Indiana's first logistics symposium draws leaders from 15 states

INDIANAPOLIS – Purdue University and the Ports of Indiana will co-host a landmark logistics event on Sept. 16 in downtown Indianapolis.

The symposium - the first of its kind in Indiana - will bring together some of the top minds in the world of transportation, distribution and logistics from across the country to talk about best practices, needed improvements and a plan of action to make Indiana a leader in the world of 21st century logistics. Over 200 officials from 15 states and the District of Columbia will descend upon The Westin, 50 S. Capitol Ave., in Indianapolis for next Tuesday's event.

"Twenty-first century logistics has the power to create thousands of jobs in Indiana," said Lt. Governor Joe Kernan. "Logistics is also a crucial piece of this state's development in other high-growth sectors like advanced manufacturing and life sciences. As the 'Crossroads of America,' Indiana is well-positioned to use logistics to generate significant economic gains and reduce transportation costs for Hoosier companies."

Indiana has more interstates than any other state, ranks ninth in total rail mileage and 14th in total waterborne shipping. More than 50 percent of all freight shipped coast-to-coast passes through Indiana and 82 million people live within a one-day's drive.

The symposium's list of over 30 speakers will include top executives from California's Alameda Corridor Transportation Authority, the Seattle FAST Corridor, FedEx, UPS Consulting Inc., Burlington Northern Santa Fe Corp., Norfolk Southern Corp., Celadon Trucking Services Inc., P&O Nedlloyd, Cummins Inc., Ice Miller, Duke Realty Corp., Meridian IQ (formerly MegaSys Inc.), Langham, SIRVA Inc., The Thomson Corp., Cargo Services Inc., Fifth Third Securities Inc., Allison Transmission, the Indiana Department of Commerce and the Indiana Department of Transportation.

"This is the first time Indiana has ever brought together logistics leaders," said William Friedman, executive director of the Ports of Indiana. "Logistics is a $910 billion industry which is expected to grow 65 percent by 2020. We need to make sure Indiana is making an assertive, unified effort to earn its share of this economic development goldmine and the potential federal funding that is available to help develop it."

The symposium will also include special remarks from Lt. Governor Joe Kernan, Purdue University President Martin Jischke and master of ceremonies Gerry Dick of Inside Indiana Business. Keynote speaker Edward Emmett is the president of Transystem Advisors and former president and CEO of The National Industrial Transportation League. Emmett also served as Interstate Commerce Commissioner, appointed by President Bush and confirmed by the U.S. Senate in 1989.

"The movement of freight is the circulatory system that keeps the economy healthy," Emmett said. "Unfortunately, the general public takes freight transportation for granted. The new attention on security, despite all of the negative aspects, has focused the nation's attention on the importance of our industry, so we have new opportunities to make the logistics industry even better."

John A. Schneider, Purdue's assistant vice provost for industry research/outreach, said, "Purdue is pleased to be a part of the 21st Century Logistics Symposium, seeking ways to strengthen the sector that — literally — keeps our economy moving. At Purdue, we pride ourselves on providing the human capital that drives Indiana's economy. This symposium also will move forward a study the Central Indiana Corporate Partnership has commissioned Purdue to do on the feasibility of locating a logistics center on our campus."

Reha Uzsoy, a Purdue professor of industrial engineering who is leading the study for the proposed logistics center, will be a moderator in the symposium's afternoon session.

Partnering with the Ports of Indiana and Purdue University to sponsor the symposium are Duke Realty Corp., the Central Indiana Corporate Partnership, NiSource Inc., FedEx, Celadon Trucking Services Inc., Ice Miller, National City Corp., KMZ Rosenman, Congdon Engineering Associates Inc., Norwood Promotional Products Inc. and the Indiana Department of Commerce.

Visit www.indianalogistics.com for more information about the 21st Century Logistics Symposium including an itinerary, speakers' names and biographies and an online registration form. If you have questions, contact Cheryl Hayes at (317) 638-9284.

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