Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Midwest Association of Rail Shippers sets Winter Meeting agenda

Written by  William C. Vantuono, Editor-in-Chief
CP Rail President and COO Keith Creel is a featured speaker at the MARS Winter Meeting CP Rail President and COO Keith Creel is a featured speaker at the MARS Winter Meeting Norm Betts/Bloomberg
“Rail Shipping—Powering America’s Economy” will be the theme of the Midwest Association of Rail Shippers (MARS) 2014 Winter Meeting, to be held January 15-16 at the Oak Brook Hills Resort-Chicago in Oak Brook, Ill.

Among the speakers for the MARS Winter Meeting are Canadian Pacific Railway President and COO Keith Creel; Union Pacific Executive Vice President Eric Butler; Potash Corporation Sales President Stephen Dowdle; U.S. Postal Service Inspector General David Williams, transportation financial analyst Tony Hatch; and Chambers, Conlon & Hartwell Partner Adam Nordstrom.

The meeting will also include a roundtable discussion, “Intermodal Innovation and Insights,” featuring executives representing the chassis, drayage, logistics, and shipper components of this industry.

MARS will also continue its popular series of rail-customer success stories, this year addressed by City of Rochelle, Ill., Economic Development Director Jason Anderson, and City of Rochelle Railroad Company (CIR) General Manager Robert Wingate. “The CIR was formed in 1986 when the City of Rochelle saw the need for better switching service for local firms and for future growth of its industrial sector,” according to meeting organizers. “As demand increased for better service and a more competitive environment, the city expanded the CIR system. This has allowed rail-served industries to enjoy lower costs and better efficiency in shipping and receiving from two Class I railroads.”

The Winter Meeting will be the 242nd regular meeting for MARS, one of five regional associations under the umbrella of the North American Rail Shippers Association. “In addition to top-level industry speakers and topical panel discussions, the MARS Winter Meeting provides attendees with world-class networking opportunities and also features continuing education seminars on different aspects of railroading,” said MARS President Lisa Longtin. “Last year, almost 500 people attended the meeting and seminars, making it one of the largest gatherings of rail shippers in North America. The program looks to be one of our best. We are bringing together people with a great mix of real-world experience and best-practice knowledge to inspire continued improvements in the rail-shipping industry.”

As in years past, the luncheon on Wednesday, Jan. 15 will be jointly hosted by MARS and the Traffic Club of Chicago. The scheduled luncheon speaker is Federal Railroad Administrator Joseph Szabo.

Registration for the conference and seminars is available online. As well, hotel reservations can be made online,or by calling 855-458-5701.