The American Home Furnishings Alliance (AHFA) will hold its 2014 Global Supply Chain Conference Thursday, February 27, at the Sheraton Greensboro at Four Seasons in Greensboro, N.C.

Experts will address global economic trends and shipping industry trends that will impact furniture supply chains in the year ahead. The 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. conference is open to all home furnishings companies.

Key presenters include David Bennett, now general manager-North America for Li & Fung Logistics. Bennett has held executive positions at K-Line America, Globe Express Services and Schneider Logistics. He has over 20 years of experience in the logistics industry and has spoken at several AHFA supply chain conferences. He will address current trends and pressures affecting ocean freight, transportation costs and port issues.

Addressing liability issues for home furnishings companies and motor carriers will be Henry Seaton, an attorney specializing in freight claims, freight charge collection, contracting issues and carrier representation before the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA). Seaton is a partner in the transportation law firm of Seaton & Husk, Vienna, Va., and has practiced in the Washington, D.C., area for over 30 years. He writes a monthly column on transportation law for the Commercial Carrier Journal and is the author of "Protecting Motor Carrier Interests in Contracts."

Marc Schewel, CEO of Schewels Furniture Company, Lynchburg, Va., will address supply chain obstacles from the retail perspective, and Joe Wade, of Shelba D. Johnson Trucking and the president of the Specialized Furniture Carriers, will discuss current trucking issues.

Finally, AHFA has invited Charles Edwards, executive director of the North Carolina Center for Global Logistics (NCCGL), to address current trends in global logistics. The NCCGL is a collaborative effort under the management of Guilford Technical Community College in partnership with Davidson Community College, Forsyth Tech and Randolph Community College. The NCCGL’s research and training program is designed to reinforce and advance the Piedmont region’s existing logistics and transportation infrastructure.

On Wednesday, February 26, the Specialized Furniture Carriers will hold its annual meeting from 3 to 6 p.m. at the Sheraton. Topics on the agenda include driver recruitment and retention, driver technology, and nationwide home delivery. Special guest presenter is Mike Doyle, transportation director for Wayfair, an online home furnishings retailer. Wayfair launched in 2002 with two employees selling furniture and audio visual products. In 2012 the company had 1,200 employees, over $600 million in sales, and was offering everything from furniture and appliances to jewelry, fitness equipment, pools and spas.

All conference attendees are invited to the Specialized Furniture Carriers meeting, as well as to an opening reception for the Supply Chain Conference at 6 p.m. on February 26 at the Sheraton.

Overnight accommodations are available at a discounted rate of $130 per night by calling 336-292-9161 . The cutoff for reservations at the discounted rate is February 12.

Meeting registration is $149 for individuals whose companies are not members of AHFA and $99 for AHFA members.

Cory First Choice Home Delivery, an AHFA Supplier Division member, is the primary conference sponsor. Houser Transport, also an AHFA Supplier Division member, is sponsoring the conference lunch on February 27.

Additional conference support was provided by Cargo Consolidation Services, De Jong Enterprises, Diakon Logistics, Globe Express Services, LoadMatch Logistics, Milwaukee Delivery Services, Orion Air Ride, Shelba D. Johnson Trucking, Southeast Streamline, Styline Logistics, Sun Delivery Inc., Sunbelt Furniture Xpress, Watkins & Shepard, Wiseway Transportation and Zenith Global Logistics.

Meeting registration is available online at www.ahfa.us, under the EVENTS tab. For additional information, contact Patricia West at 336-881-1000 , or email pwest@ahfa.us.

Source: American Home Furnishings Alliance

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