Introducing El Dorado, a new tech experience at TPM20

Introducing El Dorado, a new tech experience at TPM20

Topics to be addressed at El Dorado include logistics process automation, new rate contract models and strategies, the emerging battleground around visibility, the impact of venture capital, data standardization efforts, and the strategies of incumbent players to remain relevant. Photo credit:

The JOC, part of IHS Markit, will introduce a technology-focused conference experience as part of the 20th anniversary TPM container shipping conference in Long Beach on March 1-4, 2020. Called “El Dorado,” the experience will be open to all TPM attendees and will be held in the Seaside Ballroom of the Long Beach Convention Center, an area never before used at TPM, significantly expanding the footprint of the overall event. The Seaside Ballroom is easily accessible by foot from the main area of TPM via a newly built pedestrian bridge.

The two-day El Dorado will capture the momentum of the current technology wave crashing over containerized supply chains, addressing the growing demand among beneficial cargo owners (BCOs), third-party logistics providers (3PLs), container lines, ports, and other freight transportation interests to understand the true value of technology and navigate an increasingly complex landscape of vendors and emerging technologies.

“The technology solutions that will ultimately gain traction in the market will be those that solve real-world problems, and those real-world people are at TPM, which is a natural venue for a genuine technology discussion,” said Eric Johnson, the JOC’s senior technology editor and conference chair. “The pace of change is happening faster than most companies can cope with.”

Some of the topics to be addressed at El Dorado include logistics process automation and how it may change workflows for carriers and 3PLs; how technology is enabling new rate contract models and strategies; the emerging battleground around visibility; the impact of venture capital; data standardization efforts; and the strategies of incumbent players to remain relevant. The program, beginning in an innovative meeting environment, will mix one-on-one dialogue, Ted Talk-style presentations, demos, and hard-hitting panel discussions.

The program will feature some of the industry’s most influential, most talked-about, and visionary technology leaders from incumbents and startups. It will address the profound changes they see coming as a result of the rapid evolution in visibility, connectivity, standards, data quality, and other key trends in this market. Key speakers include E2open CEO Michael Farlekas, who oversaw the acquisition of software stalwarts INTTRA and Amber Road over the last year; James Chen, chief technology officer of Flexport; Nadia Hewett, blockchain project lead at the World Economic Forum; and Matt Motsick, founder of the freight rate management provider Catapult, and more recently the robotic process automation platform RPA Labs, among many more.

El Dorado represents the lost city of gold, a hard-to-locate land holding the promise of untold fortunes. Technology buyers in the logistics space face a similarly quixotic quest, with more questions than there are answers, and more problems than there are solutions, even as vendors chase riches in an arena laden with inefficiency and stubbornly resistant to change. As the world's largest gathering of container shippers, forwarders, carriers, and ports, TPM is the ideal testing ground for technology solutions with potential to deliver genuine value to the containerized supply chain.

“I can’t think of a better way to mark the 20th anniversary of TPM than by expanding the conference with El Dorado and providing added value to our attendees,” said Peter Tirschwell, vice president in the Maritime & Trade business of IHS Markit, parent of JOC. “TPM provides a neutral, forward-looking, and solutions-focused environment for a robust and real-world technology discussion.”

In addition to being open to TPM attendees, the conference will be open to exclusively El Dorado attendees through separate admission.

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For inquiries about the conference program, please contact Eric Johnson, JOC Technology Editor, at

For inquiries about sponsorship opportunities, please contact Tony Stein, Publisher, at