VMA International Trade Symposium 3 Day Schedule - Virginia Maritime Association

The East Coast’s premier conference for ports, logistics, and trade


3-Day Schedule
For VMA's 17th Annual International Trade Symposium

Plan Your Conference

VMA's Symposium brings to you carefully crafted programming, focusing on the most current industry topics and issues.

Plan out and save your custom schedule using VMA's mobile app (content to be made available in 2020)! Be ready for the conference and download the app now!

VMA Symposium App Via Play Store

Last Year's Symposium Gallery

VMA's 16th Annual International Trade Symposium
View Photos from 2019


Tuesday, September 22, 2020
10:00 AM Registration
1:00 PM Opening Remarks and Keynote Speaker:
"The Global Impact of Trade Policies"

Antony Phillipson
  • Antony Phillipson
    Her Majesty’s Trade Commissioner and Consul General of NY
2:00 PM Networking Break
2:20 PM Panel: "Changing the Rules: Trade Policies in a New Decade"
We are witnessing a dramatic shift in U.S. trade policy. It has not only brought tariffs but also a rewrite of NAFTA, now called USMCA. U.S. tariffs have been met with retaliation especially against U.S. agriculture. The U.S.-China Phase 1 trade deal seeks to alleviate some of the pain to U.S. agriculture and fix other grievances with China. The World Trade Organization is in crisis with a non-functioning Appellate Body. Will this mean the end of the “Rules Based Trading System?” So what’s in store for U.S. importers and exporters in 2020 and beyond? Hear different perspectives from experts in international trade.
4:30 PM Maritime Mixer on the Spirit of Norfolk cruise ship. More Information.
Wednesday, September 23, 2020
7:00 AM Registration and Continental Breakfast
8:00 AM Opening Remarks and Morning Speaker: "International Trade Plan"

Mike Ligon In 2017, the Virginia General Assembly appointed Mike Ligon to the Advisory Committee on International Trade where he serves as the vice chairman. Mr. Ligon will be providing a never-before-seen look into Governor Ralph Northam’s International Trade Plan.
  • H. Michael Ligon, Vice President, Corporate Affairs, Universal Corporation
9:00 AM Networking Break
9:20 AM Panel: "Diversified Cargo: Inside and Outside the Box"
Two back-to-back groups of panelists will dive deeply into containerized/non-containerized cargo trade routes and new markets being explored for a wide range of non-traditional cargos. Moderated by a large NVOCC representative, expect to hear from industry experts in project cargo, wind energy, and cotton trades; exporters of resin industry, forest products, and bulk liquids; and a large heavy-rolling stock exporter.
10:40 AM Networking Break
11:00 AM Simultaneous Break-Out Sessions

Panel A) "The Talent Crisis"
Low unemployment is generally thought of as a good thing until businesses across the country start running short on labor. Slower population growth, immigration policy, and the rise of regional competition are creating a perfect storm of concern…Where will a skilled workforce come from that meets the demands of business in this new decade? Panelists include representatives of large infrastructure projects, transportation, retail, and heavy industry/construction. Anyone concerned about matching their workforce to their business growth will want to attend this panel.

Panel B) "Breaking Down Blockchain"
Blockchain is one of those words on everyone’s lips…but do they truly know what it means? How can it affect your supply chain? Blockchain solutions providers and experienced blockchain users will provide an inside look that will help prepare your business for the next decade.
11:40 AM Luncheon Presentation: "Virginia as a Gateway to the World"

Reinhart Mr. Reinhart will address attendees during lunch and share how The Port of Virginia puts the needs of its customers first, which is helping to drive growth across Virginia and cement the port’s status as the gateway to the world for America’s Heartland.
  • John Reinhart, CEO and Executive Director, The Port of Virginia
12:55 PM Panel: "Supply Chain Technology"

As shipping and logistics continue moving at a frenetic pace, supply chain technologies are being adopted across the board to meet existing and future industry needs. Attend this panel to hear major innovator companies - including Amazon, Flexport, and Next Trucking - discuss what supply chain technologies are already being implemented, and why the logistics landscape will never be the same again.
1:55 PM Networking Break
2:15 PM Motivational Speaker
  • Cal Fussman, New York Times bestselling author, longtime Esquire writer, and corporate consultant
3:00 PM Closing Remarks
6:00 PM Pre-Banquet Reception
7:00 PM 100th Annual Maritime Banquet - Dinner Program
More Information.
9:00 PM VMA's 100th Anniversary After Party
Exclusive admission to banquet attendees. Separate tickets are not available.
Enjoy a live band, "Kustom Made," dancing (bring a date!), Virginia wines, beers, spirits and food, and networking!
Thursday, September 24, 2020
8:00 AM - 3:00 PM Golf Outing.
More Information


100th Maritime Banquet

The 100th Annual Maritime Banquet will be followed by the VMA's 100th Anniversary After Party...the grand finale to the VMA2020 celebration series. Learn more about the VMA2020 statewide events, history, and sponsorship at www.VAmaritime.com/VMA2020.

Please note, that VMA2020 sponsors recieve different benefits than Symposium & Banquet sponsors.

VMA2020 Logo

Become a Symposium Sponsor!

Global Level Sponsors

American Shipper - Freightwaves Norfolk Southern Port of  Virginia

Regional Sponsors

OEC Group

Industry Level Sponsors

Atlantic Intermodal CrossGlobe DCLI Givens GTT North America PortRail Crane Services RecycleGo Virginia Deptartment of Agriculture and Consumer Services VEDP | International

Steamship Line Sponsors

CMA CGM (America)

Media Sponsors

AJOT Virginia Business

Hosted By

Virginia Maritime

Have a Question? Contact us!


Jennifer Parham

Event Manager
Virginia Maritime Association

(757) 628-2663

Monica Neira

Monica Neira

Symposium Sponsorship Contact
MetroGroup Maritime

(212) 224-9611

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