November 22, 2022

How Tech is Contributing to Global Transportation and Logistics

Lightning Talks is a series of virtual discussions covering business resilience and how businesses can prepare for future global shocks. A series of three installments, the Talks are organized and co-sponsored by nine universities across the country including the University of Maryland and its Robert H. Smith School of Business Center for Global Business as well as George Washington University. 

The most recent Lightning Talks series on November 1 focused on how technology is contributing to success in the global transportation and logistics industries, especially in light of all of the recent challenges. The featured speakers were Carlos Paternina, assistant professor of Management Information Systems at San Diego State University’s Fowler School of Business, Dorothy Li, Chief Technology Officer of digital freight network, Convoy, and Lee Connor, President of John S. Connor Global Logistics. 

Paternina kicked off the series with his comments on “Smart Ports: Using Technology to Improve Efficiency and Resilience.” He explained that smart ports involve intelligent technology that can be used to predict supply, demand, schedules, and mobility to anticipate and prevent slow-downs before they happen. The key: using technology and data analysis for the optimization of supply chains.  

Li explained “Integrating Elastic Capacity into Supply Chain.” She talked about how the trucking industry is fragmented and how software and optimization can make truck driving easier, not only for employees but for supply chain systems as a whole. Li says, “trucking itself is huge, over one trillion dollars is actually spent in just freight transportation in the U.S. If you ever pay attention to quarterly results of big retailers like Target or Home Depot, you’ll find that each of them spends over a billion alone, just on freight.” Convoy is focused on making the system much more efficient, especially with the aftereffects of the pandemic on the supply chain industry.

Connor offered his thoughts on “Pandemic and Supply Chain Chaos: Technology Helps but We Need More.” He spoke about the issues his company faced during the pandemic and addressed where technology is today as well as where it can be in the future. Connor says, “we certainly use technology every day to get our job done and appreciate the importance of technology, but in this unprecedented situation that we’ve had in the last couple of years we have seen challenges like never before.” 

Recordings of past Lightning Talks, including this one, can be found on the Center for Global Business’ website. Stay tuned for more information on the last in the series of Lightning Talks, set to take place on Tuesday, December 6th.

Lightning Talks are supported in part by CIBE, a Title VI grant provided by the U.S. Department of Education.

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About the University of Maryland's Robert H. Smith School of Business

The Robert H. Smith School of Business is an internationally recognized leader in management education and research. One of 12 colleges and schools at the University of Maryland, College Park, the Smith School offers undergraduate, full-time and flex MBA, executive MBA, online MBA, business master’s, PhD and executive education programs, as well as outreach services to the corporate community. The school offers its degree, custom and certification programs in learning locations in North America and Asia.

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