Thursday, May 20

9:00 AM – 10:00 AM 

Opening Plenary Session – Freight on the Frontline Transportation Leaders Panel

Freight has been on the "frontline" and has driven our economy during the pandemic. With people quarantined and panic shopping, every store had empty shelves at night, only to be restocked in the morning. Truck drivers brought normalcy to our lives when everything else was abnormal. This moment in time, has proven that freight is on the frontline all the time regardless of whether we are responding to critical needs or supporting a thriving economy.


Investment in Ohio’s infrastructure systems will ensure continued opportunities for access to food, healthcare, jobs, education and more. From planning to construction for highways, the turnpike, rail systems, maritime facilities and transportation modes of the future, the State of Ohio has served us well and continues to deliver! This panel will be a discussion among some of the State of Ohio’s top transportation leaders who have been ensuring transportation project delivery for freight movement past, present, and future.




Ferzan Ahmed, PE, Executive Director, Ohio Turnpike and Infrastructure Committee


Mark Locker, AICP, Program Manager, Ohio Department of Transportation – Maritime, Freight and Logistics


Megan McClory, Secretary/Treasurer, Ohio Rail Development


Howard Wood, Executive Director, DriveOhio




Thea Walsh Ewing, Director of Transportation & Infrastructure Development, Mid-Ohio Regional Planning Commission

10:15 AM – 11:30 AM 

Breakout Sessions

A Sneak Peek at Upcoming Federal Guidance

What does the new federal administration have in store for infrastructure investments? This session features transportation experts at the forefront of policy development who will share their thoughts on what is coming from our federal funding partners.


Aligning Strategies: The State of Ohio Rail Plan and the Rail Crossings Study

In 2019, the Ohio Rail Development Commission completed the State of Ohio Rail Plan.  As part of that process, ORDC identified an immediate need to develop better tools to evaluate the safety of rail crossings across the state. This session provides an overview of the rail plan and dives into how this plan aligns with the recently completed Rail Crossings Study.


Preparing for Sustainable Energy Freight Fleets: Ohio’s Statewide Electric Vehicle Charging Study

Drive Ohio’s 2020 Electric Charging Vehicle Charging Study assesses the needs for electric vehicle (EV) charging, primarily along Ohio’s highway corridors. Corridor charging infrastructure requires relatively high-power Direct Current Fast Charging (DCFC) stations that can rapidly deliver significant added range to EVs at locations that are easily and quickly accessed by motorists. This session focuses on the results of the study, which identifies DCFC gaps in Interstate, U.S. Highway and State Route corridors and identifies options to fill them.


Best Practices in Private Sector Engagement: A Look at The Ohio Supply-Chain Academics Network (O-SCAN) and Columbus Region Logistics Council (CRLC)

Government agencies responsible for infrastructure funding decisions often struggle with understanding the fluctuating needs of freight and logistics businesses that count on freight system investments to efficiently move their goods. Academic institutions also have a need to understand employer needs to prepare our workforce. This session features two examples of how public, private, and academic entities are coming together to explore the intersectionality of freight and provide opportunities for future collaboration.


Economic Equity and River Freight Vulnerabilities

This session seeks to provide a better understanding of the complexities being faced by river freight corridors, and how this relates to economic equity for vulnerable rural communities.  What efforts can be made by local and regional stakeholders to preserve and improve access to this part of our freight multimodal system?

11:45 AM – 1:00 PM 

Breakout Sessions

Lessons in Adaptability: Adjusting to Pandemic Times in the Air Transportation Industry
As the entire world came to a halt during the 2020 COVID-19 pandemic, few industries were affected as drastically as the air transportation industry. Join this session to learn about how this industry adjusted to not only survive this major shake and stepped in to limit the disruption of goods movements.


Planning for the Needs of Our Truck Drivers: Lessons Learned from the COVID-19 Pandemic
As the majority of America quarantined in 2020, our nation’s truck drivers were faced with many challenges as they continued to keep our shelves supplied. Learn about the difficulties the pandemic created for our truck drivers, the measures taken by state DOTs to support them, and the lessons learned throughout this period.


Developing the Transport Ohio Plan: The Latest on The Ohio Statewide Freight Plan Update
The Ohio Department of Transportation is working with consulting firm CPCS to enhance and further build upon the 2019 Transport Ohio statewide freight plan update. Join ODOT and CPCS experts and learn the latest in this planning effort.


Transportation Equity and Freight – Shifting the View in Transportation Funding and Development
What does equity mean in freight transportation? As transportation policy makers face the pressure to address equity in infrastructure investments, this session focuses on transportation infrastructure projects across the state and their relevance to transportation equity and freight. 

11:30 AM – 11:45 AM 


Friday, May 21

9:00 AM – 10:00 AM 

Breakout Sessions

Strategic Planning and Freight System Considerations: An Overview of the Ohio Truck Parking Study

The Ohio Department of Transportation and their consultant CPCS recently completed a statewide truck parking study as part of the Transport Ohio freight plan update. Join the experts as they discuss the study’s results and provide insight into how this information will strengthen efforts to better support our trucking industry.



Ohio Manufacturing and the Ports of Lake Erie

Join this session and learn about the latest about Ohio’s manufacturing industry and key Ohio ports on Lake Erie.



From the Innovation Frontlines: Catching up on Drive Ohio’s Automated Freight Portfolio

Wondering what’s new in freight at the frontline of transportation innovation? Join the Drive Ohio team as they share the latest on drone deliveries, autonomous vehicles, and more.

10:00 AM - 11:00 AM 

Amazon FC Live Virtual Tour

11:00 AM - 11:15 AM 


11:15 AM - 12:15 AM 

Closing Session - Adjournment

The Rapid Growth of the Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS)

Keynote: Michael Healander, President & CEO, Airspace Link

The rapid growth of the Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) industry has outpaced the development of rules and systems to govern their use and, furthermore, the projected global use of drones for cargo transport and packaged delivery by 2027 will be $7.388B.

Communities across the U.S. are starting to prepare for and embrace this next dimension of mobility in recognition of the potential of these solutions to improve the transport of packages, cargo and eventually people. A recent study by Virginia Tech University found that by year 5, a single community could benefit from increased convenience; provide better health care services to elderly and those with less access to mobility options; avoid hundreds of car crashes per year; reduce CO2 emissions; increase local sales for participating business, and many more economic and social benefits.


Michael will share real world examples of how Federal, State & Local Governments and the UAS industry participants can come together to enable Advanced UAS and Air Mobility technologies to safely scale by planning for and then deploying these new “highways in the sky”. Michael will also explain how regulations, technology, standards, infrastructure investments, economic models, and public acceptance are aligning to unlock the full potential.