In 2013, South Carolina’s TDL industry saw several important milestones. The inland port in Greer opened in October, expanding the economic ties between the Upstate and the Lowcountry and increasing the state’s competitiveness as a leader in moving freight. The SC Department of Transportation has continued to make strides in the development of the 25-year multimodal plan that will provide the roadmap for moving freight throughout the state and guide future infrastructure projects. Many TDL-related businesses have announced new business or expansion in the Palmetto State. We’re on the right track.
But what’s on the horizon? The widening of the Panama Canal, expected to be completed in 2015, is putting pressure on East Coast ports - Charleston included - to dredge harbors in order to accommodate post-Panamax ships around the clock. Tourists and residents alike bemoan driving on I-26, I-95, or I-85, especially during peak hours. Logistics analysts are always trying to shave off a few hours of transit time. TDL supports practically our entire economy; naturally, TDL needs constant investment and fine-tuning to maintain vibrancy and have the ability to grow and compete.
The TDL Council is a collaborative effort between public and private sector leaders to boost South Carolina’s economy, create jobs, and attract investment that will position the state as a national and global leader in the TDL industry. One way the Council seeks to bring South Carolina to the forefront of the TDL industry is by hosting the TDL Summit each year. In the spirit of partnership and collaboration, the Summit provides a forum for public leaders to provide their perspective on the industry, private industry leaders to share best practices, educational partners to share new innovations and projects, and attendees to learn, network and celebrate the industry’s successes. The 4th Annual TDL Summit will be held in Columbia on February 12.
The TDL Council has put together an exciting program and speaker line-up for the 2014 TDL Summit, with presentations that touch on all areas of freight transport, logistics, and distribution. The day will be opened by Governor Nikki Haley, and we’ll hear updates from Secretary of Commerce Bobby Hitt, and Ports Authority CEO Jim Newsome later in the day. A panel of South Carolina cluster leaders will offer their perspectives of freight infrastructure needs, and SCE&G will cover the logistics behind construction at V.C. Summer. Nephron’s Lou Kennedy, former Port of New Orleans President & CEO Ron Brinson, Senator Paul Campbell, and Clemson’s Dr. Scott Mason will round out the program, each offering their own unique perspective on a certain aspect of the industry. A networking reception will follow the event.
As we celebrate TDL successes we must also stay focused on working collaboratively to identify solutions that will help us reach our multimodal transportation goals. Decision-makers from the business sector, elected officials, government agencies, higher education partners, community advocates and interested citizens must come together to put the vision of the TDL Council into action.
We look forward to thought-provoking dialogue, knowledge exchange, and insights into revolutionary innovations at the TDL Summit on April 24th. Please join us for this exciting event. For more information, click here.