University of South Florida


USF joins national business leaders in co-organizing Florida supply chain event, includes discussion on impacts of COVID-19 vaccine distribution

The logo for the 2021 Florida Supply Chain Summit

The University of South Florida’s Muma College of Business is partnering with various industry giants to co-organize the 2021 Florida Supply Chain Summit. The virtual event, slated for March 9 from 9 a.m. – 5:15 p.m., is especially timely as consumers’ eyes have been opened to significant shocks to the global supply chain during the pandemic.

Executives from FedEx, Amgen, Woodfield Distribution and Walgreens will discuss Florida’s cold chain support of the COVID-19 vaccine distribution.  Walmart executives will open the summit in a keynote address that details the retail giant’s plans for Florida. 

Rarely have supply-chain leaders had to work through such challenging, complex and uncertain conditions, illustrating the need for professionals to effectively build and manage resilient supply chains. 

 “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.”

The summit will cover a variety of topics ranging from success stories, to the state of the supply chain technology, to the Florida infrastructure for global trade. This includes:

  • Keynote speakers from Walmart will discuss the retailer’s supply chain story in Florida.
  • World Trade Center Miami representatives will present the case for investment in Florida supply chains.
  • Port Tampa Bay officials will discuss Florida distribution and logistics differentiators.
  • Florida Department of Transportation officials will talk about advances in Florida’s supply chain infrastructure.
  • Datex and USF faculty researchers will delve into state of supply chain technology.
  • Executives from FedEx, Amgen and Walgreens will discuss cold-chain support for Florida’s pharmaceutical industry.

"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."

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. In addition, Florida has trading ties to industries in Europe and the Middle East, as it sits across the Gulf of Mexico from the Panama Canal.

More than 300 retailers, wholesalers, distributors, importers/exporters, manufacturers, logistics providers and others involved in supply chain management are expected to attend the virtual event. This marks the third year for the summit, which is free, however registration is required.

The 2021 Florida Supply Chain Summit 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.

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