How attending Multimodal 2024 has helped me to hone my knowledge of the supply chain and logistics market – Carla Perez

Attending Multimodal 2024

On the 12th and 13th of June, I was delighted to attend my first industry event with Gillespie Manners. Multimodal is the industry’s meeting place, where cargo owners and shippers gather to collaborate on innovative solutions to issues in their supply chains. Over 300 businesses exhibit in Birmingham each year. As an Executive Search professional learning the ropes in this exciting industry, I was excited to get out into the field and get a real-life taste for the supply chain and logistics market – the industry I’ve been niching into within my role at Gillespie Manners for last few months.

My day started bright and early on Tuesday 11th June. I met my colleagues from the supply chain practice at 6am and we were soon on our way to Birmingham – a journey which took me back to my University days, where I studied at the nearby Coventry University and earned my BA in Psychology. When we arrived at the NEC I was positively overwhelmed by the scale of the event. I’ve spoken on the phone and attended hundreds of Zoom calls with experts from the industry, but to see such a large congregation of supply chain and logistics personnel in one physical location really drove home that our industry is vast, and alive with energy.

The exhibit hall floor was a hive of activity. Soaking up the sights and sounds was a truly inspiring experience. Not least of all because of the number of businesses who were there to showcase exciting innovations and emerging technologies that promise to transform our traditional landscape. We met and spoke with numerous business leaders who shared their expertise and knowledge with me, which was invaluable to me at this burgeoning phase of my career. 

Of course, our attendance at the event wasn’t purely for educational purposes. We had a busy itinerary of meetings scheduled with current clients, candidates and business leaders looking for support with their upcoming expansion plans. I was also delighted to meet in person with several of the candidates I’ve placed into roles within the industry over the last few months. Being able to put faces to names and connect in real life with the people I’ve been working with remotely for so long was wonderful.

Amid the madness of the exhibit hall floor, I was also able to squeeze in a few talks from industry speakers. The lineup was fascinating, but two talks in particular caught my eye – both on emerging technological trends and their applications to the market. James Coombes spoke about the impact of AI in freight forwarding, sharing information about existing constraints and how they can be overcome through various levels of automation. I was intrigued to learn that the industry is currently operating at around level1 or 2 out of 5 in terms of automation and inspired by the future potential applications that seem set to transform productivity in our sector.

Overall, I’d class my first industry event as a roaring success. There’s certainly no better way to learn the ropes than by attending these events, and in the wake of industry event, I’ve found myself ignited with a fierce passion and energy for the industry. I’m excited to return to Multimodal next year, and am hoping to venture even further afield in the not-so-distant future to experience more industry events and grow my knowledge of the market.

Gillespie Manners is a global Executive Search firm championing talent at the cutting edge of technology. Our specialist supply chain and logistics practice helps businesses to grow, leveraging the power of strategic talent acquisition. Click here to get in touch with the team for more information.

By Carla Perez – Executive Researcher at Gillespie Manners

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