- THE MAGAZINE
- INFO CENTER
WORLD TRADE: NASSTRAC appears to be placing more emphasis on heavyweight and ocean borne shipments than in years past. Can you explain why?
Debra Phillips: NASSTRAC, like the industry, is reacting to increased globalization and a blurring of the lines in terms of modal differentiation. In a recent survey of our members, 56 percent have global job responsibilities. An even higher percentage work for companies that have global operations. Therefore, in keeping with our mission of supporting our members in their supply chain responsibilities, NASSTRAC has begun to monitor glo bal shipping issues as part of its advocacy efforts, include global topics in its educational programs, and add global providers to its membership as part of the organization's focus on provider relations and professional interaction.
WT: What changes in your general meeting agenda have been made since you assumed leadership?
DP: We are taking a different approach to the way in which we plan our educational programs. Our education committee is made up of shippers, providers, journalists and academi c leaders in the industry. This group provides valuable input regarding topics of interest to our members. Further, we routinely survey participants to better understand their needs. Essentially, we strive to offer cutting edge topics in a real world cont ext. Some specific changes include having sessions open to all participants. In the past, NASSTRAC had shippers-only sessions from which carriers were excluded. We value our carrier partners, and have worked to more fully integrate them into the organizat ion. Second, we now move the Fall Conference to a new city each year. This is consistent with our strategy of increasing the geographic diversity of our membership.
WT: Will security play a larger role in future meetings?
DP: Our Fall Conference wa s Sept. 23-25, and we debated canceling the meeting. We chose to move forward and had 85 percent of registrants participate. We are pleased that we moved forward, because it allowed all of us to take another step in the process of getting "back to busines s." Without question, security will play a larger role in meeting logistics. Further, it is a topic of interest to our members, many of whom are dealing with increased security issues in shipping or transporting products for their companies.
WT: While your spring agenda is not in place yet for Florida, can you give us some indication of what might be presented?
DP: The Spring Conference will be April 1-4 at The Registry Resort in Naples, Fla. Our theme is "Focus on the Future." We will be looking at three key trends that we see as impacting the industry: Velocity, visibility and value. We will also offer breakout sessions with topics such as "Supply Chain Technology Today: What Sizzles, What Fizzles" and "Forecasting Demand in a Volatile Market."
WT: Is the international focus of NASSTRAC a growing trend or will current events dampen the effort?
DP: NASSTRAC will continue to focus attention on international shipping issues. While current events make it more challenging to operate a global supply chain, our members and their companies must continue to do so. Therefore, we will provide resources to help them do so.-Patrick Burnson.