US materials handling industry searches for direction

by MM&D staff

CHARLOTTE, North Carolina—The American materials handling industry has set off on a quest to determine its future.

Under the banner of the US Roadmap for Materials Handling and Logistics, over 130 industry representatives—including association members from the Center for Excellence in Logistics and Distribution (CELDi), the College Industry Council on Material Handling Education (CICMHE), MHI (formerly the Materials Handling Industry of America), and the Warehousing Education and Research Council (WERC)—will participate in a number meetings across the country. They will discuss industry trends and challenges, identify capabilities that need to be developed, and develop an action plan for the industry to pursue.

The end-goal of the series of consultations is to create an industry-wide strategy designed to increase productivity, reduce costs, create jobs and improve the global competitiveness of the American materials handling and logistics industries.

Specifically, the intent is to develop definitive actions that should be completed in the next three, five and ten years. Additionally, the roadmap should produce a comprehensive approach to educating government bodies and agencies about the key issues facing the industry. It should also generate a process that encourages ongoing dialogue among industry participants.

Currently there is a series of four meetings schedule, with each set to last two days. They will be held between April and June and will take the form of roundtable discussions. People wishing to participating in the meetings will be drawn from a wide pool of businesses and organizations, including practitioners, suppliers, academics, government, non-government and association professionals. Participants will be required to submit a short written piece about industry trends and challenges as part of the application process.

The event dates are:

  • April 16-17 in Atlanta, Georgia
  • May 7-8 in Washington, DC
  • June 4-5 in Los Angeles, California
  • June 26-27 in Chicago, Illinois

The findings of the meetings and the final roadmap are expected to be available by the end of 2013.

For more information about the roadmap, including details about becoming a participant, see the website.