‘Welcome back!’ NPTC draws largest industry gathering since 2020

June 14, 2021
About 800 trucking industry professionals from private fleets and suppliers are in Cincinnati this week for NPTC 2021, one of the first major trucking events to be held in person since the COVID-19 pandemic began in 2020.

CINCINNATI — Handshakes. Hugs. Unmasked smiles. Celebrating another step toward normalcy, nearly 800 people gathered for the opening of the National Private Truck Council’s annual education management conference and exhibition on Sunday, June 13.

Gary Petty, NPTC president and CEO, said the gathering is likely the largest of trucking industry professionals since before the COVID-19 pandemic ended most large in-person gatherings 15 months ago. “It’s such a good feeling to be here. All I can say is welcome back,” he said during his opening general session remarks at the Hilton Netherland Plaza.

“When you think about what happened to our culture and our economy when COVID hit,” Petty said, “and you think about the importance of our nation’s truck drivers going to work, getting into cabs, going into areas of risk, making the sacrifice to work longer hours, under more difficult conditions than ever before in history. Even when some communities were experiencing upheaval, social unrest, those drivers were out there every day contributing. Heroes onboard? Absolutely. Could we call them the saviors of our economy or the pandemic? I think we can.”

The crowd gathered for the opening remarks gave the drivers big applause.

Mike Schwersenska, NPTC board chairman and director of transportation and logistics for Brakebush Transportation, said it was a testament to the private fleet industry for coming together to get through COVID. 

“The country started to immediately recognize what our teams do daily,” he said during the session. “Food and toilet paper don’t get to the store or your doorstep without the essential American truck driver. I’ve always had pride in our industry but what you all have done in the last 14 months is beyond commendable.”

NPTC 2021 features more than 100 exhibitors at the Duke Energy Convention Center and many educational sessions for NPTC members and attendees. The NPTC Education Management Conference and Exhibition continues through Tuesday, June 15.

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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