The Logistics Hall of Fame, an international organization founded in 2003 to honor history's most impressive supply chain achievements and the people behind them, has chosen 13 people for the class of 2016.
The new members "illustrate how logistics has made life better and safer over the course of time," observes Anita Wurmser, executive jury chairperson of the Logistics Hall of Fame.
The Class of 2016 encompasses more than 500 years of logistics history, covering the gamut from cross-border communications in the 15th century to the rise of e-commerce in the late 20th century.
The Logistics Hall of Fame is a non-profit initiative supported by the world of politics, associations, the logistics industry and logistics science. (In the interest of full disclosure, I am a voting member of the Hall of Fame jury.)
Franz von Taxis and his nephew Johann Baptista von Taxis are credited with creating the first cross-border communication system in the year 1490, two years before Columbus' journey to what would become the United States. Their communication system became the foundation of the international postal system.
In 1903, Ransom Eli Olds developed a form of flow production that came to be known as the progressive assembly line, which was deployed to produce the Oldsmobile automobile.
In 1913, industrialist Henry Ford introduced a system of automated conveyor belt production known as the moving assembly line, which allowed his young company to produce a Model T car in just 93 minutes, making automobiles affordable to the middle class.
James Casey founded the American Messenger Company in 1907 in Seattle, a company that would later be better known as United Parcel Services (UPS).
Norman Woodland and Bernard Silver co-developed the predecessor of what became the barcode, which saw wide adoption by retailers and manufacturers after the development of the Universal Product Code (UPC) by IBM engineer George Laurer. The first barcoded product--a pack of chewing gum--was scanned at a supermarket in 1974.
Lothar Raucamp, one-time president of the International Road and Transport Union IRU, was one of the most important advocates of cooperative logistics. His founding of Kravag in 1950 as a mutual insurance association secured the future of thousands of transportation companies.
Gerhard Schafer launched production of the stackable "storage fix-box" in 1953, which is considered a milestone in intralogistics. These stackable boxes had viewing holes in the front, and represented the beginning of modern storage container logistics, as well as the foundation of SSI Schafer.
Entrepreneur Horst Mosolf, an inventor of various specialized automotie transports, commissioned the construction of the first double-decker wagon in 1959.
Fred Smith, founder and CEO of FedEx, is considered the inventor of express services. His company, launched in 1971, now includes supply chain services, less-than-truckload, same day, home delivery, packaging and healthcare solutions divisions.
As logistics director of the Otto Group, Peer Witten built Hermes into a parcel distribution organization while initiating innovations that served as a benchmark for Internet trading, including 7-day deliveries, 24-hour delivery service and freely selectable time windows.
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