63rd Annual Food Shippers of America Conference

Carter Logistics Sales Manager Richard K. Kenney attended the 63rd Annual Food Shippers of America Conference in Phoenix Arizona from March 11-13 2018. Richard was kind enough to provide us with a firsthand account of the 2-day conference.

I recently attended the 63rd Annual Food Shippers of America Conference in Phoenix, Arizona from March 11-13 2018.  There were over 2000 attendees at the conference, which took place at the J.W. Marriott Desert Ridge Resort and Conference Center last week.  The conference was so successful that it required the use of a second hotel in Desert Ridge to handle the exceptional group of transportation and logistics professionals from the food industry.

Attendees included J.M. Smucker Company, Save-a-Lot Food Stores, Red Gold Inc., Nestle USA, PepsiCo, Conagra Foods, DANONE Wave, and Unilever US.

The Monday Schedule included a session on addressing the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) and Sanitary Transportation of Food Products, featuring legal transportation advice, with training options that included real-world situations to ensure relevance to the Food Industry.  This session also covered the future of logistics technology, with discussions on both the use and acquisition of ELDs.

Mr. Bob Costello, Chief Economist from the ATA, provided an annual Economic Update, forecasting over 3% GDP growth into 2020, as well as an update on the trucking industry’s driver shortage and expected needed changes to attract more over the road talent in the future.

The Next Generation of Logistics Leaders session discussed the need for future leaders at food industry companies, as well as what will attract and retain Millennials in both the food and logistics industries.  The final Monday session reviewed home delivery’s future, and its impact on the food industry, with expected growth in Non-CDL Drivers to provide this growing service (25% of Food Purchases on line by 2025).

 Day Two on Tuesday provided all attendees with a comprehensive overview of the U.S. Intermodal market, with a complete overview of International Drayage and Trucking, trucking acquisitions in 2018, and expected growth of intermodal transportation with new options forthcoming from US railroads.  One such option, BNSF, attended with Intermodal trucking providers.  This session also included a comprehensive panel discussion that provided attendees with real-world situations and solutions throughout 2018.  Another Session with Michael Sansolo focused on retail food Industry changes, with anticipated strategic alliances, Omni Channel Click & Collect updates, and changes in store formats to serve younger generations of Americans.

Throughout the entire conference, plenty of opportunities for strategic networking with attendees was part of each day’s agenda.  Exceptional Motivational Speakers provided excellent tips and observations, designed to educate and motivate in the ever-changing food industry, logistics, and trucking industries.  The next FSA Conference is March 3-5 2019 at the J.W. Marriott Desert Springs Resort in Palm Springs California.