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Modex 2012: Three keynotes to address supply chain/materials handling issues

Over the first three mornings of the show, the keynote speakers will share their insights into what’s going on in the field, the changes coming from the Panama Canal expansion, how that will impact the supply chain, and where the opportunities for business growth and development lie.
By Sara Pearson Specter, Editor at Large
January 12, 2012

Before Modex 2012 officially opens its doors at 10 a.m. on Feb. 6th, you can get a jumpstart on your day with the first of three keynote presentations, sponsored by the Material Handling Industry of America (MHIA). The keynote sessions are located in rooms C202-C204 and are free to all registered attendees.

“With Modex, MHIA saw an opportunity to build on the expertise of our materials handling base and look into supply chain aspects in a way that we haven’t before,” said Gary Forger, MHIA’s senior vice president of professional development. “We’ve brought in three speakers to set the stage for the state of logistics and supply chain management.”

Over the first three mornings of the show, the keynote speakers will share their insights into what’s going on in the field, the changes coming from the Panama Canal expansion, how that will impact the supply chain, and where the opportunities for business growth and development lie, Forger said.

“The three keynote presentations are designed to present attendees with a big picture view of how changes in the global supply chain are going to impact their workday,” he said. “Because the supply chain changes that are coming—particularly with the expansion of the Panama Canal—are going to affect how they fill an order.”

In Monday from 8:45 a.m. to 9:45 a.m., Rick Blasgen, president and CEO of the Council of Supply Chain Management Professionals (CSCMP) will present his keynote called “The State of Logistics and Supply Chain Management.” Blasgen will address the growth of competitive pressures and increasing complexity of global supply chains, as well as how efficient and proactive supply chain management has evolved over the past several decades from solely an operations concern to a critical business success factor.

Blasgen will examine the importance of supply chain management, global trends CSCMP has observed, and how international supply chains drive change. He will also discuss talent within the supply chain field and what to do given the economic fluctuations. Attendees will learn how to navigate the current economic confusion and develop innovative supply chain management practices to find success through the uncertainty.

Tuesday, again from 8:45 a.m. to 9:45 a.m., the second keynote will highlight the expansion of the Panama Canal and its anticipated impact on shipping in the western hemisphere. “The Expansion of the Panama Canal and its Impact on Supply Chains and Global Trade” will be presented by Alberto Alemán Zubieta, CEO of the Panama Canal Authority, the autonomous agency that manages the leading interoceanic waterway serving global maritime commerce.

With the Panama Canal expansion scheduled for completion in 2014, experts predict that it will change global freight movement and open up new opportunities for trade. Goods currently arriving on the West Coast from Asian sources will likely be faster and cheaper to instead ship through the expanded canal to East and Gulf Coast. In fact many of those ports have already undertaken initiatives to deepen harbors and expand cargo-handling facilities. During his keynote, Alemán Zubieta will detail how these infrastructure improvements will benefit importers and exporters. He will also explain how companies can prepare for the impact of this supply chain development on their operations.

Tying it all together with a concluding keynote address on Wednesday morning is H. Donald Ratliff, regents professor and executive director of the Georgia Tech Supply Chain & Logistics Institute. Ratliff will present “How Supply Chain & Logistics Performance Impacts Trade” from 8:45 a.m. to 9:45 a.m.

With today’s total world exports more than four times larger than they were in 1990, indicating that some countries and companies have been very successful at increasing exports, Ratliff said. His current research focus is on logistics performance and industry trade, and he’s observed that the top exporting countries are also the top countries in regard to supply chain and logistics performance. In his discussion, Ratliff will help attendees understand how their company’s supply chain and logistics performance impacts trade, a critical piece of knowledge for businesses seeking to increase exports. During this keynote, Ratliff will share insights into the areas for improvement in supply chain and logistics performance, and how to make these improvements to boost exports.

Modex 2012 is scheduled to be held February 6-9, 2012 in Atlanta’s Georgia World Congress Center. The tradeshow will showcase the latest manufacturing, distribution and supply chain solutions in the material handling and logistics industry. Modern’s complete Modex 2012 coverage.

Big Picture: Voices of the Supply Chain
More than ever, what happens outside the four walls determines what happens inside the four walls. Six supply chain experts look at the most important factors shaping the future of the supply chain.

About the Author

Sara Pearson Specter
Editor at Large

Sara Pearson Specter has written articles and supplements for Modern Materials Handling and Logistics Management as an Editor at Large since 2001. Based in Cincinnati, Specter has worked in the fields of journalism, graphic design, advertising, marketing, and public relations for 15 years, with a special emphasis on helping business-to-business industrial and manufacturing companies. Specter graduated from Centre College in Danville, Ky., with a bachelor’s degree in French and history.

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Article Topics

News · Supply Chain · Education · Modex 2012 · MHI · MHIA · All topics

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