MHI discusses the industry’s first-ever attempt to unify and set a course

U.S roadmap to align visions of suppliers, users, governments and academics

By ·

Earlier this month, a collection of industry associations announced a plan to develop a roadmap for the future of materials handling and logistics in the United States.

According to, “The mission of the U.S. Roadmap for Material Handling and Logistics is to assemble a broad community of thought leaders with a stake in the future of material handling and logistics technologies and practices to create an industry roadmap that will increase productivity, reduce costs, create jobs and improve the global competitiveness of the United States.”

The broad, industry-wide effort will create a blueprint of market, technological and developmental priorities that are needed to accomplish long-term industry goals. The process will begin with four two-day roundtable-style meetings to bring together more than 130 thought leaders and experts from a variety of backgrounds, including industry, academia and government.

Material Handling Industry is providing administrative and financial support for the development of the Roadmap. Modern caught up with Gary Forger, senior vice president, professional development at MHI, to get a sense of the origin and objectives of the roadmap. Forger said the roadmap was unlike anything that has ever been attempted.

“Right now, the industry lacks a unified vision,” he said. “This is an effort to help organize an industry that has never tried to come together like this before. It’s an opportunity for people with vision for the industry’s future to formalize what they and their peers have been working toward and then to put together a roadmap.”

At the conclusion of the four sessions, information collected from each will be aggregated and released as a report before the end of the year, Forger said. “We will have built a community, we will have brought people together who don’t usually talk to each other, and it’s an opportunity to align with what’s going on, whether you’re a supplier, end-user, academic, government or non-governmental organization.”

Event dates are:
April 16-17 in Atlanta
May 7-8 Washington, D.C.
June 4-5 in Los Angeles
June 26-27 in Chicago

Partners developing the Roadmap include:
Association Partners:
Center for Excellence in Logistics and Distribution (CELDi)
College Industry Council on Material Handling Education (CICMHE)
Warehousing Education and Research Council (WERC)
Material Handling Equipment Distributors Association (MHEDA)
Publication Partners:
Logistics Management
Modern Materials Handling
Supply Chain Management Review

Call for roadmap participants
The MHL Roadmap is currently seeking thought leaders to participate in the upcoming workshops. Participation will not only provide the recognition of being a part of the development of this strategic industry initiative but will enable participants to:
-Identify the challenges and opportunities facing material handling and logistics in the movement of resources and goods within and between facilities in the supply chain
-Develop recommended actions that will advance material handling and logistics technologies, practices and workforce development in the next 3, 5, 10 years
-Raise general awareness of the importance of material handling and logistics to our standard of living and competitive position in the world
-Educate government on key issues to the material handling and logistics industry
-Generate ongoing dialog among thought leaders about material handling and logistics issues and performance levels

For more information and to participate, visit or email [email protected].

About the Author

Josh Bond, Contributing Editor
Josh Bond is Senior Editor for Modern, and was formerly Modern’s lift truck columnist and associate editor. He has a degree in Journalism from Keene State College and has studied business management at Franklin Pierce University.

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