CHICAGO - Freight shipping in the United States covers a gamut of goods. Attendees at the 249th meeting of the Midwest Association of Rail Shippers (MARS) Summer Meeting will be getting an insider’s look into some of those markets when they gather July 10–11, 2017 in Lake Geneva, Wisconsin.

The theme for this meeting is What’s Coming Down the Tracks for Rail Shippers? The “what” will cover changing economic conditions, potential new trade policies, and regulatory adjustments; but it will also cover what’s in those railcars with special presentations on shipping automobiles, grain, and poultry products.

“The industries that ship by rail—and are part of MARS—are very diverse and contribute billions of dollars to our regional, national, and global economies,” said association President Michael Barth. “Because of our pivotal role in North American commerce, we need to be prepared and poised to deal with the changes coming at us.”

The MARS Summer Meeting will feature key transportation executives, including:

  • Keith Creel, President and CEO Canadian Pacific
  • Mike McClellan, Vice President, Industrial Products, Norfolk Southern
  • Sharon Clark, SVP, Transportation and Regulatory Affairs, Perdue AgriBusiness
  • Paul Titterton, SVP and Chief Marketing Officer, GATX
  • Ben Shain, Director Vehicle Logistics, Nissan
  • Pat Ries, Senior Merchandiser, Consolidated Grain and Barge

Nearly 800 people attended the MARS Winter Meeting in January. The semiannual meetings include speakers, presentations, and panels focusing on some of the toughest issues currently facing the freight rail industry. They also provide 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 10 includes the annual Scholarship Outing, a reception, and a networking buffet dinner. The business meeting is scheduled for a full day on Tuesday, July 11.