How Georgia Designed an Innovative Logistics Landscape

Tags: Economic Development, Logistics, Supply Chain

by Matt Markham is Director, Center of Innovation for Logistics, Georgia Department of Economic Development , 404-962-4134

Industry groups need to come together and support a sustainable logistics ecosystem. State organizations play a critical role in achieving this goal, as they are often the hub that facilitates seamless interactions between businesses, government agencies, industry groups, and educational institutions.

Georgia, for example, supports a robust industry that's successful on a national and global scale. The Center of Innovation for Logistics provides a macro-level view of the state's logistics ecosystem, connecting businesses with challenges to the people and organizations that can solve them.

While Georgia boasts the world's most traveled airport and the fastest growing container seaport in the country, there's a lot more to it. Here's insight behind the state's success, and how the rest of the industry can learn to build an innovative logistics landscape.

A Robust Education System

As the logistics sector grows, the sustainability of that success depends on the quality of the state's workforce. To ensure workforce needs are met, it's critical to foster a robust education system.

For example, Georgia Tech's Supply Chain and Logistics Institute serves as a converging point between the public and private sectors, bringing new technology and ways of doing business to logistics companies throughout the state.

Georgia also supports workforce needs through programs such as the High Demand Career Initiative, which responded to an industry truck driver shortage by enabling state residents to attend commercial truck driving programs through local colleges at no cost.

Infrastructure Investments

Another key driver of logistics success at the state level is investment in a complete transportation infrastructure. Rather than focusing on developing one method of transportation, states with a robust logistics sector commit to supporting multiple channels—from seaports and inland ports to railways and airports. These states recognize that each mode's success depends on the success of the other modes.

While the construction of roadways and facilities is an imperative baseline, technology is equally important to supporting a broad infrastructure.

The combination of Georgia's location and comprehensive infrastructure assets enables the state to sustain a transportation ecosystem that allows companies to reach 80 percent of the U.S. market in less than two days.

Industry Awareness

A strong network of logistics assets means nothing if companies aren't aware of how that network can benefit their business. This is where state organizations can shine by connecting businesses to the tools, training, and organizations that will help them.

It's also important to provide businesses and industry groups with large-scale opportunities to discuss how the transportation landscape can move forward.

To do this, the state hosts the annual Georgia Logistics Summit, which brings together all facets of the industry. It's an effective way to educate businesses on industry innovations, as well as inform them of the organizations and groups available to connect them.

The logistics sector is all about connecting businesses to their partners and enabling collaboration between every party involved in the transportation ecosystem—from the private and public sectors to educational institutions and industry associations. Georgia found success using this model; now the challenge is for other states to take note.






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