News

TWA Fall Meeting: Hot Topics and Warm Friends

By Michele Schueler on Nov 12, 2018 at 03:24 PM in From the Assistant Association Manager

2018 TWA Fall Meeting

Your warehouse is busy. The industry is humming and growing. In fact Texas, especially the Dallas area, is home to the lowest U.S. industrial vacancy rates. That was the assessment of the industrial real estate marketplace from Colliers International’s Ward Richmond as he kicked off the Oct. 10 & 11 Texas Warehouse Association meeting in San Antonio.

When TWA members come together for their annual fall meeting, they learn from each other and from industry experts (like Richmond) who give insight into the realities of delivering warehouse logistics services in the Lone Star State. More than two dozen warehouse representatives and allied members attended this fall’s event.

Other sessions during the meeting focused on timely issues that affect Texas warehouses:

  • Brett Mears of Palmer Logistics shared his company’s experiences and its response to natural disasters, from Tropical Storm Allison to Hurricane Harvey. He provided tips on how to make your business resilient: Think ahead during site selection. Move your material off the ground before the storm’s arrival. Know how you will communicate with employees and customers.
  • Representatives from San Antonio-area staffing companies Remedy Intelligent Staffing and Express Employment Professionals joined TWA member Tom Greene of Tejas Logistics to examine how the tight labor market affects warehouse work – and to offer insight to finding and keeping talent. Plus, these panelists offered advice about choosing a staffing agency: Conduct a site visit of the provider’s facility. Check references. Give the advantage to a provider with a physical presence in your city. And consider the company’s financially stability.
  • Judson Hellman of Equipment Depot discussed considerations for warehouse floorplan design. If you build to better accommodate the latest equipment on the market, you’ll make loading and unloading flow efficiently.
  • Cox Law Firm’s Sam Webb address a hot topic: “A Different Great Wall: China and Section 301 Tariffs.” He explained the legislative background of the current slew of tariffs on Chinese goods, their estimated impact on trade and manufacturing, and how warehouses can take advantage of foreign-trade zones (FTZs).
  • Dana Moore, director of Policy & Government Relations at the Texas Trucking Association, gave an update on a wide range of state and federal trucking regulations, ranging from those involved with electronic logging devices (ELDs) to personal conveyance.
  • Cynthia Ramos of the U.S. Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division provided an overview of how to ensure your business is compliant with federal labor laws, particularly FLSA and FMLA.
  • Compliance was also the focus for Elizabeth Beck, an attorney with Scopelitis, Garvin, Light, Hanson, & Feary. She highlighted which logistics trends pose the greatest challenge from a legal perspective and offered a sneak peek of what to expect when the Texas Legislature regroups in 2019: namely property tax reform legislation.
  • The industry is not unique: The opioid crisis affects everyone. Abigail Moore, CEO of the San Antonio Council on Alcohol & Drug Awareness (SACADA), exposed the crisis’s scale and explained how to identify the signs of a suffering employee, friend, or family member. She says there are ways to stem the tide, including keeping the anti-overdose drug Narcan at all workplaces. SACADA and other local drug councils often provide free samples and training on how to administer these remedies.

Of course, whenever TWA members gather, there is lively conversation and great social events. From a “south of the border” themed lunch to evening conversations at the hotel, the association continues to offer a forum for idea exchange – and shared business development. And, the TWA political action committee, WAREPAC, continues to work promoting warehouse interests in the state. In fact, many members enjoyed a fundraising dinner at Rosario’s during the fall meeting.

Watch this space for information about our next meeting in Austin in April 2019!