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Chairman's Corner January 2017

Thu, Jan 26, 2017

PPI Transport Symposium 22 - organized by RISI in association with the IFPTA - will be back in the US in 2017.

You are invited to experience the southern charm in this historic, strategic port city of Savannah, GA. Mark your calendars now for September 25 to 27, 2017.

We have the privilege of being co-chairs for the event and are excited about the conference venue, the program itself, as well as ancillary activities related to the event.

As we approach the conference, our goal is to provide updates on the conference program, timely and informative session topics in all aspects of the forest products supply chain, and the presenters who will be a strategic part of the conference.

We have just completed the political season in the US so there will be many timely and interesting changes that will affect international trade as well.

Savannah is an old and historic port city situated some 25 miles up the Savannah River from the Atlantic Ocean.  From its beginning it has been an important port and has rapidly grown to be the second busiest port on the US East Coast. By most any measure, it has also grown to be the largest port in North America as it relates to forest products. 

Situated in the US Southeast, Savannah is located in the heart of the US forest products region for production and major producers such as GP, IP, WestRock, and many others have world class mills nearby.

The Symposium venue will be at the Savannah International Trade and Convention Center and having made a few visits already, we can attest to it being an excellent choice for our conference venue. The headquarters hotel is right next door - the Westin Savannah Harbor Golf Resort & Spa - boasts spacious rooms with chic, soothing decor that is sure to be a welcome respite at the end of those busy Symposium days.

Oh yes - we should also add that golf & tennis are part of the complex, and the charming city of Savannah is a convenient and short ferry ride just across the river. 

Savannah is easily accessible from most anywhere in the world and the September weather should be mild. 

The state of Georgia, the city of Savannah, the Georgia Port Authority, and the local shipping community are all quite supportive of this event and are all pitching in to do their utmost to make this a truly memorable and worthwhile experience.

We hope to build on the knowledge of previous Symposia, and most recently from the success of TS21 in Bremen.  And, as has been our model for several prior events, the program will generally be in the format of moderator / panel presentations with question and answer periods. 

Each panel will address most every aspect of the industry - be it producer, trader, an ocean carrier (container and breakbulk), overland carrier, terminal operator, or service provider.  Furthermore, inclusion will be made for discussion of pulp, paper, logs/lumber, panel products, and biomass (wood pellets) – virtually everything in the forest products supply chain. There will also be ample opportunity to tour the port and various other shore-side operations as well.

As we get ready for the Holidays and the inevitable year-end flurry of business activity, we bid goodbye to another eventful and productive 2016.  The challenges facing us for 2017 look to be more significant than ever, and the opportunity the Symposium affords for you to meet with colleagues in the industry from around the world to discuss issues, problems, and solutions is as vital as ever. 

We urge you not to miss out on this rare opportunity for education, camaraderie, and a heapin’ helpin’ of Southern hospitality.  

We’ll update you further in the next edition of the IFPTA Journal, until then: y’all plan to be in Savannah now - y’hear.


Mike McInerney and David Laurine

PPI Transport Symposium 22 Conference Co-Chairs