Harris County Judge to Attend Conference on Port Security, Infrastructure

The next time you visit your local big-box store, pick a few items off the shelves and check out where they originated. Chances are the products came from out of town and, most likely, from out of the country. Moving a product to its destination requires a series of movements through a variety of transportation modes. The organization of these movements is called International Logistics, and it's the subject of a two-day conference (April 15-16) sponsored by the University of Houston's College of Technology.

Harris County Judge Ed Emmett, Alec Dreyer, CEO of the Port of Houston Authority, and Pat Bellamy, chair of the Houston Ship Channel Security Council, are among those scheduled to speak at the conference about the state of the Houston region's infrastructure and how it relates to transportation, which is essential to the region's growth and Houston's standing as a gateway to the Midwest.

Port security and its potential impact on the free movement of trade will be an important discussion topic at the conference. 

"With the Panama Canal undergoing an expansion, ports all over the U.S. are assessing the impact of this expansion of their operations and trying to get their port and infrastructure ready for an increase in business," said Elizabeth Wetzel, managing director of UH's Center for Logistics and Transportation Policy, which organized the conference.

Emmett, Dreyer and John Esparza, president of the Texas Motor Transportation Association, will speak at an afternoon forum on Friday (April 16, 3:15 p.m.-5 p.m.). Bellamy is scheduled to speak Thursday (April 15, 1 p.m.-2 p.m.). A number of local business representatives also will attend the conference at the UH Alumni Center.

The conference offers some credit to members of the American Society for Transportation and Logistics who are seeking a Certified in Transportation and Logistics designation _ a certification highly regarded by many companies.

For more information, visit: www.logistics.tech.uh.edu. Note: Conference fee will be waived for reporters.