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Take a Deep Dive into Five Disruptive Trends During NATSO Connect

Posted in: Truckstop Business


For two and a half days, the industry gathers to find knowledge, solutions and connections at NATSO Connect. Just like NATSO Connect, the NATSO Connect Magazine is your source for improving your travel plaza business operations. 

Take a Deep Dive into Five Disruptive Trends During NATSO Connect

The pace of change within the truckstop and travel plaza industry is increasing exponentially. E-commerce, the future of autonomous trucks, major changes in technology and consumer demand are shaking up the retail and trucking industries.

To help operators better understand how these changes will affect them and identify strategies to tackle the future, NATSO Connect, scheduled to be held Feb. 10-13, will present five keynote addresses that focus on key trends disrupting the industry.

Top Trends Disrupting the Truckstop Industry: Major changes are underway for operators, both in who they serve and how they serve them. In less than a decade, a new heavy-duty truck will consume 25 percent less diesel than today’s trucks due to due to federal regulations, which will alter how often drivers need to stop. What’s more, 28 percent of retailers anticipate implementing robotics, cognitive computing and artificial intelligence (AI) within the next three to five years, which may change how operators serve their customers. In this Kickoff Keynote address, Saturday, Feb. 10, 1:00 p.m. – 2:30 p.m.,  will hear from Lisa Mullings, NATSO president and CEO, Cristina Ceresoli, senior vice president, retail strategy at the National Retail Federation (NRF) and Heather Meade, principal at Ernst & Young, on highly relevant trends disrupting the industry. Truckstop operators will walk away with the analysis they need to navigate the future of both their trucking and four-wheel costumers as well as their own employees.

How E-Commerce is Transforming the Truckstop Industry: E-commerce is disrupting the traditional
retail world, growing faster than bricks-and- mortar retail and accounting for a greater percentage of consumer spending. To continue thriving as retailers, truckstops
must understand these shifts in consumer spending habits. On Sunday, Feb., 11, 2018, 8:00 a.m. – 9:00 a.m., Ken Cassar, principal analyst, vice president, Slice Intelligence, will take a deep dive into e-commerce trends and pinpoint disruptive trends NATSO members need to understand.

Autonomous Truck Technologies: Autonomous truck technologies will undoubtedly change the operational environment and driving requirements for commercial drivers. In this fireside chat on Sunday, Feb. 11, 2018, 12:00 p.m. – 1:00 p.m., American Trucking Associations’ Chairman and President of TCW Inc. Dave Manning, NATSO CEO and President Lisa Mullings and Dean Newell, VP, Safety and Training, Maverick Transportation, LLC will sit down for a fireside chat. Grab your s'mores stick and pull up a chair by the fire to hear their theories on what it means for the industry and what the world of autonomous and electrical trucks could look like in the future.

The Economy: The state of the U.S. economy has a direct effect on the trucking industry as well as consumers, which, in turn, has a direct effect on truckstop and travel plaza operators. During the session Trucking Economy 2.0, Monday, Feb. 12, 2018, 8:00 a.m. – 9:00 a.m., a panel of truckstop operators will ask Bob Costello, chief economist and senior vice president at the American Trucking Associations, the industry’s burning questions. Tiffany Wlazlowski Neuman, vice president of public affairs at NATSO, will lead the panel as Costello brings NATSO members up to speed on the critical economic factors that will influence the trucking and truckstop industries throughout the coming year.

Future-Proof Your Business Against Tomorrow’s Transformational Trends, Today: The greatest change in the near future
will be the rate of change itself, which
is accelerating. In this enlightening, energetic and educational session, global futurist Jack Uldrich will outline 10 trends transforming the truckstop industry, as well as identify a series of concrete actions truckstop business leaders can take today in order to future-proof themselves, their companies and their customers against “the tides of tomorrow. Don’t miss the session, Monday, Feb. 12, 2018, 12:00 p.m. – 1:00 p.m. 

See the full schedule at

/// NATSO Connect 2018 will be held February 10 - 13 in Nashville, Tennessee. Register and learn more about NATSO Connect here

Photos credit: Brittany Palmer/NATSO

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About the Author

Amy Toner

Amy Toner

Toner markets NATSO products, services and meetings. She is the content editor of NATSO's core websites, Stop Watch magazine and Highway Business Matters biweekly articles. In addition, she provides creative services across all departments. Toner joined NATSO in 2006. Prior to joining the association, she served as director of membership services at an association for ambulatory surgery centers. Toner lives in Washington, D.C., with her husband and son.

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