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A Virtual 2021 Florida Supply Chain Summit Scheduled for March 9

By Keith Morelli

Florida Supply Chain Summit

TAMPA (February 3, 2021) -- The significant shocks to the global supply chain during the pandemic opened consumers’ eyes to the importance of a stable global supply chain.  Rarely have supply-chain leaders had to work through such challenging, complex and uncertain conditions.  And rarely has the spotlight illustrated the need for professionals to effectively build and manage resilient supply chains. 

That makes the 2021 Florida Supply Chain Summit, slated for March 9 and offered on a virtual platform, especially timely. At the summit, which is expected to draw more than 300 retailers, wholesalers, distributors, importers/exporters, manufacturers, logistics providers and others involved in supply chain management, executives from FedEx,  Amgen, Woodfield Distribution and Walgreens will talk about Florida’s cold chain support of the COVID-19 vaccine distribution. Walmart executives will open the summit in a keynote address that details plans for Florida.

“Leaders from all supply chain corners will share insights about the robust Florida economy and the infrastructure and technology fueling the growth,” said Elaine Singleton, director of the Muma College of Business’ Monica Wooden Center for Supply Chain Management and Sustainability. “This uniquely positions Florida as a supply chain center for high growth companies seeking lower cost variability with a rapidly growing, educated workforce to support the future.”

Singleton said the variety of topics covered at the summit range from success stories to the state of the supply chain technology to the Florida infrastructure for global trade.

Here is some of what is planned throughout the day:

Florida’s booming retail landscape: Keynote speakers from Walmart will discuss the retailer’s supply chain story in Florida.

  • Pushing the boundaries in Florida’s freight plan. Leaders will discuss strategic planning for freight mobility, connected and autonomous vehicles, and spaceports.
  • Florida's Economic Advantage: the case for investment in Florida supply chains. Statewide leaders will unveil the Florida advantages, such as business-friendly tax incentives, progressive workforce development and the digital revolution (during a post-crisis revival). They will also provide the backstop to Florida's next phase of economic development.
  • The State of Supply Chain Technology: Leading edge technology experts will provide an update on artificial intelligence, robotics, wearable mobile devices and more often used in the Florida supply chain.
  • Pharmaceutical Supply (Cold) Chains Meet the COVID-19 Vaccine Challenge: Executives from FedEx, Amgen, Woodfield Distribution and Walgreens discuss the pharma supply chain lifecycle and Florida's support of the COVID-19 vaccine distribution.

The summit, which is free, though registration is required, is being organized by a steering committee that includes representatives from the Florida Department of Transportation, Datex, Port Tampa Bay, World Trade Center Miami and the USF Muma College of Business.

"Florida's supply chain infrastructure is among the best in the world with an extensive multi-modal transportation network – from roadways to spaceports – combined with global connectivity ranked as one of the top five telecom hubs in the world,” said Donna Davis, a professor in the Muma College of Business’ School of Marketing and Innovation, who is helping to coordinate the event. “And this summit will preview upcoming developments in Florida's supply chain industry."

The vision of the Florida Supply Chain Summit is to strengthen partnerships in the supply chain industry by providing opportunities to network, address industry issues and share knowledge about critical issues including emerging trends, technology innovations and workforce. It also aims to address and share knowledge about critical industry issues including emerging trends, technology innovations and workforce development.

Industry leaders agree that Florida is uniquely situated to emerge as a hub for worldwide trade. There are 15 deep-water ports, 20 commercial service airports, 3,000 miles of freight rail tracks and 122,000 miles of flat highway systems.

The state is the logical point to ship and receive freight from Central and South America, which it already does; Florida is across the Gulf of Mexico from the Panama Canal, opening up to the Pacific Ocean and the markets in the Far East. Already, the state has trading ties to industries in Europe and the Middle East.