Students’ Competition

Logistics, Trade and Transportation Symposium
February 26-27, 2014 - Gulfport, Mississippi
University of Southern Mississippi’s Gulf Park Campus 

The Center for Logistics, Trade and Transportation  National Center for Freight and Infrastructure Research and Education

The National Center for Freight and Infrastructure Research and Education (CFIRE) is sponsoring a Student Freight Symposium on February 26-27, 2014 in Gulfport, Mississippi. Part of this symposium will be a student Case Study Competition organized by the University of Southern Mississippi’s (USM) Center for Logistics, Trade, and Transportation (CLTT). The top three winning teams will receive cash prizes along with certificates as follows.

  • 1st place: $400 plus printed certificate
  • 2nd Place: $300 plus printed certificate
  • 3rd Place: $200 plus printed certificate

This is a case analysis of international capacity expansion (eg. Panama Canal expansion) on US ports or intermodal facilities where freight movement or infrastructure impacted (positively or negatively) economic competitiveness. Possible examples include, but are not limited to:

  • Impact of Panama Canal expansion on US ports
  • A logistics park for industrial attraction due to freight growth
  • Seaports expansion
  • Improvements to hinterland access for a port on an inland waterway
  • New intermodal freight handling facility or expansion of facility

Eligibility Criteria:

1. Any team of undergraduate students, graduate students, or their combination (3 -5 students) from any university who wants to showcase their problem solving capability with the case study of international capacity expansion on US ports or intermodal facilities.
2. The team must demonstrate innovative uses of logistics, transportation and economic development tools and techniques for its case analysis.
3. There is no limit on the number of entries from a university.

Students’ Case Competition Submission Process:

Students’ Team interested in competing must:

  • First submit by Nov 24th, 2013 an abstract up to 200 words including: title and brief description of the case addressing all relevant evaluation criteria mentioned in the previous section. This preliminary submission will be judged to select the 7 finalist teams. Potential team can contact the committee chairs for additional questions.
  • Second ( Finalist teams ) need to submit the following;
    • A Power Point file that effectively summarizes the case and its analysis: the Power Point slides should include the case objectives, reasonable assumptions, solution approach, tools/techniques used, measurable outcomes, and economic impacts.
    • Any relevant supporting materials such as narratives, detailed calculations, design drawings, endorsements, etc. (none of these are considered required): supporting materials may be included if they are directly applicable to the entry; however, they will not be returned. The optional supportive documents must be a single word or pdf file and must not exceed 15 standard pages including any graphics.


The 200 word abstract is due to the chairs of the committee by November 24, 2013. Applicants must send their abstract electronically – preferably as email attachment to Dr. MD Sarder -  Finalist teams will be notified by December 1, 2013. Finalist teams will be required to submit the complete submission package (PowerPoint slides and optional supporting documents) to the chairs of the committee by January 15, 2014. Teams must send their submissions electronically – preferably as email attachment. In case of large electronic documents, applicants may upload them in an online repository (i.e. DropBox or and provide the access to the chairs of the committee.

Final Presentation:

Finalist teams will be required to give a ten minutes presentation of case study with 5 minutes Q&A. The presentation can be a live presentation at the CLTT Symposium, or via video conference, a video, or other multi-media production that can be viewed by the judges.

Awarding Process:

1. All entries will be pre-screened to select up to 7 finalist teams.
2. All finalist teams will be required to either attend the CLTT Symposium 2014 and present their cases in front of judges or present live via video conference systems (GoToMeeting, Wimba, etc.) or send a prerecorded video presentation to the committee chairs prior to the CLTT Symposium.
3. Top 3 teams will be selected and announced at the CLTT Symposium 2014 in Gulfport, Mississippi.

2014 Judging Committee:

The judges will be comprised of one member from each of the CFIRE consortium institutions. Evaluation criterias are already mentioned in the Evaluation Criteria section.

Evaluation Rubrics