A team of SUNY Maritime College students were among the top three finalists in a student competition at the Intermodal Association of North America’s annual Intermodal Expo, the biggest national supply chain and cargo logistics conference.
During the conference, the students competed against teams from sevenother universities, including Georgia Southern University, the College of Charleston and the University of Maryland, to optimize a railroad timetable by maximizing efficiencies and reducing costs.
“The competition was a chance to gain experience in something we don’t usually see at Maritime. Shipping doesn’t exist in a vacuum; railroads are intimately connected,” said Benson Biedler, a senior Marine Transportation major from Hershey, Pennsylvania. “Combining trains is similar to these megaships ports are dealing with. It can be hectic to get them all unloaded and organized.”
This was the second time a Maritime team has competed in the Intermodal Expo Academic Challenge and the first time the students placed in the top three. Other than Biedler, the students are all studying to earn degrees in International Transportation and Trade, a program that focuses on the business of shipping.
In addition to the competition, students and Clott attended conference sessions about potential technological solutions to terminal management, increasing demands for intermodal shipping and the challenges those demands pose to the existing transportation network, and the future of the intermodal network. Intermodal shipping incorporates the movement of freight and other cargo between different transportation modes, including water, rail and road. The four-day conference was also a chance for the students to meet with representatives of different facets of the transportation industry, including shipping, rail and trucking.