TIA 2018–Thoughts from a First-Timer

by Connor Dixon, CTB

I’ve been working at AM Transport Services for five and a half years. That’s why I was excited to attend my first TIA Convention this year. Even as a first-time attendee, I could see how the members of the TIA are a pretty close-knit group of friends who also happen to be competitors.

The friend/competitor thing makes for an interesting dynamic if you really think about it. Here’s what really got me, though. In the end, all these competitors/friends just want to see one another succeed. It’s not like anything else I’ve ever experienced.

I learned a lot talking shop and attending sessions. The hottest topics included:

  • ELD Compliance. Most folks agree that the mandate hasn’t created as much turmoil as was expected.
  • Driver Shortage. Word is that driver shortage should be called driver misusage.
  • Blockchain. Some believe that it will be a major part of the trucking industry within the next year.
  • Enlightened Shippers. Shippers who understand the need for partnerships.
  • AMT Squirrel Works. Huge success in the exhibition area! Lots of buzz about the white squirrel swag and our videographer, Morgan Henton. The Squirrel Works booth was always busy because no one else does exactly what Squirrel Works does!


For me, the 2018 TIA Convention was a great opportunity to leave the day-to-day operations behind and spend time with industry leaders. I spent several 8-5 days, in sunny Palm Desert, California, with the best in the business.  When the sessions were over, we’d meet up in the evening to continue networking. Group members hang out and share ideas, best practices, and what works and doesn’t work for them–all the while enjoying each other’s company.

The TIA convention is one of those places where the more time and effort you put into it, the more you get out of it. I didn’t meet anyone who wasn’t open to sharing and networking. It’s pretty refreshing when you think about just how competitive our industry is.

Anyone serious about advancing their skills and knowledge of the industry would benefit greatly from attending a TIA Convention in the future. I know I did!