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USDOT Chief Economist Headlines Speaker Line-up at Intermodal Freight Conference

For release: September 11, 2013
For press information, contact Kimberly Grantham, 901/678-4279

The Intermodal Freight Transportation Institute (IFTI) at the University of Memphis will host the seventh annual Intermodal Freight Conference on Tuesday, Sept. 24.The conference will run from 8 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. at the FedEx Institute of Technology on the U of M campus and includes lunch.

Registration is available online at There is no charge to attend.

The conference connects transportation industry professionals to outstanding speakers, cutting-edge research reports and an opportunity to network.

“We are thrilled to be hosting such an impressive group of transportation professionals,” said Dan Pallme, IFTI director. “This year’s agenda provides national, state and local views of the industry’s future, policy and economics.”

Speakers include USDOT chief economist Jack Wells, Cushman & Wakefield’s Industrial Services lead John Morris, TDOT Commissioner John Schroer, Congressman Steve Cohen, Tennessee Sen. Mark Norris and the Memphis MPO (Metropolitan Planning Organization) administrator Pragati Srivastava.

The schedule also offers a snapshot of a few IFTI research projects. “The Intermodal Freight Conference is a great venue for IFTI researchers to present their findings to our target community,” said Dr. Martin Lipinski, IFTI director emeritus.

Sean Ellis, associate director of IFTI, adds, “As a federally funded university transportation center, part of our mission is to provide educational opportunities to the local community about the current freight industry. We believe the Intermodal Freight Conference not only meets this objective, but exceeds it.”

The afternoon bonus meeting features a Mid-South Women in Transportation panel and networking session. “We’ve compiled an impressive group of panelists that represent the breadth of professional opportunities for women in the transportation field,’ said Pallme. “We are looking forward to seeing both current and future female professionals learn and network together.” The panel begins at 1 p.m. at the FedEx Institute of Technology. Register online at

IFTI addresses critical issues affecting the planning, design and operation of the nation’s intermodal freight transportation systems. The extensive transportation infrastructure in the Memphis region provides the perfect working laboratory for IFTI to solve critical problems facing the freight industry and generate educational opportunities to develop tomorrow’s leaders. IFTI leads the Southern Hub of the National Center for Freight and Infrastructure Research and Education University Transportation Center (CFIRE). CFIRE is a Tier 1 UTC that encompasses a geographical area that serves the majority of freight traffic in the United States. CFIRE is composed of 10 universities with the University of Wisconsin-Madison leading the Northern Hub. The IFTI vision is to be a nationally recognized leader in linking people to solutions in freight and logistics through research, education and technology transfer activities.

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