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28th Annual transportation conference rounds up risks, regulations and hot-button issues


BURLINGTON, Ont.–The 28th Annual Transportation Conference, held October 8 at the Royal Botanical Gardens in Burlington, Ontario, featured an extensive list of industry experts examining the latest transportation trends and issues.

Richard Lande, organizer of the conference and attorney at the Lande Langford law firm in Montreal, introduced the roster of morning speakers and presided over the “rotational” luncheon which saw attendees switch seats by course.

Following the luncheon afternoon breakout sessions offered insight into food safety, transportation law, the automotive industry and shipper-carrier issues.

In a session on regulatory compliance, Robert Hamelin, VP Customs and Operations, with Mantoria, discussed new Customs requirements for shippers, and the importance of increased engagement in the program ahead of mandatory requirements.

Lisa Petelka, Senior Program Advisor, with the CBSA in Ottawa, also spoke via WebEx about e-Manifest.

“We are trying to increase uptake in volume prior to the mandatory date. It is advantageous to industry at this point because we have staff appointed to help work out the kinks,” she said.

CBSA, she said, is “unable to provide a hot answer on the mandatory e-Manifest date.”

A session on “Un-baking the insurance cake”, by Robert Logan, of BisRisk Solutions, offered insight into buying insurance, and understanding the elements going into insurance planning. 

Shedding light on the retail sector was Jim Danahy, CEO CustomerLAB, who works with major retailers on devising innovation practices, productivity, and cost reduction, which often involves the supply chain.

Danahy said that supply chain compression represents the “biggest power shift in a century.” 

“We believe this is at the beginning of significant change, a power shift that is changing retail. Retailers call the big power shift ‘omnichannel’, and omnichannel is about who is in charge now,” said Danahy.

Supply chain compression is the successor model to the big box, dedicated-DC era.

“The compression of the supply chain will help retailers survive ‘omni geddon’,” Danahy said.

Two new links will close the gap in omni-channel. Forward-operating depots will see traditional retail DCs reconfigured to cloud-enabled, wireless, temperature-controlled, flow through facilities providing tactical support for stores.

Logistics trading networks, fully integrated networks of specialized carriers, will manage the last mile, with thousands of buyers coming to a single location.

“Omnichannel is the biggest power shift, because it’s about who’s in charge. A compressed supply chain is the solution to it, however it’s constructed,” he said.