15th Annual Freight & Logistics Symposium The Future is Front and Center: The Impacts of Economic Change on Freight Transportation

Friday, December 2, 2011 - 10:00am
United States

Our transportation system provides key structural support to American economic activity. The freight transportation, logistics, and manufacturing industries must be ready for major economic changes affecting our nation and the world that almost certainly will reshape transportation priorities and needs. Critical analysis of the driving forces behind these high-impact changes, future freight patterns, and critical dependencies is needed to determine national, multistate, state, and regional freight policy and system investment priorities.

At this year’s symposium, representatives from the business community, academia, and the public sector considered major trends and the effect of possible economic changes on freight and logistics providers. Christopher Caplice, executive director of the Center for Transportation and Logistics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, gave the keynote presentation on economic changes driving future freight transportation. In addition, a panel discussion featuring participants from various modes explored the implications of economic trends for Minnesota. Another session about the intersection of transportation and economic development featured presentations describing local and regional research findings and innovative collaborations in the freight and logistics community.




  • Moderator: Gina Baas, Assistant Director, Center for Transportation Studies
  • Laurie McGinnis, Director, Center for Transportation Studies
  • Ron Have, President, Minnesota Freight Advisory Committee
  • Brad Emch, President, Council of Supply Chain Management Professionals


Future Freight Flows

  • Christopher Caplice, Executive Director, Center for Transportation and Logistics, MIT

Download presentation slides (8.07 MB PDF)

Implications to Minnesota: Panel Discussion

  • Wil Kratz, Vice President of Operations, Logistics Planning Service
  • Chip Smith, COO, Bay and Bay Transportation
  • Judy Mitchell, Director, Passenger Rail Strategic Initiatives, Canadian Pacific Railway
  • Todd Feltes, Transportation Manager, Malt-O-Meal

Intersection of Transportation and Economic Development

  • Michael Langley, CEO, Minneapolis-St. Paul Regional Economic Development Partnership
  • Steve Elmer, Planning Analyst, Metropolitan Council
  • Vann Cunningham, Assistant Vice President of Economic Development, Burlington Northern Santa Fe
  • Dan Dorman, Executive Director, Albert Lea Economic Development Agency


Center for Transportation Studies, University of Minnesota, in cooperation with: