Meet for transport

25 April 2008

Although SC&RA has assembled an impressive program for its Annual Specialized Transportation Symposium, many important meetings expected to take place do not appear on the schedule. These are the informal discussions invariably nurtured by the unique gathering of hundreds of specialized carriers, state and federal government officials, researchers, manufacturers and suppliers.

Since 1987 the symposiums have helped this diverse group of attendees come face-to-face to sort through issues affecting them all. This year, the dialogue will continue 9-11 March, at The Pavilion Hotel, a Hilton Affiliate, St. Louis, Missouri, US.

“The Specialized Transportation Symposium provides an unparalleled venue to establish valuable contacts, become better informed on key issues and exchange news ideas,” says SC&RA executive vice president Joel Dandrea. “More and more, we're finding that companies that are not domiciled in the United States benefit by networking with possible transportation partners to work within the US while learning about how North America is coming to grips with regulatory challenges.”

Providing a clear understanding of a number of today's most significant transportation topics will be the ultimate expert – Annette Sandberg, administrator, Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA). She will discuss national issues relating to size and weight, regulatory actions and enforcements trends.

Sandberg is also expected to explain how FMCSA coordinates with state and regional transportation officials, SC&RA and other important industry partners in today's complicated transportation industry.

The regional regulatory climate on permitting, superload uniformity, highway-rail crossings and more will be addressed in several sessions by a number of department of transportation officials from various states, including Alabama (Randy Braden); Connecticut (Rudolph Kamm); Georgia (Kathleen Gibson); Ohio (Joe Civalier and Jeff Honefanger); and Utah (Richard Clasby).

Further sessions

Other sessions have universal appeal, particularly the presentation on The Impact of a Global Economy by Dr. Peter Swan, associate professor, Penn State University. He will review how the global economy affects manufacturing, transportation and labour needs; how government and industry need to cooperate for a stronger future; and what the future holds for heavy and specialized transportation.

Also featured will be noted speaker Mike Hourigan, who will address what today's organizations need to know about recruiting, maintaining and energizing employees. At a time when the driver market in the US is the tightest it has been in 20 years and large truckload carriers are reporting an annual turnover of 121%, this presentation should appeal to the many attendees in management positions.

Kevin Cunningham and Tim Conlon of Specialized Risk Services Group, the only insurance programme endorsed by SC&RA, will share documentation, claims management and risk management strategies. They will also examine the practices, roles and concerns of insurance companies, agents and brokers.

Rewarding awards

As always, SC&RA's Hauling Job of the Year presentations are expected to be an exceptional crowd pleaser. Attendees will learn about innovative techniques and equipment used by Fagioli PSC in the UK, (Moving Job); Precision Heavy Haul, Arizona, US, (Trucking Job Over 160,000 Pounds); and Emmert International, Texas, US,(Trucking Job Under 160,000 Pounds).

Still another highlight will be the Exhibit Center, featuring leading companies that supply products and services to specialized carriers. Many attendees will be arriving early for regional meetings of state highway transportation and permitting officials, SC&RA's Pilot Car Task Force meeting, and a presentation of Pilot Car Best Practices.

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