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, 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.

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
Is Your DC Ready for E-commerce Growth? Here’s How to Handle More SKUs and Inventory Turns
The rise of e-commerce and multi-channel fulfillment has caused distribution centers (DCs) to experience ever-growing numbers of stock-keeping units (SKUs) and more inventory turns, up to an average of nine in 2015.
Download Today!
From the August 2016 Issue
Subscribe to Our Email Newsletter
Sign up today to receive our FREE, weekly email newsletter!
Latest Webcast
5 Emerging Technologies Enabling Competitive Advantage for Distribution
Come hear about the latest in each-picking robotics, co-bots, artificial intelligence, autonomous vehicles, sensors, drones and droids that are enabling competitive advantage for distribution.
Register Today!
EDITORS' PICKS
The data-driven lift truck
Now that manufacturers and distributors are using the data from their automated systems to drive...
Destination Maternity: Destination Automation
Running short of space in its old facility, Destination Maternity Corp. built a new, highly...

Hibbett Sports: Faster, Flexible and Efficient
A high-speed conveyor and sortation system at Hibbett Sports’ Alabama distribution center speeds...
Necessity is the mother of invention at Quiet Logistics
Faced with the loss of a robotic pick solution, Quiet Logistics invented its own robots. Are they...