Port of Long Beach: TPM returns to Long Beach

Source: Port of Long Beach

TPM returns to downtown Long Beach from Feb. 27 to March 2 where the Trans-Pacific Maritime Conference has been held almost every year since 2001. Canceled in 2020 and held virtually in 2021 due to the pandemic, the premier event for the trans-Pacific and global shipping community resumes in person with strict safety protocols and on-site testing available to conference participants.

Also, a new program called TPMTech will take place Feb. 24-25 ahead of the main event. Conference organizers, The Journal of Commerce and its parent company IHS Markit, added the two-day technology symposium to discuss digital trends reshaping the business of international trade. TPMTech will also be held in downtown Long Beach.  

Over the years, TPM has grown into a must-attend gathering drawing more than 2,400 industry professionals. TPM22’s theme is Relationships Matter because they do, said Peter Tirschwell, vice president within the Maritime & Trade division of IHS Markit.

“This is a relationship industry. It always has been. Just at the time when we need our relationships most, when things are not going well, when there are problems everywhere, our relationships or many relationships throughout the industry have been reduced to Zoom calls,” Tirschwell said. The result is a pent-up demand across the industry to reconnect, he added. “We’ve seen it in the registration numbers, we’ve seen it in the sponsorships, we’ve seen in the overall level of interest in TPM to just get together in person, to renew relationships and to understand what our partners are going to be capable of in terms of delivering.”

Tirschwell previewed TPM22 during an interview with Port of Long Beach Deputy Executive Director Noel Hacegaba for Supply Chain Insight, the Port’s new online interview series. TPM22 comes on the heels of an unprecedented two years during which the impact of COVID-19 on the global economy and consumer spending turned the maritime industry and international trade upside down and continue to do so, said Tirschwell.

“The question is how much of this is permanent change, or how much of this is ‘we just have to get through COVID one way or another’ and then supply chains are going to return to normal?

The calculus for the moment, at least, has completely changed. In the past, it was all about price. How could I get the lowest price to move my goods? What we’re finding is that shippers of all sizes are more than willing to pay much higher prices for transportation provided they can obtain the reliability that they’re looking for. And understanding operationally what your vendors and your carriers and your [third-party logistics companies] and your railroads and your marine terminals and your truckers and everybody are capable of, truly capable of requires some in-person interaction.”

The four-day conference features more than 80 speakers including beneficial cargo owners, ocean carriers, port executives, trucking and logistics companies, chassis providers, and economics experts. Gary Cohn, vice chairman of IBM, will deliver the keynote address Feb. 28. Cohn, who had been scheduled to speak at the 2020 event, served as the assistant to the president for economic policy and director of the National Economic Council during the Trump Administration. Prior to serving in the White House, he was president and COO of Goldman Sachs.

Port of Long Beach Executive Director Mario Cordero will speak on ports and port efficiency. The March 1 session, titled “Los Angeles-Long Beach and a Vision for the Future,” will also feature Port of Los Angeles Executive Director Gene Seroka and JOC Senior Editor Bill Mongelluzzo.

Hacegaba will also be speaking on a panel titled “Examining How Public Data Initiatives Can Unravel Supply Chain Snarls” on Feb. 28.  This will be an opportunity to highlight the launch of the Supply Chain Information Highway, the Port of Long Beach’s data visibility initiative.

TPMTech will explore the convergence of physical and digital supply chains and how technology is evolving in the shipping industry under the theme Will Technology Rescue an Industry Under Siege? Tirschwell predicted the tech program will become another must-attend industry event. “The relationship between technology and the supply chain has never been more important.”

TPM is always an opportunity like no other to share industry knowledge and insights. This year, the exchange is crucial, Tirschwell said. “Those who are coming to TPM are really going to have a very good perspective on what the rest of this year is going to look like and how they need to orient themselves and their businesses in order to be as competitive as possible in what’s going to be chaotic environment for a number of months ahead.”

TPMTech will be held Feb. 24-25 at the Renaissance Long Beach Hotel. TPM22 will be held Feb. 27 through March 2 at the Long Beach Convention & Entertainment Center. Both are located in downtown Long Beach. For information and registration, visit


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