Rail Shippers Focus on Opportunities for Growth Amidst Market and Operational Challenges

Midwest Association of Rail Shippers Meets July 16–17 in Wisconsin

CHICAGO—June 20, 2018 (James Street Media Services)—The impact from the different segments of the supply chain on freight rail performance will be the focus for those attending the 251st meeting of the Midwest Association of Rail Shippers (MARS) July 16–17, 2018 at the Grand Geneva Resort in Lake Geneva, Wisconsin.

The theme for the Summer Meeting is “Life Beyond Operating Ratio—Growing Pains.” 

“Despite recent performance challenges, rail shippers are trying to see the benefits of a recent emphasis on operating ratio and hope to thrive in what is clearly a growth environment,” said MARS President Harry Zander. “For our Summer Meeting, we’ve invited executives and experts who have a strong perspective on areas of potential growth for the industry.”

The presenters for the MARS Summer Meeting are addressing some of the most significant issues currently facing rail shippers. The sessions will focus on:
•    building brand loyalty through corporate values with John E. Fenton, president and CEO, Patriot Rail;
•    a look at global agricultural market trends by Dan Mack, vice president of transportation and terminal operations, CHS;
•    an overview of July 1 Mexican election results and effect on trade with Gabriel Guerra Castellanos, president and CEO, Guerra Castellanos & Associates;
•    shipper success stories featuring Watco’s perishable express from Stefan Loeb, executive vice president, network strategy at Watco; 
•    a presentation titled “Building Capacity: Investing for the Long Haul” from Doug MacDonald, CN vice president of sales and marketing, bulk commodities;
•    rail freight car supply status by Paul Titterton, SVP and chief commercial officer, GATX; 
•    oil and gas supply chain impacts for rail by Taylor Robinson, president, PLG Consulting; and
•    the view from Wall Street with Matt Elkott, vice president, industrials–transportation, Cowen.

More than 800 people attended the MARS Winter Meeting in January. The semiannual event includes speakers, presentations, and panels focusing on current issues facing the freight rail industry. MARS also provides a forum to educate and inform in the areas of railroad operating practices, new innovations in transportation, and legislative matters. 

For the upcoming Summer Meeting, the schedule on Monday, July 16 includes the annual Scholarship Outing, a reception, and a networking buffet dinner. The business meeting is scheduled for a full day on Tuesday, July 17. 

Monday and Tuesday, July 16–17, 2018

Grand Geneva Resort
7036 Grand Geneva Way
Lake Geneva, WI  53147
(800) 558-3417

Members $300; Non-members $325

Advance reservations are required for the conference and golf outing. For information or to register:
Online conference information and registration
• Email: mars@mwrailshippers.com

About The Midwest Association of Rail Shippers

The Midwest Association of Rail Shippers (MARS) is one of five regional North American associations under the North American Rail Shippers (NARS) national organization. Headquartered in the Chicago area, MARS provides an open forum for discussion and resolution of rail transportation issues by bringing railroads, shippers, receivers, and rail supply companies together twice annually for formal meetings in the Chicago area. To review the most recent meeting presentations, and to inquire about MARS membership, please visit the MARS website at www.mwrailshippers.com.

Bill Fahrenwald
James Street Associates