Highlights & History

History: How did the BGSA Supply Chain Conference begin?

When it All Started

The BGSA Supply Chain Conference began in 2007. At the time, dozens of industry conferences existed. They included trade shows, academic events, and Wall Street conferences. No one event gave CEOs a strategic perspective on the big issues in their business.

Meanwhile, the world was changing. Truck brokerage companies were merging with freight forwarding. Warehousing companies were converging with contract packaging. 4PLs were emerging as one-stop-shop services. In short, the historical barriers between supply chain segments were eroding, as customers sought more holistic solutions.

History of the Idea – with BGSA Founder Benjamin Gordon

BGSA Founder Benjamin Gordon had a simple idea. Why not create a forum for CEOs across all areas of supply chain? Leaders could share learnings across all sectors, including asset-based and non-asset, global and domestic, air and ocean, trucking and rail, technology-based and old-fashioned. CEOs could benefit from the pattern recognition and cross-sector insights that would emerge.

In addition, most events were covered by the press. This prevented public companies from being able to speak candidly. And it discouraged private companies from speaking their mind. What if BGSA could provide a media-free forum?

Presentation format was another issue. Throughout their career history, Gordon and the BGSA team had by that point sat through hundreds of “death by Powerpoint” presentations where the audience dozed off. What if BGSA could foster a no-Powerpoint philosophy, where the core agenda was about interactive discussions and audience Q&A? Would panelists and participants be more transparent? Would they learn more from one another? Would competitors be willing to let down their guard and say what they really thought?

Venue was the last topic. Many conferences chose to locate in convention centers. They saved money but made it less appealing for busy CEOs to travel. What if you picked one of the finest luxury hotels in the world, in one of the most appealing resort destinations, in a location that was easy to reach, with a range of fun activities for busy executives and their spouses? In other words, how about the Breakers in Palm Beach?

Year One

With these goals in mind, BGSA launched the first Supply Chain Conference in January 2007. Chaired by BGSA’s Benjamin Gordon in Palm Beach at the Breakers, the event included approximately 70 CEOs. Their feedback was positive, as well as constructive. The rest, as they say, is history.

The BGSA Supply Chain Conference Today

Over the subsequent years, the conference has more than tripled. BGSA continues to host it in Palm Beach. Sponsors like Benesch, Cambridge CapitalFedExDAT, Lean Staffing, JDA, DHL, UPSWNS, XPO and other outstanding firms have volunteered to invest to help make the event even better. The agenda continues to center around interactive panels with top CEOs. Benjamin Gordon and Cambridge Capital have invested in companies at the conference. So have other investment firms. BGSA Supply Chain continues to be an invitation-only event. And we believe it gathers the “best and brightest” in the industry, featuring CEOs across all areas of supply chain.

The topics today reflect the issues supply chain CEOs care about. What will Amazon do next? How will ecommerce fulfillment and last-mile logistics transform? How can corporate giants transform to compete with new challengers? What mergers, acquisitions and investments are the smartest companies pursuing?

In the future, we expect to continue to evolve, as the world changes and as participants provide valuable input. Thank you for your interest!


Photography by: LILA PHOTO

Feedback from Past Attendees

“BGSA is always a great way to kickoff a new year with high energy presentations but also a relaxed atmosphere to network with key players across the supply chain industry.”

Darren HawkinsPresident & CEO, YELLOW

“BGSA is an excellent opportunity to meet with different aspects of the Logistics business. From the latest technology, updates on deal-making and catching up with asset/asset light transportation executives. The Breakers is a beautiful location with the right atmosphere to create opportunities. The location, though, is only as good as the people who are attending and BGSA makes that happen!”

Craig MygattCEO, Sealand Americas Division

“The sessions, conversations and networking were superb with every detail well thought out and planned. You have a great team that cares and it shows.”

Guy BlochCEO, Bringg

“Thank you for coordinating a great conference, I was not only impressed with the content, but also with you dynamic scheduling / planning as weather disrupted planned events.  A+ in conference logistics!”

Trevor ReadPresident, Agistix

“There is no other conference I’m aware of that I’m able to get completely updated on trends with Technology, network with Industry CEOs and professionals, connect with potential or past investors, get updates on our business climate and to top it all off, enjoy the beautiful surroundings of the Breakers!! Great job BGSA Team!”

Dennis NashExecutive Chairman, Kenan Advantage Group

“BGSA assembles several of the most interesting decision makers in our business in an informal and relaxed setting. This provides great networking and educational opportunities for attendees.”

Mark HolifieldPresident, Lasership

“From my perspective, the best part about the BGSA Conference is that it provides a platform for more junior (up and coming) Founders/CEO’s to connect with Founders/CEO’s of the largest companies in transportation/logistics. I met the majority of my industry mentors and friends for the first time @BGSA or strengthened an existing relationship during the conference. Also, when you put a CEO on stage, you significantly enhance their status in the industry.”

Robert NathanFounder, Value Chain Ventures

To Learn More

If you would like to contact the BGSA Supply Chain Conference team, click here.

To learn more about highlights from prior BGSA Supply Chain events, visit Medium and the Palm Beach Daily News.

For registration information, click here.