Marcia Taylor, ceo at Bennett International Group and Ellen Voie, Women in Trucking's ceo, kicked off the Specialized Transportation Symposium in St. Louis, USA, yesterday.

At the event, which is organised by the Specialized Carriers & Rigging Association (SC&RA), Taylor and Voie used their opening address to discuss the practical and financial benefits of how changing a company's values and hiring practices can lead to greater success. They highlighted recent research which has found that companies with more gender diversity enjoy 15 percent better financial returns than those without women.

In addition, Doug Miller, vice president, Burkhalter, introduced Uniform Permit Transport 2021 (UPT2021) - SC&RA's groundbreaking proposal for 100 percent uniform permit weight analysis and allowance, which the trade association hopes will achieve full compliance across the USA by 2021.

As SC&RA advocates for widespread acceptance of more comprehensive and representative permitted weight configurations issued under routine or auto issued permits, discussions analysed and debated the merits of the proposal. Delegates also heard more about the plan of action to fight for uniformity with the expressed purpose of saving members time and money.

"This is one of the most ambitious Specialized Transportation Symposium agendas we've ever offered," said SC&RA vice president Steven Todd. "The value of meeting and networking with state permit officials and being at the forefront of our new Uniform Permit Transport 2021 initiative will be invaluable as companies look for ways to expand their efficiency and ultimately (improve) their bottom line."

The symposium, which closes tomorrow, also includes an exhibition centre featuring some of the industry's leading companies showcasing products and equipment on the market. HLPFI is represented by Annie Roberts, who would be delighted to meet friends old and new over the next couple of days. Send her an email if you want to meet up.