February 11, 2016 09:29 ET

University of Michigan Transportation Research Institute to Host "Sustainable Supply Chains: How New Mobility Strategies and Technologies Are Changing Goods Movement" Conference

TROY, MI--(Marketwired - February 11, 2016) - will be co-sponsoring the one-day conference, "Sustainable Supply Chains: How New Mobility Strategies and Technologies Are Changing Goods Movement" hosted by University of Michigan Transportation Research Institute Automotive Futures Group in cooperation with UM-SMART. The conference will provide attendees with a better understanding of the broad scope of players involved in the movement of sustainable freight globally and how the changing landscape could affect them in the future. With the emergence of new information technologies, new business and service models, and new policy models as well as innovative vehicles, companies are re-imagining how goods can be delivered in the B2B and B2C context in greener, efficient, and more cost-effective ways. 

Broad institutional partnerships have developed that bring together a wide range of stakeholders -- public and private -- to address concerns and innovation opportunities at regional and even global scales. It will include representatives from startup companies, large automotive and IT companies, and the broader New Mobility industry. It will also include state and national government representatives who discuss how these changes may inspire and enable new sustainability priorities while serving local and regional industries and economies.

The conference will zero in on some of the tough questions related to the shifting freight landscape, such as:

  • What are the trends affecting goods movement in a globalized, urbanizing world?
  • What are the emerging business models that are improving the way goods are delivered? 
  • How do new technologies affect the way goods are moved across supply chains? 
  • How are local, state and federal governments creating policies to monitor and encourage innovation in the freight industry?
  • How do the latest standards on emissions affect the freight industry?
  • What is the role of automation and connectivity in this broader landscape?
  • How are multi-stakeholder institutional partnerships contributing to this discussion?
  • What advantages and challenges will consumers see in their daily lives in the near future because of goods movement innovations?

Click here to register for the conference:

New Conference Option: UMTRI's new system allows foreign and local participants unable to attend the conference but who are interested in viewing the presentations to pay the $200 registration fee for the conference, and they will receive an email when the presentations are online for viewing.

The conference will be moderated by Bruce Belzowski, Managing Director, Automotive Futures, UM Transportation Research Institute. Confirmed speakers include:

  • Susan Zielinski, Managing Director, UM Sustainable Mobility and Accessibility Research and Transformation (SMART), will provide an overview of the different New Mobility technologies and strategies that support sustainable goods movement.
  • Sophie Punte, Executive Director, Smart Freight Center, Amsterdam, The Netherlands, will discuss the complex global issues related to sustainable freight movement.
  • Mary Wroten, Senior Manager, Supply Chain Sustainability, Ford Motor Company will talk about her work with Ford's supply base in supporting Ford's sustainability goals, particularly with the environment.
  • Thomas Kearney, Transportation Specialist at Federal Highway Administration, USDOT, will discuss FHWA's strategy and projects related to sustainable goods transport.
  • Mike Dargis, President, Zip Xpress, will talk about some recent research his company has completed on the issue of carbon footprint reporting and their load optimization program as it relates to manufacturers product delivery.
  • Cherry Burke, Associate Director of Logistics EHS and Sustainability, Dow Chemical Corporation, will talk about the sustainability goals her company has set for 2025 and what they are doing to meet those goals, including innovative logistics and supply chain strategies. 
  • Komal Anand, Research Area Specialist, University of Michigan SMART, will discuss the SMART Mobi platform and the sustainable supply chain innovations coming from companies that are part of this global program.
  • Jim Ruiz, Founder and CEO, CDL Warrior, will discuss his company's software offering that helps truck drivers and fleets improve compliance, communicate, and save time on the road.

Topics additional speakers will discuss include the EPA SmartWay program, carbon footprint reporting and innovative logistics and supply chain strategies.

The conference will take place February 17, 2016, 9am to 4pm, at the University of Michigan North Campus Research Complex, 2800 Plymouth Rd. Bldg. 18, Ann Arbor, MI 48109.

The conference is sponsored by University of Michigan Transportation Research Institute

Automotive Futures in partnership with UM-SMART (Sustainable Mobility Accessibility Research and Transformation) and co-sponsored by Argonne National Labs, BorgWarner Inc., Bosch Corporation, Denso Corporation, FCA Corporation, Ford Motor Company,, ITS America, Oracle Corporation, UAW-Ford, Valeo Corporation and Zip Xpress.

UMTRI's Automotive Futures Group

The University of Michigan Transportation Research Institute's Automotive Futures group has more than 30 years of combined research expertise and thought leadership centered on issues affecting the domestic and global automotive industries. These issues include globalization of the industry, powertrain strategies, and information technology in the form of intelligent transportation systems. Among its activities, Automotive Futures offers an affiliate program to industry partners to support the development and exchange of knowledge. Automotive Futures researchers provide affiliates with automotive industry research and analysis, information resources, and communication forums. The team hosts the annual Focus on the Future research conference series, which brings together university researchers and automotive industry leaders to discuss current issues and future trends. and is the leading global business intelligence source for the automotive industry, connecting the worldwide auto supplier industry with the resources to effectively do business globally. Through the web site, auto supplier executives can find insight, solutions and strategies focused on doing business in the world's top automotive markets. is the leading online education company helping corporate professionals and business school students learn practical, up-to-date international business skills. offerings include On-Demand Seminars from practicing experts around the world, Audio Interviews, online courses, reports, studies and international business eJournals.

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