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SMC³’s Connections 2016 Explores Supply Chain Trends, Challenges

CHICAGO – During SMC³’s Connections 2016 conference, held June 27 to June 29 in Chicago, a record number of attendees were moved to action by discussions of supply chain trends, and the impact of Brexit on logistics and the domestic economy, among other topics.

SMC³’s next conference, Jump Start 2017, takes place in Atlanta in January. For more information, and to learn about the concurrent Logistics Technology Summit, visit

Connections also included a thorough look at Amazon’s shipping practices by industry consultant Adrian Gonzalez, and examinations of last-mile delivery, intermodal health and the driver-shortage issue. Conference participants received thorough recaps on the world and domestic economies from Dr. Don Ratajczak, consulting economist at Georgia State University, and Stifel’s David Ross. Conference panelists included leaders from Pitt Ohio, XPO Logistics, CSCMP, Estes Express, UPS and Averitt Express.

During his headlining address, Rick Blasgen, CSCMP’s president and CEO, told the audience that while truck tonnage flattened last year and motor carriers had a pretty tough time during 2015, suppliers know that won’t always be the case. He stressed to conference attendees that manufacturers are looking to create strategic relationships with carriers before the pendulum swings back in favor of their carrier partners.

“They want to leave behind the days of beating each other up over a nickel per hundredweight,” he said. Event organizers broadcast Blasgen’s speech on Periscope, widening the impact of his supply chain predictions.

Connections 2016 featured more than 20 hours of transportation content and 15 hours of dedicated networking opportunities, including the perennially popular Ignite speed meetings. As an educational bonus, attendees had the opportunity to take an intermodal facility tour led by representatives from J.B. Hunt and BNSF.

“The growth in our conference attendance is a testament to the exciting, intriguing educational content we provide,” said Andrew Slusher, president and CEO of SMC³. “From the look into CSCMP’s hot-off-the-press logistics report to the examination of last-mile logistics, a key and growing trend in the industry, conference participants now have a vast amount of new information to bring back to their companies and put into action.”

About SMC³

SMC³ is a hub of expertise in the LTL arena. Fueled by heavyweight, analytical APIs, SMC³ delivers its core competency – LTL pricing expertise – through collaborative pricing technology that supports end-to-end, ongoing predictability in shipper/3PL-carrier relationships. More than 5,000 North American shippers, carriers, logistics service providers and freight-payment companies rely on SMC³’s sophisticated LTL base rates, content, and expert bidding and planning tools to make the best business decisions, achieve higher returns on their transportation investment, and meet the dynamic demands of the market. Through hosted API solutions, SMC³ supports the entire supply chain with industry-leading speed, reliability and performance. SMC³: Investing a lifetime to help optimize freight transportation.

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