The International Warehouse Logistics Association (IWLA), the resource for warehouse logistics, kicks off a year-long celebration of its 125th Anniversary during the March 13-15, 2016, IWLA Convention & Expo in Orlando, Fla. With the theme, “We’re Just Getting Started,” IWLA is recognizing the past, present, and future of warehouse logistics innovation.
“IWLA is one of the oldest trade associations in the supply chain,” says IWLA president & CEO Steve DeHaan. “The association exists, as it always has, to represent the interests of the third-party warehousing industry. Even though these 125 years brought massive changes in technology and value-added services, IWLA continues to help members stay ahead of the curve.” Established first as the American Warehousemen’s Association (AWA) until a merger with the Canadian Association of Warehouses and Distributors, IWLA is a founding member of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and the association played a critical role in World War II defense efforts. “It’s important that we remember those who came before us and were innovators of their time,” DeHaan adds. “Our industry has evolved so rapidly with the introduction of computers and automatic mechanical systems. We have so much to be proud of and IWLA members see even more opportunities ahead.” Part of that bright future is continuing growth: Warehousing consultancy Armstrong & Associates estimates warehousing square footage grew by 3.3 percent in 2015, and the warehousing sector has experienced revenue and employment growth. Armstrong also placed a $141 billion value on the U.S. warehousing industry in 2015. IWLA will honor association and member accomplishments during the 2016 IWLA Convention & Expo at the Omni Orlando Resort at ChampionsGate with several themed receptions and surprises.
- A Roaring ’20s Welcome Reception; a ’40s-themed Networking Reception (sponsored by Zethcon); and the gala 125th Anniversary Celebration Dinner (sponsored by Impact Logistics);
- a Warehouse Evolution: 1891 to Today Museum featuring a collection of photos, documents, and artifacts from IWLA archives and members’ collections (The display will live inside the expo hall.);
- Herb Shear, former CEO of GENCO and long-time IWLA member, will share his story during a general session;
- an Innovation Contest will recognize the most innovative products and services from exhibiting partner companies in the expo hall; and
- a keynote address from branding expert Kaplan Mobray and general session from economic futurist Brian Beaulieu.
“As we approach this convention, it’s inspiring to think about the fact that we have been gathering as one industry since 1891,” DeHaan says. “That is the greatest testament to the association’s purpose and vision of staying relevant and helping members run prosperous businesses for more than 100 years.” IWLA’s success reflects that of the broader industry: The association is growing and retaining member companies; it realized record attendance at the 2015 convention and for its 2015 educational offerings; it has new on-demand educational resources; it has honed its work with regulatory agencies and elected officials through the association’s government affairs outreach; and more. “It’s a great time to be in the industry and be a member of IWLA. We truly are just getting started,” DeHaan says.