TED@UPS Speaker: Alan Amling

How industrial-era rules are changing... making possible what once seemed impossible.

Looking forward and back to the future, Amling observes how industrial-era rules are changing in manufacturing and transportation, making possible what once seemed impossible.

Alan Amling

Alan Amling

Amling will peek into the future to examine how these changes will impact our on-demand society and radically transform the logistics of tomorrow.

As the VP of Global Logistics and Marketing, Amling oversees marketing efforts for UPS’s global logistics and distribution services.

Most of his 23 years with UPS have been spent in development roles, with six years building out e-commerce capabilities and another six years in new product development, where he oversaw the rise of some of UPS’s largest product and marketing initiatives.

He began his UPS career in 1982 working as a seasonal employee loading and unloading package feeders for four years before rejoining UPS in 1992.

Click here to learn more about TED@UPS.


Q&A with Alan Amling

1. As a kid, what did you want to be when you grew up?

My best friend and wanted to be professional “rovers”.  Just like on the playground when you had an odd number of players and one would switch from side to side.  I would play football, he would play basketball, and we would travel the country in a big motorhome filling in for professional teams that needed an “ace.”

2. What was your first job?

My first job was putting price tags on bags of beef jerky for my parent’s wholesale distribution business.  I was making a killing at $0.10/case!

3. Where do you get your best thinking done?

Anywhere there is water.  In the shower, by a lake, in a river with a fly rod in my hand.

4. What’s your favorite Ted Talk?

“My Stroke of Insight.” It’s just fascinating.

5. Favorite quote?

I’m a John Wooden disciple, and he has a lot of great quotes.  My favorite is, “Be more concerned with your character than your reputation, because your character is what you really are, while your reputation is merely what others think you are.

6. What book are you reading right now?

talk like ted“Talk like TED”…go figure.

7. Living or dead, who would you invite to dinner?

Aristotle, one of the greatest teachers in history.  I’m sure he could pass on a lifetime of wisdom over one dinner.

8. What cause are you most passionate about?

My family.

9. What’s the best career advice you ever received?

Happy wife, happy life.

10. Proudest accomplishment?

I know it’s totally cliché’, but it’s my wife and kids, I live for them.

11. Last weekend on earth – where would you go?

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I receive my “best gifts” most every day. I’m not very big on “stuff,” but I’m very big on experiences.

Zermatt Switzerland.  To me it’s the most beautiful place on earth.

12. What’s something you see happening 10 years from now?

The MyWay Highway will be in full swing with increasing levels of on-demand manufacturing and low-carbon, high-speed transportation beginning to expand in the U.S. and beyond.

13. What is the best gift you have ever received?

I’m not very big on “stuff,” but I’m very big on experiences. They can be as small as a smile or as big as a Disney vacation, so I receive my “best gifts” most every day.

14. Who would play you in a movie of your life?

I hope an everyday guy like Jason Bateman.  He’d have to put on a little bit of ugly to play me, but it’s Hollywood, they can do anything.

15. Favorite activity after work.

Putting on some classic rock on my way home and cranking it LOUD!


More about Alan:

Article: Three Keys to a Greener Supply Chain: Once “nice to have,” sustainable supply chains are now a capability companies “need to have.”

Video: Transport Topics‘ Dan Bearth interviews Alan as part of Transport Topics’ Top 50 Logistics Companies series

Video: Alan discusses the value of 3PLs with Aftermarket Business World:

TED@UPS If there’s one thing every UPSer has in common, it’s that we have an irresistible desire to figure it out and get it done. And that leads to some amazing ideas. TED@UPS explores both the destination and the journey of ideas – big and small – that inspire us, challenge how we think or feel and even change the world.

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Reprinted with permission of Longitudes, the UPS blog devoted to the trends shaping the global economy.