meet for private one-on-one 20-minute discussions, allowing both parties to discuss business opportunities in depth.
The Economic Outlook, which starts the Summit, should be particularly interesting this year. The economic recovery stumbled in 2015 as a 50% drop in the price of oil had a dramatic impact on Canada’s energy sector but made for cheaper energy pricing for the manufacturing sector. Meanwhile the significant drop in the value of the Canadian currency (and other currencies) compared to the U.S. dollar is having an impact on north-south traffic flows. How will these forces play out over the next 12 months? One of Canada’s leading economists will provide an economic overview of 2015 and share his insights on where the economy is headed in 2016. He will be joined by a leading equity analyst who follows the transportation sector and will offer his perspective on how the economy will affect truck and rail carriers specifically. And I will also be interviewing carrier executives for their thoughts on the coming year and how they will be shaping their business strategy accordingly.
Another favorite session back this year is The View from the Top, with rail, trucking, 3PL and OEM executives sharing where they plan to take their organizations in 2016.
This will be followed with the largest Shipper-Carrier Roundtable we have put together. I’m moderating this session, featuring no fewer than seven key industry executives representing major carriers, shippers and 3PLs, and we will leave no major subject untouched. You may want to sit up close, there could be some fireworks with this one.
For many years, shippers have used carrier scorecards to track their carriers on on time pick-up, on time delivery, claims and billing accuracy. With tightening capacity, carriers are employing scorecards to evaluate their customers on a variety of measurements (e.g. ease of pick-up, profitability etc.). Our straight talk track will provide a forum for shippers and carriers to discuss their respective metrics and measurement tools to see how their goals and expectations align with each other.
Logistics service providers have grown significantly over the past 15 or 20 years. Many manufacturers and retailers are utilizing a 3PL for at least some of their supply chain operations. Is outsourcing to a 3PL the right strategy for your business? Our track will provide research on the latest trends in 3PL utilization and will include insights from a major shipper who has gone through the process of exploration and evaluation of 3PL services.
The retail sector is undergoing major changes. E-commerce, omni-channel distribution, smart apps, same-day delivery and a host of other developments are profoundly changing the way retailers do business. These changes are impacting every facet of logistics and transportation from order processing to warehouse management to customer delivery. We close with an impactful panel discussion with supply chain executives from two leading Canadian retailing giants and a leading retail market consultant sharing their insights on where the retail industry is headed.
As mentioned it’s an agenda that we are very proud of. I hope to see you there come October 14th. To find out more and to register, the address once again is www.surfacetransportationsummit.com
With more than 15 years of experience reporting on transportation issues, Lou is one of the more recognizable personalities in the industry. An award-winning writer well known for his insightful writing and meticulous market analysis, he is a leading authority on industry trends and statistics. All posts by Lou Smyrlis