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Updated: COVID-19 concerns lead to trucking industry cancellations, postponements

May 21, 2020
Some annual trucking and fleet conventions have already canceled events out of precaution for the coronavirus pandemic. Others are postponing spring shows until the summer or fall.

Industry shows, conventions and expos are joining other organizations in canceling upcoming events that draw large crowds in an attempt to help slow the spread of COVID-19, the novel coronavirus pandemic.

Health leaders encouraged Americans to socially distance themselves and avoid large crowds.  The Mid-American Trucking Show and National Private Truck Council were among the first to cancel events planned for this spring in the Midwest. Some others have been postponed until later in the year.

Patients with COVID-19 can keep the pathogen in their respiratory tract for up to 37 days, according to a new study that suggests patients could be infectious for weeks. The new coronavirus, which has been confirmed in nearly 120 countries and infected at least 125,000 people, is spread through human proximity — generally through coughing and sneezing. It causes little more than a cough if it stays in the nose and throat, which it does for the majority of people infected. Danger starts when it reaches the lungs.

One in seven patients develops difficulty breathing and other severe complications, while 6% become critical. These patients typically suffer failure of the respiratory and other vital systems and sometimes develop septic shock, according to a report by last month’s joint World Health Organization-China mission. You can read more details on the “tipping point” of coronavirus here.

About 10-15% of mild-to-moderate patients progress to severe and of those, 15-20% progress to critical. Patients at the highest risk include people 60 and older and those with pre-existing conditions such as hypertension, diabetes and cardiovascular disease.

And a big part of health experts’ urge for people to limit human interactions is to protect the more vulnerable. While most who contract coronavirus will survive after days of discomfort, it could be much worse for high-risk patients. 

Below are details on trucking industry-related events (in alphabetical order) that have been canceled or postponed. We will attempt to keep this list updated. If you have an update on an industry event to add to this list, please email Fleet Owner digital editor Catharine Conway at cconway [at] endeavorb2b.com.

ACT Expo 2020: Canceled

The ACT Expo 2020 has "rescheduled" for May 2021. 

All current registrations and sponsor/exhibitor commitments will be transferred to the new dates. Act Expo will work with individuals to accommodate conflicts on an individual basis.

CONEXPO-CON/AGG & IFPE 2020: Closed early

Due to the growing concerns about COVID-19, the travel restrictions put in place by the President and changing corporate travel policies that impact many of the attendees and exhibitors, the decision was made to close CONEXPO-CON/AGG & IFPE (CONEXPO) one day early, closing on Friday, March 13 at 5 p.m.

CONEXPO made this decision based on conversations with AEM officers and other leadership, several top exhibitors, the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority and the office of the Nevada Governor.

As was said from early February when the first news of COVID-19 became available,  show leaders were committed to monitoring the situation daily and keeping our top priority focused on the health and safety of all participants at CONEXPO, including attendees, exhibitors, vendors, staff, industry partners, and others involved in the show.

After 5 p.m. on March 13, booths will dismantle and the scheduled process of removing equipment from the show floor will begin.

CVSA April events: Canceled

Due to the spread of the coronavirus, CVSA has decided to cancel its events planned for April. That includes the CVSA Workshop in San Antonio, Texas, scheduled for April 19-23, the North American Cargo Securement Harmonization Public Forum, scheduled for April 19, also in San Antonio, and the industry vehicle training course, scheduled for April 6-10 in Kent, Ohio.

CVSA will automatically refund the full registration fee to individuals who were registered for the CVSA Workshop or the industry vehicle training course.

The CVSA Board of Directors meeting and lead agency contacts meeting that were scheduled for the CVSA Workshop will still take place but will instead be held virtually. Programs, regions and committees may still hold a conference call meeting, as necessary, in lieu of the in-person meeting.

For events and meetings scheduled for May and beyond, CVSA will closely monitor the coronavirus outbreak, carefully consider all information and updates from reputable sources, and keep the membership updated on the status of all planned future events.

Dossier Summit 2020: Canceled 

Dossier Systems Inc.'s Summit 2020, scheduled for April 20-23 in Baltimore, has been canceled, according to an email sent to attendees on March 23.

"Although I was already nearing a decision to cancel based on the worsening coronavirus situation, we have just been notified by the Summit hotel (Hyatt) that they are ceasing operations through May 15," Dossier CEO Jack Boetefuer wrote. "Additionally, based on the current status and likely continued uncertainty of what “normal life” may be like in the coming months, I’ve also decided that we are canceling completely for 2020, and will not try to reschedule."

Boetefuer added that all registered customers will have their fees credited to attend the conference in 2021; but a refund is also an option. Dossier Summit 2021 is scheduled for April 19-22 in Dallas.

FMCSA Truck Safety Summit: Postponed

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administrations’ Truck Safety Summit, originally scheduled for March 19, has been postponed.

“We will be following changes in the impact of COVID-19 and work to schedule a new date for the Summit in the near future,” the FMCSA announced on its website. “We are disappointed, but the safety of the attendees is of the utmost importance.  We look forward to setting a new date for the Summit.”

Great American Trucking Show: Canceled

GATS was scheduled for late August in Dallas but by late April, it joined other industry events in canceling 2020 plans.

Organizers say they will “use the coming months to determine what form future events take and assess the safeguards needed to ensure your health.” GATS showcases trucking information, equipment, parts and accessories.

HD Repair Forum: Postponed

The HD Repair Forum, originally scheduled for March 24-25 in Fort Worth, Texas, has been postponed.

Organizers are in the process of rescheduling the forum for later this year, according to a an email sent to attendees of the event, which is the largest North American gathering of heavy-duty collision repair professionals, industry leaders and executives. 

“We apologize for any inconvenience but, under the circumstances, this is the best decision for everyone involved. The health and safety of our attendees, their families, and their colleagues is our first priority,” said Brian Nessen, HD Repair Forum president. “We look forward to hosting the event in the coming months where we will continue the networking, collaboration, and industry progress that our sponsors and attendees have grown to expect.”

MATS 2020: Canceled

The Mid-American Trucking Show, scheduled for March 26-28 in Louisville, was canceled on March 12. 

MATS organizers made the decision to cancel the show after consultation with exhibitors, attendees, supporters, and partners, including Kentucky Venues, Louisville Tourism, the Kentucky governor’s office, and the Kentucky Cabinet for Health and Families Services.

“In light of today’s extraordinary circumstances and with an abundance of caution, this decision has been made with the health and safety of our attendees, exhibitors, employees, and show partners in mind,” read a message from MATS Show Management.

MATS plans to return to Louisville March 25-27, 2021, for the 50th anniversary of the heavy-duty trucking show. 

MOVIN'ON SUMMIT 2020: Canceled

Movin'On World Summit, originally scheduled June 3-5 in Montreal, Canada, has been canceled.

"Faced with this unprecedented global health crisis, the main priority of the Movin’On team is to protect the health of our employees, our ecosystem partners and our participants," said the Movin'On Summit team in a public statement on their website. "This is why we have decided to cancel the Movin’On World Summit, which was planned to take place in Montreal on June 3-5, 2020. We are currently working on alternative scenarios. The next events in the Movin’On ecosystem will be announced soon."

NAFA 2020: Rescheduled

Due to the escalation of severity with COVID-19 and the new Federal Government recommendations and CDC guidelines, NAFA Fleet Management Association (NAFA) Board of Directors met last week and agreed to postpone the NAFA 2020 Institute & Expo in Indianapolis, Ind. until September 18-20.

“This was a natural decision for our organization to keep our members and partners safe," said Patti Earley, CAFM, president at NAFA. "NAFA Board of Directors has taken this step to help protect the safety and wellbeing of our attendees, exhibitors and all participants from the coronavirus.”

A national imperative to promote social distancing to reduce the spread of COVID-19 has been put in place, and NAFA wholeheartedly encourages all to follow these directions to “flatten the (spread) curve.” We thank all our members and suppliers for their support, open discussions and encouragement during this time.

Alternate arrangements for CAFM Live, a collocated certification event, are currently being determined. Current or prospective CAFM and CAFS enrollees continue to have online access to all needed study guides, materials and online testing.

NPTC 2020: Canceled

The National Private Truck Council canceled its annual conference and exhibition, scheduled for April 26-28 in Cincinnati, was canceled on March 12.

“This decision is made in the best interest of the safety and welfare of all parties involved. It is also in response to the governor of Ohio’s State of Emergency order this week recommending that mass meetings scheduled in the state be canceled,” Gary Petty, the NPTC president and CEO, wrote in an email to attendees. 

Petty said that all registration fees paid to NPTC 2020 would be refunded in-full within 60 days; exhibitors and sponsors will have the option to apply payments to the 2021 show or get a full refund.

“Details about how we will recognize the NPTC Leadership Award winners, CTP graduation Class of 2020, and Driver Hall of Fame and Fleet Safety Award winners will be made available later this month,” Petty added. 

TTMA 2020: Canceled

The Truck Trailer Manufacturers Association's 78th annual convention, scheduled for April 22-25 in San Antonio, was canceled on March 22.

"The decision has been made to cancel the 2020 TTMA Annual Convention," read a message on the TTMA website. "The health and well-being of all TTMA members is a top priority for us and the Board of Directors. We will be working the next several days on the logistics of organizing via conference call/webinar the trailer economic forecast, Engineering Committee, Tank Executive Committee and Board Meeting so that the business of the association can still be conducted.  Please check your emails for updates and information as we work out these details."

TTMA said refunds would be issued automatically to all registrants; it also said that hotel rooms booked through TTMA's room black at La Cantera will be canceled and refunded automatically (with confirmation sent via email). But if you booked a room outside the block, TTMA suggests you contact the hotel directly. 

WasteExpo 2020: Goes digital

In light of the WasteExpo 2020 cancelation due to the COVID-19 pandemic, WasteExpo has announced WasteExpo Together Online, a digital experience that will take place August 10-14.

WasteExpo 2020 will return in 2021 and will be held on April 26-29, 2021 in Las Vegas, Nev. WasteExpo experienced strong industry support and commitment in the postponement of the event as it moved from May to August; however, the COVID-19 situation worsened nationwide, with New Orleans particularly hard hit. WasteExpo 2021 will offer an interactive conference program that dives deep into vital industry topics over four days as well as an Exhibit Hall. WasteExpo is co-located with the Waste360 Investor Summit and the Waste360 Healthcare Waste Conference.  

“We are reimagining WasteExpo digitally through WasteExpo Together Online to bring our audience together,” said Mark Hickey, Waste360 vice president. “The digital experience will offer timely content and a safe place to learn and do business online for personal connection, innovation discovery, product development and more. We will share additional information about the digital experience soon. We thank our community for their ongoing support. Stay safe and we will look forward to seeing you in person next year.”

This article will be updated as any other changes are made to upcoming industry gatherings in the U.S.

About the Author

Josh Fisher | Editor-in-Chief

Editor-in-Chief Josh Fisher has been with FleetOwner since 2017, covering everything from modern fleet management to operational efficiency, artificial intelligence, autonomous trucking, regulations, and emerging transportation technology. He is based in Maryland. 

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