Miami’s Innovators – Get to Know the Disruptors of Trade & Logistics

How will technology and innovation continue to change our business lives? Can industry disruption transform long held business norms and traditions?

These gnawing questions motivated the Miami-Dade Beacon Council’s Trade and Logistics Committee to create its Innovation Subcommittee with a mandate to identify and encourage innovation within the booming, but conventional, trade and logistics industry. An industry that is estimated to account for 20+% of Miami-Dade’s jobs.

Committee Chair Gabriel Rodriquez welcomed committee members and guests and shared his goals for the year. Namely, he spoke about a desire to see locally based businesses engage with each other and work together to increase collaboration and drive our continued success as a region. Additionally, Rodriguez reiterated a commitment to ensure businesses are connecting with the talent that is being trained by our many educational institutions.

Innovation Subcommittee Chair Nabil Malouli, VP, Global Ecommerce Lead for DHL Supply Chain invited company leaders who are disrupting the global trade and logistics space to share their company goals and the void they were seeking to fill at a recent Trade & Logistics Committee meeting.

Seven companies presented their “market – trend – solution” business plan to an audience of 100+ trade and logistics industry leaders at the Intercontinental Hotel.  The goal was to educate committee members about Miami’s innovation economy and create excitement about these budding entrepreneurs and innovative startups changing the face of trade and logistics.

Each company made a short presentation focused on: 1) explaining the critical need identified in the marketplace; 2) sharing trends and observations about their niche and most importantly; 3) explaining their solutions and business concept. Audience members followed each presentation with rapid fire questions to gain additional insights and learn more about the companies.

Get to Know the disruptors transforming South Florida’s trade and logistics industry:

MobiWork- smartphone and cloud-based software solution to manage and optimize a company’s mobile operations and workforce. Services include route planning and optimization, mobile sales orders, load management and more.

Octopi – Octopi was created to help the global trade industry operate more efficiently using modern software. They build and sell a Terminal Operating System (TOS) which helps seaport terminal operators manage their operations, track their cargo, and communicate electronically and in real-time with their commercial partners.

71 lbs. – For anyone shipping merchandise, 71 lbs. helps interpret complicated polices, rules and costs to help shippers make better business decisions and save money. Services include late delivery refunds, shipping discounts, damaged goods, carrier contract negotiations and more cost-saving

Qualitat – A Chilean, virtual reality education and training company offering modern simulated training techniques that are proven to increase adult learning comprehension and help reduce on the job accidents. Qualitat’s client list includes well-known companies such as PepsiCo and Komat’Su among others around the world.

Neighborhood Fuel – Neighborhood Fuel is an on-demand mobile gas station the delivers gas to homes, offices, company fleets, commerce parks and communities. Using a convenient mobile app, customers access on-site service, free delivery and competitive prices.

Palletized – We all know the success of co-working spaces. Palletized has pioneered the concept of co-warehousing space to meet the need of businesses needing office and warehouse space and the logistical support team to move goods.

Park-O-Truck – Lack of safe, secure parking costs the trucking industry significantly in lost time and theft. Park-O-Truck solves the truck parking challenge by connecting truckers to available parking spaces and allowing lot owners to monetize their asset during off hours.

Beacon Council CEO Michael Finney described the organization’s new B2B initiative which will connect local small businesses like the ones described above to large established companies to create opportunities to do business together. The committee’s program helped create awareness and interest in some of Miami’s most interesting entrepreneurs.

Logistics & Supply Chain Management Account for 20% of Miami’s Economy

MDBC Trade and Logistics Committee Draws more than 100 Participants

The most recent MDBC Trade & Logistics Committee meeting was hosted by FedEx on August 2, 2018. The meeting began with setting the tone for a discussion on the “jobs of the future” in an industry that reportedly accounts for approximately 20 percent of Miami’s economy—logistics and supply chain management. The committee looked at a framework for fostering a workforce that considers the roles played by academic institutions as well as the industry itself.

Later in the meeting, a panel discussion featuring representatives from DHL, ADP, and Wyncode as well as a retired executive from Wal-Mart ensued with panelists engaging their fellow committee members immediately as they offered insight into what companies are doing today to prepare and retool talent for evolving careers. They fielded questions from peers on specific programs as well as emerging technologies that will likely have an impact on the workforce.

The meeting also highlighted a recent announcement about the apprenticeship program to be overseen by Miami-Dade College. This program is drawing national attendance as it embraces an alternative track for businesses interested in developing talent. A model proven effective throughout the world, apprenticeships are a hot topic. This program has the potential to alleviate the pressure of attracting and training talent for companies that want to pursue it with federal and state dollars available. For more information on the program, contact Marimar Molinary at

In another segment of the agenda, Dr. Richard Sarabia, a professor with MDC, shared some initial high level results from a survey of trade and logistics executives that aims to uncover any skills gaps in the workforce. The results shared touched on the importance of specific industry credentials (e.g. certifications in inventory management and supply chain management) as well as a dependence on interns in the local industry (nearly 70 percent of respondents have employed interns in the last 12 months). For more on the initial survey results or to participate in this skills gap analysis, contact Dr. Sarabia at

The next committee meeting will be held on September 18, 2018 and hosted by PortMiami. For more information on the MDBC Trade & Logistics Committee, contact Stanley Rigaud, Director of Economic Development – International Programs, at