To provide major customers of inland transportation services — including retailers, manufacturers, consumer product firms and agribusiness companies — with an overall understanding of and potential solutions to the major challenges they and their trucking, intermodal rail and logistics vendors face when moving freight within North America.
Theme: Finding Alternative Routes Forward
A faster-paced U.S. economy is colliding with limits on truck and rail capacity, underfinanced infrastructure and severe port congestion problems, challenging shippers and beneficial cargo owners struggling to move freight inland while keeping some semblance of a transportation budget. Transportation and logistics managers pummeled by rate increases on the rails and roads and scarred by the West Coast port labor dispute are searching for better ways to secure freight capacity, control rising transportation costs and avoid supply chain disruption. That demands much closer shipper collaboration with their trucking and intermodal rail partners, third-party logistics providers and freight brokers, and new ways of thinking about collaboration. The situation also requires a fresh appraisal of how and where shippers do business, and the deployment of technology that enables better decisions. Alternatives to traditional distribution strategies, modal choices and business relationships are needed urgently as unpredictable challenges put pressure on the system.