ATA’s 2023 Management Conference & Exhibition (MCE) in Austin was a resounding success thanks to the attendees, exhibitors, and sponsors who made the event possible.
This year’s theme, “The Rhythm of Change,” gave more than 2,700 attendees the opportunity to become attuned to our industry’s most pressing issues, harmonize on strategy, and celebrate notable achievements.
Additionally, 176 exhibiting companies—the most since 2016—occupied 250,000 square feet of floor space to showcase the latest products and innovations that can help motor carriers improve safety, efficiency, and sustainability.
If you were not able to make it to Austin this year, here is a look back at what you might have missed:
Spear addressed the State of the Industry.
In his annual State of the Industry remarks, ATA President and CEO Chris Spear said our continued advocacy efforts were making a difference but warned we must stay vigilant as foes look to attack, exploit, and undermine our industry.
Spear cited ATA’s victories on lawsuit abuse – particularly in Iowa and Florida – as evidence that the association can achieve victories across the country, providing a template to continue the fight on labor issues and increasingly unrealistic environmental mandates from California.
We learned from trucking’s top experts.
Over the course of five days, attendees had a chance to hear from numerous insightful speakers. Top industry experts, transportation leaders, and government officials imparted their wisdom across more than a dozen educational seminars.
This year’s sessions focused on everything from fleet safety and performance to artificial intelligence and new regulations.
We ranked our top issues.
During ATRI’s highly anticipated “Big Reveal” seminar, the trucking industry’s not-for-profit research organization unveiled its 19th annual Top Industry Issues report.
The nation’s economy ranked the #1 concern in a year replete with challenges such as high inflation, rising operating costs, and declining freight demand. Other prominent issues included:
🅿️ Truck Parking
⛽ Fuel Prices
🚚 Driver Shortage
💲 Driver Compensation
This year was the first time that zero-emission vehicles made the list, reflecting the aggressive mandates and unrealistic transition timelines that have been imposed on the industry.
More than 4,000 trucking industry stakeholders participated in this year’s survey. The full report can be found on ATRI's website.
We gained a global perspective on trucking.
Spear sat down with his counterpart from the International Road Transport Union
(IRU), Umberto de Pretto, for a fireside chat about transportation and trucking policies around the world.
De Pretto shared how other countries are handling electric trucks and the divergence in environmental regulations in the West compared to China, India, and Uzbekistan. He also noted that the severe shortage of qualified truck drivers is a universal issue that extends beyond the United States’ borders, creating a drag on economic growth.
By taking a global view of trucking issues, this session provided attendees with a holistic view of the industry to better anticipate what is coming down the pipeline and to learn from the successes…and the mistakes…of other nations.
We added a new image truck to ATA's fleet.
A new truck joined our illustrious image fleet, which will help to expand our industry’s message nationwide.
The ATA and the Intermodal Motor Carrier Conference unveiled the IMC Truck—a 2023 legendary red Peterbilt Model 579 UltraLoft—at MCE.
ATA’s image fleet plays a vital role in expanding our reach to schools and community events. This year alone, ATA trucks have been seen by nearly 200,000 people and have participated in more than 75 events in approximately 30 states.
We unleashed our peak performance.
Hailed as the “female Jerry Maguire” by CNN, trailblazer Molly Fletcher delivered remarks during a high-energy luncheon.
Ms. Fletcher made a name for herself as one of the first female sports agents and had an impressive 15-year career representing some of the most well-known, top-tier athletes and coaches. In her inspiring keynote address, she shared insights on how attendees could overcome adversity and unlock their own potential.
We prepared trucking’s future leaders.
Dozens of the trucking industry’s next generation of leaders received an unparalleled opportunity at MCE to learn from titans and trailblazers in the field, receive mentorship and advice, and ask thought-provoking questions.
The impressive men and women of LEAD ATA, a program that prepares the best and brightest in the industry, had insightful discussions with ATA leaders. This year’s graduating LEAD ATA class has 18 members, and the incoming class consists of 15 individuals.
Additionally, 24 college students who are part of the Trucking U Class of 2023 had a private session with Peterbilt, met with sponsors during the Trucking U dinner and Sunday luncheon, attended educational sessions, and networked with professionals in the exhibit hall. ATA's Trucking U program is an educational initiative designed to expand top students’ horizons in the trucking industry.
We recognized excellence.
MCE brings together the best of the best in the trucking industry, and ATA recognized these exemplary individuals and companies during our premier event. Awards were given to those who have served and represented the industry with distinction, advanced policy goals, and given back to the community.
We installed our new chairman.
The ATA’s Board of Directors elected Andrew Boyle—co-president of Boyle Transportation in Billerica, Massachusetts—as the Federation’s 79th chairman.
Boyle succeeds Dan Van Alstine, president and COO of Ruan Transportation Management Systems, in the role of chairman.
“I’m confident that ATA is in great hands with my friend Andrew,” said Van Alstine. “I want to wish him good luck on what will surely be an exciting journey as ATA chairman. I also want to thank the ATA staff and my fellow members for their support this past year – they have made my term as chairman a truly special one.”
Transport Topics has an excellent profile on Boyle.
We paws-d to visit friends.
In between educational sessions, attendees had a chance to snuggle with some very adorable and adoptable pups in the Dog and Puppy Lounge, sponsored by Motive.
ATA partnered with the Austin Humane Society to give the dogs in their care the chance to socialize and to raise awareness about the importance of matching foster animals with permanent, loving homes.
We ended on a high note.
After spending five days learning about the “Rhythm of Change,” MCE culminated with an exciting performance by Grammy, CMA, and ACM award winner Ashley McBryde!
We will see you at MCE24!
Join us in Nashville next year from October 12-15 for MCE24!