VOL. 123 | NO. 45 | Wednesday, March 5, 2008
Logistics & Distribution
Conference To Provide Fuel For Transport Future
By Eric Smith
"There are a lot of folks in town that may not view themselves as directly involved in international trade, but they may be only one short step removed with respect to their clients and their suppliers and industry peers. ... The fact is that one way or another, we're all only going to become further captive to global trade as citizens of this region."
- Carey Treadwell
Director of global business for Memphis-based Mallory Alexander International Logistics and immediate-past president of the World Trade Club
The Memphis World Trade Club will continue the momentum of its inaugural event of a year ago by hosting the second annual Memphis Multi Modal Conference March 19 and 20 at The Peabody hotel.
The first day's event is a cocktail reception at 6 p.m. followed by a selection of speakers the next day from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.
This year's theme is "Fueling Your Future," a direct nod to one of the most topical issues in the transportation world. With oil prices setting an all-time record this week, transportation and shipping companies are looking for the latest concepts in streamlining their operations, saving money and maximizing returns.
Moreover, the theme taps into a chance for logistics, transportation and trade professionals to hear industry leaders discuss ways to improve businesses and hone talents, said Carey Treadwell, director of global business for Memphis-based Mallory Alexander International Logistics.
"One way you can fuel your future is to reinvest in yourself by staying fresh, staying current with the latest trends and topics in the industry so that you can be at your best for yourself and your clients," said Treadwell, immediate-past president of the World Trade Club and the conference's co-chair. "And as Memphians or regional entities that are engaged in any facet of global commerce, the idea of coming together to reconnect, especially in an economically volatile time ... is a great opportunity."
Plenty to discuss
World Trade Club membership is not required to attend the conference, which is being presented by the law firm of Adams and Reese LLP. The registration fee is $150 for members and nonmembers, and anyone interested may register online at www.memphismultimodalconference.com.
F. Gray Carter, vice president of purchasing and logistics for Buckeye Technologies Inc. and 2008 president of the World Trade Club, said speakers will present a broad range of issues facing logistics, distribution, transportation and manufacturing industries, which are plentiful in Memphis.
"What we've tried to do is to bring together the very best speakers that have as much knowledge of fuels and governmental regulations," Carter said. "The panels that we've put together we hope will give people access to some real experts that they wouldn't necessarily have access to in their day-to-day business."
John Moore, president of the Memphis Regional Chamber, will give the conference's opening remarks at 8 a.m. March 20. He'll be followed by Tom Schmitt, president and CEO of FedEx Global Supply Chain Services, who will present, "Using Simplicity to Win in a Complex and Competitive Global Environment."
The first information sessions will feature discussions by the following:
- Alvin Kellogg, area representative for the Federal Maritime Commission
- Vito Ciaccia, director of international distribution operations for International Paper Co.
- Mark Herbison, senior vice president of economic development for the Memphis Regional Chamber
- Richard White, director of properties, Memphis & Shelby County Airport Authority
- Dr. Ernie Nichols, professor and director of the University of Memphis FedEx Center for Supply Chain Management
The second information sessions will feature discussions by the following:
- Frances Gutt of V Alexander & Co Inc.
- Sunny Morris, executive director for ADWIRED
- David Spann of the U. S. Department of Commerce
- David Ostfeld of Adams and Reese
Keynote addresses will be given by Christopher McMullen, deputy assistant secretary for Western Hemisphere Affairs at the U.S. Department of State, and Sean Connaughton, maritime administrator for the U.S. Department of Transportation.
A panel discussion on the "Biggest Threats, Biggest Opportunities" in the intermodal realm will highlight the afternoon session, followed by an update by a Canadian National Railway Co. spokesperson about the Port of Prince Rupert Container Terminal in British Columbia, and closing remarks by Carter.
Minimal degrees of separation
The Memphis World Trade Club, which was formed in 1947, touts the conference as a place "Where Global Shippers and Partners Reconnect, Reinvest and Re-Energize!" Club officers and directors said they hope potential attendees will understand the immense networking opportunities available at the event.
As Treadwell pointed out, doing business in America's Distribution Center means being affected by the trends and topics that will be presented at the conference.
"There are a lot of folks in town that may not view themselves as directly involved in international trade, but they may be only one short step removed with respect to their clients and their suppliers and industry peers," Treadwell said. "Even though they may feel, 'Why should I participate in this event?' the fact is that one way or another, we're all only going to become further captive to global trade as citizens of this region."