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A window into the future at road transport sector conference

Media Release

27 September 2016

A window into the future at road transport sector conference

“Globally, the road freight sector is on the cusp of a major technological revolution and one of our own is leading the charge,” says Road Transport Forum Chief Executive Ken Shirley.

New Zealand-born founder of Wrightspeed and co-founder of Tesla, Ian Wright is at the cutting edge of electric-hybrid technology for heavy vehicles and will tell his story at next month’s Road Transport Forum Annual Conference at Baypark, Tauranga.

The Conference, which is only a month away, runs over two days from Thursday 27 October, with Ian’s keynote address scheduled for the event’s second day.

“Ian will offer conference delegates a window into the future of road freight transport, particularly the fast approaching transition to hybrid and electric powertrains,” says Shirley.

“The Wrightspeed Route™ powertrain that Ian has developed and other systems like it, while fairly unfamiliar to us now, are part of a technological revolution that our industry needs to get its head around pretty quickly.”

“A number of US-based waste management and delivery organisations have begun to use Ian’s powertrains as part of their fleets, including parcel FedEx Express, while in New Zealand, Infratil, have already done a $43 million deal to have Wrightspeed powertrains retrofitted to Wellington’s ageing trolley bus fleet. The first of which will be on Wellington roads by the end of the year.”

The Conference will also address many of the other issues impacting the New Zealand road transport industry.

Leading economist Bernard Hickey will present his well-considered views on the state of the economy, industry law specialist Edward Cox will advise delegates on how best to protect their businesses from unfair terms of trade and corporate bullying and Kelly McLuckie from Success Formula will discuss key changes in health and safety law.

Other speakers include Bay of Plenty MP Todd Muller, rollover prevention guru Jeff Fleury, and Professor Frank Scrimgeour from the University of Waikato’s Institute for Business Research who will present the key industry trends in the latest Operator Cost Comparison Survey.

The final of the 2016 New Zealand Truck Driving Championship will be held concurrently with the second day of the Conference and provide an opportunity to watch some of New Zealand’s top truck drivers in action.

“The Truck Driving Championship is an important event for our industry and a great way to show off the skill, knowledge and professionalism of our top drivers,” says Shirley. “The associations have done a fantastic job in organising and running the five regional heats and the standard has been high. The final promises to be extremely competitive.”

The Conference is an important social event and delegates will enjoy a networking barbeque, special Friday breakfast with award-winning comedian Urzila Carlson and the gala NZ Road Transport Industry Awards dinner hosted by 7 Days presenter Jeremy Corbett. There is also the unique opportunity to take part in an organised site visit to the Port of Tauranga, Nationwide Stock Crates, Intertruck NZ or the brand new Paengaroa Weigh Station.

“Delegate registration and a few remaining sponsorship opportunities are still available. I would also encourage conference attendees to arrange accommodation as soon as possible as rooms are filling up fast,” says Shirley.

Registration, sponsorship opportunities and accommodation options are available

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