Evidence of economic rebound discussed at AmeriQuest Symposium

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The mood was cautiously optimistic as nearly 200 transportation leaders from the private fleet, truckload carrier, rental and leasing and supply communities discussed signs of economic improvement at the 7th annual AmeriQuest Transportation Industry Symposium, held recently in Orlando, Fla.

Each year, AmeriQuest brings together the top minds in the industry to discover the best ways to nurture and capitalize on innovation in the industry. This year’s topics included the state of the economy, “the road ahead” for the transportation industry, financial challenges and the importance of embracing change and innovation.

After an undeniably tough 2009, economic indicators for the trucking industry and industry in general are showing signs of a recovery, says Dan North, chief economist for Euler Hermes ACI. North took an in-depth look at the current state of the economy, pointing to indicators showing that the recession has ended, and cautioning about other economic challenges still ahead.

Keynote speaker Lou Pritchett, former Proctor & Gamble executive and author of “Stop Paddling and Start Rocking the Boat,” spoke on “How to Survive and Succeed by Leading Change.” Pritchett warned attendees that in the decade ahead, the source of corporate strength will be its willingness to change, not cling to stability.

Bill Graves, president and chief executive officer of the American Trucking Associations, presented an overview of the current economic environment, national and industry policy issues and an industry outlook. Graves saw signs of recovery in the uptick in manufacturing output and gross domestic product and its expected positive impact on the transportation industry.

The AmeriQuest Transportation Symposium also included several more speakers and two panels discussing capital and credit markets and industry trends, as well as a showcase of suppliers and products such as MRO supplies, capital equipment, material handling products and technology solutions.