United States Cold Storage Leads Spring 2018 Spisak Lecture

As part of the Spisak Lecture series offered every semester in the Smeal College of Business, Keith Mowery, VP of Transportation and Logistics at United States Cold Storage, Inc., came to Penn State to talk about the Amazon impact on food supply chain operations.

As part of the Spisak Lecture series offered every semester in the Smeal College of Business, Keith Mowery, VP of Transportation and Logistics at United States Cold Storage, Inc., came to Penn State to talk about the Amazon impact on food supply chain operations. The presentation happened on Wednesday, March 21, in the Business Building, and students across all disciplines and faculty were in attendance.

Mowery discussed the impact Amazon is having on the business of US Cold Storage and their customers, as well as the entire grocery industry. He addressed the Amazon acquisition of Whole Foods and its impact on the integration of traditional and digital retail across the grocery sector, a $1T business in the US. It is predicted that over the next few years, one in three shoppers will buy their groceries online.

Diving through the past and present of grocery e-commerce, the presentation posed interesting questions and viewpoints to the evolution of the industry. For companies like US Cold Storage, Mowery said their largest struggle will be to meet both brick-and-mortar and click-and-mortar operations in a safe and effective way while adhering to FDA standards and providing their customers and suppliers the means to get their products to more people, faster.

As Amazon’s model influences the grocery sector, and the retail industry continues to grow and evolve, we are very fortunate to have industry experts like Mowery provide our students with real-world insight on the challenges and successes of today’s business landscape.