Inland Rivers, Ports and Terminals, Inc. (IRPT) concluded the 2022 Annual Conference in bustling Tulsa, Oklahoma at the Renaissance Hotel and Convention Center on October 6th.

To all of our guests, exhibitors, sponsors and speakers, thank you so much for your participation in IRPT’s 2022 Annual Conference. It is through your continued support of IRPT and your passion for the Inland Waterways, that we are able to ignite such wonderful networking and spark new conversations happening within our industry.

The conference was kicked-off Monday evening with a reception at Tulsa Ports that included a port tour of the facility. We would like to express our sincerest appreciation to Tulsa Ports for generously hosting our Monday evening event featuring music by local favorite Grady Nichols and our Tuesday evening Downtown Tulsa excursion and reception at McNellie’s, both of which included great food, laughter, comradery and networking.

A common theme to this year’s content: Success of strengthened communications and strong collaboration between agencies and users has proven to be a win for growth for the inland river transportation system. Ranging from ease of use for shippers, funding levels for river management services to the supply chain crisis and the ability for inland ports and terminals to provide solutions, speakers at this year’s conference armed our attendees with tools for growth, development and opportunities.

This year, we learned about OpenTug, a new software program, designed to strengthen connections, and reduce costs. We also learned from Tulsa Ports and Van Scoyoc and Associates how other ports and terminals can acquire funding for projects happening at their facilities. Jones Walker taught about the dangers of cyber hacks and how to better protect our guests using their newly released Industry-Wide Ports and Terminals Cybersecurity Survey. Dr. Don Maier with the University of Tennessee also taught important lessons to our guests in speaking on supply chain issues and potential opportunities for ports and terminals to be the solution. From the perspectives of Academia, Workforce Development and Employer we were introduced to innovative ideas on developing and securing qualified employees. All Conference presentations are available here.

Each year we are humbled by the generous support of our sponsors, exhibitors and guests. Your commitment and participation are what make IRPT successful and enables us to do the great work we do for each of you. Please use the following links to learn more about our generous sponsors and exciting exhibitors.

At this year’s conference, IRPT was honored to award three of our industries most deserving professionals for their commitment and passion for the Inland Waterways. These awards included:
     Exceptional Service Awards, 2022: Deidre L. Smith, Inland Rivers, Ports & Terminals, retired
     Distinguished Advocate Award, Growth for the MKARNS, 2022: Jack Long Jr., Logistics Services, Inc., retired
     MKARNS Lifetime Achievement and Beyond Tribute Award, 2022: Senator James Inhofe


We would like to thank these special guests for their exemplary work and contributions to our industry.

We would also like to give a special thank you to Tulsa Convention & Visitors Bureau and Tulsa Regional Chamber for their generous support and the Renaissance Tulsa Hotel & Convention Center for our gracious stay and allowing us to utilize their beautiful space. Below you will find a gallery of some of the photos taken by our wonderful photographer Louis Besses IV, Besses Photography. These photos capture the essence of the connections that were made during this year’s conference and the passing around of knowledge by some of the most influential people in our industry.

We closed out Conference at Oakley’s Port 33 with a tour of their facilities and a warm welcome to their Annual Pig Out. Thank you to the entire Oakley’s Port 33 team for a great evening and to 5R Enterprises for sponsoring IRPT’s participation in the event.

IRPT 2022 Annual Conference proved to be a record-breaking event and we are already looking forward to 2023 in Louisville, KY.


Photo Gallery