Tuesday 18th September, 2018

Automotive Logistics Global golf day

Join your peers and test your skills as you tee off at the challenging TPC Michigan championship course…

Welcome drinks reception

A great chance for you to meet up with your fellow delegates in a relaxed atmosphere before the conference starts. Bring lots of business cards!


Wednesday 19th September, 2018

Registration and breakfast

Collect your badge, enjoy a bite to eat and take advantage of the opportunity to start the conversation before the first session begins.

SESSION 1: Keeping pace with supply chain change

The automotive and logistics industries are moving in new directions as the sharing economy, alternative fuels, regulatory change and new technologies disrupt traditional business models. Companies need to consider impacts to operations, as well as to the ‘human factor’ behind the supply chain, including employees, partners and customers, such as:

  • What will drive the most change in the auto sector over the next five years?
  • How will new technology impact production and logistics processes for organisations and their employees?
  • What skills and tools will help automotive companies succeed in the supply chain?
  • What will matter most for customers?
  • How can the industry maintain productive supply chains in the face of trade restrictions?

Setting the scene for the whole event, this opening session will highlight the fast pace of change in the automotive value chain and key strategies, technology and skills that will help companies to respond.

Networking and coffee

A great chance to discuss the opening session with your peers over light refreshments.

SESSION 2: Linking automotive IT and supply chain – the human-machine interface


Digitalisation is transforming and personalising consumer experiences as well as industrial processes, increasing automation, simulation and transparency in logistics. But as a new era of connectivity and intelligent manufacturing beckons, the industry must confront challenges in implementing systems, adapting work processes and training employees and partners to make sure the entire enterprise benefits.

This session will consider:

  • The main challenges in connecting the supply chain
  • How to use IT to improve information visibility
  • Making the most of human intelligence together with artificial intelligence
  • The role to be played by emerging technologies like blockchain
  • How to manage legacy systems

Join this session to discover the sweeping changes digitalisation is bringing to automotive supply chains – and what organisations like yours should be doing about it all.

Networking and lunch

An extended networking lunch giving delegates ample opportunity to rub shoulders with our unique gathering of vehicle-makers, tier suppliers, logistics service providers, infrastructure operators, sponsors and exhibitors.

SESSION 3: In Focus
SESSION 3A: Tomorrow’s world today


Will adaptation and investment in the right technologies, along with a move towards more collaborative business models, help supply chains meet tomorrow’s challenges today?

This session will focus on:

  • Where finished vehicle logistics is really heading
  • This sector’s future infrastructure requirements
  • How technology is changing the game
  • Where the industry can collaborate
  • Why some parts of the supply chain still have a fragmented approach – and how to overcome this
  • The impact of technologies like blockchain on finished vehicle logistics
  • Which technologies will be adopted and which will just fall by the wayside

Join us as we discover the blend of technology and collaboration that will be required to stay ahead in tomorrow’s challenging finished vehicle logistics sector.

SESSION 3B: Ideas Labs

Our Automotive Logistics Ideas Labs are practical, interactive discussion groups designed to stimulate ideas and generate solutions in specific areas. Held in individual breakout rooms and led by industry practitioners, they allow for collaborative and lateral thinking.

Ideas Lab 1: Packaging – steering packaging investment
We explore the major issues steering packaging investment, standards and visibility.

Ideas Lab 2: The supplier’s supply chain – cross-border trade
Drilling into the complexity of the supplier’s supply chain, this Ideas Lab will discuss cross-border operations, security trends, the impact of trade regulations, infrastructure and investment.

Ideas Lab 3: Automotive IT – supply chain technology

Advances in systems technology are driving supply chain transformation. This session will consider how to make best use of new cloud based systems, blockchain, AI, and advanced analytics.

Take part in our Ideas Labs to expand your mind and take in some fresh thinking on these pivotal issues.

Networking and coffee

Mingle with your peers as you discuss the key issues of the day so far over light refreshments.

SESSION 4: In Focus
SESSION 4A: A tier supplier’s perspective

Logistics for tier suppliers has become a very lean affair, with continuous cost, delivery and quality pressures, combined with volume increases, faster turnaround requirements for new launches, and a pressing need to find the new people that can meet all these growing challenges.

  • How are suppliers adapting to meet these demands?
  • What are the most important service provider requirements?
  • How can the industry attract the right talent?
  • Is collaboration the ‘silver bullet’?
  • What challenges exist for tier suppliers in delivering faster turnaround at lower cost?
  • How will better visibility of production planning and information sharing create a leaner environment for tier suppliers?

This session will look at the best ways for tier suppliers to satisfy the evolving demands of their customers, as the automotive sector continues to reinvent itself.

SESSION 4B: Ideas Labs

Ideas Lab 4: Finished vehicle logistics – the connected future

One of the biggest single disruptors to vehicle logistics is probably the connected car. So how can this sector capitalise and make the most of it?

Ideas Lab 5: Service Parts – the changing dynamics of the aftermarket

The aftermarket is set to change radically, driven by consumer behaviour, connected cars and the sharing economy. This Ideas Lab will consider:

  • How service parts deliveries will change in this new environment
  • What the optimum trade-off is between centralised and decentralised warehousing
  • The technology advances that will help the aftermarket meet increasing consumer reliance on next-day service

Ideas Lab 6: Finished vehicle logistics – moving the metal

As delivery network requirements adapt to changing market conditions, what can the different modes of transport do to help keep the metal moving?

Gala dinner at the Detroit Opera House

Dine in style and carry on the conversation with all the top people on the North American automotive logistics scene as you enjoy great food, great company and great conversation at this sophisticated venue.

Hosted by:
Afterglow party at Sky Deck at the Detroit Opera House

See Detroit like you’ve never seen it before as you relax and unwind with your colleagues at one of the city’s most popular rooftop venues!

Hosted by:

Thursday 20th September, 2018

Registration and breakfast

Another chance for a bite to eat and an early conversation with fellow delegates before the second day begins.

SESSION 5: Human Factor: Driving a Strong Workforce Pipeline

With low unemployment rates and the decline of students enrolled in vocational programs, the automotive industry faces a shortage of skilled trade workers. From forklift operators to assembly line workers to truck drivers, the automotive supply chain relies on high-quality, reliable workers who are prepared to fill technical positions that require leadership and critical thinking. So, what can supply chain professionals do to help build a strong pipeline of workers to ensure our workforce keeps pace with the unprecedented changes in the automotive industry?

Networking and coffee

Chew over the human factors discussed in today’s opening session with your colleagues as you enjoy some light refreshments.

SESSION 6A: Tariffs and trade wars: keeping automotive logistics flowing

Automotive supply chains are internationally integrated, with material criss-crossing North American borders several times before vehicles are completed and manufacturers sourcing parts, technology and vehicles from the most competitive locations globally.
NAFTA re-negotiations, tariffs and trade disputes with China are creating considerable uncertainty, but do not change the need to keep freight moving seamlessly – if anything, logistics services become even more important.

This session will focus on:

  • The latest developments in trade and tariff terms
  • Strategies for overcoming or mitigating trade barriers
  • Long-term planning for new and changing supply chains
  • Overcoming cross-border bottlenecks and blindspots


SESSION 6B: The next generation

Following the success of our inaugural student forum in 2016, we look forward to once again welcoming 100 students from colleges around Michigan to network with senior industry figures and participate in a discussion about logistics skills.

The students’ forum aims to bring young people interested in a career in automotive logistics together with some of the leading logistics executives from vehicle-makers, parts suppliers and logistics providers to find out why the automotive logistics business is such a great industry to be part of.

Students will be invited to ask questions and share their expectations about life in this vibrant sector.

Come to this session to find out:

  • What will attract more young people into a career in logistics
  • How your business can find the skills it needs for the future
  • What you can do to help address the growing skills shortage in logistics
Networking and lunch

Our second extended networking lunch gives delegates a final chance to circulate and connect with all the vehicle-makers, tier suppliers, logistics service providers, infrastructure operators, sponsors and exhibitors at the event.

SESSION 7: Leadership in the digital age

Everyone wants to innovate. But views differ about just what this means and how to achieve it – as well as the benefits such innovation might bring. Leading, managing and nurturing a culture of innovation requires a unique approach to understand the motivational mindset of the team and the available technologies, business goals and operational structure.

In this closing session, a senior panel of top automotive logistics executives will define:

  • What leadership in the digital age really means
  • How to encourage, grow and nurture the right culture
  • What we can learn from the past
  • How we can integrate and collaborate more across organisations

Don’t miss your chance to be a part of the debate as the conference establishes how the automotive logistics sector can take the lead in creating a more innovative, more efficient and ultimately more profitable future!

Conference close

Conference calendar

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