06 – Microlise Transport Conference: The Future of Road Transport

Hey crew! I hope you all are doing well and welcome back to my blog!

Today I’d like to give you feedback about my experience at Microlise Transport Conference (just Conference in the following). It is a conference about road transport organized every year by Microlise Ltd and its sponsors in order to spread knowledge about the issues and solutions that nowadays affect the industry.

No, I haven't presented any article and I hadn’t any presentation there. Come on crew, there were people like Her Royal Highness the Princess Royal presenting at the Conference – and I don’t know what about you but, at least for me, it was the first time in my life I saw a member of the Royal Family in person.

Actually, it was the first time for my Supervisor too. However, the Conference was really good and it was basically the opportunity for me to deeply understand the issues nowadays faced by the road transport industry. Personally, I think that the most impressive thing I got from the conference was to understand the huge organization existing around road transportation and the effort that is daily done in order to improve the current situation. It is something that sometimes people don’t appreciate, because it seems something due and obvious but it is not. People work every day for improving traffic circulation, road safety, deliveries efficiency, etc. and we should be aware of this.
So, let me summarize what happened at the Conference.

It was just few days ago, on Wednesday the 18th May 2016 and the alarm clock rang at 5:45 a.m. in the morning. Yep crew, it was really early but, you know, the conference was at the “RICOH” Arena in Coventry (UK) - it is the Coventry City F.C. stadium - so I had to take the train for going there from Nottingham.

As usual in England, the Sun rises only once a month and in fact that day was heavily rainy but, I mean, it’s normal here: I always bring with me an umbrella (almost useless) and my waterproof jacket and trousers in my backpack. Ready to go.

The train left from Nottingham on time at 07:10 a.m. and after changing a couple of times in the middle of nowhere we arrived at the stadium in Coventry at 08:46 a.m.

We registered for attending the Conference and after having a coffee we visited the exposition area. It was huge. Hundred of stands organized by many different companies of truck manufacturers industry were showing their latest technologies and facilities. 5 trucks were parked at the corners of the area at dozens meters distance one from each other: can you imagine how extended it was? I would say around 8’000 m2 but I can easily be wrong.

The first half of the Conference started at 09:15. Presented by Quentin Willson, a quite famous English TV presenter, and the meeting started with the speech of Nadeem Raza, Chief Executive Officer of Microlise Ltd (organizer of the Conference), who thanked all the participants, the exhibitors and the sponsors.

People like Kevin Richardson, Chief Executive of “The Chartered Institute of Logistics and Transport”, Tim Ward, Freight and Fleet Communications and Engagement Manager of “Transport for London”, Paul Keasey, Head of “National Roads Policing Intelligence Forum”, Lesley O’Brien, Partner of Freightlink Europe and engaged in RHA activitiesand Her Royal Highness the Princess Royal, Patron of international transport development charity “Transaid”, discussed among main topics such as:
- improvements of standards in road transport industry;
- safety;
- low road transport industry costs;
- raising awareness of the industry;
- new technologies;
- the future of transport economy;
- (and obviously) Brexit: leave or stay.

Latter there was an interesting debate during the Conference with Andrew Baxter, Managing Director of “Europa Worldwide Group” and CR for “Vote to Leave” and the politician Paul Uppal, member of the Conservative Party and CR for “Britain Stronger in Europe” which presented their own view about the topic.
No guys, I will not get you bored talking about why it is (or not) good for England to remain in Europe but I will tell you something: if you have the possibility to vote please do that. To vote in a referendum is the highest expression of democracy, it is the most powerful way that we have in order to express our ideas. Do not waste your possibility.

According to an interesting statistic performed during the Conference about Brexit:
40.7% is for stay;
43.7% is for leave;
15.6% don’t know.

After lunch, the Conference subdivided the topics in four different areas of interest:
Road Transport 2020 – Truck Manufacturers Talk Industry Future: talking about the future of trucks and road transport industry;
Microlise Workshop: about new technologies and services offered by the company to its customers;
RHA Compliance Workshop: talking about road safety and insurance compliance;
Motor Transport Workshop: about issues and solutions provided by different companies involved in road transport industry.

Each topic was widely discussed in specific areas of the event and people could decide to participate in those most suited to their own interest areas.

Another interesting statistic collected during the Conference was that 83% of participants were male and only 17% was female. Apparently it is a characteristic of the sector where basically males are the majority as employees and in manager positions as well (92% males and only 8% females). It is a lack but, hopefully, this is something that is going to be changed soon. It is a fact that “more diverse workforce perform better and less diverse workforce are less productive” (McKinsey&Company).

Finally, changing the topic of this post, please allow me to use these few lines at the end of the post to congratulate my compatriot Mr. Ranieri. Yep, crew, I mean the Leicester City coach Claudio Ranieri. I’d like to thank Claudio because he taught us that dreams sometimes becomes true if we really believe and we fight for them. He and his team did something that would be probably unrepeatable.

Yep, someone said once “impossible is nothing” (Muhammad Ali) but Leicester demonstrated it. Thank you one more time.

Stay tuned guys!


UPDATE: here you can find the Post-Conference Report recently released by Microlise. Enjoy!

P.S.: Ah, one last thing crew. Although surveys rate Italians as some of Europe's scariest drivers it was actually Mr. Giorgio Lercera (an Italian guy) who won the award as the best truck driver per performances across all over the truck fleet controlled by Microlise.

I mean, it is something to mention right? Just joking crew, but I'd like to congratulate Giorgio as well!


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