Posted: Wednesday, June 13, 2012 6:00 pm
The Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC) is holding its Global Appalachia summer meeting today and Thursday at the University of Memphis.
Hosted by Will Alexander, assistant commissioner for the Tennessee Department of Economic and Community Development and representative to the Tennessee Export Trade Advisory Council, the event is being coordinated by the University’s Intermodal Freight Transportation Institute (IFTI).
The ARC is a federal-state partnership that works for sustainable community and economic development in Appalachia. The commission is composed of the governors of the 13 Appalachian states and a federal co-chair.
In addition to being one of America’s most comprehensive transportation and logistics hubs, featuring key highways, intermodal rail corridors, inland navigation and the Global Hub of FedEx, Memphis serves as a key Appalachian highway and intermodal rail gateway to the West and then on to and from key Asian markets.
“We are excited about our new alliance with the ARC,” said Dr. Martin Lipinski, director of IFTI and professor of civil engineering at the U of M. “Freight transportation is an important research area for the University and for Memphis. Freight is a major economic engine for the city, so it is important that we constantly work to improve the flow of goods in and through our community. By hosting these types of events, we have an opportunity to share our cutting-edge freight transportation research and to remain in the center of the freight community.”
While in Memphis, the group will conduct two working sessions in the Herff College of Engineering Executive Training Center at the U of M, tour the BNSF Intermodal Facility, and visit the FedEx Hub to watch a night sort.
Scott Hercik, ARC transportation and international trade adviser, said, “This year’s meeting attendance is record-breaking. Our members are glad to be at the U of M and are looking forward to seeing the state-of-the-art BNSF yard and getting a behind-the-scenes look deep into one of the world’s most complex and most successful practices of “excellence-in-logistics” at FedEx.”
IFTI addresses critical issues affecting the planning, design, and operation of the nation’s freight transportation systems, with an emphasis on the issues that have local significance with national and international implications. 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. 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.
More information about IFTI is available online at www.Memphis.edu/IFTI. More information about ARC is available online at www.ARC.gov/index.asp.
Published in The Messenger 6.13.12
Appalachian Regional Commission, University of Memphis