Material handling and logistics professionals from around the world will
descend on Chicago this spring, drawn
there by ProMat 2019, the nation’s
largest exhibition of material handling,
supply chain, and logistics equipment
and technologies. More than 950 vendors will be on hand to showcase
everything from traditional manual
equipment to the latest automated
systems and emerging technologies.
Along with the exhibition, ProMat
will include an educational conference
that features four keynote addresses
and over 100 educational sessions.
The event, which is organized by the
industry association MHI, will be held
at McCormick Place from April 8–11.
This year’s keynote speakers include
Karim R. Lakhani of Harvard Business
School, who will discuss “Blockchain
Technology for Supply Chains,” and
Reshma Saujani, founder and CEO
of Girls Who Code, who will deliv-
er an address titled “Closing the
Supply Chain Gender Gap.” Also on
the agenda are MHI CEO George
Prest and Deloitte Consulting LLP
Principal Scott Sopher, who will
present the results of MHI’s “2019
Annual Industry Report” and moder-
ate a panel on the real-world signifi-
cance of the findings, and CNBC host
and entrepreneur Marcus Lemonis,
who will discuss “The Three Keys to
Business Success – People, Process,
With their notebooks full of insights
and pockets full of business cards,
showgoers can relax on Wednesday
evening at MHI Industry Night, an
evening of music, food, and drinks
that will highlight comedian Craig
Ferguson, the Scottish-American talk
Complimentary registration for
ProMat 2019 is available online at
ProMat rolls into
Chicago in April
Competition provides glimpse into the
future of logistics tech
What technological innovation will be the next to rock the logistics world?
That’s a question even the big-picture thinkers struggle to answer.
One source that might provide some insight is Lab Ventures, a Miami-based venture capital firm that held a pitch competition for 10 promising
startups at its “Future of Logistics Tech Summit” in November.
When the dust had settled, the winner was Kinetic, a New York-based
company that develops wearable devices to reduce industrial workplace
injuries. A judging panel of professionals from Ryder System Inc., Plug
and Play Supply Chain and Logistics, and Neman Real Estate Ventures
awarded the company $27,000 in prizes. Kinetic will be fast-tracked into
the eMerge Americas startup showcase, where it will be able to pitch again
in Miami in April.
The People’s Choice Award, determined by popular vote of summit
attendees, went to SimpliRoute, a Chilean firm that has developed a route
optimization engine with machine learning modules to help transportation and last-mile delivery companies slash their costs.
Quick—what’s 37 feet tall, 55
feet long, and uses a hydraulic
system to carry 110,000 flowers
along a 5.5-mile route? The
answer is a parade float commissioned by retail shipping
chain The UPS Store for the
2019 Tournament of Roses
Parade. The annual parade, which winds along Colorado Boulevard in
Pasadena, Calif., is held each year prior to the Rose Bowl college football game (which this year featured a matchup between the Washington
Huskies and Ohio State Buckeyes).
The float, titled “Books Keep Us on Our Toes,” is a salute to the Toys
for Tots Literacy Program, which was jointly developed by The UPS Store
and the Marine Toys for Tots Foundation to promote children’s literacy.
The program, which is celebrating its 10th anniversary this year, provides
books and educational resources to underserved communities.
This year’s float featured Olive the Ostrich, an aspiring ballerina with
dreams to star in “Swan Lake.” Realizing that her species might not be
the traditional choice for the role, Olive—constructed of 30,000 pale pink
Mizuky carnations and 40,000 white dendrobium orchids—prepares by
reading books on ballet while listening to Tchaikovsky’s famous music on
an old-fashioned gramophone.
Spectators were invited to view the float up close following the parade.
The UPS Store team handed out 10,000 children’s books, many of which
were donated by Scholastic, to parade-goers and post-event attendees.
A rose is a rose is a rose, except when it’s a