Press Releases

Panama Canal Update & Lou Holtz Message Among Jump Start Highlights

January 28, 2014 – Atlanta, Ga. – SMC³ successfully hosted its 59th annual Jump Start conference January 20-22 at the Loews Atlanta Hotel. This year’s focus was “leading the supply chain,” and was attended by a broad range of carriers, shippers, third-party logistics providers (3PLs) and technology/solutions providers from throughout North America.

New for Jump Start 2014, a dual keynote event was launched, featuring Manuel E. Benítez, Deputy Administrator for the Panama Canal Authority and former college football coach and ESPN analyst Lou Holtz. With more than 420 attendees looking on, Benítez provided a crucial update on canal expansion, affirming that canal expansion will result in all-water traffic growth and trade opportunities via East and Gulf Coast ports. Holtz expounded upon his “game place for success,” challenging attendees to become significant rather than just successful.

Another exceptional highlight to this year’s event was the introduction of Ignite speed meetings. Ignite consisted of a series of seven minute speed meetings between carriers, shippers, technology/service providers and 3PLs. With more than 26 contributors participating, Ignite attendees were able to greatly increase their network within a matter of hours. “Providing the market with strategic content and quality networking opportunities continue to differentiate for our winter and summer conferences – Jump Start and Connections – from other U.S. supply chain events,” stated SMC³ President and CEO Jack Middleton. “Ignite 2014 was a resounding success and reinforces our commitment to further enhance the networking experience through powerful, customer-driven events.”

For the second straight year, The Alliance awards, co-sponsored by World Trade 100, were presented in four categories during the conference. Recognizing excellence in supply chain alliances, this year’s awards went to: Toshiba America Business Solutions, Averitt and Pitt Ohio for Domestic Freight- Single Mode; Macy’s, Hub Group, and Comtrak for Domestic Freight-Multimodal; Daltile, Whirlpool, Werner Ladder, Convermex and Transplace for International Freight and Haier America, Kenco Group, Georgia Ports Authority and Bryan County for Warehousing. Sonney Jones, division director of transportation for Dal-Tile commented, “From content to networking, my first experience with Jump Start was exceptional. We are very pleased to be a recipient of the second annual Alliance Award in the area of ‘international shipping’. Our collaborative working relationship with Transplace, Convermex, Whirlpool, and Werner Ladder reflects the type of creative thinking that keeps the supply chain fresh and cost efficient.”

With more than 39.5 total hours of content and networking, Jump Start 2014 emerged as the premier forum for supply chain leadership. “The conferences have gone from carrier only meetings to something that covers all facets of transportation, logistics and education,” said Vernon Fariba, former SMC³ president. To learn more about Jump Start conferences, please visit Audio for this year’s keynote event and general sessions are available upon request. Jump Start 2015 will be held at The Loews Atlanta Hotel January 19-21.

Registration opens soon for Connections 2014, June 22-25 at The Ritz-Carlton in Naples, Fla.

About SMC³

SMC³ is the leading provider of data, technology and education as an integrated solution to the freight transportation community. SMC³ delivers its core competency – LTL pricing expertise – through collaborative pricing technology that supports end-to-end, ongoing predictability in shipper/3PL-carrier relationships. Best known for its CzarLite®, Bid$ense® and RateWare® solutions, the company serves more than 5,000 customers throughout North America, including shippers, carriers, logistics service providers and freight-payment companies. The company also partners with leading transportation software developers for complete interoperability. For more information about SMC³, visit

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