2023 Conference Programme

Collaborating on capacity, quality and a changing network





Finished Vehicle Logistics North America Golf Day

Kick off the 13th Finished Vehicle Logistics North America conference in style with a round of golf at a prestigious Californian course. Reconnect with colleagues and peers, taking in the stunning views and navigating the well-kept greens, and test yourself against the best swingers in town! Spaces are limited so book early to secure your place.

Hosted by

18:00 – 21:00 PDT

Welcome Cocktail Reception

Feel the buzz as the sector’s leaders and experts come together once again on the eve of the conference. The welcome cocktail provides a great opportunity to make new connections, catch up with old friends and start discussing the key trends, issues and opportunities shaping vehicle logistics.

Dress code – Business Casual


08:00 - 09:00 PDT

Conference open for registration, networking and refreshments

Collect your badge, connect with colleagues and enjoy a delicious breakfast ahead of the opening session.

09:00 - 09:05 PDT

Welcome to Finished Vehicle Logistics North America 2023

09:05 - 09:45 PDT

Session 1: Confidence in volatile times – meeting the needs of a changing network

Nick Thompson, Head of Vehicle Logistics - North America Stellantis

Supply chain and economic uncertainty is making vehicle logistics planning more challenging. However, the North American automotive network is developing positively, with new models and electrification leading to plant updates, greenfield operations and changing trade lanes. This transformation is driving new requirements for multimodal and combined transport solutions, for ocean and port services, for example from Mexico, and for rail and trucking capacity across multiple locations.

In this session, hear from OEM and logistics provider leaders to better understand current and upcoming requirements across different modes, infrastructure and equipment. Learn about the changing North American vehicle logistics network, and gain the confidence on where you can invest in the capacity, skills and resources to meet market and customer demand.

09:45 - 10:30 CET

Session 2: The load factor: seeking capacity, finding solutions

Jennifer Sarah Bolton, Director of Finished Vehicle Logistics and Supply Chain Systems and Strategy, Nissan

A variety of factors are impacting the ability to maximise load factors and optimise delivery routes across North America, from vehicle inventory, equipment and labour shortages to challenges in reaching lower density markets in a timely manner. Increasing weights and decreasing load factors for electric vehicles are another risk. As US production stabilises and vehicles awaiting critical parts are released into the network, carmakers must rethink how they optimise each load and remain a customer of choice to keep their networks flowing.

In this session, hear how OEMs of different sizes are working with new and existing providers to improve visibility and provide new solutions to better maximise truck and rail capacity, build more effective loads. OEMs and logistics providers share insights including the use of alternative modes of transport and equipment, maximising backhaul opportunities across players and the remarketing sector, and even reassessing carrier contracts and compensation.

10:30 - 11:15 PDT

Networking, meetings and exhibition

11:15 - 12:00 PDT

Session 3: Size matters – measuring progress on the path to net zero vehicle logistics

The industry is on a one-way direction to carbon neutrality but the routes to get there for vehicle logistics are varied and often lacking in agreed standards and metrics. Finished vehicle logistics leaders will depend on accurate emission tracking, industry-wide transparency, clear milestones and year-on-year targets to assess progress and turn boardroom ambitions of a decarbonised supply chain into reality. The industry will also need to make key investments based on the viability and infrastructure requirements of different technology and alternative fuels, from LNG shipping to electric or hydrogen trucking.

In this session we explore the baseline metrics driving the sustainability strategies of the key players, and assess the impacts, feasibility and regulatory requirements for switching to alternative fuels, investing in new equipment and using multimodal transport.

12:00 - 12:45 PDT

Session 4: Essential Intelligence: North America’s automotive outlook

Improve your strategies and planning with the very latest figures and forecasts for vehicle production and sales in North America. Get the inside track on the key trends and policies, including electric vehicles and the inflation reduction act, influencing vehicle volumes and capacity requirements in the short and long-term.

12:45 - 14:00 PDT

Lunch & networking

Hosted by


14:00 - 15:00 PDT

Finished Vehicle Logistics Ideas Labs

The Finished Vehicle Logistics Ideas Labs are small, solutions-orientated working groups that provide an invaluable opportunity to interact and work directly with key industry peers on the real-life issues that matter most to you. Facilitated by subject-matter experts, each Ideas Lab is an open discussion that addresses challenges head on.

Ideas Lab 1: Busting myths and misconceptions about electric vehicles

The surge of electric vehicles is on its way, yet many within the logistics sector aren’t yet fully prepared. Join this group of EV experts and get up to speed on critical information, dispel the uncertainty and separate the myths from the facts when it comes to distributing electric vehicles. Connect with industry experts and get up to speed on topics ranging from insurance to safety, charging requirements to vehicle weights and more.

Ideas Lab 2: Getting back on the rails – ensuring railcar capacity and service levels

Rail logistics accounts for the largest share of vehicle transport miles across North America, but the industry continues to face labour shortages and capacity misalignment. To ensure efficiency and quality, logistics experts from across all modes and players need to work together. Join this interactive discussion to find new solutions and develop a plan for the future of rail.

Ideas Lab 3: Achieving a fully visible, fully connected network

OEMs and providers are increasingly using data and technology to track vehicles and manage their networks and operations. But with multiple tools serving various stakeholders at different milestones across the outbound value chain, is a fully visible, fully connected network even possible? Join fellow data experts and technology specialists and users to understand how to maximise visibility with the tools and technology on the market.

Ideas Lab 4: Rocking the boat – Ro-ro services for a new era

Ro-ro services play a critical role in global vehicle logistics, offering lower emission solutions and carrying significant volumes for North American vehicle manufacturers and importers. However, the ocean landscape is changing with carriers investing in alternative fuels and equipment whilst new IMO environmental regulations have the potential to exacerbate existing capacity constraints. Join this roundtable to connect with ocean logistics experts and providers to understand the new direction the sector is taking and how it will impact vehicle logistic flows in, out and across the region.

15:00 - 15:45 PDT

Networking, meetings and on demand catch up

15:45 - 16:30 PDT

Session 5: The clock is ticking – improving ETA accuracy

Anu Goel, Executive Vice-President, Group After Sales & Services, Volkswagen Group of America
Christine Krathwohl, Vice President Global Business Development, FreightVerify
Jim Pang, Vice President, Expansion Services, TrinityRail

With demand high, inventories low and average delivery lead times longer than they have been for years, increasing visibility across the vehicle supply chain and the ability to generate increasingly accurate ETAs is vitally important to enabling stakeholders across the network to optimise their operations and better manage customer expectations. Even a small number of delays and inaccurate ETAs can have a devasting impact on dealer operations and customer expectations. However, improving ETA has no magic bullet: no single department, technology or company who can improve it, but rather it is dependent on the ecosystems of departments, suppliers, logistics providers, brands and dealers.

In this session, learn how carmakers, logistics and technology companies are combining to better track vehicle distribution from plant to carrier to dealer and advancing vehicle allocation processes to improve accuracy and minimise ETA revisions.

16:30 - 17:15 PDT

Session 6: Network efficiency in the new (and ever-changing) normal

Anthony Clevio, Director of Global Outbound Logistics, General Motors
D'Andrae Larry, Group Vice President, Automotive at Norfolk Southern
Darren Acker, Director Logistics Operations, Glovis America

North American vehicle logistics continues to manage through successive supply chain challenges and transformations, from chip to transport and driver capacity issues; from vehicle inventory shortages to deliberate decisions to reduce inventory. And the paradigm shift is accelerating even further, as production and logistics networks evolve; as new import and export patterns impact shipping and ports; as longer dwell and slower velocity bring new considerations for rail and multimodal transport; and as the industry prepares to build and distribute more EVs.

Despite these changes, OEMs and their providers are working to increase efficiency, reduce lead times and manage costs. In this panel discussion, learn how leading carmakers, like General Motors, are working with partners to adapt to constant change and still improve productivity and experience for final customers.

Join the discussion to learn more on:

-What changing production footprints in North America – including new investment in the Midwest, US South and Mexico – will mean for vehicle logistics network efficiency;
-How the industry is adapting changing dwell and lead times across transport modes, including for rail transport in key regions of North America;
-How shifts in vehicle imports and exports are impacting global and regional ro-ro ocean flows and port processing;
-How OEMs efforts to maintain low inventory and prioritise production and distribution will impact outbound logistics

17:15 - 21:00 PDT

Finished Vehicle Logistics North America Gala Reception

Continue your conversations with a refreshing drink and delicious food as the Californian sun sets on the opening day of the conference.

Dress code - Business Casual


08:30 - 09:15 PDT

Conference open for registration, networking and refreshments

Prepare for another day of important insights and industry discussions with some early refreshments and strong coffee!

09:15 - 09:45 PDT

Keynote presentation: Toks Omishakin, Secretary of Transportation, California State Transportation Agency (CalSTA)

09:45 - 10:15 PDT

Session 7: Electric vehicle logistics – fully charged and raring to go

Mike Matousek, Director of the Automobile Carriers Conference, American Trucking Associations

EV volumes and investments in the US are charging higher thanks to improving technology, investment and government regulations, and OEMs and logistics providers need real answers and practical solutions to how they are going to manage the clear challenges, notably the higher weights and lower payloads for truck delivery.

In this session, hear how the key players leading the electric revolution are planning their logistics and networks for transportation and storage, and understand what OEMs, logistics providers need to do in terms of equipment and infrastructure investment, but also what is needed in terms of policy changes and lobbying, as well as training and adapting workforces.

10:15 - 10:30 PDT

Networking, meetings and exhibition

11.00 - 11:40 PDT

Session 8: The hunt for top talent in vehicle logistics

A shortage of labour across the outbound supply chain, from port processors to stevedores, from truck drivers to rail workers, and data analysts to software coders, is forcing carmakers and transport providers to rethink recruitment and retainment strategies and work closer together to improve capacity utilisation and maximise worker productivity.

Join this session to understand how major companies are shifting tactics to make job roles in logistics more attractive, including improving pay, working conditions and safety, are redeveloping operations to better suit the needs of the modern-day employee and exploring opportunities to connect with the next generation of talent. We will also explore opportunities for vehicle logistics experts to work with and recruit with the top supply chain management universities.

11.40 - 12:20 PDT

Session 9: Minimising disruption – innovation and digitalisation in vehicle logistics quality management

Benjamin Pohl, Team Lead – Vehicle Shipping Quality, Claims and Load Testing Analyst, Ford
Daniel Gottwald, Senior Manager Port Quality Operations, Volkswagen Group of America
Daniel Gosson, Manager, Finished Vehicle Logistics, North America, INFORM
Adrian Jennings, Chief Product Officer, Cognosos

With inventory levels so low and lead times lengthened, reducing any delays that would result from damage or quality issues has become a strategic concern. More OEMs are looking to take a proactive approach to damage prevention, including data-driven protection and handling and anticipation of weather patterns. And with more advanced technology available for scanning, tracking and reporting damages, the opportunity to digitalise quality management is greater than ever.

Join this session to understand how car automakers, logistics providers and damage and repair specialists are using technology to increase vehicle throughputs, automate vehicle movements and inspection processes, improve transparency of quality issues to reduce costs and time-to-market.

12:20 - 13:30 PDT

Lunch, networking & exhibitions

Hosted by


13:30 - 14:30 PDT

Session 10: What is the future of outbound performance? Redefining vehicle supply chain excellence

Anu Goel, Executive Vice-President, Group After Sales & Services, Volkswagen Group of America

In vehicle logistics, measuring performance comes as standard: transport costs per car, on-time delivery and quality are some of the headline indicators. But the 2020s have already disrupted so many standard expectations, forcing vehicle logistics leaders to re-evaluate and redefine what good looks like for them and their networks. And in the decade to come, electrification, digitalisation and sustainability will increasingly form part of KPIs when measuring performance and setting standards.

Join this closing session and learn how these changing requirements might blend with more traditional metrics such as logistics costs and lead times. Our panel of vehicle logistics leaders will share and debate how core performance indicators, and with them expectations and agreements with logistics partners and stakeholders, will need to evolve to be fit for purpose and future-ready.