The Annual International Convention of the Chartered Institute of Logistics and Transport (CILT), which is a much-awaited global gathering of logistics and transport professionals, was held from 3-6 June at the DoubleTree Hilton Hotel in Wroclaw, Poland. Picturesque Wroclaw was selected as the best European tourist destination in 2018 and is considered to be the Silicon Valley of the automotive industry. The theme of the convention was ‘Linking Central and Eastern Europe to the World, the Electric Car Revolution and its Impact on Logistics’. This year’s international convention had 250 participants from 50 countries and a ten-member delegation from Sri Lanka. Representing the Sri Lankan delegation were Gayani De Alwis (Chairperson - CILT Sri Lanka), Dhashma Karunaratne (Chairperson -WiLAT Sri Lanka), Romesh David (International Vice President - CILT), Niral Kadawatharatchie (Past Chairman - CILT Sri Lanka), Chaminda Perera (Council Member - CILT Sri Lanka), Upali De Zoysa (Council Member - CILT Sri Lanka), Biman Hettiarachchi (Chairman - YPF Sri Lanka), Gayathri Karunanayake (Vice Chairperson - WiLAT Sri Lanka) and Sammy Akbar (Director - Expolanka Freight).
This year, both the Young Professionals’ Forum (YPF) and Women in Logistics and Transport (WiLAT) Forum conventions were spaced out in order for delegates to attend both events. The talk on ‘How to Put a Zebra on the Moon’ by Travis Perkins former Executive Director and visiting fellow at Cranfield University Robin Proctor gave a good start to the convention, followed by CILT UK Chairman and Cranfield University Professor Richard Wilding speaking about ‘Industry 4.0 and beyond’.
Other speakers at the convention were Cambridge Vehicle Dynamics Consortium Director Prof. David Cebon, Rotterdam School of Management, Erasmus University, Professor René de Koster, Chris Jones of Canalys, Wroclaw Aircraft Maintenance Services General Manager Barbara Kaśnikowska, Jo Brosnan of Northland Port, New Zealand, to name a few, and in total, 16 speakers addressed the international gathering.
The Sri Lankan delegation got an opportunity to showcase the UN Women HeForShe program of Sri Lanka for the global roll out at the WiLAT convention, and YPF Sri Lanka Chairman and YP Regional Ambassador, South Asia, Biman Hettiarachchi did Sri Lanka proud by showcasing YPF Sri Lanka work, raising the bar within the international YP community. WiLAT Sri Lanka Founding Chairperson & CILT Sri Lanka Chairperson Gayani de Alwis was appointed as the WiLAT South Asia Vice Chairperson at the WiLAT International Convention.
The highlight of the convention was the technical visit on the final day where the delegates were given the choice to visit one of the four facilities; the Volvo Manufacturing Centre, the Kuehne Nagel Logistics Operation, the Amazon Fulfilment Centre or the Topacz Automobile Museum. The Sri Lankan delegation chose to visit the Amazon Fulfilment Centre in Wroclaw, which was a rare opportunity. They were exposed to their sortable and non-sortable warehouses of which one was managed by robots. The convention gave a good exposure to the delegation for knowledge enhancement and networking with the CILT global family. Delegates were also taken on a boat trip down the iconic river Oder, which gave a different atmosphere for networking among the international delegates.
Next year, CILT will be celebrating its centenary year with the international convention in Manchester, UK on 16–18 June 2019.
CILT is the leading global professional body associated with the logistics and transport industry. Established in UK in 1919, and having received the Royal Charter in 1926, the Institute has an exciting history but is always adapting to stay consistent with current logistics and transport issues. The Institute holds unparalleled international recognition and works towards achieving its objective of promoting, encouraging and coordinating the study of the science and art of logistics and transport through its membership, events and educational qualifications. With a global membership of over 34,000 from 34 countries across the globe, CILT provides a professional identity to those in the ever-expanding logistics and transport industry. It is a strong, active and a unified professional association that is able to speak with authority on strategic issues affecting businesses and people in the industry and support their careers.