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Registration is Now Open for the 2015 Surface Transportation Summit


The 2015 Surface Transportation Summit ( will be held at the Mississauga Convention Centre on October 14. Dan Goodwill & Associates and Newcom Business Media are delighted to report that the event has a new partner, the Freight Management Association of Canada. FMA will bolster shipper participation at the event. This year’s Summit will feature more shippers as speakers as compared to previous years. The Summit is now open for registration with a lineup of high quality speakers and a new networking feature. Here is an overview of the day.

The one day event will be kicked off with a discussion of what happened to the economy in 2015 and where it is going in 2016. Carlos Gomes, Senior Economist with the Bank of Nova Scotia will provide his annual overview. He will be followed by Walter Spracklin, Managing Director, Capital Markets, RBC Capital Markets who will provide an investor’s perspective, on what is going on in the freight industry in Canada. Lou Smyrlis, Publisher and Editorial Director, Transportation Media, Newcom Business Media will lead a panel discussion with Wes Armour, President & CEO, Armour Transportation Systems and Mark Bylsma, President, Spring Creek Carriers Inc. on how they see the economy playing out in the trucking industry in 2016.

This track will be followed by an Executives Perspective panel. This year we will hear from six leaders, each from a different sector of the freight industry, who will share their perspectives on where they see their businesses going in 2016. The panel will include David Zavitz, Senior Vice President, Sales & Marketing, Canada Cartage, Mark Lerner, AVP, Intermodal, CN Rail, Joe Lombardo, Director of Transportation Processes, Purolator Inc., John Ferguson, President, SCI Logistics, Anne McKee, EVP, Trailer Wizards and Silvy Wright, President & CEO, Northbridge Financial Corporation.

Shipper-Carrier Collaboration will be the theme of the next panel discussion. This track will include three prominent shippers, the leaders of three trucking companies and the head of a 3PL. Dan Einwechter, Chairman & CEO, Challenger Group, Jason Dubois, President, Len Dubois Trucking, Doug Munro, President, Maritime-Ontario Freight Lines, Kelli Saunders, President, Morai Logistics, Ginnie Veslovaitis, Director, Transportation Operations, Hudson’s Bay Company, Alex Boxhorn, Logistics Manager, Loewen Windows and Kim Wildenmann, Traffic Coordinator, Lantic Inc. will engage in a panel discussion on how can shippers and carriers work together more effectively. This is a session not to be missed.

During the extended lunch hour, a special networking event is being organized for those who register in advance for this session. Everyone who registers for the Summit will be asked if they wish to participate in some 20 minute private one-on-one Business Matching meetings. Interested parties will be asked to create a brief profile of their company and to outline the type of companies they are seeking to meet. A few weeks prior to the Summit, these profiles will be shared with other companies that have common interests. Private meetings, on a first come/first served basis will be arranged if both parties agree to meet. Sign up early to avoid disappointment.

Immediately after lunch there will be two concurrent sessions. For years trucking companies have been seeking a mechanism or tool to accurately and legally measure their operating metrics against other trucking companies in the same sector of the industry. Ray Haight and Chris Henry, two of the co-founders of Stak Up will provide an overview of their carrier benchmarking service.

During the same time slot, there will be another interesting track. With tight capacity and driver shortages, trucking firms have been developing scorecards to rank the profitability and ease of operation of their various shipper clients. For many years, shippers have been using scorecards to evaluate the performance of their carriers on such metrics as on-time service and billing accuracy. What do these scorecards contain, which variables are included in each scorecard and how do they match up against each other? Find out at this track. The speakers will be announced shortly.

Two more parallel tracks will follow. Mike McCarron, Manager, M & A Strategy, Wheels Group, who sold his trucking company to a 3PL, will lead a panel discussion on Mergers and Acquisitions in the trucking industry from the perspective of buying a trucking company. The panel will consist of a group of individuals who are actively involved in this activity. Doug Nix, Vice Chairman, Corporate Finance Associates, Doug Davis, Director, Pro-Trans Ventures Inc. and Roger Poirier, Partner, Cormark Securities will participate in what will surely be a lively discussion on this hot topic.

During the same time slot, another track will address the question “Is Outsourcing to a 3PL the Right Strategy for your Business?" For some companies, the management of logistics and transportation is not a core competence. How do you go about deciding whether to perform this function in-house or outsource to a logistics service provider? This track will include a case history on how one company went about the process of making this evaluation. Lou Smyrlis will lead this panel discussion that will include Bret Walters, General Manager, Chalifour Canada and Brian Ware, Vice President, Marketing & Business Development, Lakeside Logistics.

The final track of the day will address a topic that was requested in our annual surveys. What is The Future of Retail Distribution in Canada? On a daily basis we are bombarded with the new language of retailing . . . E-Commerce, omni-channel distribution, last mile delivery, smart apps, delivery drones, same-day shipping and more. To make sense of the new world of retailing and tell us what it means for transportation professionals, we have assembled a blue chip group of panelists. Robert Wiebe, Senior Vice President, Supply Chain, Loblaw Companies, Serge Carestia, Vice President, Supply Chain, Home Depot and Stephen J. Brown, National Consumer & Industrial Products Industry Leader, Deloitte Inc. will participate in a panel discussion and exchange views on where this important sector is going.

The Summit will then wrap-up with some concluding remarks and a few prize draws. We look forward to seeing you at the 2015 Surface Transportation Summit.


Register early to take advantage of the “early bird” rate and to get a preferred spot in the Business Matching networking event. To see the full Summit agenda, view the speaker profiles and bios, go to To keep up to date on all of the Summit activities, join us on Twitter using the hashtag #STS15.



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