Alabama’s Port City is playing host to the eighth annual Alabama Global Supply Chain & Logistic Summit, which explores key supply chain topics such as the changing international trade environment, workforce training and cybersecurity.
The 8th annual summit is being held Tuesday, Nov. 12, and Wednesday, Nov. 13, at The Battle House Hotel in Mobile. The event is sponsored by the Alabama Department of Commerce and hosted by the Mobile Area Chamber of Commerce.
“Supply chain efficiency and innovation continue to be relevant topics for our companies as they grow and adapt to meet the ever-changing demands of the global supply chain,” Alabama Commerce Secretary Greg Canfield said. “Businesses have the opportunity here to learn how their peers have put in place supply chain strategies that have led to success both locally and internationally.”
The Port of Mobile is Alabama’s only deepwater port. The port moves around 54 million tons of cargo per year. It’s a key component of the state’s logistics infrastructure. (Image: APM Terminals).
The summit presents attendees with an opportunity to network with industry leaders from small and medium-sized companies as well as large corporations as they share information on supply chain trends. On Wednesday morning, Secretary Canfield will speak on Alabama’s advantage in distribution and logistics. Companies as diverse as Amazon, Mercedes-Benz and Carvana have recently selected Alabama for major distribution hub projects.
The event’s agenda will also include updates on the state’s infrastructure and gas tax, a conversation on the impact of trade policy and tariffs on global supply chain, the changing landscape of the supply chain workforce, and many more topics.
The summit’s keynote speaker is Bryan Riley. Riley is the director of the National Taxpayers Union’s Free Trade Initiative. He will discuss the importance of free trade and implications of disruptive trade policy to Alabama businesses and their global supply chains.
Tariffs on imports raise prices on goods for American consumers; meanwhile tariffs placed by other countries on American products, make it more expensive for American companies to market products in those countries.
Other speakers include: Ed Castile, deputy Commerce secretary and director of AIDT; Jimmy Lyons, CEO of the Alabama State Port Authority; and Rolf Wrona, vice president of human resources at Mercedes-Benz U.S. International, its Alabama operation.
Economic developer Nicole Jones told the Alabama Political Reporter, “The summit provided professionals in the areas of supply chain and logistics an opportunity to discuss issues that affect doing business in a global economy such as international trade, workforce development, and cybersecurity.”
Denson White of APM Terminals will discuss the impact of Walmart’s $135 million import distribution center, which opened in Mobile in 2018. The 2.5 million-square-foot facility provides a major boost to the Port of Mobile and enhances Alabama’s global connections.
“Conferences like these provide benefits to the host city and state because of the tourism dollars generated by attendees,” Dr. Nicole Jones said. “The Global Supply Chain and Logistics Summit also is a way to showcase our state, make connections, and recruit new business and industry to Alabama.”