The inaugural Global Cold Chain Expo, which took place June 20-22, 2016 at the McCormick Place Convention Center in Chicago, was a success with over 1,200 cold chain professionals from 18 countries in attendance. Co-located with United Fresh convention and expo, the International Floriculture Expo, and FMI Connect, attendance at the overall shows included nearly 13,000 key decision-makers representing the world's perishable supply chain including produce, logistics, fresh-cut flowers, temperature-controlled warehousing, food processing and manufacturing.
Created in partnership between the Global Cold Chain Alliance (GCCA) and the United Fresh Produce Association, the Global Cold Chain Expo put a spotlight on the cold chain industry and its critical role in feeding the world's ever growing population. In addition to key cold chain players, a hosted buyer program put a spotlight on the value of maintaining a high quality cold chain to other key industry partners from broadline foodservice distributors and food processors to major consumer packaged goods (CPG) firms.
"For the first time ever, all sectors of the world's cold chain came together under one roof," said Eben James, Chairman of GCCA Core Partner the International Association of Refrigerated Warehouses and President & CEO of Trenton Cold Storage, Trenton, Ontario, Canada. "The variety of exhibitors and attendees at the show provided new opportunities for participants to connect and develop new relationships."
Educational programming began Monday with the Opening General Session, where keynote speaker Jim Lemke, President of Robinson Fresh, discussed the fast pace of modern supply chains and what the future of consumer shopping habits will look like. Sessions continued on Tuesday and Wednesday with focused topics including food safety, cold chain integration, and automation.
The Trade Show officially opened on Tuesday, June 21 at McCormick Place with a ceremonial ribbon-cutting. The 27,000 square foot show floor was populated by 165 exhibiting companies representing the temperature-controlled supply chain including specialists in warehousing, transportation, construction, and logistics.
"The first Global Cold Chain Expo was a huge success thanks to the relationship between GCCA, United Fresh and their respective members," said Tony Freytag, Senior Vice President of Sales and Marketing at Crunch Pak and Chairman of the United Fresh Board of Directors. "It was exciting to see the cold chain and fresh produce communities unite to create a unique perishable supply chain experience."
Serving as a forum for specialists who deal in temperature-controlled products to offer their expert services to companies looking for cold chain solutions, the Global Cold Chain Expo also hosted networking opportunities for attendees each day, including a reception, a happy hour, and an ice cream social, further engaging the many business communities in attendance.
The second annual Global Cold Chain Expo will return to McCormick Place in Chicago on June 13-15, 2017. For more information about the event, visit www.globalcoldchainexpo.org. For questions about exhibiting or sponsoring at the 2017 event, contact James Rogers at +1 703 373 4300.