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January 8, 2021

Which of 2021's Top Trucking Events are in-Person?

Now that 2020 is hindsight, members of the trucking industry can  —  at some point — look forward to meeting in person again at events, where they can touch and feel the game-changing new equipment and trucks, talking needs and services over a cocktail and appetizer, and wandering around expo halls until they find that one thing or person that will help them revolutionize their business.

Unfortunately, until at least the spring, many traditional in-person events have been eschewed for virtual events. On the bright side, as the weather starts to warm up, it appears (for now) that we will all be able to meet again. To track the status of the top industry events, we have created this list, which will be routinely updated as everything is a dynamic situation while COVID-19 is still a threat to people’s health and welfare.

 

CES 2021 - January 11-14

Traditionally an event where gadget and tech aficionados can geek out on the latest and greatest electronics innovations, the Consumer Electronics Show (Jan. 11-14) has started to pique interest and involvement from the trucking industry. In 2018, Kenworth unveiled its fuel cell electric truck version of the T680, and last year showed off a Level 4 autonomous T680 and medium-duty K270E, an electric truck collaboration with Dana Inc.

With this year being a virtual event, attendees won’t get a chance to sit in the driver’s seat of any new trucks, but they will get a front-row seat to hear Mobileye President and CEO Prof. Amnon Shashua discuss the Intel-owned company’s advanced driver assist system (ADAS). That event takes place Jan. 12, 10 a.m. PT. A specific focus will be SuperVision, MobilEye’s hands-free driving system comprising 11 cameras and two custom processing chips. To register, click here.

Heavy Duty Aftermarket Week 2021 - January 25-28

There are few details so far on HDAW ’21, which is usually held at the posh Gaylord Texan Resort & Convention Center in Grapevine, Texas. Last year, in which 2,600 stakeholders with ties to parts suppliers and vendors attended, the big trend was aftermarket vendors such as Meritor and Wabco enhancing their e-commerce sites, which seems even more prescient now as e-commerce, in general, has dominated the age of COVID-19. To find out what this year’s aftermarket trends are, visit https://www.hdaw.org/2021 for more info.

2021 COHMED Conference - January 25-28

The Cooperative Hazardous Materials Enforcement Development Conference, put on by the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance, was planned to take place in Savannah, Ga., but is strictly digital this year. The event will cover regulatory updates and various hazardous materials handling topics, from roadside inspections to basic compliance. Registration is free but must be done by Jan. 15. Click here to register.

Work Truck 2021 - March 8-12

For many, the 2020 Work Truck Show was the last live event before COVID-19 shut the country down. No one really knew how dangerous the coronavirus was, but exhibitors knew enough to hand out sanitizer bottles at their booths. The Indianapolis-based event held by NTEA for vocational trucks and commercial vans and pickups has decided to hold a virtual event. Topics will include updates from leading chassis manufacturers, market trends and analysis, and judging from last year, an increased focus on zero- and near-zero emission commercial vehicles. Sign up to receive updates.

Mid-America Trucking Show - TBD

The organizers behind the Mid-America Trucking Show want the 50th Anniversary event to be a special one, and with COVID-19 still a viable threat, the show has been moved from its previously announced March time frame. The show will go in-person though, on either Sept. 16-18, 2021 or March 24-26, 2022. The decision should be made by mid-February. It still is planned to be held at the Kentucky Exposition Center in Louisville.

TMC Annual 2021 - April 12-15

The American Trucking Associations’ Technology & Maintenance Council Annual Meeting is poised to become the first major in-person show since the shutdown—this year in Orlando, not Atlanta. Considering how long everyone has been cooped up, expect OEMs, vendors and suppliers to go all out with new innovations and technology. There will probably be a fair amount of the touchless tech that helped truckers avoid COVID and turn loads around quicker on display as well. To register, click here.

ProMat 2021 - April 12-16

This year logistics specialists will be able to simultaneously attend TMC Annual and ProMat, due to the latter being a virtual event called ProMat Digital Experience (DX). The event planners promise attendees will have access to more than 100 digital seminars and 500 supply chain solutions, featuring cutting-edge automation and robotics, delivered to their smart device or computer screen. Admission is free and registration can be completed here.

TCA 2021 - April 17-20

The Truckload Carriers Association’s 83rd Annual Convention was scheduled for late January in Nashville, but has been moved to the Wynn Casino Las Vegas in April. Topics will include building a profitable freight network, managing a remote workforce, and fleet insurance. Register here.

CVSA Workshop 2021 - April 18-22

The safety and compliance meeting will take place at the Louisville Marriott Downtown in Louisville. It will kick off with the 2021 North American Cargo Securement Harmonization Public Forum on April 18.

NPTC 2021 - April 25-27

The National Private Truck Council Annual Education Management Conference and Exhibition is tentatively scheduled as a live event in Cincinnati at the Hilton Netherland Plaza. It was canceled in 2020 due to COVID.

Advanced Clean Transportation Expo - May 4-5

In 2020, the ACT Expo, which features the latest advanced vehicles, fuels and technologies, lasted several months, as speakers and panels were staggered until November. This year, the show is expected to return as a two-day event to the Long Beach Convention Center in Long Beach, Calif. And with several OEMs ready to roll out battery-electric Class 8 trucks this year, as well as the news that renewable natural gas has reached net-negative emissions, there will be plenty to see and talk about. Register here.

TMC Fall Meeting 2021 - September 12-16

The TMC Fall Meeting comprises the maintenance technician competition portion, SuperTech and Future for the first two days and the discussion side the last two days. This year it will be held in Downtown Cleveland at the Huntington Convention Center. And there will be plenty to discuss, from how the transportation sector is performing in a (hopefully) post-pandemic world to how the industry is handling the driver and technician shortage likely to have been exacerbated by training schools being shut down for large parts of 2020.

NACV 2021 - September 28-30

The biennial North America Commercial Vehicle Show skipped 2020, though the rest of us were not as fortunate. It’s back this year at the Georgia World Congress Center in Atlanta and the timing couldn’t be better. Several OEMs should have production-ready battery-electric Class 8 trucks on-site, with maybe even some available to test drive, and fuel cell electric trucks should have more of a presence as well. In 2019, Hyundai’s hydrogen-powered concept truck, the HD-6 Neptune, stole the show. The most vital component of the show is having so many business partners and customers all in one place again to discuss the future of the industry.

MCE 2021 - October 23-27

The 2021 American Trucking Associations (ATA) Management Conference & Exhibition (MCE) will be held at the Music City Center in Nashville. The 2020 event was virtual and ATA President and CEO Chris Spear covered the gamut of trucking issues from driver retention to nuclear verdicts, and of course, how the trucking industry braved the pandemic.

“2020 has been a year of endless challenges,” Spear said. “But like our great industry, the American Trucking Associations hasn’t shut down, backed down, or sat things out. We’ve rolled up our sleeves, and we’re getting the job done.”

Source: American Trucker