MHI and the U.S. Roadmap for Material Handling & Logistics: Welcome to the Future.

The U.S. Roadmap for Material Handling & Logistics, published in January 2014, is a 67-page report and action plan written for the logistics and supply chain industry. It identifies 65 capabilities the industry needs to develop to increase productivity, reduce costs, create jobs and enhance the global competitiveness of the U.S. between now and 2025.

The Roadmap's content is based on input from a broad, open community of thought leaders including material handling and logistics practitioners, suppliers, academia, associations, publications and government. They contributed thoughts about the capabilities and resources that the industry must improve during a series of roundtable discussions and Roadmap draft reviews.

Developed in an 18-month-long process, the Roadmap is a collaborative industry effort supported by six association partners and eight publication partners.

Association Partners Publication Partners

A copy of the Roadmap can be downloaded here.

What's at stake?

The material handling and logistics industry has a profound and critical impact on jobs, U.S. global competitiveness and our standard of living. Why? Because everything in our homes, businesses and stores got there because of material handling and logistics-from raw materials to finished goods.

  • Movement and handling accounts for 8.5% of U.S. gross domestic product, which represents at least $1.33 trillion in annual spending; this total grows by roughly 4% annually
  • 48 million tons of freight, valued at $46+ billion, are moved every day of the year
  • 145 domestic ports handling at least 1 million short tons annually
  • 160,000 miles of national highway
  • 100,000 miles of freight rail used by 550 common freight rail carriers
  • 300,000 manufacturing facilities and 350,000 warehouses
  • 7.5 million businesses rely on material handling and logistics daily to serve 300 million U.S. consumers
  • Transportation and logistics is the second largest U.S. employment sector, with 6 million people
  • Material handling and logistics field will generate 270,000 new jobs annually through 2018-more than 10% of all new jobs in America

What are the Roadmap's objectives?

The Roadmap is a report and action plan intended to help the logistics and supply chain industry boost domestic supply chain performance by achieving five primary goals between now and 2025:

  • Increase productivity
  • Reduce costs
  • Create jobs
  • Improve the global competitiveness of the U.S.
  • Positively impact our standard of living

What areas does the Roadmap identify for improvement?

The Roadmap identifies 65 different required capabilities spread among five critical areas-technology, equipment, systems, practices and infrastructure. These are divided between:

  • What 2025 will look like, as identified through 10 major trends that affect society, technology, the economy and the environment.
  • High-speed, high-value material handling and logistics processes for challenging environments: total supply chain visibility, standardization, planning and optimization, e-commerce and high-speed delivery.
  • Low-cost, low-impact material handling and logistics capabilities to maintain high service levels: collaboration, urban logistics, technology and automation, and sustainability.
  • The workforce of tomorrow, and what is needed to develop it. The industry faces a workforce challenge, both in finding good workers and in training them. Future growth will be impossible without engineers to engineer, managers to manage, and workers to work.

What’s next for the Roadmap?

As a strategic document, the Roadmap presents a foundation for the ongoing growth and development of the U.S. material handling and logistics industry. Its content is intended to build awareness of the industry's significant economic impact, as well as to foster an ongoing dialog across the various industry stakeholders.

MHI-as one of six Roadmap association partners and eight publication partners-is working to advance progress on the 65 identified capability requirements. As one of the leading authorities in material handling and logistics, MHI seeks to promote and establish collaborations that currently do not exist-including coalitions of companies, non-government organizations and state and federal governments.