Cranfield University and SEMLEP (South East Midlands Local Enterprise Partnership) are co-hosting an event for businesses to learn more about the future of supply chain logistics and how they can capitalise on the latest technological developments and innovative practices. The event will take place on 5 June 2019 at Cranfield University.

Professor Michael Bourlakis, Director of the Centre for Logistics & Supply Chain Management, Cranfield School of Management, said: “AI, robotics, drones, and big data are already influencing the way in which supply chains and logistics operations function, but for many smaller businesses they can feel inaccessible. Equally, for many larger businesses, knowing which is the latest technology or practice that is going to give you a competitive edge is often a minefield.

“We hope this event will showcase to businesses - large and small - how they can embrace future technological advances and incorporate the latest innovative practices into their supply chain and logistics operations.”

Roland Meister, Director of Vehicle Platforms at FiveAI, said: “Self-driving vehicles have the potential to dramatically cut costs in supply chain logistics, both in the delivery of goods and the transport of staff between sites and railway hubs. FiveAI are bringing together the best minds in AI, engineering and mobility to deliver a fully autonomous shared transport service for Europe’s cities, so realising these benefits and more."

Hilary Chipping, Chief Executive at SEMLEP said: “The south east Midlands is home to a number of leading logistics firms and is fast becoming the centre of excellence for the UK. A number of these large firms are at the forefront of the exciting and innovative developments for the sector.

"At this event, we hope to provide SMEs with more information and insight into these new technologies, often thought as only accessible to big businesses. And show SMEs how they can tap into this technology to benefit their businesses.”

In March, Cranfield University and its partners SEMLEP (South East Midlands Local Enterprise Partnership), Network Rail, John Lewis Partnership, Connected Places Catapult and FiveAI were awarded funding through UK Research and Innovation’s (UKRI) Strength in Places Fund to develop a proposal for a supply chain hub of excellence to be located in the South East Midlands. The event being held at Cranfield will offer companies the opportunity to get involved in the development process for the hub.