Rail Freight

Thursday, September 15th

From sessions to networking, we impact your decision-making

Continued capacity issues are plaguing the trucking industry and driving shippers to search for help on the rail and intermodal networks. This freight-focused look at the rail and intermodal industry will give you clarity on the dynamics of railcar capacity and demand, economic and freight outlooks, regulatory impacts, and a review of each of the major sectors of rail freight. Featuring presentations from major shippers and rail executives as well as the power of the FTR Freight•cast forecasting methodology, you'll leave with a deeper understanding of the state of competitiveness between rail, intermodal, and trucking.


  • Economic and freight outlooks that focus on factors that will affect rail demand

  • A look into the current state of regulations and what to expect as the new Administration ramps up activity

  • Executive Keynote discussion to get insights directly from a major industry executive

  • A full suite of panels and presentations that look at each of the major sectors of rail freight: Grain, Intermodal, Metals, Energy, etc.

  • A look at how railcar capacity has been affected by changes in demand by sector and what to expect going forward



Click on the agenda titles below to view session descriptions.

Thursday, September 15th

6:30 AM - Indy Canal Run/Walk

Meet in the Crowne Plaza lobby. Start your day off right with a 3 or 5-mile run, or a 2-mile walk down the Indy canal. A great time to enjoy the beauty of Indianapolis and engage with your colleagues. Participants also receive a complimentary running shirt.

8:45 AM - Welcome
9:00 AM - The Foundation of Freight: What the Economic Landscape Tells Us

Hear from a respected industry economist about the economic indicators most likely to change the shape of freight demand over the next year. In addition, it will address the biggest risk factors among economic and industry outlooks.

Emily Myers
Sanchez, American Chemistry Council

9:45 AM - Supply Chain Shifts: How to Navigate the Changes

This session will offer the FTR perspective on where carload and intermodal freight is headed in the year ahead. After a year of constantly shifting sands, we’ll provide our best outlook on where things are headed.

Todd Tranausky, FTR

10:30 AM - Networking Break
10:45 AM - Freight by Numbers: Understanding the Industry Through Data

All sorts of new data is available to the rail industry to better track their equipment as it moves. This session will discuss some of best and brightest insights shippers can gain from these new data sources and how to best leverage them.

John Schmitter, RailState, LLC

11:15 AM - Regulators Take Center Stage: A Look Into the D.C. Regulatory Scene

Two regulatory attorneys discuss and debate the major issues of the day as the Surface Transportation Board becomes more active in the industry. After several dormant years, shippers are again having to lean into the regulatory scene in Washington, DC.

Karyn Booth, Thompson Hine, LLP
Bill Mullins, Baker & Miller, PLLC

Todd Tranausky, FTR

12:00 PM - Lunch
1:00 PM - Inside the Mind of a Shipper: Approaching Rail Freight

A leading rail shipper discusses the market from their perspective along with the potential risk factors they are watching that could alter the modal or overall volume landscape in the year ahead.

Kevin Murray, Red Gold

1:30 PM A Short-Line Perspective: How Short-Lines are Preparing for the Year Ahead

A leading short-line executive provides perspective and outlook for how these smaller carriers are handling uncertainty and service disruptions in the economy and at their Class I partners.

John Goldman, Louisville & Indiana Railroad

2:00 PM - An Expert Perspective: The Petroleum Sector

An expert on how crude oil and ethanol moves by rail will give us the inside perspective on what to expect from this commodity group in the months ahead, as well as a look at where and how the market is moving now.

Chris Baltimore, Argus Media

2:30 PM - Networking Break
2:45 PM - Wall Street’s Stance: The Financial Community’s Focus

One of the Wall Street analysts that follows the rail sector will provide his thoughts on what the rail industry’s shareholders will focus on in the year ahead.

Justin Long, Stephens, Inc. 

3:15 PM - Intermodal: Growth Darling or Disappointment?

Intermodal was supposed to be the growth driver for rail volumes for decades to come, but the last few years have been challenging. Intermodal market experts discuss what they see on the road ahead for the industry.

David Marsh, Celtic International, Inc. 
Craig Paulsen, Schneider National

Todd Tranausky, FTR

4:45 PM - Women in Rail Transportation Reception

Details coming soon! 

5:30 PM - Evening Reception: Sponsored by TrinityRail

Location: Grand Hall Bar, Union Station

Rail Freight Agenda

Click the download button to view the agenda pdf.

Previous companies by industry

Every Great Growth-Driven Design Project 

Rail Freight Speakers

Rail Freight agenda

Download the Rail Freight agenda in PDF.

Previous companies by industry

View companies in your industry that have previously attended.

Rail Freight Speakers

Click the dots below to scroll through this year's fantastic list of speakers.

Chris Baltimore Editor, Argus Media
Karyn Booth Partner, Thompson Hine, LLP
John Goldman President, Louisville & Indiana Railroad
Justin Long Managing Director, Transportation Research, Stephens, Inc.
David Marsh EVP of Intermodal, Celtic International, Inc.
William (Bill) Mullins Partner, Baker & Miller, PLLC
Kevin Murray Vice President, Supply Chain, Red Gold, Inc.
Craig Paulsen Vice President, Schneider National
Emily Myers Sanchez Director, American Chemistry Council
John Schmitter President, RailState, LLC
Eric Starks Chairman & CEO, FTR
Jonathan Starks Chief Intelligence Officer, FTR
Todd Tranausky Vice President, Rail & Intermodal, FTR

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