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Welcome to Innovation Central – DC Velocity

February 14, 2020

special report | Industry Events

Modex 2020: Welcome to Innovation Central

At the Modex exhibition and conference in Atlanta, attendees can get up close and personal with sizzling new technology, equipment, and services for the supply chain.

By DC Velocity Staff

If you work in supply chain, you know how rapidly the technology is advancing. Hardly a day goes by when you don’t hear about new developments in, say, automated guided vehicles, robotics, or augmented-reality picking systems.

But hearing about these innovations is one thing; seeing them in action is quite another. If you’d like to check them out in person, the Modex 2020 Show organized by MHI might be just the ticket. One of the largest expositions for supply chain solutions in the Americas, Modex will be showcasing products and services from more than 950 exhibitors at Atlanta’s Georgia World Congress Center from March 9-12.

For ease of navigation, the Modex 2020 exhibit halls will be divided into function-specific solution centers: Manufacturing & Assembly, Fulfillment & Delivery, Information Technology, Transportation & Logistics, and Emerging Technologies. Exhibitors from across North America will be on hand to showcase the following technologies and services:

  • Packaging, containers, and shipping equipment, which encompasses not just pallets and containers, but also wrapping systems, equipment designed for the inspection of products by weight or scanning, and palletizing equipment.
  • Dock and warehouse equipment and supplies, such as dock levelers, pads, and doors; flooring; hoists; cranes; monorails; and below/hook lifting devices.
  • Inventory management, information technology, and controlling technologies, which include computers, controllers, and software as well as wireless control systems and voice recognition systems.
  • Automatic identification equipment and systems, such as bar-code printers and scanners, vision systems, voice recognition systems, and radio-frequency identification (RFID) systems.
  • Transportation and logistics, such as road, rail, sea, and air freight transportation services; autonomous vehicles and robotics; and third-party logistics and reverse logistics.
  • Material handling and logistics equipment and systems, which include a broad array of products, ranging from the highly complex (like automated guided vehicles and automated storage and retrieval systems) to the elegantly simple (like casters, racks, and shelves).
  • Emerging technologies, a category that includes everything from sensors and software to driverless vehicles and robotics to augmented reality and wearable technologies.
  • Supply chain management, which serves as a catch-all category for such products and services as alternative fuel systems, parcel management and distribution, reverse logistics, and inventory security services.


In addition to the exhibition, an extensive educational conference will run concurrently with the show. The conference features four keynote addresses, a “Women in Supply Chain Industry Forum,” and more than 150 supplier-led seminars on a broad array of manufacturing, distribution, and supply chain topics.

The Modex keynote presentations will offer a glimpse of the future and insights into how businesses can prepare themselves for what lies ahead. On Monday, March 9, Nikki Haley, who has served as governor of South Carolina and U.S. permanent representative to the United Nations, will deliver the opening keynote address. In an interview with **{DC Velocity} Group Editorial Director Mitch Mac Donald, Haley will share her personal story of leadership and talk about the supply chain’s critical role in both U.S. economic development and global commerce.

On Tuesday, March 10, Tan Le, founder and CEO of bio-informatics and tech company Emotiv, will deliver a talk on how technological advances on the near horizon will offer us ways of integrating humans and machines. Arguing that automation and AI (artificial intelligence) are not competitors to humans, but rather part of an extended, augmented human organism, Le will explain how that could affect supply chains in her presentation, “The Neurogeneration—The Future Is Closer Than You Think.”

On Wednesday, March 11, George W. Prest, MHI’s chief executive officer, and Thomas Boykin, supply chain specialist leader at Deloitte Consulting LLP, will preview the findings of MHI’s “2020 Annual Industry Report,” which focuses on the supply chain trends and technologies that are transforming supply chains. After the presentation, they will moderate a panel of manufacturing and supply chain leaders on the real-world significance of the report’s findings.

Later that day, Peyton and Archie Manning of NFL fame will join **{DC Velocity’}s Mac Donald for a “fireside chat.” In the session, the Mannings will share their stories about the power of teamwork, collaboration, preparation, and giving back both on the field and in business. Their keynote promises to be an inspirational and dynamic discussion about football and what it can teach you about life.


Following the keynotes each day, Modex visitors can choose from a wide array of supplier-led educational seminars. These 45-minute sessions will be presented in theaters located right on the show floor. This format allows attendees to learn about various manufacturing, distribution, and supply chain solutions in the educational sessions and then actually see the equipment, systems, and services that can implement those solutions. This year’s seminars are divided into seven tracks: automation and robotics; data capture, analytics, and information management; manufacturing, planning, and sourcing; sustainability and risk management; transportation, distribution, and warehousing; workforce and labor; and the Internet of Things.

New to the schedule this year are special sessions held in a Sustainability Theater hosted by the Reusable Packaging Association (RPA). Topics covered in these sessions include sustainable materials management, zero-waste supply chains, energy and resource conservation, reusable packaging systems, asset-tracking technologies, and public policy developments. The complete seminar schedule is available at the show’s website,

Pre-registration for Modex 2020 is free online by visiting There is no charge to attend the exhibits, Modex keynotes, or show-floor educational sessions. The website also offers exhibitor search tools, floor plans, a complete list of educational sessions, and information about travel and accommodations.

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