August /
September 2011

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Ohio Conference on Freight
September 20 & 21

An Economy in Motion – Opportunities Ahead

The program for this month’s 2011 conference reflects the broad range of concerns of Ohio’s transportation industry and has a special focus on economic development. Conference registration is open until September 19. See the complete agenda here. The special conference rate at the Hilton Toledo will be honored for reservations made by September 9.

Planners for this year’s conference took note of comments from attendees in previous years. Planners were told that they were on the right track with speakers addressing national issues and with a commitment to a true multimodal focus. The 2011 Ohio Conference on Freight will open Tuesday morning with a presentation on the next federal transportation bill and its implications for freight. The speaker will be Leslie Blakey, executive director of the Coalition for America’s Gateways and Trade Corridors.

When the new federal act becomes effective, it will have implications for the national gasoline tax and the Highway Trust Fund. Both affect local resources for road maintenance and construction of new transportation infrastructure.

Two sessions look at the future of Atlantic port connections to Ohio. Speakers representing NS and CSX will address connections by rail. A panel of speakers will look at trucking from regulatory, business, and safety perspectives. All attendees will hear from Charles Whittington, past chair of the American Trucking Association and president of Grammer Industries.

New to the conference this year are a couple workshops involving energy infrastructure and supply chains. One seminar will explore the Ohio River and hydraulic fracturing, while another will examine pipeline systems between Canada and the U.S. A workshop on Ohio’s efforts to develop air logistics parks will look at the changing economics of air freight.

Positive reactions to last year’s tour of the National Gateway Northwest Ohio Intermodal Terminal near North Baltimore led to two optional tours this year. Attendees can choose a bus tour of Toledo’s Midwest Terminals where new equipment has made the port the most modern and efficient on the Great Lakes, or a state-of-the-art warehouse facility operated by Walgreens which will show automated guided vehicles, automated storage and retrieval cranes, and pick-to-light technology.

Thank you to our co-hosts: the National Association of Regional Councils, and the Ohio Department of Transportation.

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