October 29, 2012 3:20 AM, EDT
Natural Gas Summit in Trucking Is Sold Out; ATA Seeks Space for Additional Registrants
By Jonathan S. Reiskin, Associate News Editor

This story appears in the Oct. 29 print edition of Transport Topics.

American Trucking Associations said its “Natural Gas in Trucking” summit meeting has sold out, and there is a waiting list of 20% beyond capacity for the Nov. 28-30 event in Arlington, Va.

ATA is searching for additional space to accommodate more attendees.

“We have 350 people registered for the summit, which is the maximum capacity [of the current space], and more than 70 people on a waiting list,” said ATA Senior Vice President Dave Osiecki.

He said ATA is trying to land additional capacity at or near the Crystal City Hyatt Regency, the event hotel.

Osiecki said registered attendees include executives of ATA member fleets and allied suppliers.

“When we started thinking about this and planning for it in the spring, we didn’t know what would happen. We thought maybe we’d get 250 people, but by early summer, we thought we could get a full house,” Osiecki said.

The two-day event has nine sessions with more than 30 speakers, all addressing aspects of using compressed or liquefied natural gas as fuel.

Among the speakers are investor and oilman T. Boone Pickens, who is a major shareholder in Clean Energy Fuels Corp., and Andrew Littlefair, the Clean Energy CEO.

Major suppliers to trucking sending executives to make presentations include truck-stop chains Pilot Flying J, TravelCenters of America and Love’s; equipment manufacturers Daimler Trucks North America, Navistar Inc., Paccar Inc., Volvo Group, Cummins Inc. and Westport Innovations; and fleets UPS Inc., Ryder System, Swift Transportation Co. and Lynden Inc.

Two Republican members of the U.S. House of Representatives, John Sullivan of Oklahoma and Lee Terry of Nebraska, are also scheduled to speak.

ATA Chairman Michael Card, President Bill Graves, Transport Topics Publisher and Editorial Director Howard Abramson and other ATA staff will serve as panel moderators.

Other major topics for the summit include fueling infrastructure, maintenance of natural gas vehicles, conversion to natural gas via engine retrofit and analysis of the business case for natural gas.

ATA is still accepting registrations for the meeting, Osiecki said, pending the search for more space. He also said that as of Oct. 22, the Hyatt was not full, so some hotel guest rooms were available.