Modex 2012: To secure future, industry must make its voice heard

In his show-opening keynote address, Rick Blasgen expressed optimism for the future of domestic logistics, emphasized the urgent steps that must be taken to secure that future, and hailed the materials handling industry as a key driver of the ongoing economic recovery.

By ·

In his show-opening keynote address, Rick Blasgen expressed optimism for the future of domestic logistics, emphasized the urgent steps that must be taken to secure that future, and hailed the materials handling industry as a key driver of the ongoing economic recovery.

“The supply chain is a shock absorber managing the difference between what is planned and what actually happens,” said Blasgen, CEO of the Council of Supply Chain Management Professionals (Booth 5403). “We facilitate a lot of what happens in our economy and we don’t get a lot of credit for it. We need to get out and tell our story.”

In his 25-year career in materials handling, Blasgen said he has seen SCM become not just a corporate necessity, but an essential growth vehicle. According to Blasgen, logistics spending in the U.S. totaled $1.2 trillion in 2011, constituting 8.3% of GDP. In 1980, logistics accounted for 17.9% of GDP. Blasgen credited vastly improved supply chain efficiency for the decline.

Of last year’s $1.2 trillion, transportation costs accounted for $768 billion, he said. It’s a highly physical business, said Blasgen, and one that is dependent on increasingly inadequate infrastructure.

“The U.S. needs a national transportation policy,” he said. “That much is glaringly obvious.”

Blasgen said the management of transportation will a focus in 2012, followed closely by access to capacity, continuing efforts by shippers to outsource, and a gradual shift to a “truckers’ market.”

But most important, said Blasgen, is that current supply chain leaders challenge and educate the industry’s young generation.

“The supply chain will be run by technically savvy people with a penchant for innovation,” said Blasgen. “If you’re new to this industry, go work on the third shift in some distribution center. It will help you immensely.”

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.


About the Author

Josh Bond, Senior 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.

Subscribe to Modern Materials Handling Magazine!

Subscribe today. It's FREE!
Find out what the world’s most innovative companies are doing to improve productivity in their plants and distribution centers.
Start your FREE subscription today!

Article Topics

Modex 2012 · Supply Chain · · All Topics
Latest Whitepaper
Top 20 industrial lift truck suppliers, 2017
The top lift truck suppliers list is changing with industry acquisitions causing a dramatic departure from the norm.
Download Today!
From the August 2017 Modern Materials Handling Issue
For all the advances in lift truck technology and fleet management, operators will always be the heart and soul of a fleet. As manufacturers and equipment purchasers place more value on that piece, the role of the operator extends from design to daily use.
Reader survey: Lift trucks keep on truckin’
Top 20 industrial lift truck suppliers, 2017
View More From this Issue
Subscribe to Our Email Newsletter
Sign up today to receive our FREE, weekly email newsletter!
Latest Webcast
Warehouse Execution Systems (WES): The Pathway to Same-Day Fulfillment
This webinar explores the processes and technologies enabling same-day, same-hour order fulfillment using intelligent supply chain software.
Register Today!
EDITORS' PICKS
Lift truck operators: Drivers of change
For all the advances in lift truck technology and fleet management, operators will always be the...
Top 20 industrial lift truck suppliers, 2017
The top lift truck suppliers list is changing with industry acquisitions causing a dramatic...

Southern Glazer’s Wine & Spirits: Designed to Last
On Long Island, the country’s premier distributor of wine and spirits turned to shuttle and case...
GE Healthcare System Report: Lean repairs
Self-driving mobile robots improve cycle times and reduce floor space at GE Healthcare’s new...