8th annual Critical Commodities Conference promises industry insight, networking opportunities

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The 8th Annual Critical Commodities Conference, a dynamic three-day event focused on the efficient transportation of energy products, steel and other raw materials, food, containerized cargo and other trade-related topics, opens April 12 at the New Orleans Downtown Marriott at the Convention Center.

The Critical Commodities Conference, which attracts more than 300 participants, brings together industry powerhouses to discuss trends and issues relevant to shipping professionals. As in previous years, the panel discussions and keynote speakers promise to bring a wealth of knowledge and awareness to attendees.

This year the conference, co-hosted by the Port of New Orleans and the American Institute of International Steel, welcomes American Shipper as a media partner. American Shipper, a print and online publication which provides the shipping industry with pertinent news about shippers, service providers, regulatory issues and technology, is the premier source for news and market information within the shipping industry.

“We are pleased to continue our relationship with the American Institute for International Steel, and we welcome American Shipper to the mix this year. The magazine’s participation in the conference will not only add to its robust discussions, but increase the conference participants’ visibility within the industry,” said Gary LaGrange, Port of New Orleans President and CEO.

“We have an exciting agenda planned for the Critical Commodities Conference that will attract many influential business leaders, who have their fingers on the pulse of the world economy,” LaGrange added.

Each year immediately following a welcome from LaGrange, attendees join sessions moderated by top industry influencers. In addition to an impressive list of moderators, this year’s keynote speakers include Joe Stratman, Executive Vice President of Nucor Steel; John Orr, Senior Vice President-Southern Region at Canadian National Railway; Stewart Serpas, Supply Chain Director-Packaging and Specialty Plastics for The Dow Chemical Co.; and Tory McPhail, Executive Chef at Commander’s Palace restaurant.

The 2016 Critical Commodities Conference includes social networking activities for attendees as well. The annual golf tournament kicks off the conference on April 12 at the Audubon Park Golf Course. There will also be two evening receptions, including The Fulton Alley experience on April 13 at Fulton Alley, a trendy setting just steps from the conference hotel offering team building games, impeccable food and delicious drinks.

“Many challenges currently faced by the shipping community are common across several industries,” said Richard Chriss, Executive Director of the American Institute for International Steel Inc. “The CCC is a highly interactive forum with a diverse group of industry experts and allows for many opportunities to connect with industry representatives in a unique American city.”

Barge lines, logistics companies, port authorities, producers, railroads, shippers, shipping lines, terminal operators, truck lines and warehousing companies who seek to gain inside industry knowledge are encouraged to attend the 8th Annual Critical Commodities Conference. Registration remains open and there are a select number of sponsorship and exhibition opportunities still available.