Throughout 2023, we will celebrate and commemorate 50 years of supply chain innovation at MIT CTL—as well as the crucial role of the dedicated workers in the supply chain management and logistics field, supplying and delivering materials and goods around the world to the people who need them.

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mit ctl researchers


The MIT Center for Transportation & Logistics was founded in 1973 as the Center for Transportation Studies. Over the past 50 years, MIT CTL has been dedicated to studying, innovating, and elevating the supply chain management and logistics field. In fact, CTL predates the term "supply chain", which was popularized by logistician Keith Oliver in 1982. In that time, the CTL's novel interdisciplinary approach to studying transportation was among the first of its kind. 

This year also marks the 25th anniversary of the MIT Supply Chain Management Master's Program, begun in 1998. The SCM master's was the first postgraduate education program specifically designed for supply chain and logistics professionals.

CTL's aim is to support MIT's mission to advance knowledge and educate students in scholarship that will best serve the nation and the world in the 21st century. This page will be updated continually with news and events related to the 50th anniversary, and also offers a few artifacts from our history. Enjoy!

CTL@50 Celebrations

Fireside Chat

To kick off the Center's 50th anniversary celebrations, CTL Director Yossi Sheffi welcomed FedEx Founder and Executive Chairman, Fred Smith for a fireside chat. The discussion covered how the industry has changed over the past five decades (FedEx was also founded in 1973), along with lessons learned and where it's headed. View the discussion (and Q&A) in its entirety here.

Crossroads 2023

The Crossroads conference was founded in 2014 to explore the intersection of innovation with supply chain management. In 2023, the event celebrated with a full day of intimate discussions with industry leaders, including Jon Moeller (P&G), Shelley Simpson (J.B. Hunt), Meri Stevens (J&J), Lynn Torrel (Flex), and Raquel Urtasun (Waabi), focusing on current supply chain climate and dynamics, leading-edge innovations, and planning insights for professionals to prepare for the future.

Upcoming Events

From the Archives

CTS logo

An early logo from when we were known as the Center for Transportation Studies and located in Building 1. “The reason for establishing the Center for Transportation Studies was to promote cooperation in interdisciplinary and inter-modal matters in transportation, to facilitate innovative research in transportation, and to provide a focal point for educational programs within the Institute.” –Prof. Paul O. Roberts, from foundational documents in the 1972–73 Annual Report to the MIT President.

ctl logo

CTL newsletter from the 25th anniversary in 1998. It was around this time that the MIT SCM Master's Program was created. The program, originally known as MLog (for Master of Logistics) was the first program of its kind. It combined expertise from the MIT Department of Engineering and MIT Sloan School of Management to meet the changing needs of the field of supply chain management.

ctl webpage

The MIT CTL website from September 2009. Our three main areas of work—research, education, and innovation—have endured over the years. This virtuous cycle creates a body of actionable research, educates learners at all levels, and continues to engage industry in setting trends.