Now that 2021 is in full swing, are you thinking about gaining a fresh perspective, learning about the latest industry trends, hearing from industry leaders and networking with logistics experts? Check out our list of the top conferences for logistics and supply chain management professionals this year.
We all are finding ways to adapt to the new post-pandemic world, and that includes how we learn from our peers and network with industry professionals. The good news is several logistics and freight transportation conferences are taking place this year — many virtual and some in person — to bring you and your team new learning and networking opportunities. We’ve gathered our top picks, so depending on what you want to learn, how you’d like to attend and what time of year works best, you’ve got options.
Please note: As always, safety should always be your top concern when deciding whether to travel and/or attend large events in person. While COVID-19 restrictions may be loosening in many areas, you and your team should weigh the risks and benefits, especially if you are at an increased health risk.
WERC DX 2021 (Warehousing Education and Research Council Digital Experience)
When: May 3-5, 2021
Who Should Attend: Logistics professionals who are looking to overcome challenges and obtain new tools, strategies and insights to improve supply chain operations
The Conference In Their Words: WERC DX is a conference designed to curate and present solutions to the most vexing problems faced by distribution logistics professionals today. Lockdowns, closed borders, global instability and uncertainty; labor challenges, technology changes, sustainability issues; challenges arising from the explosive growth of e-commerce and unrelenting demand for a fully integrated, omni-channel customer experience: We tackle them all, and more.
This year will be our first online conference, but we’ll curate solutions the way we always have — by bringing people together. Our Conference Committee is made up of working distribution logistics professionals who identify the most pressing issues and then seek out thought leaders, innovators and educators who can address those issues for our members.
American Supply Chain Summit 2021
When: May 11-13, 2021
Who Should Attend: Logistics professionals currently managing their supply chain, logistics and/or procurement
The Conference In Their Words: The American Supply Chain Summit is a leadership-focused meeting designed around improving supply chain and procurement strategy across the globe. This event serves as an annual platform to exchange ideas and collaborate on the impact of market dynamics and new technologies for current and future supply chain and operations leaders.
Throughout the three-day virtual summit, the delegates, speakers and sponsors will share insights, opportunities and challenges with the goal of driving the industry forward. Proactive discussions will allow attendees to walk away with clear and actionable insights to drive manufacturing, outsourcing, capacity management, quality assurance, quality control, regulatory compliance, operational excellence, supply chain, logistics and more.
TIA 2021 Capital Ideas Conference and Exhibition (Transportation Intermediaries Association)
When: May 11-13, 2021
Who Should Attend: 3PL professionals (third-party logistics providers) interested in enhancing their distribution, warehousing and fulfillment services
The Conference In Their Words:
- More than 12 hours of sessions geared solely for 3PLs: Take advantage of over morning and afternoon live sessions plus learning labs, panel discussions, and networking.
- 3PL intelligence to take your business to the next level: Establish new professional contacts, exchange ideas and build relationships with your industry peers.
- Practical look at the latest technology developments: Navigate through new industry developments and take control of the technology changes affecting your business.
- Network and collaborate with your peers: Meet virtually with top industry leaders and solutions providers. Join attendees at a variety of networking events across the three-day virtual event!
Ecommerce Operations Summit
When: August 17-18, 2021
Format: In person | Nashville, TN – Review health and safety information
Who Should Attend: Anyone who wants to be more efficient, make customers happy, reduce costs, develop and retain the best people, ship faster, and find the right technologies and vendors across every area of omnichannel and direct-to-consumer operations and fulfillment
The Conference In Their Words: The only conference exclusively about direct-to-customer and omnichannel operations and fulfillment — The Ecommerce Operations Summit provides insight and ideas to help your entire DTC operations achieve efficiencies and improved customer experiences. From warehousing and workforce management, ecommerce and contact centers, inventory and order management to payment processing; from pick, pack and ship to delivery and returns; technology, automation and systems integration, to transportation and global operations. All need to come together to create one seamless, cost-efficient, customer-centric operation.
LINK 2021: Retail Supply Chain Conference
When: August 17-20, 2021
Format: In person | Orlando, FL – Review health and safety information
Who Should Attend: Retail supply chain professionals looking to gain knowledge and resources to implement, manage and refine their successful supply chain practices
The Conference In Their Words: LINK 2021: The Retail Supply Chain Conference, brought to you by RILA (Retail Industry Leaders Association), brings you unparalleled leadership, best practices, and a safe, in-person learning environment.
Supply chain professionals have found new ways of working, doing more with less, and gaining critical insights that must be shared during the COVID-19 pandemic. At LINK, you'll have a place to come together after a remarkable year of change and demand to learn from each other and discover new solutions to maximizing efficiency. Flexibility, speed, and performance are at an all-time premium to stay competitive in the marketplace and get the work done.
LINK2021: The Retail Supply Chain Conference gathers top executives in retail supply chain to network and learn. This premier forum addresses your challenges with retailer breakouts and roundtables, industry executive general sessions, executive insights, and a bustling Expo Experience, so you can take back fresh ideas and best practices to your company.
North American Rail Shippers (NARS)
When: September 7-9, 2021
Format: In person | Chicago, IL
Who Should Attend: Rail owners, transportation and logistics professionals that utilize and support rail in North America
The Conference In Their Words: A gathering of the leaders in the North American rail shipping community. The North American Rail Shippers Association (NARS) is the umbrella organization that links five regional associations of rail owners, vendors and users in Canada, Mexico and the United States.
NARS’ five regional associations also hold their own conferences throughout the year. Check out their websites here:
Traffic Club of Chicago
Visit the website
The Traffic Club of Chicago holds several events throughout the year, including an annual dinner, golf outing and networking lunch scheduled for September 7-8, 2021, in Chicago.
Who Should Attend: Transportation and logistics professionals specializing in highway, air, rail, and water modes, as well as providers of third party logistics, information technology, equipment and other shipper organizations
The Events In Their Words: The Traffic Club of Chicago hosts dynamic events throughout the year which are open to members and non-members alike. Monthly luncheons feature speakers in the fields of transportation, logistics and supply chain who share insights about industry trends. Two half-day seminars--one in the spring and one in the fall—focus on specific topics that affect shippers, carriers and suppliers.
IANA Intermodal EXPO 2021
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When: September 12-14, 2021
Format: In person | Long Beach, CA / A virtual component will be offered
Who Should Attend: Members of the intermodal freight community
The Conference In Their Words: Brought to you by the Intermodal Association of North America, Intermodal EXPO is the intermodal industry’s platform for products, services and solutions; a classroom for new skills and know-how; and an exchange for ideas and business.
Additional program details are forthcoming. Check the event website for more information.
EDGE 2021: Supply Chain Conference & Exhibition
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When: September 19-22, 2021
Format: Virtual and in person | Atlanta, GA – Review health and safety information
Who Should Attend: Key decision makers across the value chain, including retailers, manufacturers and logistics service providers
The Conference In Their Words: EDGE 2021 is supply chain’s premier event™, offering nearly twice the unbiased content and learning opportunities of other events. With 22 dedicated tracks and over 120 sessions spanning the end-to-end supply chain, you can curate your own agenda.
EDGE prioritizes what’s most important in supply chain, so you can take back strategies and concepts to reinvent or re-establish your organization in the marketplace. What will you learn? Ninety percent of attendees surveyed received actionable ideas from EDGE.
EDGE has the experts – real people in real time, sharing their experience and success. Take part in meaningful and engaging conversations where insights turn into constructive and creative actions.
Supply Chain USA Virtual 2021
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When: October 6-7, 2021
Who Should Attend: Key decision makers and leaders across the value chain from a variety of industries, including retailers, manufacturers and logistics service providers
The Conference In Their Words: This is a seminal moment for the supply chain industry. The world has awoken to the fact that supply chain is the backbone of the world. COVID-19 did not break supply chains, it exposed their inherent weaknesses. The way in which we source and distribute product is evolving and the time to act is now. Supply Chain USA 2020 Virtual will define the future strategy of the industry. Building a stronger, more agile, more resilient, and more sustainable industry. It’s the place where CEOs & CSCOs from the largest companies in the world will come together to drive the industry forward. The future consists of e-commerce, digital collaboration, business continuity & operational excellence. Supply Chain USA 2020 Virtual is where the next phase will begin! Come together with over 5,000 virtual attendees to be part of the conversation and play your part in defining the future of supply chain. Key themes will include: Operational Excellence, Business Continuity, The Continued Rise of E-Commerce and Digital Collaboration.
Gartner Supply Chain Symposium/Xpo 2021
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When: October 25-27, 2021
Format: In person | Orlando, FL – Access health and safety information
Who Should Attend: Chief supply chain officers (CSCOs) and supply chain executives
The Conference In Their Words: Supply chain leaders and executives join Gartner experts and leading industry speakers, over three days to share valuable insights on how to transform, redefine and innovate supply chain strategies. The conference offers the tools needed to help leaders prepare their supply chains for the future.
Mark Your Calendars for 2022
When: January 24-26, 2022
Format: In person | Atlanta, GA
Who Should Attend: Carriers, shippers, logistics service providers and technology providers
The Conference in Their Words: The American Supply Chain Summit is a leadership focused meeting Jump Start explores emerging trends, current challenges and new innovations in the supply chain. It touches virtually every aspect of today’s modern, complex supply chain. As the definitive supply chain intelligence gathering of the new year, Jump Start is a one-of-a-kind experience that blends informative panels, from industry experts with top-tier networking opportunities.
View the 2021 program
Food Shippers of America Conference
When: February 20-22, 2022
Format: In person | Orlando, FL
Who Should Attend: Supply chain professionals engaged in the business of shipping or receiving food and related products in the food and beverage industry
The Conference in Their Words: The American Supply Chain Summit is a leadership focused meeting
If you're a supply chain professional who wants to grow your business and keep your career headed in the right direction, you can't afford to miss the next annual Food Shippers of America conference.
Every Food Shippers of America Annual Conference features nationally noted speakers delivering up-to-the-minute presentations on a broad range of business, management, and industry topics. Alongside industry executives, suppliers, customers, and colleagues, you'll take advantage of excellent professional development options and outstanding networking and business-building opportunities
TPM – The Premier Conference for the Trans-Pacific and Global Container Shipping and Logistics Community
When: 2022 date to be announced
Format: To be announced
Who Should Attend: Those who have a hand in the international container shipping supply chain: shippers, carriers, forwarders, technology providers, trucking operators, railroads, ports and terminals
The Conference in Their Words: The American Supply Chain Summit is a leadership focused meeting TPM, organized by The Journal of Commerce within IHS Markit, is the premier conference for the trans-Pacific and global container shipping and logistics community. TPM is based on an editorially independent and rigorous program developed by the leading team of specialized journalists covering international transportation and logistics. TPM annually presents the industry’s most in-depth program delving into the most pressing challenges affecting container shippers in North America and globally. The event annually attracts the most senior-level audience in this industry, and is a platform for a week of essential and intensive networking, negotiations, and relationship building among the multiple parties in the international container shipping supply chain: shippers, carriers, forwarders, technology providers, trucking operators, railroads, ports, terminals, and many others who participate in this market.
For the most up-to-date conference information, be sure to check back on the events’ websites provided above. For more supply chain and logistics resources, check out our list of Top Supply Chain Publications and Top Transportation Tips.
Still looking for more industry insights and logistics know-how? Feel free to reach out to us.