IANA, NITL revamp programs to offer participants more value

By: | at 07:00 PM | Channel(s): Intermodal News  International Trade  

By Paul Scott Abbott, AJOTResponding to transportation industry demands for fiscal efficiency, leaders of the Intermodal Association of North America and the National Industrial Transportation League have redesigned the program for their major collocated annual events.
Participants in IANA’s 27th Intermodal Expo and annual membership meeting NITL’s 102nd annual meeting and TransComp Exhibition, set for Nov. 14-18 in Anaheim, CA, can expect to gain an enhanced educational experience, according to the top executives of the two industry organizations. The Transportation Intermediaries Association’s fall meeting also is to be held contemporaneously.
“We have fine-tuned the actual program itself,” Joni Casey, president and chief executive officer of Calverton, Md.-based IANA, told the American Journal of Transportation. “Members of both organizations have had to deal with economic challenges, so we’ve tried to cast the program so they get greater return on their investment.”
In a separate interview with AJOT, Bruce Carlton, president and chief executive officer of Arlington, Va.-based NITL, said, “We think it’s a high-bang-for-the-buck approach. We decided to tighten the program but not lose the quality.”
This year, instead of having numerous simultaneous educational sessions on more narrowly focused topics, the program is built around three “super sessions” in addition to the traditional joint opening session. Those sessions are confined to two days – Monday, Nov. 16, and Tuesday, Nov. 17 – preceded and followed by various board, committee and division meetings and networking functions. In addition, the Anaheim Convention Center floor is slated to be filled with exhibits and several topical forums open to attendees both Monday and Tuesday.
The Monday morning opening session is to feature a discussion titled, “Freight Transportation One Year Later: The New View from Wall Street,” picking up where a similar November 2008 session left off in Fort Lauderdale, FL. Scheduled speakers include John L. Barnes III, managing director of equity research for the transportation sector at RBC Capital Markets; Jason H. Seidl, director of Dahlman Rose & Co. LLC; and Thomas R. Wadewitz, analyst for airfreight and surface transportation at J.P. Morgan.
IANA’s Casey, noting that there have been “incremental monthly upticks” in some transportation statistics since as early as spring, commented, “Perhaps we’ve rounded the corner.”
NITL’s Carlton said, “While the recession may be over in a technical sense, recovery is not over, and we’ve got quite a ways to go.”
The Monday afternoon super session, titled, “Economic Turmoil in a Sea of Financial Changes,” is to have an ocean carrier focus, while the Tuesday super sessions, with motor carrier and rail themes, respectively, are titled, “Is Your Motor Carrier on the Highway to Health in 2010?” and “Where Will We Be ‘Tracking’ in 2010 with Our Rail Partners?”
Casey said she is enthused about the addition of an audience participation feature to the super sessions, during which attendees will be able to use handheld response system devices to express their opinions on topics being discussed.
She said she anticipates that topics of discussion, both formal and informal, throughout the gathering will include surface transportation legislation that must be put in place by Congress to succeed the Safe, Accountable, Flexible, Efficient Transportation Equity Act: A Legacy for Users, or SAFETEA-LU, as well as environmental issues and, particularly in the case of IANA members, the new “roadability” rule of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, which in December will subject intermodal equipment providers to numerous requirements.
Carlton drew a parallel between the approach of those organizing the mid-November functions and that of shippers and carriers in that, in both cases, there is “an intense focus to squeeze dollars out of the cost side, being more efficient, while delivering the highest quality.”
Recognized as “the

Paul Scott Abbott's avatar

American Journal of Transportation

More on Paul Scott Abbott
For more than a quarter of a century, Paul Scott Abbott has been writing and shooting images for the American Journal of Transportation, applying four decades of experience as an award-winning journalist. A graduate of Northwestern University’s Medill School of Journalism, with a master’s magna cum laude from Trinity Evangelical Divinity School, Abbott has served as president of chapters of the Propeller Club of the United States, Florida Public Relations Association and Society of Professional Journalists. Abbott honed his skills on several daily newspapers, including [em]The Cincinnati Enquirer, The Richmond (Va.) News Leader, Albuquerque Journal and (South Florida) Sun-Sentinel, and was editor and publisher of The County Line, a weekly newspaper he founded in suburban Richmond, Va.[/em] A native Chicagoan, he is a member of American Mensa and an ever-optimistic fan of the Chicago Cubs.