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  • April 19-21, 2023 | New Orleans, Louisiana
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Mark Szakonyi

S&P Global

Executive Editor, Journal of Commerce

Mark Szakonyi leads JOC.com and The Journal of Commerce. The JOC editorial team of 18 editors and correspondents provides business-critical and data-heavy business intelligence and analysis. Szakonyi oversees the magazine's 100-plus special reports a year, including the Annual Review and Outlook and Top 100 Importers and Exporters issues. In addition to supporting all JOC events, including TPM, TPM Asia, and the Inland Distribution Conference, he is chairman of the annual Canada Trade Conference. His analysis and work have been quoted in mainstream news media including the BBC, The Economist, NPR, and USA Today. Szakonyi, a Chicago native now calling Washington D.C. home, is an avid reader, traveler and vinyl record collector.

Sessions With Mark Szakonyi

Sunday, 26 February

  • 12:00pm - 12:45pm (CST) / 26/feb/2023 08:00 pm - 26/feb/2023 08:45 pm

    Shipper Briefing

    A special, off-the-record discussion and preview of TPM23 and the issues dominating today's containerized ocean shipping industry. Don't miss this opportunity to hear from the senior JOC editorial team about the key issues to be discussed during the conference, and to convey what questions you'd like addressed before leaving Long Beach. RESERVED ONLY FOR SHIPPERS. 

Monday, 27 February

  • 10:30am - 11:30am (CST) / 27/feb/2023 06:30 pm - 27/feb/2023 07:30 pm

    Container Shipping Outlook: Suddenly and Yet Again, It’s a New World

    Just weeks into 2023, the market is almost unrecognizable compared to the past two years of massive pandemic impact. If the market was defined then by tonnage idled outside of ports combined with a consumer spending surge that together produced a state of unprecedented tightness and stratospheric rates, now it looks positively, well, normal. The last vestiges of port congestion are clearing out, spot rates and expectations for contract rate levels are back to pre-pandemic norms, and container lines' brief ironclad control of the market is gone, at least for the moment. On the horizon is a possible US recession, a bloated vessel order book and the need to repair tattered relationships. In this opening market outlook session — a feature of the TPM program since 2001 — industry leaders will offer their big-picture outlook for the year ahead.

  • 03:00pm - 03:45pm (CST) / 27/feb/2023 11:00 pm - 27/feb/2023 11:45 pm

    The Ocean Capacity Outlook: Shedding Light on a Complex Picture

    The outlook for ocean container capacity has rarely been this complex. Beginning in 2020 carriers went on a furious ordering binge, driving the orderbook as a percentage of the existing fleet from 10 percent to 30 percent in two years’ time. The container shipping orderbook was just shy of 7 million TEU at the beginning of October; 2.6 million TEU of those new ships will be delivered in 2023 and 2.8 million TEU in 2024, according to S&P Global. At the same time, with volumes weakening and spot rates collapsing from their 2021 peak on the trans-Pacific and Asia-Europe, carriers likely will slow or cancel some orders. Drewry, for example, estimates the effective net increase in container shipping capacity in 2023 will be 11.3 percent, with demand growing at just 1.9 pecent. One capacity-absorbing measure that may help carriers manage excess supply is the International Maritime Organization’s 2023 environmental regulations that aim to reduce shipping’s carbon impact with penalties for less-efficient container ships. However, Jan Tiedemann, senior analyst at Alphaliner, said the actual impact of IMO 2023 was “still a mystery” and the industry was in a wait-and-see mode. This session will explore the outlook in depth.  
  • 03:50pm - 04:35pm (CST) / 27/feb/2023 11:50 pm - 28/feb/2023 12:35 am

    Making the Grade in Rebuilding Fractured Relationships

    It’s not enough anymore to just to be a so-called shipper of choice, nor is it always clear what it takes to be considered one. Container lines now are armed with tools to better determine which shippers forecast well, deliver cargo as booked, and provide flexibility on when they load. The difference in a shipper's grade can determine whether cargo is left on the dock or makes the booked sailing. Falling grades could mean that the carrier is less willing to grant a shipper's requested space allocations, or, in extreme cases, they may turn the "failing students" away. Shippers who are aware of how they rank along carriers’ various customer performance metrics can better understand how to get higher priority, even if their volumes don’t make them an automatic VIP account.

Tuesday, 28 February

  • 10:30am - 11:00am (CST) / 28/feb/2023 06:30 pm - 28/feb/2023 07:00 pm

    A Conversation With Peter Levesque

    In recruiting Peter Levesque as its new North America president, CMA CGM has gained a seasoned executive with a deep background in third-party logistics and terminal operations, as the company diversifies in logistics and takes control of two terminals at the Port of New York and New Jersey. Levesque, a nonfiction and fiction author, also comes with political savvy after stints chairing the American Chamber of Commerce and steering Modern Terminals for 10 years as chief commercial officer, chief operating officer and CEO. Most recently, Peter was president of Ports America, where he led the 2021 sale of North America’s largest marine terminal operator to the Canada Pension Plan Investment Board. He previously served in senior roles at APL Logistics, DHL and CEVA Logistics, now a unit of CMA CGM. He is the author of the 2011 book The Shipping Point: The Rise of China and the Future of Retail Supply Chain Management, and more recently the 2022 thriller Two if By Sea, in which a “wave of gruesome executions in Shanghai cripples a top-secret CIA operation in China and point to an informant who has been selling secrets in Hong Kong.”
  • 11:00am - 11:30am (CST) / 28/feb/2023 07:00 pm - 28/feb/2023 07:30 pm

    TPM23 CEO Series: A Conversation With CN CEO Tracy Robinson

    Tracy Robinson had no honeymoon when she took the helm of Canadian National Railway in February 2022. International container volumes, still recovering from an extraordinarily difficult operating environment driven by extreme weather conditions in Vancouver in late 2021, were just beginning to soar. COVID-19 marked a challenging period sending carload and intermodal demand plunging, and the staffing cuts and resource adjustments made during that period couldn’t be reinstated at the speed at which rail freight rebounded. Instead, Robinson guided Canada’s largest railroad through a service recovery challenged by surging volumes and multiple layers of last-mile challenges in Toronto and Montreal. The threat of a US-wide rail strike, driven in part by rail workers’ frustration with safety conditions, this fall further underscored the new precariousness of rail labor. Amid these domestic challenges and changing trade flows — some driven by rising geopolitical tensions — CN is positioning Halifax and the US Gulf for growing Southeast Asia trade, and strengthening routings through Prince Rupert, Mobile, and new inland ramps to give US shippers more alternatives and flexibility for when disruption inevitably bites. CN’s continued investment to deepen its reach into consumer supply chains, however, must be balanced by industry cost pressures. Addressing how technology can strike that balance and gain resilience, Robinson will discuss how the rail industry must adapt to a changing labor market and new geopolitical and economic issues reshaping shipping. In a Q&A discussion with Journal of Commerce Executive Editor Mark Szakonyi, Robinson, CN’s first female CEO in its 104-year history, will discuss what’s changed in the industry irrevocably over the last three years and what that means for the future.
  • 12:00pm - 12:30pm (CST) / 28/feb/2023 08:00 pm - 28/feb/2023 08:30 pm

    TPM23 Accelerator: A Presentation by Foreign Policy Expert and Author Dr. Bruce Jones

    Many in the industry have read To Rule The Waves, the groundbreaking 2021 book by Brookings Institution Fellow Bruce Jones that coherently analyzes the growing convergence of geopolitics, sea power, great power struggles, and container supply chains. According to publisher Simon & Schuster, the book takes readers on a “fascinating voyage through the great modern ports and naval bases — from the vast container ports of Hong Kong and Shanghai to the vital naval base of the American Seventh Fleet in Hawaii and the sophisticated security arrangements in the Port of New York-New Jersey. Along the way, the book illustrates how global commerce works “... midst a global naval arms race.” In this TED-style presentation, Dr. Jones will speak to geopolitical risks increasingly being taken into consideration by supply chain planners and the C-Suite. https://bit.ly/3fmlBmF 
  • 02:00pm - 02:45pm (CST) / 28/feb/2023 10:00 pm - 28/feb/2023 10:45 pm

    The State of Flow: An Analysis of North American Port Efficiency

    With a deep background in directing military logistics, Gen. Stephen Lyons spent much of 2022 marshaling container lines, marine terminals, truckers, and shippers through historic US port congestion. As the White House Port Envoy, Lyons sees congestion easing through the supply chain, and with it the federal government’s recently active direct role. In his role, Lyons enjoys a rare and expansive view of the US supply chain, what works and what doesn't, and what needs to be done to ensure the system functions when the next inevitable cargo surge materializes. Journal of Commerce executive editor Mark Szakonyi will discuss these and other topics in a wide-ranging conversation with Gen. Lyons.