More than 300 shippers, railroaders, suppliers and financial people are expected to attend. NARS President Glen Courtwright, director strategic operations, Georgia-Pacific, LLC, says, "There will be a number of rail shipper speakers sharing their thoughts and projections on the changing landscape of transportation."
Keynoting this year's conference is Norfolk Southern CEO and Association of American Railroads Chairman Charles "Wick" Moorman. He will offer rail industry perspectives in his remarks: "The landscape has changed."
NARS has lined up an impressive array of shippers, beginning with Tim Roberts, executive VP of LyondellBassell--one of the world's largest plastics, chemicals and fuels companies.
Association of American Railroads President and CEO Edward Hamberger will moderate a diverse group that includes GoRail President Russ McGurk; GE Transportation Chief Technology Officer Sham Chotai; and Warren County, Ohio, Port Authority Director Martin Russell.
McGurk notes, "Our panel will demonstrate how freight rail is driving local economic development and job growth and how state-of-the-art technology is making railroads even more effective for the shippers and communities they serve."
U.S. Surface Transportation Board Chairman Daniel R. Elliott, III, is scheduled to provide an update on the U.S. Surface Transportation Board's activities in his remarks: "Looking below the Surface."
Next up is Tom Cook, chief operating officer for Gallo's G3 Enterprises, who will cover the logistics of shipping wine.
Just before lunch, Argus Media will present its annual "Win-Win Award," which is given to the most successful railroad-shipper partnership in 2014.
Thursday afternoon's speakers will focus on equipment, beginning with First Union Rail President Barbara Wilson, followed by panelists from Olin Corporation, GATX Corp. and BNSF Railway.
Friday's session starts with Jack Hellman, president and CEO of Genesee & Wyoming Inc., who will discuss the growing role of short-line railroads. Subsequent speakers will cover regulation and the economic outlook. They will be followed by a shipper panel staffed by executives from Purina-Nestle, Carolina Stalite, Packaging Corporation of America, Phoenix Cement and Constellation Brands, Inc.
North American Rail Shippers Association Executive Director Leo Mountjoy notes, "NARS offers a very cost-effective, one-stop way to hear and meet shipper and railroad leaders from across the country." Early registration is $425 through May 6.