Collaborative Supply Chain Intelligence

ShippersCarriersLogistics ProvidersTechnology Providers
June 21 - 24, 2015   •   San Diego, California
Days Until
Connections 2015
Register now and enjoy early bird pricing
"Enjoy the Ride" with Keynote Steve Gilliland
2015 Annual Golf Classic at Torrey Pines


Sun 6/21 Mon 6/22 Tue 6/23 Wed 6/24
2:00 – 5:00 p.m. SMC³ Board of Directors Meeting
2:00 – 6:00 p.m. Registration & Guest Services Open
5:30 – 6:15 p.m. Welcome Reception
6:15 p.m. Dinner on Your Own
6:00 a.m. – 5:15 p.m. Registration & Guest Services Open
6:30 – 7:45 a.m. Networking Breakfast
7:45 – 9:00 a.m.
Keynote Presentation: "The Road to the White House"

Amy Walter is the national editor of The Cook Political Report and the former political director of ABC News. As an exclusive panelist on NBC's Meet the Press and a regular panelist on PBS' Washington Week, Walter is recognized for her sharp wit, accurate analysis and compelling presentation style. As our nation's next election year approaches, you'll be in the front row for her insider's view on "The Road to the White House."

9:00 – 9:45 a.m. Conference Chair Presentation
10:00 – 10:45 a.m.
Density-Based Pricing: The Conversation Continues

Over the last seven months, SMC³ educational events – from webinars to panels at Jump Start 2015 – have included in-depth discussions of density-based pricing. These gatherings helped to lay out the facts of the new rating technique and clear up miscommunication, while exploring the next pricing horizon and explaining how it differs from classification rating. Whether you're pro-classification, pro-density or are on the fence, we've strived to put the right information in front of the right people to better educate the industry. At Connections 2015, we'll continue the debate, looking at the current industry acceptance of density, and the density technology in use and in development. Join a leader in LTL carrier services to continue the discussion of density-based pricing.

10:45 a.m. – Noon
The Chiefs Speak Out

Comprised of thought leadership from across logistics and supply chain management, this exciting new addition to Connections 2015 allows attendees to hear directly from a cross-section of C-level executives. These major players are helping to shape the decisions driving the flow of domestic and global freight. From identifying critical pain points to the broad and far-reaching relevance of "big information" in supply chain execution, companies wanting to increase efficiencies and foster a greater understanding of the bigger supply chain should take note of this session. With the floor open for discussion, join "the chiefs" as they discuss their greatest challenges with Connections 2015 attendees.

Noon – 1:00 p.m. Networking Lunch
1:00 – 2:15 p.m.
Regulatory Topics Up & Down the Hill

There's a consensus among supply chain professionals that their biggest issues continue to center upon the rising cost of doing business, finding and retaining compliant labor, and federal regulations that are simply too severe. This session will focus on some of the more important regulatory items being thrown about in Washington, D.C. Join our roundtable of regulatory watchdogs as we tackle some of the top regulatory and compliance topics facing the supply chain.

2:30 – 3:15 p.m.
Economics Around the World with Dr. Don

Join Dr. Don Ratajczak, one of the most-respected economic forecasters of our time, as he shares his insights on the critical issues and trends directly impacting trade and transportation. From global economic challenges to manufacturing and housing starts, Dr. Ratacjzak takes us around the globe in 45 minutes.

3:15 – 4:00 p.m.
U.S. Financial Update with David G. Ross

After years of uncertainty, has the U.S. economy finally posted above-average growth? Has there been strong growth in job creation, equity markets, and an improved fiscal position and monetary policy? In this session, financial expert David Ross will explore how these factors – combined with a current look at capacity, labor, fuel prices, and freight challenges – affect logistics and supply chain management. Join our U.S. financial expert as we look to the second half of 2015.

4:00 – 4:45 p.m.
The Easing of 'el bloqueo': U.S. – Cuba Relations Take a Twist

As U.S. exporters brace for the slow, but inevitable changes in US-Cuba relations, the tiny island nation of 11 million is destined to become a new, attractive opportunity for U.S. exports. Althoughthe five and a half decade trade embargo with Cuba remains in place, experts anticipate an easing in travel and trade with Cuba will slowly take place in the coming months – heralded by gradual changes in economic policy announced by the Obama administration in early 2015. Beyond U.S. exports such as agricultural product and medicine crossing Cuban docks today, realistically what U.S. products will be eligible for export? From ports to carriers, what impact, if any, does the easing mean to the U.S. transportation? Is Cuban infrastructure prepared? Are there practical and legal risks to consider? Join our thought leader on U.S.-Cuba trade regulation as we explore these and other developing stories in U.S.-Cuba relations.

4:45 – 5:30 p.m.
Ask the Experts

Here's your chance to engage three renowned finance and economics experts in open discussion. You'll provide challenging questions, they'll provide the answers. Join us for one of our most popular sessions as "Ask the Experts" returns to Connections 2015!

5:45 – 6:15 p.m. Kick Off Reception
6:15 p.m. Dinner on Your Own
5:30 – 6:15 a.m. Breakfast – Golfers Only
6:00 a.m. – Noon Registration & Guest Services Open
6:15 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. 2015 Annual Golf Classic
7:00 – 8:00 a.m. Breakfast – Academy Workshops Only
8:00 – 11:30 a.m.
Academy Workshop: Transportation Contract Law (part one)

The Contract's Three-Part Process
Types of Contracts & Their Provisions

Improve your preparation, execution and management of transportation-related contracts with this one-day conference version of our popular Academy workshop led by Rob Moseley, head of the transportation industry group at Smith Moore Leatherwood LLP. This special conference version of Transportation Contract Law is presented earlier in the day in order to allow you to enjoy afternoon breakout sessions and networking opportunities during Connections 2015. Take advantage of this unique opportunity to familiarize yourself with the essential elements governing transportation contract law, review different types of contracts, and explore the contract process and contract litigation.

8:00 – 11:30 a.m.
Academy Workshop: LTL Freight Transportation (part one)

One of The Academy's most successful workshops is coming to Connections 2015! This special conference version of our workshop is presented earlier in the day in order to allow you to enjoy our afternoon breakout sessions and networking opportunities. Join our panel of subject matter experts as they take you on a journey of discovery through the fundamentals of LTL operations, shipment profiles and LTL costing, LTL pricing structures, the basics of freight classification, and purchasing best practices. You'll also gain insight on a shipment's movement – from pick-up to delivery – through an LTL network, presented in-class by Averitt Express.

Fundamentals of LTL Operations

Get an in-depth view of LTL carrier operations including logistical and technological tools and methods, overviews of line haul, local terminal and break bulk operations, and new service offerings in the LTL sector.

Shipment Profiles and LTL Costing

Analyze various shipment profiles to determine how their components impact carrier cost, learn how these profiles influence carrier pricing, and examine the cost differences between the profiles.

11:30 a.m. – 12:15 p.m. Academy Workshop Lunch
12:15 – 3:30 p.m.
Academy Workshop: Transportation Contract Law (part two)

Damages & Claims: Real-World Case Studies

Examine benchmark cases on motor carrier contract provisions and evaluate how the courts apply the law to today's transportation contracts. Workshop participants may submit contracts and/or problem clauses for a "blind" review by our subject matter expert! Benefit from professional solutions to your problematic clauses, contracts and "real world" claims scenarios. All submitted materials will be treated anonymously during the workshop. Look for submission instructions in your workshop confirmation email. Please submit samples in advance to Julie Mustian, SMC³, at by Friday, May 22, 2015, for advance review by Rob Moseley.

12:15 – 3:30 p.m.
Academy Workshop: LTL Freight Transportation (part two)

One of The Academy's most successful workshops is coming to Connections 2015! This special conference version of our workshop is presented earlier in the day in order to allow you to enjoy our afternoon breakout sessions and networking opportunities. Join our panel of subject matter experts as they take you on a journey of discovery through the fundamentals of LTL operations, shipment profiles and LTL costing, LTL pricing structures, the basics of freight classification, and purchasing best practices. You'll also gain insight on a shipment's movement – from pick-up to delivery – through an LTL network, presented in-class by Averitt Express.

Terminal Overview

Follow a shipment through an LTL network from beginning to end and learn how technology is used to transport shipments efficiently.

The Basics of Freight Classification

Navigate the origins of the National Motor Freight Classification, learn what it is, how it was developed, and understand how NMFC provisions are developed and published. You'll also get a feel for how to read, understand and apply the NMFC.

Fundamentals of LTL Pricing and Procurement

Learn how shippers and carriers use pricing benchmarks, base rates, minimums and discounts. Explore data gathering, analysis, pricing and discounting. You'll also learn how leading shippers and 3PLs are working with LTL carriers to successfully purchase transportation and conduct freight bids.

1:45 – 3:00 p.m.
Breakout Sessions: Getting Past the "Social" in Social Media

Some companies just can't get past the "social" in social media. You probably have your own perceptions. Understanding its true "business" value sheds a whole new light on the importance of the social era. In fact, if your company isn't already engaged in some form of social media, "#getconnected." From driver recruitment to matching loads, we'll explore the untapped value of a social media strategy and get started on creating a solid foundation. You'll discover the traps to avoid, as well as the best practices for implementing, measuring and sustaining an effective social media program. With no signs of slowing down, we'll filter through the noise for introducing social media to your supply chain.

Advancements in Mobile Technology

Today it's all about mobile, frictionless connectivity in a 24/7 environment, where multiple supply chain partners are deeply connected and managing cargo fluidity from anywhere on the globe. Where is this mobile technology utilization most visible? Service providers can handle everything from tracking assets and shipments, to executing transactions and improving processes; savvy 3PLs are early investors in smartphone applications to widen the gap with their competitors in a cutthroat industry. At the same time, trucking is utilizing mobile technology for proof-of-delivery, monitoring hours-of-services, fleet management and maintenance, and introducing greater service flexibility. The testimonials supporting the greater use of mobile applications could go on and on, as service providers such as warehouse operators, ports, and rail and ocean carriers have their own positive take. Join our panel of leading experts in mobile technology as we explore the practical application of mobile technology to the supply chain.

Supply Chain Labor Demographics 2025

The transportation industry of 2015 is in critical need of unprecedented transformation. We continue to struggle and lag behind other industries in the areas of talent recruiting, hiring and the realization of the profound advantages gender and cultural diversity can offer. Acutely aware of the current capacity crunch, a growing number of savvy organizations are proactively managing their brands to communicate with and capture the attention of future employees in generations Y and Z. Can we reposition transportation as a desirable industry? What demographics will comprise the supply chain workforce of the next decade? This diverse panel of talent experts will address new strategies and opportunities to support their vision for the supply chain demographics of 2025.

3:15 – 4:00 p.m.
Breakout Sessions: Behind the Scenes with SMC³

Join SMC³ for a "behind the scenes" look at the company's products and service offerings. You'll have unprecedented access to the technology professionals who envision, develop and implement the powerful tools created by SMC³. Join discussions on CarrerConnect XL, Bid$ense, product integration and more. This is your opportunity to see product demonstrations, and address your product and implementation questions directly to the experts who have all the answers.

Protecting your CSA Score

A critical part of protecting your CSA score is to assure your team is regularly educated on the safety rules and regulations prescribed by the DOT. Veteran attorney Dan Fulkerson will review the key factors that are used to calculate your CSA score. It's equally important to remember, don't be afraid to challenge a questionable citation, particularly if that citation pushes you close to, or over, the intervention threshold. New rules in place by the FMCSA allow a carrier to change a CSA score based on dismissed, or amended, citations. Learn what to consider when trying to improve your CSA score; when to take action; the meaning of amended charges; your responsibility for reporting the outcome of an adjudicated citation; and the positive outcome of better educating local prosecutors.

4:00 – 6:00 p.m. Ignite Speed Meetings
6:15 – 7:00 p.m. Networking Reception
7:00 – 10:00 p.m. Dinner & Entertainment
6:00 a.m. – 11:00 a.m. Registration & Guest Services Open
6:30 – 7:45 a.m. Networking Breakfast
7:50 – 8:35 a.m.
Keynote: "Enjoy the Ride!™"

Join master storyteller and Speaker Hall of Fame inductee Steve Gilliland as he shares his blueprint for getting the most out of life. His keynote presentation, Enjoy The Ride™ is characterized by hilarity and straight-forward brilliance.

The Talking Points

  • Check Your Passion: Love what you do; never forget why you do it
  • Cure Your Destination Disease: Live more for today and less for tomorrow
  • Refocus Your Attention: Decide what's important and never take it for granted
8:35 – 9:20 a.m.
Welcome to the Era of Frictionless Information

Damages & Claims: Real-World Case Studies

These are exciting times for the supply chain. Technological advancements in communications and information technology are evolving at an all-time high. At the same time, there’s greater pressure on the pipeline (particularly trucking) to think outside the box in order to control rising costs and to more effectively communicate beyond EDI through the latest and greatest technological advancements. In response, the newest buzz in the industry focuses on “frictionless connectivity,” where driving the right information to the right person at the right time with minimal effort is at the heart of future supply chain information exchange. Join one of transportation’s leading experts in transportation software as we explore “the era of frictionless information.”

9:35 – 10:50 a.m.
Maintaining Cargo Fluidity: Lessons & Challenges

The negative reverberations of the months-long contract dispute impacting West Coast port productivity will be felt throughout and beyond 2015. With the contract signed and cargo fluidity having returned to pre-disruption levels, what are some possible new twists in supply chain planning – inclusive of non-traditional collaboration? We all have businesses to run. How your company responds impacts multiple partners. With 'a lot' of questions to be addressed, what caused the disruption? How did it get so far? Are future events preventable? Do port dynamics require change? Did Canadian and Mexican port performance pay-off? East Coast success – the right formula or pure luck? From port to truck, how can 'greater' supply chain collaboration lead to 'greater' cargo fluidity? Join our panel of experts as we explore these questions and more.

10:50 a.m. – 12:05 p.m.
The Transportation Tug of War

Damages & Claims: Real-World Case Studies

Connections 2015 is again proud to host the findings of the 23rd annual Trends and Issues in Logistics and Transportation study. Results from the annual survey suggest that carriers, driven by a need to maximize profitability, are at a polar opposite with shippers, who are focused on reducing costs. This lack of alignment has created a struggle, which results in a loss of focus on the bigger prize of being able to compete supply-chain to supply-chain. Join members of the study’s research team as we explore study findings to determine who is winning the battle.

12:05 – 12:20 p.m. Closing Remarks & Prize Drawings


SMC³ offers unrivaled opportunities for carriers, logistics service providers and technology professionals to connect with the supply chain's most informed decision-makers through a wide range of sponsorship packages.

Become a


Learn from the supply chain leaders of today who are driving tomorrow’s success. We’ve gathered the industry’s preeminent professionals to probe the innovations, challenges and latest technology shaping today’s transportation climate. Surround yourself with industry experts and see what it means to lead the supply chain.


How Does It Work?

Ignite consists of a series of "speed meetings" between a conference attendee and the contributing organization of their choice. Meetings are ten minutes long, with a three-minute transition between appointments. Meeting requests are matched electronically and schedules will be generated based on preferences and availability. Attendees will be asked to fill out a short attendee profile and select their top five-to-ten contributors... it's that simple!

Two Ways to Benefit from Ignite!


Ignite speed meetings are designed to help you super-charge your conference networking opportunities! You'll have the unique opportunity to engage the carrier representatives, third party logistics providers and technology leaders of your choice. A few weeks before the conference, attendees will be asked to fill out a short attendee profile and select their top five-to-ten contributors... it's that simple! Your Ignite meeting schedule will be emailed two weeks prior to the event – so please plan accordingly. As a courtesy, if you are unable to attend any of your Ignite meetings, please notify us so we can release your scheduled time slots.


Are you ready to grow your business? Put the power of Connections and its broad industry appeal to work for you. As a contributing organization, you'll receive a designated table at the event for two company representatives, your company name listed on the Connections 2015 Ignite web page, your company logo on all Ignite event signage and in the Connections 2015 conference guide and app. Your representatives will also be designated as Ignite Contributors on their name badges. Best of all – Ignite is FREE with your Premier, Signature, Preferred or General conference sponsorship. All contributors must be registered for Connections 2015 and either sponsor or have paid the $1,000 Ignite fee by June 5, 2015.

Secure Your Space at Ignite Today!

Contact: Melissa York | | 770.486.5829

Past Contributors Include:

“Nothing is more valuable in a conference than networking. When you can organize the network into specific pre-arranged meetings, if only for an introduction, it enhances the value of the conference exponentially.” - uShip


2015 Annual Golf Classic

Tuesday, June 23rd  |  7:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.

Regardless of your skill level, if you love the links, then the Connections 2015 Annual Golf Classic will be a treat! This year's tournament format is a Captain's Choice Scramble with Shotgun Start. The event will be held at San Diego's stunning Torrey Pines Golf Course. Situated atop cliffs and towering above the Pacific Ocean, the course offers unparalleled views of coastline, deep ravines and a pristine championship course. From your first drive to your last putt, you will find yourself at one with nature and a part of one of the world's most rewarding golf experiences!

Tournament Registration

Registration Fee:
$195 Single

Registration fee includes 18 holes of golf, golf cart & greens fees, breakfast & lunch plus refreshment beverage cart.

Register for the tournament during the online conference registration process.

Titleist rental clubs are available at the course for an additional fee ($60).

Golf Sponsorship Opportunities

This year, sponsorships for the Annual Golf Classic are open to all! Choose from seven sponsorship opportunities ranging in price from $1,500 to $3,000 or create a custom sponsorship (up to $25,000).

Tournament Sponsor:

South Course


Marriott Marquis San Diego Marina

333 West Harbor Drive San Diego, CA 92101
Toll Free Reservations: 800.228.9290

The Marriott Marquis San Diego Marina luxury waterfront hotel rests at the center of the San Diego Bay. This impressive waterfront hotel is a welcome escape for business and families, easily transitioning between dynamic meeting space and resort-style relaxation. The property is steps from the Gaslamp Quarter, and is located at the center of many popular attractions including Balboa Park, the San Diego Zoo, Seaport Village, SeaWorld® San Diego & LEGOLAND® California. You’ll experience grand service and amenities throughout your stay, along with top-notch cuisine and a resort-like getaway.

Mention SMC³ or Connections 2015 to secure our special room rate of $249 per night (single/double). This rate is only available through June 2nd, 2015, and is subject to availability.

Easy San Diego Travel

Just 3.3 miles from San Diego International airport, the Marriott Marquis offers convenient and accessible west coast travel. Estimated taxi fare is $15 one way. Renting a car? On-site parking is available at the hotel for $30 daily / $45 daily for valet.


  Advance - Before May 5 Regular - After May 5
SMC³ Members $495 $575
SMC³ Associates $675 $785
General Registration $775 $885
Groups of 3 or more *Contact SMC³ Registrar
Guest Program $225


SMC³ Registrar: Amy Stankosky | 800.845.8090 x5802 |

SMC³ Cancellation Policy

The conference registration, less a $105 fee, is refundable only if cancellation is submitted in writing to Amy Stankosky on or before May 5, 2015. No refund will be issued if a cancellation is received after May 5th.

"The value received from attending is immeasurable. Whether it be networking opportunities, business development, best practice insights, industry trends or educational opportunities, the value is there in mass amounts." – Lynden Transport