It was a gathering of some of the best minds in material handling research. In late May, 51 researchers from 14 countries gathered for the 10th International Material Handling Research Colloquium in Dortmund, Germany. The colloquium, held every two years, focuses on current and future issues in material handling research.
This year's event was hosted by the Fraunhofer Institute for Material Flow and Logistics, with support from the University of Dortmund. The researchers also dropped in on the CeMat material handling show in Hannover and visited logistics operations in the area.
But the main focus of the event, according to a newsletter from the Material Handling Industry of America, was on face-to-face discussions about current research and potential future research projects. Presentations included research papers on container terminal operations, a multimodal logistics center, trucking and transportation networks, distribution, and order-picking fulfillment. According to the MHIA newsletter, the focus of the research papers has shifted over time from particular technologies toward broader solutions.
Most of the 94 authors of the research papers presented at the event were university-based, but some were material handling professionals associated with individual businesses, including Maritime and Transport Business Solutions, SCA Technologies, Volvo Trucks, Vanderlande Industries, Beumer, and J.B. Hunt Transport Inc.
The event was sponsored by the U.S.-based College-Industry Council on Material Handling Engineering (CICMHE), a unit of the MHIA. The event proceedings, and those of previous colloquia, are available through the MHIA bookstore at www.mhia.org.