After 18 months of discussions, research, writing and editing, The U.S. Roadmap for Material Handling & Logistics has been released. Published on www.MHLroadmap.org, the 67-page report and action plan is designed to help industry determine how logistics and supply chain trends and challenges can be turned into action plans to develop needed capabilities in the U.S. between now and 2025.

The report’s content is based on input from more than 100 thought leaders, including material handling and logistics practitioners, suppliers, academia, associations, government and media—including Material Handling & Logistics magazine.

They participated in one of four roundtable events held April through June 2013. Attendees contributed their thoughts regarding the capabilities the industry needs to develop between now and 2025. The first draft was released in October 2013 for review and comments; that feedback was integrated into a second draft, released in November 2013.

Coordinating the development, writing and review process was Roadmap editor Kevin Gue, Tim Cook Associate Professor of Industrial Engineering at Auburn University’s Samuel Ginn College of Engineering.

“The Roadmap represents the ‘collective mind,’ as it were, of the entire industry—from end users to suppliers to academics to associations and government,” says Gue, who hopes the publication leads to collaborative solutions that address big problems.

“Many of the issues described in the Roadmap will be addressed by individual companies in response to market forces and advances in technology. But other problems will require disparate groups to pull in the same direction. Standardization, widespread collaboration, securing a qualified workforce for the future—these issues will require stakeholders to work together in new ways,” he explains.

A five-person writing team developed the Roadmap. They include:

  • Kevin Gue, Auburn University (Editor-in-Chief)
  • Elif Akcali, University of Florida
  • Alan Erera, Georgia Institute of Technology (Georgia Tech)
  • Bill Ferrell, Clemson University
  • Gary Forger, MHI

MHI is providing administrative and financial support for the development of the Roadmap. For more information and to participate, visit the Roadmap site or email info@MHLroadmap.org.