When driverless vehicles, flying cars and drone deliveries become a daily reality, chances are companies and entrepreneurs in Northwest Arkansas will have been a part of the process at some point in the near future.
Highlighting the important role the area plays in global logistics, FreightWaves’ The Future of Supply Chain live event will be heading to the Rogers Convention Center in Northwest Arkansas May 9-10.
The event will include exclusive VIP experiences, rapid-fire demos, interactive sponsor kiosks and engaging discussions about the key factors impacting the supply chain.
Featured speakers include Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson; Jonathan Hoffman, former chief spokesman for the Pentagon; and Gautam Narang, CEO and co-founder of Gatik.
Hutchinson recently created the Arkansas Council on Future Mobility, an advisory board committed to attracting businesses, startups, innovators and creators.
“Arkansas has been a leader in transportation and mobility for decades,” Hutchinson said in a statement. “[Arkansas] has the opportunity to become a hub for the future of mobility, and Arkansans are ready to take this challenge head on.”
Watch: FreightWaves Now discusses what the future of FreightTech could look like.
Northwest Arkansas includes four of the 10 largest cities in the state: Fayetteville, Springdale, Rogers and Bentonville.
Northwest Arkansas is also home to two of the largest transportation and retail companies in the U.S.: J.B. Hunt and Walmart, respectively. Tyson Foods, Ozark Mountain Poultry, Harps Food Stores and Arvest Bank also all have their headquarters in the area.
Rogers is a city of about 71,000 people and calls itself the place “where possible lives.” The 141-year-old city is in the middle of the Ozark Mountains.
FreightWaves recently detailed five reasons why The Future of Supply Chain live event will be worth attending in Rogers.
Rogers is easy to get to and easy to get around, according to officials with Northwest Arkansas National Airport (XNA) in Bentonville.
“The number of flights per day varies by day, but it’s safe to say there are 30 or more inbound and outbound flights on average per day,” Andrew Branch, XNA’s chief business development officer, told FreightWaves.
Some of XNA’s daily destinations include routes to and from Atlanta, Chicago, New York, Dallas, Denver, Houston, Miami, Minneapolis and Phoenix. The airport expects others, including daily flights to Los Angeles, to return in the near future.
“American is the largest carrier [at XNA] with roughly 50% of the passengers,” Branch said.
Airlines such as Allegiant, Breeze, Delta, Frontier and United also have daily routes from XNA.
The airport is 10.7 miles, or 20 minutes, from the Rogers Convention Center, said Kelly Parker, director of marketing and communications for Visit Rogers, which promotes the city as a destination for meetings and visitors.
“Uber, Lyft, and local car services are the best way to get from the airport into Rogers,” Parker told FreightWaves.
Another airport in the area is Rogers Executive Airport Carter Field, located about 2.5 miles from downtown Rogers. The general aviation airport serves private and corporate planes, with a 6,000-foot runway able to accommodate some of the largest executive jets.
Other airports in the region include Springfield–Branson National Airport in Springfield, Missouri, about 90 miles away from Rogers; and Tulsa International Airport, about 118 miles away in Oklahoma.
The Bill and Hillary Clinton National Airport in Little Rock, Arkansas, is about 200 miles southwest of Rogers.
If you are driving to Rogers, it’s about 10 hours from Atlanta, nine hours from Chicago, eight from Nashville, Tennessee, six from Dallas and two from Tulsa.
Parker said Rogers hosted “82 events directly in 2021 and many other events occurred in the area throughout the year.”
More articles by Noi Mahoney
NOVEMBER 7-9, 2023 • CHATTANOOGA, TN • IN-PERSON EVENT
The second annual F3: Future of Freight Festival will be held in Chattanooga, “The Scenic City,” this November. F3 combines innovation and entertainment — featuring live demos, industry experts discussing freight market trends for 2024, afternoon networking events, and Grammy Award-winning musicians performing in the evenings amidst the cool Appalachian fall weather.