CHICAGO, Ill.–“Shippers and Rails Adapt to Changing Markets” will be the theme for the 245th meeting of the Midwest Association of Rail Shippers (MARS) to be held July 13–14, 2015 at the Grand Geneva Resort in Lake Geneva, Wisconsin.
“Shippers and railroads are in the middle of ever-changing market conditions” said MARS President George Macko. “For the past several years, the focus has been on the growth of high volume shipments like crude oil. As the economy continues to recover, we are seeing more diversity in shipments, and everyone is trying to respond quickly to new opportunities and challenges.”
The two-day meeting includes speakers, presentations, and panels focusing on some of the toughest issues currently facing the freight rail industry. This year, topics include: adjusting to a decrease in fuel shipments; addressing key infrastructure needs; and keeping on top of fluctuating demand for rail equipment.
“The MARS Summer Meeting always provides a great forum to educate and inform our membership in areas of railroad operating practices, new innovations in transportation, and legislative matters,” said Macko. “Plus, it provides a relaxed setting for discussing transportation and car supply markets—and examining critical issues from both the shippers’ and the railroads’ perspective.”
The schedule on Monday, July 13, features the traditional Scholarship Golf Outing and reception, along with an evening cookout and entertainment. A full-day business meeting will follow on Tuesday, July 14.
Program highlights on Tuesday include:
keynote speeches from Class I railroad executives;
an overview of the changing market for oil and its impact on the rail market;
presentations on proactive freight rail planning;
a rail equipment and power update;
a mid-year economic forecast; and
shipper panels focusing on the challenges for specific industries such as plastics, paper, and metals.