For nearly a year I’ve been sharing international efforts of Greater Lansing companies, individuals and other activities that illustrate our region’s growing presence in the global economy.
This month we have another exciting example that demonstrates our region’s involvement and leadership on the international business and global logistics front.
International business professionals from around the state and Midwest will converge in East Lansing on November 10 for the first-ever Port Lansing Global Logistics Conference at MSU’s Kellogg Hotel and Conference Center. This event targets professionals involved in shipping their products around the globe, along with experts that provide related services. The daylong agenda includes industry and agency experts that will share their experiences and wisdom related to various aspects of global commerce.
Topics to be discussed by panelists include:
• Further developing a vibrant supply chain hub; leveraging Port Lansing and other Michigan assets to create jobs
• How to finance international efforts; private and public programs and resources
• Mistakes to avoid when doing international business; war stories from veteran global business professionals
• How to ship your company’s international freight through Port Lansing; practical information and forms needed to utilize a local resource
In addition to the panel discussions, there will be networking opportunities, and sponsors will have displays and information available to answer questions related to the topic of the day.
The keynote luncheon speaker is John Sztykiel, president and CEO of Spartan Motors. Sztykiel will discuss the challenges and rewards Spartan has had over the years as they continue to expand globally and grow right here in the Greater Lansing area.
To close the conference, Capital Region Airport Authority Executive Director Bob Selig will discuss the formation of a Port Lansing Global Shippers Forum. This concept is being utilized in other areas around the country and provides regional businesses shipping internationally with ways to reduce logistics expenses by consolidating freight. The shippers forum would allow participants in the program to post information regarding their outbound or incoming international freight on a Web-based portal and view other scheduled shipments in the region.
For example, if a company is shipping an LTL (less than truck load) to Toronto, Canada and posts the shipment on the shippers forum, another participating company may also need to ship to Toronto and will save on shipping if they consolidate their freight. The more companies that participate in the forum, the increased likelihood of being able to consolidate shipments and realizing savings.
Attendees will leave with increased knowledge of how they can start or improve their company’s international business efforts, and how to utilize Port Lansing and the many other valuable resources in the region.
Port Lansing is able to provide this outreach to the international business community with significant support from conference sponsor Citizens Bank, along with the Lansing Regional Chamber of Commerce and other sponsors Foster, Swift, Collins & Smith, PC; Michigan State University Center for International Business Education & Research (CIBER); Global Business Club; U.S. Commercial Service; Global Image Network; LEAP, Inc. and Lansing’s Capital Region International Airport.
Readers of this publication are sure to recognize that moving the economic development needle in a positive direction is no easy task, especially with today’s economic challenges. It takes shared vision, significant investment, collaborative efforts, patience and plenty of hard work by individuals focused on specific objectives. The Greater Lansing area is fortunate to have examples of progress, such as the widespread support for the first Port Lansing Global Logistics Conference, that demonstrate the region does indeed have a shared vision and is committed to working collectively toward a more prosperous, globally competitive Greater Lansing.