Podcast: Material handling goes high tech at Modex 2024

Podcast: Material handling goes high tech at Modex 2024

March 19, 2024
In this episode of Great Question: A Manufacturing Podcast, Dave Blanchard shares his takeaways from MODEX 2024.

MODEX is an industry trade show that brings together manufacturing and supply chain operations as they strive to build a more agile, efficient, and transparent supply chain. This year’s event, held March 11-14 in Atlanta, Georgia, featured five keynotes, 200 educational sessions, 1,200 exhibitors showcasing the latest supply chain technology and innovations, and over 48,000 attendees. One of those attendees was Dave Blanchard, editor in chief of Material Handling & Logistics. In this episode of Great Question: A Manufacturing Podcast, Dave shares highlights from the event, including the new technologies that are poised to forever change the material handling industry.

Below is an excerpt from the podcast:

MH&L: So Dave, for the benefit of our listeners who might not have ever been to a MODEX show before, can you give us a quick summary of what the show is all about?

DB: Sure. Yeah. That's a great idea since we have a lot of listeners of the Great Question podcast who might not have ever even attended or even heard of MODEX before. So I’ll give you the quick highlights of what MODEX is. It's basically a huge trade show, probably one of the bigger ones in the country. It's focused almost entirely on material handling, but there are some other supply chain types of solutions, including transportation, logistics, distribution, and some packaging, but it's mostly material handling. The actual name MODEX is relatively new. It dates back to the year 2012, so 12 years ago, and since it's an every-other-year show, it has only been around, you know, like six or seven times. It alternates with the much better known ProMat show, which is held on odd-numbered years in Chicago. Before 2012, the MODEX show, under a different name, was held in either Cleveland or Detroit. As someone who has lived in both Atlanta and in Cleveland, I will admit that the weather in Atlanta in March, which is when they hold the show, is usually a lot nicer than it is in Cleveland, but I still kind of miss it being held in Cleveland anyways.

At this year's MODEX show, there were at least 1,200 exhibitors. This was held at the Georgia World Congress Center, and in years past, most of it was held in Hall B, the biggest area of that convention center. And then they had some spillover into another hall. Well, this year they filled up all of Hall B and all of Hall C, the spillover area. So they created a whole new area. They also had a Hall A, which they had never used before for exhibitors, but they had filled that one up pretty well as well. I think they were expecting the final tally to be somewhere around 50,000 attendees, which is just incredible. I think two years ago, the first MODEX after the pandemic, they were around 37,00 to 38,000, I think. So that's quite considerable growth.

MH&L: That is impressive. Would you say then that the growth of MODEX reflects the overall health of the material handling industry?

About the Author

Dave Blanchard

During his career, Dave Blanchard has led the editorial management of many of Endeavor Business Media's best-known brands, including IndustryWeek, EHS Today, Material Handling & Logistics, Logistics Today, Supply Chain Technology News, and Business Finance. In addition, he serves as senior content director of the annual Safety Leadership Conference. With over 30 years of B2B media experience, Dave literally wrote the book on supply chain management, Supply Chain Management Best Practices (John Wiley & Sons, 2021), which has been translated into several languages and is currently in its third edition. He is a frequent speaker and moderator at major trade shows and conferences, and has won numerous awards for writing and editing. He is a voting member of the jury of the Logistics Hall of Fame, and is a graduate of Northern Illinois University.

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