A sneak peek at the SC&RA Specialized Transportation Symposium
By Hannah Sundermeyer11 January 2023
This year’s STS has something for everyone.
For many SC&RA members, the Specialized Transportation Symposium (STS) will be a welcome break from frosty winter weather and an opportune event to network and reunite with friends, industry colleagues and many that can be categorized as both.
The event will provide an opportunity for industry members to learn how to better position their companies for what’s ahead in safety, permitting and overall best practices, always keeping attendees a step ahead.
Kicking off on February 28, the morning is designed for a variety of state meetings for executives with NASTO, WASHTO, SASHTO and MAASTO. Starting at noon, the Joint AASHTO/SC&RA Harmonization Workshop will be held. All symposium attendees are invited to listen and discuss the issues of harmonization and auto-issue with state officials and other SC&RA members.
A “benchmarking” event
There will also be the opportunity to meet with attending state officials one-on-one. Members will need to pre-register for appointments. This will be followed by the SC&RA Pilot Car Committee. The First Timers’ Reception will be held that evening.
The morning of March 1, attendees are invited to attend either the AASHTO Committee on Transportation Systems Operations (CTSO) Working Group on Freight Operations or SC&RA Transportation Safety, Education and Training Committee. The SC&RA Permit Policy Committee will also meet in permit policy will also be held that morning.
The Symposium’s opening session is titled: Let’s Talk – An Industry Conversation. Following the highly successful inclusion of this session at the SC&RA Crane & Rigging Workshop last fall, transport experts and executives will have the opportunity to tune in as top professionals candidly discussing pertinent trends, issues and challenges in their companies and in the industry as a whole. A roundtable format, this session will serve as a great opportunity for members to talk and listen.
“This is a benchmarking Symposium,” said Chris Smith, vice president, transportation, SC&RA. “We’ve made a lot of progress in harmonization, but a lot of the conversation now centers around the questions, where do we go next? What still needs to be done? That can be said for the state of the industry, and certainly post-Covid. There will be plenty of conversations with key federal motor carrier officials on regulations and safety. We do a lot of visionary stuff, and now it’s time to begin benchmarking to prepare for the future.”
Panels and presentations
There will also be two breakout sessions on the afternoon of March 1. Challenges in Availability of Law Enforcement Escorts will educate on how companies are adjusting and developing programs to address the situation of permits that require law enforcement, and the challenges associated with that requirement, especially when law enforcement officers aren’t readily available.
In Recruiting and Retaining the Specialized Transportation Workforce, Sims Crane & Rigging’s Erika Sims and Florida Trucking Association’s Alix Miller will be discussing the challenge of hiring high quality employees in the specialized transport industry. Brent Hutto will also discuss the Specialized Carriers and Rigging Foundation’s Workforce Study. Attendees will learn more about what’s working in companies now and what resources are available through driver training schools.
On the final day of the Symposium, March 2, attendees will start the day off with an FMCSA Update delivered by Larry Minor, the associate administrator for policy. He will address mandating transponders; exemptions to electronic logging devices for equipment made prior to 2000; and the CSA and DataQ programs.
The Life Altering Power of Grit is the event’s keynote session. Michele Rigby Assad is a motivational and lifestyle vlogger, presenter and former monk whose presentation will dive deep into discovering what truly matters, as she tells stories from her tumultuous life as an undercover CIA agent in the Middle East.
Joanna Jungels of ATS and Bryce Baker of Oxcart will lead Changing Dynamics of Permitted Routes. In a sector with continually changing rules, regulations and jurisdictions, the two will discuss the best way to plan for permit policies.
In a panel breakout session moderated by Fred Marcinak of Moseley Marcinak Law Group.
A breakout session moderated by Fred Marcinak of Moseley Marcinak Law Group will discuss C.H. Robinson vs. Miller, a recent appellate court ruling which found that exceptions normally shielding freight brokerage services do not apply, increasing the risk for brokers to be held liable. Panelists include Cameron Boots, Allied Insurance Brokers; Dave Wittwer, Brown & Brown; and James Stovall, USI.
There will be two more sessions including SC&RA’s endorsed market providers National Interstate Insurance and NBIS, and a live roadside demonstration of a Class I inspection conducted by local Florida officials.
The day will be closed out by the Exhibit Center from 2 to 5 p.m. Booths are still available for companies interested in registering. At the Exhibit Center, more than 50 companies will exhibit their products and services.
SC&RA Specialized Transportation Symposium
Rosen Centre Hotel
February 28- March 2, 2023