Event Date

March 17, 2020 at 12:00PM - March 18, 2020 at 12:30PM

Event card for MIT FreightLab Summit

***IMPORTANT UPDATE: In consideration of MIT event policies during COVID-19 the FreightLab Summit is postponed until further notice.

We will be modifying all of our events to make them virtual or reschedule them for an appropriate time in the future when the risks have abated.

***This MIT FreightLab Summit is exclusively for members of the MIT CTL Supply Chain Exchange and invited guests. If you are not a member of the Supply Chain Exchange and are interested in attending this roundtable, please reach out to CTL Events at***

Commercial trucking in the United States is an old and established industry. It first came to prominence in the early 20th century with the introduction of more paved roads, combustion engines, and pneumatic tires that could handle heavy loads. Increased congestion in railroads due to World War I only increased the use of trucks for handling longer-haul freight. While it is an old industry, trucking has always been in a state of flux due to constantly changing market conditions, the steady introduction and adoption of new technologies, and shifting government regulations. For example, deregulation in the 1980s dramatically increased the number of TL carriers in the industry and reduced rates by more than 40% in just a few years.

The TL market is always undergoing change and the present is no exception. The U.S. truckload market faced exceptionally tight capacity and rising rates in 2017–2018, only to see the market collapse with rates in a free fall through 2019 into what many are calling a “freight recession”. The recent ELD mandate has forced carriers to implement technology that has changed the way many of them managed their drivers and led to a raft of carrier bankruptcies. The only constant in the industry, it seems, is that it is constantly changing.

This constant change means that there are policies, practices, and approaches across the industry that are still not settled. There are many issues that are still open to debate. This summit is designed around debating four of these topics:

  • The Electronic Logging Device (ELD) Mandate – Was it worth the effort? Are there hidden or longer-term benefits?
  • The Truckload Driver Shortage – Is it just a myth or is it reality?
  • Annual Truckload Procurement Events – Are they still worth running? Are there better ways?
  • The Freight Brokerage Industry – Is it shrinking, consolidating, or growing?

In this summit, we are inviting a diverse group of shippers, carriers, third parties, academics, and others to openly discuss and debate these topics. We openly encourage disagreement in opinions and promise to not have panelists that all agree with each other! Part of the MIT FreightLab’s mission is to advance the state of practice in transportation. This two-day summit is the perfect venue to have energetic, yet civil, debate across these contentious topics. All attendees will be expected to participate in the discussions.

This FreightLab summit is primarily for members of the MIT Center for Transportation & Logistics (MIT CTL) Supply Chain Exchange corporate partnership. If you are not a member of the Exchange but are interested in participating, please reach out to MIT CTL Events at to request a slot. This is an intimate, event so attendance will be limited. We encourage you to register early.

Registration is currently closed. Click here to be notified when registration opens again.