Inaugural Tech Talk Brings Together Logistics Industry Leaders, Professionals
Nov 07, 2017 12:27PM
● By Emily Stevenson
On Wednesday, Nov.1, the first-ever Tech Talk conference hosted by the SC Logistics Initiative, part of the South Carolina Council on Competitiveness, welcomed more than 100 industry professionals for an in-depth look at the state’s rapidly growing and evolving logistics industry.
The event, which took place at the Charleston Music Hall, boasted a participant lineup of big-name manufacturing, logistics and technology companies across South Carolina and beyond. Participants included the South Carolina Department of Transportation Secretary Christy Hall and South Carolina Ports Authority President & CEO Jim Newsome. Some of the companies represented included: AT&T, Boeing, Michelin, North American Council for Freight Efficiency (NACFE), New York Shipping Exchange (NYSHEX), Uber Freight, Volvo Cars America, as well as Transplace, a successful South Carolina startup.
“Businesses locate where they know they can be profitable and have success. One of the key factors in determining whether a company can be successful is its ability to quickly and efficiently transport goods to market,” said Secretary of Commerce Bobby Hitt. “By bringing logistics leaders together through events like this inaugural Tech Talk, we can ensure that our state is able to embrace all of the latest advances within the industry and, as a result, remain a global leader in economic development for years to come.”
The industry-cluster’s event provided a platform for discussion on industry trends, including how advances in technology can impact the logistics industry nationwide and specifically South Carolina.
“Obviously, Charleston in itself is an epicenter of commerce from a manufacturing standpoint, as the 9th largest port,” said Uber Freight Enterprise Solutions General Manager Kris Glotzbach. “From our vantage point with Uber Freight, we’re really looking to build out our solutions here in the Carolinas.”
Tech Talk connected thought leaders and decision makers from transportation, distribution and logistics companies. According to Susie Shannon, President & CEO of the South Carolina Council on Competitiveness, the state’s logistics sector employs more than 113,000 people and contributes approximately $32 billion to the state's economy.
“Sometimes in logistics, technology seems to be the last thing on people’s minds,” says Maritime Association of South Carolina President Heather Holmquest. “We should have this conversation on an ongoing basis, to help get our heads out of our day-to-day work, and [think about] how we can innovate, how we can move faster, how we can use technology solutions to be more efficient.”
Presenters highlighted multiple industry topics, including freight trends, fuel efficiency, sustainability and reducing carbon footprints, the impacts of Big Data and cloud technology.
“Focusing on new business models and trends that are changing and shaping the future of logistics is key to ensuring the success of our state in the future,” SC Logistics Director Suzanne Dickerson. “We are fortunate to have a robust logistics industry in South Carolina and I am very excited to be able to bring so many leaders from the logistics industry to South Carolina for this technology-focused event and am already looking forward to next year.”