Shipper Symposium 2014 – Day 3 Recap
May 15, 2014 Transplace

Shipper Symposium 2014 – Day 3 Recap

The final day did not disappoint as this year’s Shipper Symposium came to a close.  Attendees filed into the main ballroom in anticipation of hearing from speakers Economist Paul Bingham and former President of Mexico Vicente Fox in addition to hearing thoughts from the “NAFTA @ 20” panel.

But it wouldn’t be a Shipper Symposium if there wasn’t some fun and humor to get our day started! First up was Kecia Gray, Vice President, Marketing & Corporate Communications, who addressed everyone with a short, but very interactive welcome. From highlighting details of how far the event has come over the last 12 years to showing off Shipper Symposium attendee selfies, Kecia thanked all the sponsors, attendees and especially her teams for helping make the Signature Event better and better with each following year.

Up next was Ben Cubitt, VP of Transplace Consulting and Engineering, who had the honor of announcing Transplace’s Carrier of the Year Awards. Part of Transplace’s Carrier Merit Program, the Carrier of the Year Awards recognize transportation service providers for consistent high performance and exemplary on-time service. You can find out who the winners are this year and read more about the Carrier Merit Program in today’s press release announcement.

Economist Paul Bingham got our minds buzzing and tingling with all the insight and data he shared during his presentation “Supply Chain Economies: Effects on Your World”. Mr. Bingham cited: “Geography of the world’s production and consumption is shifting as emerging markets grow 6% on average as estimated for the rest of the decade over 2% for advanced countries.” Wrapping up, he left the audience with parting thoughts on longer-term factors affecting trade lanes and global supply chains, such as (at a very high level):

  • 3D printing.
  • Technology will play a role. E.g. autonomous/near-autonomous equipment.
  • Ability to monitor activity of economy in real-time.
  • Sustainability increases in importance.
  • Aging demographics in developed countries affects production of goods, shifts consumption patterns.

NAFTA @ 20 Panel Discussion

NAFTA @ 20 Panel Discussion

Taking the stage after Paul was a group of panelists representing Canadian-, Mexican- and United States-focused practitioners and experts,  which made for a very lively session on “NAFTA @ 20”. Moderated by Former Award-winning Television Sports Anchor & Broadcast Journalist, NBC, Scott Murray, this panel discussed the benefits of NAFTA as well as the key trends, challenges and upcoming changes that will enhance this 20-year old trade agreement.

Vicente Fox

Vicente Fox

Last, but certainly not least, Vicente Fox took the stage as the Shipper Symposium’s closing keynote speaker. But before addressing attendees, Mr. Fox accepted a check from Transplace, which included money raised from Tuesday’s Charity Benefit Golf Outing and Dinner.  Proceeds will benefit the Centro Fox School of Music. Then Mr. Fox began his speech to the audience – speaking passionately and proudly about how far Mexico had come over the last 20 years. He talked about how “Manufacturing in Mexico has taken us to be the #1 most competitive manufacturer in the world. We’re competitive cost-wise and when it comes to labor. Why,” he asks attendees rhetorically. “Because of NAFTA.”

A fierce advocate of education, he said “We have a lot of work to do in our communities, in logistics. Compassionate leaders have the capability to meet these challenges.”

In closing, Mr. Fox left us with a wonderfully refreshing quote that encouraged applying knowledge, creativity and togetherness to meet today’s possibilities head on.

“I think today’s possibilities are the envy of all the great thinkers of the past.”

— Vicente Fox

We have to say, the mindshare of everyone that attended the Shipper Symposium – spanning industries and professions – who came together this week to share and learn is truly remarkable. A BIG thank you to all the Shipper Symposium attendees and speakers who have and continue to keep the transportation and logistics industry moving in the right direction. We look forward to seeing you all at our 13th Annual Shipper Symposium May 4-6, 2015 in Dallas!

What was your favorite part of this year’s Shipper Symposium?  What key learnings do you plan to take back and apply to your daily job function?

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