Press Releases

59th Annual Connections 2014 Conference Concludes in Naples

Atlanta, Ga. – July 1, 2014 – The 59th Annual Connections Conference, held at the Ritz-Carlton in Naples, FL, June 22-25, drew a diverse group of senior level transportation professionals from across the U.S., Canada, Mexico and the United Kingdom. Offering more than 20 hours of targeted content and over 15 hours of dedicated networking opportunities, Connections 2014 is recognized as a leading U.S. supply chain event.

Trucking professionals accounted for 31% of registrations, while third-party logistics providers (3PLs) represented an equally impressive 29% of total attendance. Growing sectors of the supply chain represented included shippers, technology solution providers, ports, ocean carriers, warehousing, site development, economic and industrial development, government agencies, universities and logistics consultants from across North America.

“Connections 2014 was an overwhelming success,” stated Jack Middleton, president & CEO at SMC³. “We accomplished our primary mission, to provide U.S. transportation professionals with a power-packed forum to concentrate on collaborative supply chain intelligence. Connections continues to attract a wealth of high caliber presenters while also taking a leadership role in providing case studies and solutions applicable to a real-world supply chain. This formula for success continues to separate our summer and winter conferences – Connections and Jump Start – from other U.S. supply chain events.”

Connections 2014 included individual presentations by six industry thought leaders. James Welch, CEO at YRC Worldwide, addressed the expectations and major factors influencing the trucking industry including the outlook on pricing, capacity, growth and profit. Rick DiMaio, VP Distribution at Office Depot provided a first-hand look at laying the groundwork for being truly omni-channel, while Brian McKiernan, SR VP Development at CenterPoint Properties discussed a new formula of flexible design to meet warehousing’s long-term needs. Additional thought leaders included industry consultant and former Zim executive Captain Chaim Shacham, SJ Consulting Group president Satish Jindel and Lynn Pitts, director of economic development for Florida Power & Light.

In addition, panel sessions addressed such relevant topics as multi-shipper collaboration, 3PL-shipper relations, America’s natural gas highway, big data, creating value in an era of complexity and updates on the U.S. regulatory environment, global economics and the U.S. financial outlook. A total of 32 supply chain professionals filled the stage.

Resulting from the 2013 Alliance Award – an annual award presented in partnership between SMC³ and World Trade 100 recognizing supply chain excellence – a panel focusing on multi-shipper collaboration was led by World Trade 100 editor-in-chief Perry Trunick. The deadline for the call-for-entries for the 2014 Alliance Award is August 15. Please visit

Connections honored industry leadership with the appointment of a supply chain professional as honorary chairman. Chris Rocke, ground sourcing manager at MeadWestvaco Corporation, was chosen from a broad field of supply chain professionals for this role, and provided strategic input for event content and planning. “I’ve seen first-hand the thoughtful planning, attention to detail and commitment to quality that SMC³ puts into their educational programs and I’m proud to be a part of them,” Rocke stated.

The conference concluded with the announcement of the 2015 event dates and location. Connections 2015 will be held June 21-24, 2015 at the San Diego Marriot Marquis & Marina in San Diego, CA.

A call for speakers and topics for Connections 2015 is now underway. For additional information please contact Tom Swinson, director of industry & education services, at Registration for Connections 2015 will begin in February 2015. To learn more about Connections, please visit

Representatives of the media wishing to download audio recordings of thought leader and panel presentations, as well as photography, should contact Beth Malik, director of marketing, SMC³.

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

Media Contact

Beth Malik
Director of Marketing

Office: (770) 486-5823