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The Inaugural Virginia Freight Transportation Summit

The Inaugural Virginia Freight Transportation Summit

On December 6, freight stakeholders from the public and private sectors met in Norfolk to advance the “critical needs of freight movement throughout the Commonwealth of Virginia” at the inaugural “Virginia Freight Transportation Summit” hosted by the HRTPO’s Freight Transportation Advisory Committee (FTAC) and the Port of Virginia.

After being welcomed by Bill Bell, co-chair of the HRTPO’s Freight Transportation Advisory Committee (FTAC), and Sean Connaughton, Virginia Secretary of Transportation, participants viewed the premiere of the FTAC video A Region United which explains the importance of working together to accommodate freight movement in order to improve the local economy and citizen’s lives. 

Following the video, participants listened to and asked questions of the following speakers:
•    Alan Meyers (Cambridge Systematics)                topic: Virginia Freight Study
•    Samuel K. Skinner (ex- US Secretary of Transportation)        keynote address

In addition, Chris Luebbers (Norfolk Southern) led a discussion of how “Virginia’s Competitive Position & Economic Growth Relies on Efficient Freight Transportation” including the following speakers:
•    Fredrik Eliasson (CSX Transportation)
•    Harry Haney (Kraft Foods)
•    Jim Clarke (Jones Lang LaSalle)

And Rodney Oliver (Va. Port Authority) led a discussion of “The Importance of Considering Freight in Transportation Policy, Planning, Prioritization and Investment” including the following speakers:
•    David Cuneo (Steere Davies Gleave)
•    Christopher Smith (American Assoc. of State Highway and Transportation Officials)

Finally, Janet Kavinoky (US Chamber of Commerce), the evening speaker, advised the participants to invite to next year’s summit more representatives from companies which rely heavily on the shipment of freight.

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