Supply Chain Now
Episode 1276

Episode Summary

The current market volatility is making disruptions commonplace, so how can you anticipate and navigate an ever changing landscape?

In this episode of Supply Chain Now, hosts Scott W. Luton and Allison Giddens delve deep into the turbulent waters of supply chain management with industry experts Nathan Crocker and Drew Herpich from Nolan Transportation Group (NTG). Nathan Crocker shares his decade of experience in drayage operations, offering invaluable perspectives on strategic decisions, cost understanding, and the significance of diversification in today’s shipment landscape. Drew Herpich, NTG’s Chief Commercial Officer, highlights the essentials of planning capacity and connections at ports, shedding light on how inflation and capital constraints impact shipping decisions.

From discussing how to use historical data to predict shipping timelines to the challenges posed by fluctuating interest rates, this episode covers it all. Listen in and also gain insights into the importance of choosing the right partners to handle unpredictability in supply chain dynamics effectively. Prepare for actionable insights that could profoundly impact how you manage logistics and make strategic decisions.

Episode Transcript

Narrator [00:00:04]:

Welcome to Supply Chain Now. The voice of global supply chain. Supply Chain Now focuses on the best in the business for our worldwide audience, the people, the technologies, the best practices, and today’s critical issues, the challenges and opportunities. Stay tuned to hear from those making global business happen right here on Supply Chain Now.


Scott W. Luton [00:00:32]:

Hey, good morning, good afternoon, good evening, wherever you may be. Scott Luton and Allison Giddens here with you on Supply Chain Now. Welcome, Allison. How you doing today?


Allison Giddens [00:00:41]:

I’m good. How are you?


Scott W. Luton [00:00:42]:

I am doing wonderful. I’m fighting with one of my mice over here. I’ve got three of them based on which device we’re on, but I think I’ve got it under control now. Yeah, not real mice. The peripherals.


Allison Giddens [00:00:55]:

You’re going to PETA on us. What’s going on?


Scott W. Luton [00:00:58]:

We’re good to go.


Allison Giddens [00:00:59]:

Fight with mice.


Scott W. Luton [00:01:00]:

Good. Speaking of good to go, outstanding conversation teed up here today. We’re going to be featuring a couple of business leaders from an organization on the move, doing big things out in industry despite all the ongoing disruption. In particular, Allison, we’re going to be diving in on the current supply chain landscape, especially from a shipping and importing perspective. And we’re going to be learning just how to best prepare for what lies ahead with perspective here from one of the largest drayage shippers in the United States. Should be a great show, huh?


Allison Giddens [00:01:30]:

Yes, I’m looking forward to it.


Scott W. Luton [00:01:31]:

I am as well, my friend. So, folks, want to bring in our esteemed guests here today, Nathan Crocker, Senior Director of Drayage Operations with Nolan Transportation Group, and his colleague Drew Herpich, Chief Commercial Officer with NTG. Hey. Hey, Nathan. How you doing?


Nathan Crocker [00:01:51]:

Good, Scott, how are you?


Scott W. Luton [00:01:52]:

Wonderful. And Drew, how are you doing, my friend? I’m doing good today.


Drew Herpich [00:01:56]:

Doing good.


Scott W. Luton [00:01:58]:

Outstanding. Really enjoyed our pre show conversation. And one thing we uncovered, Nathan, Drew and Allison, is we have got a panel full of sports, passionate, rabid fans. I’m going to dive into that a little bit on the front end. And, Drew, start with you because I believe you grew up in Detroit loving all the teams, but the Lions are at the top of your list. Who’s one of your favorite all time Lions players?


Drew Herpich [00:02:23]:

I mean, an obvious one, right? Obviously, Barry Sanders is obviously the Detroit legend, even though he retired early. But, yeah, Barry Sanders is obviously my favorite.


Scott W. Luton [00:02:32]:

He left the game so early, way too early. He was so humble. He’d roll off like a Hall of Fame 80 yard touchdown and then just hand to hand the ball to the referee and head back to the sideline. Now switching gears a little bit. Nathan, also a Lions fan, but in a college game, you’re a passionate university of South Carolina Gamecocks fan. So what’s one of your favorite all time gamecocks?


Nathan Crocker [00:02:57]:

I’ve got to go. Marcus Lattimore. And if you were in the SEC, you probably remember Marcus Lattimore. But my favorite thing about him is he’s a upstate South Carolina guy just like me, and avoided the, the orange fog up there and went to South Carolina, took it to the next level under Spurrier.


Drew Herpich [00:03:16]:

I love that.


Scott W. Luton [00:03:18]:

I love that. Nathan, that not so subtle jab. I love it. But, yeah, that was a great, that was a special player. Latimore was a special player and overcome some big hurdles in his sports career as well. So great call out there, Nathan. All right, Allison, we’re going to switch games here. We’re going to talk our beloved Atlanta Braves.


Scott W. Luton [00:03:36]:

You’re a devout fan, season ticket holder. Your husband’s part of the team, making games happen. I love that. So, Alice, who’s one of your favorite all time Braves players?


Allison Giddens [00:03:45]:

You just tossed it to Braves. Cause you knew that I didn’t want to talk about the Falcons. Let’s see. Braves, Braves players. My favorite, I think, of all time is Brian McCann. I just, you know, as a catcher, I just have a thing for catchers, I guess. No, but he just, he was always so passionate, and so he got angry so quickly. I just, I loved how loyal he was to his crew, no matter who it was and just how, how protective he’d get of them.


Allison Giddens [00:04:12]:

I’m buying that, Allison.


Scott W. Luton [00:04:13]:

I’m with you. He was part of the baby Braves crew, McCann, Frenchie, and many others. And there was a special bond there, and they all, I think they all did give O’Brien McCann a hard time.


Allison Giddens [00:04:24]:

So I’m also a slow runner from my softball years. They would clock me by calendar year.


Scott W. Luton [00:04:30]:



Allison Giddens [00:04:30]:

And, yeah, I can kind of get behind that because they give McCann a hard time about his running.


Scott W. Luton [00:04:34]:

He had some challenges there, right? He had some challenges there. That’s a perfect segue, Nathan, Drew, and Allison, because there’s no shortage of challenges across global supply chain. And I’m really looking forward to Drew and Nathan sharing some of their expertise and observations with us here today. So let’s start with some level setting and gaining some context from the crew here. So, Drew, I want to start with you, if you could, to level set. Tell us briefly about the Nolan transportation group and a little bit of your background.


Drew Herpich [00:05:02]:

Yeah, no, I absolutely appreciate it, Scott. Drew herpic. I’m the CCO over here at Ti and NTG. I’ve been in the industry for almost 18 years. But, yeah, we’ve got one company here with two brands. Ti is our managed transportation group, which focuses on our managed services, our parcel solutions, and our optimization for the companies we work with. Then NTG, which is our brokerage, one of the largest brokerages in the US, we work with over 14,000 shippers and 80,000 carriers. But we deliver everything from the port to porch.


Drew Herpich [00:05:31]:

We move over 20,000 drage containers a month. We do everything in that middle mile. We think about full truckload and LTL, and then we deliver packages right to the doorstep, right to your porch. And so that’s a little bit about our company and our two brands that we have, man.


Scott W. Luton [00:05:45]:

And your background. You’ve got quite the journey in industry. Is that right, Drew? Yeah, yeah.


Drew Herpich [00:05:51]:

I spent 14 years over at Caddy Logistics, oversaw the carrier department over there, moved over to NTG in 2020, and I oversee the brokerage operations today here, man.


Scott W. Luton [00:06:02]:

Love that, Drew. Can’t wait to hear the rest of your perspective here today.


Allison Giddens [00:06:06]:

What a time to change 2020. Jumping. Jumping ahead. Trust me, the stories my wife would.


Drew Herpich [00:06:11]:

Love to tell you the story is a move in April 2020. That was a very interesting time for us.


Scott W. Luton [00:06:18]:

We got to have you back and get into some of that. Have you and your wife back, sounds like to me, Drew. All right, Nathan, now that we come a little more about NTG, tell us about your background.


Nathan Crocker [00:06:29]:

Yeah, I’m Nathan Crocker. I’m the senior director of drayage operations at Nolan Transportation. Been with Nolan ten years. Started right out of college. Had a great time in Charleston for a couple of years, and then came over to Atlanta to oversee our drayage operation, where basically, I’m just looking at our strategy, day to day operations, carrier customer relationships. I like to just say if it’s drains related at NTG, at some point in the process, it’s going to cross my desk.


Scott W. Luton [00:06:56]:

So I believe that. Take that to the bank. You got your finger on the pulse. And we talked about Charleston on the front end. Many wonderful things might have been in the green room. Many wonderful things related to the holy city of Charleston, South Carolina. Traffic has changed dramatically in recent years. Right, Nathan?


Nathan Crocker [00:07:13]:

It’s growing.


Scott W. Luton [00:07:14]:

That’s right. Left and right. Left and right. All right, so I want to get into more level setting. I’m going to get, actually, Allison. Nathan. Andrew’s takes on some of what we’re seeing out there, because this landscape we’re in the disruption management business if you’re in supply chain, right. It goes to the territory.


Scott W. Luton [00:07:31]:

But goodness gracious, we have all kinds of curveballs in recent years, some unique, some more the same. Right. So I want to ask you, Drew, I’m going to start with you here. What are some of the key priorities out there that the business leaders that you’re all working with are looking to address and prioritize?


Drew Herpich [00:07:47]:

Yeah, I think to your point there, Scott, it’s the things you can control and the things you can’t control. Obviously, the one thing we’re always looking at is some of the things we can’t control is the market volatility and how your company fits in there today, twelve months from now, 24 months from now, as we’re always looking ahead and trying to make plans. But you think about your forecasting, understanding your costs, then some of the strategic decisions you have to make and some of the bets you’ll have to make as well when you go forward. But a lot of the things that we look at when you think about the market cycle is what worked in that last cycle might not work in that next cycle. Some other things we look at bigger picture is obviously the industry as a whole, too, and what’s going to come next. My 18 years in this industry, I go back to when I first started, we were faxing carrier packets. Now when you look for it today, you’re doing it with a push of the button. The industry has changed a lot.


Drew Herpich [00:08:39]:

I think about what happened in 21 and 22. I feel like almost everyone in this world got into logistics and trucking. I mean, even my aunts and uncles who never even knew what transportation were were asking about it. And then I think in 2023, some people learned that this industry is a little bit more tough than it looks. And so what does this industry look like going forward? How does technology keep evolving as it has been over the last few years? What does consolidation look like? These are all things that were looking like in the industry on a day to day basis, but big picture as well, too.


Scott W. Luton [00:09:10]:

Drew, man, that is a quite a list already and touched on a couple of those things. Decision making, right, decision making has always been important, but the speed of business today, whether you’re executives or on the day to day team handling day to day operations, you got to be able to make faster, better confident decisions that what worked last cycle, as you said, Drew me, no guarantees is going to work next cycle. And man, what’s coming next. I love the facts. Call out to Drew that as much as y’all dated me in the pre show, I remember the days of fax machines. Nathan, what would you add to Drew’s list there in terms of what business leaders are out there looking to address and prioritize?


Nathan Crocker [00:09:51]:

Well, I mean, I think that Drew hit the nail on the head, right. One of the things that we saw just throughout COVID is that, you know, everyone is looking for reliability, consistency, and then also just visibility. Right. Like, that’s. That’s probably the most important thing drayed shipping wise. That’s what we’re seeing across the board when we’re going out in the market with shippers and everything like that they’re looking for. I want total visibility so that I’m not having to go through, you know, what I went through with COVID in my supply chain ever again, as much as possible.


Scott W. Luton [00:10:19]:

Man, I am with you, Nathan. I am with you. It brings back to my mind that moving during 2020, Drew, we’re going to. We’re definitely diving to a documentary on your experience there. Allison, Drew and Nathan have really set the table a good bit. Running the gamut. Of course, Nathan touched on the visibility. I would add visibility with solutions and outcomes.


Scott W. Luton [00:10:39]:

Right. But, Allison, what did you hear there that really stood out to you?


Allison Giddens [00:10:43]:

The consistency and the expectations, I think kind of setting the tone. I think that’s really what business owners are looking for, how to predict. And I know that it’s never been easy to know what’s ahead, but, I mean, I find, just as a small business owner, when someone wants to know how quickly they can get parts, I found myself opening up a calendar and counting days and things like that, and using historical data, but then also overlapping it with world events, what’s affecting the shipping world, and what can I expect to happen? And things like spring break, shortage of people who’s going to be out of the office. There are things you can predict and the things you can’t. So it’s kind of like what Drew said is you can only control so much. So how do you make all that communicate and convey to your customer?


Scott W. Luton [00:11:30]:

Well said, Allison. And by the way, it reminds me, I wish I had the link handy. I loved your blog article a year or so ago on your shipping experience. It kind of harkened back to the era that drew was referencing, right? Cause all. All shipping services have not broken into the 21st century just yet. We’re all getting there. We’re all getting there. But folks may be surprised just how many fax machines are still involved.


Scott W. Luton [00:11:52]:

Hey, that’s how it goes. All right, so let’s shift gears. Now that we’ve set the table, a nice, fine feast, I want to get into the import business. So, Nathan, I’m going to kick off with you here. So specifically for those importers out there that are tuned in, listening or watching, what are some of the biggest opportunities for companies bringing in all that product here to the states?


Nathan Crocker [00:12:13]:

Well, right now, I mean, diversification is key. You know, there’s a lot of chaos going on in the market right now. But what I’ll say is on the day to day level, the US ports congestion wise have been okay. Right. Right now is a great time for shippers to look into some new options, ports wise, baby, provider wise, for someone that’s going to help them be flexible as we move forward. We do think it’s going to get a little worse as the year goes on with some of the different things going on in the market. But now is a great time for that while risk are still pretty low.


Scott W. Luton [00:12:43]:

Okay. All right, so a mixture of good news and bad news from Nathan there, he mentioned as we proceed and get into deeper in the year, things might get a little more challenging. Drew, what would you add to that for those importers out there?


Drew Herpich [00:12:58]:

I think Nathan touched on it. I think a lot of people have gone through it since COVID Right. I think about my 1st 15 years in this industry, nobody was changing their pores. Nobody was really looking to diversify. Then obviously, COVID hit and everybody had to change how they were looking to bring shipments in, where they were looking to bring it from, where they were sourcing it from and things like that. For me, I think some of the shift is just starting. When you look at it year over year, both in February and March, February was up 22% in imports and March was 15%. We havent seen double digits since Q one of 2021.


Drew Herpich [00:13:33]:

I think that nathans point there youre going to see a little bit more disruption in the back half of this year. I think a lot hasnt changed really since COVID as well, too. I think a lot of people dont understand that a lot of the ports are still using technology that its a little antiquated and not where it needs to be today. I think going back to Nathans Point, diversifying the ports and having flexibility of where you can come into. I think also once you get to the ports, looking to diversify your carrier base in different ways and with the rates where they are today, looking at possibly different providers, I think a big thing that will come up, obviously with the rules changing. And Nathan can probably dive into more details. Is this how this per diem changes is going to look this year for shippers and what that’s going to mean from a billing standpoint?


Nathan Crocker [00:14:15]:

Yeah. And to Drew’s point, that’s huge. And that’s a landmark change. And I think, honestly, it’s a great thing for shippers, and I think it’s a great thing for the carrier as well. That going back to kind of the beginning there, that’s that extra level of visibility and that’s that extra level of opportunity that a shipper will have to hold those ocean carriers accountable to the contracts that they put in place.


Scott W. Luton [00:14:35]:

Yeah, well said. And of course, y’all both alluded to the diversification opportunity that exists in new ways and old ways these days. Allison, we heard a lot of advice for importers and a lot of marketing. A lot of market intel there, rather. Allison, what’d you hear?


Allison Giddens [00:14:52]:

For so long, not many of us paid much attention to all of this. And I feel like it was the pandemic that kind of made people say, oh, wow, I need to start paying attention to kind of how things, the origin to the destination, truly. And during that time, I think everybody becomes experts. Well, hearing what Nathan is talking about on this first part of the year, possibly kind of having some good news, and then perhaps later in the year, not having so many awesome news pieces, how much of that will we start seeing? People say, well, things were so much better, you know, they got worse again. And there’s no reason, like, you start wondering how those kind of the perspective is going to change and how do you, how do you prime for that? I mean, as, as shippers, how do you prepare for that?


Scott W. Luton [00:15:35]:

Excellent comment, sir. ALlISON and I would just add, I think the last four years, five years have really put a much greater emphasis on working with the right partners and working like Nathan and Drew. All this wealth of experience, this wealth of data and insights and know how to get stuff done the right way. I mean, you got to really pick and choose and put a lot more elbow grease and intent on that selection process. All right, so I’m going to keep driving. Drew, Nathan, Allison, you know, as I mentioned on the front end, if you’re in supply chain, we’re in the disruption management business. That’s never changed. But goodness, with the Red Sea conflict, which has been fascinating to just watch, continue to unfold.


Scott W. Luton [00:16:18]:

Of course, the bridge disaster up in the port of Baltimore, really heartbreaking. Some of the lives lost up there. But this disruption and chaos continues to throw supply chain leaders or organizations? Lots of curveballs. And of course, it goes without saying, Drew, Nathan and Allison, that all organizations and their leaders are looking to better navigate this environment and all these foreseen, but also unforeseen challenges. So, Nathan, I’m going to stick with you here. What are some of your recommendations there for folks to get through this environment better?


Nathan Crocker [00:16:50]:

Yeah, I mean, I’m going to hammer the same point home here is that you got to have options and you got to have partners that you can work with that are flexible and can help coach you through that process and give on the ground insight. Right. So the Red Sea crisis is something that’s been going on for a while, you know, and it’s playing out as we go through the process, and we haven’t seen the entire ripple effect of that yet. You know, stateside here, the Baltimore Bridge is a really good example of, you know, what happens in the drayage shipping business when things turn on its head really quickly. And then basically when that happened, what we had on our side is shippers hitting us immediately with, hey, we got to route this out of Baltimore into Norfolk, out of Baltimore into New York, New Jersey. But those two things, they’ve picked up a lot of headlines and they’re obviously very big pieces of news and everything like that. But two things that I think have really stood out that, you know, are going to make the later in the year a bit of a concern are still the issues with the Panama Canal and then the labor negotiations on the east coast in the Gulf. Those are two things that I think are really, you’re going to have to have some options and you’re going to have to have some partners with you that can help you navigate and, you know, work through all these different pieces of issue.


Scott W. Luton [00:18:05]:

Well said. It is, it is really fascinating, of course, the Panama Canal from a variety of different perspectives. I think it was Mike Griswold with Gartner that coined this has been the year of the workforce or the age of the workforce. Lots of labor wins. We just saw last week the Volkswagen plant in Chattanooga voted to unionize. Just been fascinating. And the march continues. But Drew, we heard some advice there, some recommendations.


Scott W. Luton [00:18:28]:

Of course, Nathan doubled down on options, finding options, trusted partners and then some. What else would you add for your recommendations of navigating 2024 and beyond?


Drew Herpich [00:18:40]:

Yeah, I think you got to really separate from short term and long term. Right. Scott, when I think about the two situations we’re talking about, really with Baltimore and the Red Sea, Baltimore was one of those short term situations right away. And don’t get me wrong, it’s going to pan out over the next couple of months until things change. But it’s initial scramble. Where can I get warehousing? Do I now start going to Newark and Norfolk or do I go down to maybe Charleston or Savannah and understanding where that diversification can happen? But does it affect everybody? Baltimore is the 16th largest port, right? Its very, very automobile and agricultural heavy. So if youre in food and better or youre in retail, this might not affect your supply chains as much. And so its really understanding the impact of the actual port in the situation when you think about Baltimore.


Drew Herpich [00:19:28]:

But then when you think about red Sea, a little bit of a bigger impact and more long term. To Nathans Point, its been happening since the early part of the year, but we really havent seen that full effect. Right. You think about the early part of the year, then you have that chinese New Year section and a little bit of that slowdown. And now where we are today, I believe were going to start seeing it more. And so all weve really seen so far, Scott, is maybe one, maybe possibly two turns, because now when you think about the Red Sea, now youre adding possibly eight to ten days. If youve got to go around to the cape, thats just going to start compounding over time here as these containers try to go back to their main porous. And so I think over time youre going to start to see some of this lag and start to see people have to be more proactive and understanding that their shipments might take longer to get there.


Drew Herpich [00:20:13]:

And so that is going to be one of the big things is kind of really planning between that short term and long term when these disruptions come up.


Scott W. Luton [00:20:20]:

Yeah, its like 70 chess and maybe that old analogy. Allisons no good. Maybe we should be talking twelve d chess these days. I dont know. But I want to, before I get you to comment, Allison, going back on that red Sea, the conflict we’ve seen for months now, it’s fascinating. I read a, I think it was a New York Times piece and they were interviewing a captain of a US Navy vessel in the Red Sea that was protecting the carrier group there. And that captain made a quote that this has been the longest, prolonged, constant daily attack on any us carrier fleet since World War two. I was like, wow, I know it’s been bad, but that really put some context to it.


Scott W. Luton [00:21:00]:

So, Allison, when you think about, I love how drew you broke it up into long term and short term, probably midterm extra long term, super. I mean, there’s all kinds of ways we got to break this up. But, Allison, what really stood out in Nathan and Drew’s advice there, there was.


Allison Giddens [00:21:14]:

Really good visualization to it. As they were talking, I could see the map and kind of watch the routes, so to speak. And I think it just hammers home how important it is to find people who know what they’re talking about. You know, find the NTGs and work with them, because whether you’re a manufacturer or you’re an importer, whoever, we’re good at the things we’re good at, we need to rely on the experts for this kind of stuff because there’s. There’s no way that I’d be able to keep up with every single thing every single day.


Scott W. Luton [00:21:42]:

That’s right.


Allison Giddens [00:21:43]:

What’s happening with Red Sea and, yeah.


Scott W. Luton [00:21:44]:

We gotta specialize, right. And we gotta work with specialists, especially those that have their eye across industry and have the data and the insights to present proven options that Nathan was. Was hammering on earlier so that we can shift gears, you know, next day, same day, to make sure that our freight gets to where it needs to go and can navigate, you know, the challenges that pop up, whether they are, again, traditional challenges. Raise your hand if you’ve experienced traffic in any of these cities we’re talking about or, you know, that’s been around forever or these new, more unique challenges that we’ve seen, of course, with the port to Baltimore and stuff like that. All right, so it’s tough to predict what’s going to happen the rest of the year. And I think all of us have kind of alluded to a couple things right already. You know, Nathan, you were talking earlier about how it’ll be more challenging, especially as we see some of these events that we’ve been talking about or really come to full fruition and full impact. But what do you see happening as it relates to imports and drade shipping? What would you predict there, Drew?


Drew Herpich [00:22:54]:

So when you look at it, we’ve got a transportation market outlook that we put on a quarterly basis that’s really truckload driven, and we see a better second half of the year. But to get the truckload and the LTL, you have to have some of the big macro indicators that we look at go forward, and obviously, that’s imports. Some of the things that we’re looking at driving that, as we talked about earlier, we’re seeing a better year over year come through now, I think, as we continue into the second half of the year and where we at from an inventory level, were going to continue to see the inventory to sales ratio tick a little bit downwards, forcing more people to bring imports through. Rarely in my time in this industry have I seen a couple of years of down peak. Obviously we saw that the end of 22 turning that way. We saw obviously a really big down year in 23. I think that well see a better than expected 24 peak season coming through and so more of that and probably a little bit of an earlier peak season. Like I said, were going to continue to see the imports rise year over year.


Drew Herpich [00:23:55]:

Nathan will probably touch on it a little bit more, but I do believe we see a little bit more of that west coast resurgence coming back in q four. Now, do I think we get back to where LA and Long beach was in 21 or 22? No, but I think youre going to start to see some of the congestion and things that weve seen before. And again, in general, just how the southeast looks. We’ve seen that pick up a bunch in Savannah and Charleston and I think even the port of Houston seen a lot bigger of an impact. And so when you look at these different ports across the scenes for us and trade, shipping going into the end of 2024 here, we see a little bit more robust network than most are predicting out there.


Scott W. Luton [00:24:32]:

Raiden, that’s a bunch of good news there. Drew, I appreciate that west coast resurgence. You touched on a better than expected peak in 2024 and an earlier peak as we’ve seen that take place. Seems like in recent years regularly. Nathan, what would you add to your predictions rest year as it relates to imports and dread shipping?


Nathan Crocker [00:24:53]:

Yeah, I mean, when we talked about a previous question about all, everything going on at the same time and what that looks like, it really forces a lot of that traffic into LA and what we saw over COVID with the access through the canal, Panama Canal into Savannah and into the gulf, that’s not really going to be there as much, you know, with, with the water levels. Right. So that freight can only traffic really into one place from our main importer. Right. So I would say, you know, we just got to really be prepared, you know, for that congestion to rise. Vessel dwell times are already on the up and up and vessels are already sitting out there and it’s still very early. Right. So this time we got some time to get ready.


Nathan Crocker [00:25:34]:

So time to diversify and get ready.


Drew Herpich [00:25:37]:

Nathan, you want to touch on maybe some of the east coast labor disputes and things like that as well too.


Nathan Crocker [00:25:42]:

Yeah, and that’s the other piece. Right. When you look back into the growth on the east coast and the Gulf last year, the west coast labor were going through their contracts, and it was just a further deterrent for importers to not go that way. Right. You don’t want to have your containers going into a port that is going to go on strike. So all that’s up again on the east coast right now. What I’ll say is that they’re a little bit more optimistic that on the local level they’re going to get this solved. But in the fall, this is going to be coming up on the east coast and the Gulf.


Nathan Crocker [00:26:16]:

So from there, there’s optimism, but it’s not moving, I guess, as quickly as they thought on the local level. But it’s just a further deterrent for the, these ports that got a lot of traffic last time. It’s a further deterrent to actually go that way, if that makes sense.


Scott W. Luton [00:26:33]:

I think so. I think so. And going back to what you said earlier, we’ve got time to prepare, and that that is a luxury. We don’t always have that. Allison, what’d you hear there? So Drew and Nathan offered up a variety of predictions, a variety of pieces of advice there, especially the rest of the year when it comes to drayage and imports. Allison, what’d you hear there, though?


Allison Giddens [00:26:57]:

It kind of got me thinking, and maybe this is a comment in the form of a question that either of them can tackle.


Scott W. Luton [00:27:02]:



Allison Giddens [00:27:03]:

How have the past few years changed the time that you have to accurately project? I don’t really know exactly how to word this question, but essentially with all these moving pieces, that, to me, maybe they’ve always been around, but we’ve just had different visibility into them. You know, the general public has had different visibility into them, but how has, you both have been in industry for a long time, so how have the past two or three years changed how you project and how you predict and plan?


Scott W. Luton [00:27:35]:

Any thoughts there, Drew?


Drew Herpich [00:27:36]:

Yeah, no, absolutely. I think it’s a great question. And I think for us, we’re always planning ahead with our capacity and making sure that we’ve got the right connections at the ports and things like that. So that’s something that we’re always working ahead. That’s part of our strategy. I think the question, though, Allison, is not so much for how does NTG plan, but how do these shippers plan? And what ive seen is its actually gotten even more constraint. I think a couple of reasons. One, obviously inflation, but two, when you think about interest rates in capital, people are slower to deploy some of their capital, buy more inventory, sit on that inventory, whatever that might mean.


Drew Herpich [00:28:12]:

And so even though Jeremy’s comment, do we have time? Do you know whats going to come next? A lot of companies are restrained from being able to actually act on that because they don’t want to deploy their capital sooner. Hang on to some of that inventory with things that come ahead.


Scott W. Luton [00:28:27]:

Yeah, that makes a lot of sense. It does, doesn’t it, Allison? And of course, interest rates that drew touched on, I think we touched on a couple of times we’ve gone from an environment going into January that a lot of folks are saying there might be as many as six interest rates cuts in 2024. I’m not an economist. I’m just telling you all what the experts were saying. And now we’re at a time where some folks are projecting there might not be any cuts in 2024. So these a lot of our plans that, man, we took time to build them. We were proud of them. We put them on shelves and we had it locked.


Scott W. Luton [00:29:01]:

Oh, gosh. Gotta pull it back down and revisit them. Allison, you’re nodding your head. You can relate.


Allison Giddens [00:29:06]:

Oh, yeah. It reminds me, I had a conversation with a customer yesterday. I was complaining about a certain after market process we have to have done to these parts, and the customer wants us to use a very particular processor, and that processor is very backlogged. And so I called the customer and basically said, you know, do you have another source I can use or would you like these things without a process? He was confused and he said, well, I don’t understand why you just didn’t start these sooner. To make up for the fact that the processor is late. And so I had a long conversation with him on. You can front load all you want. It’s kind of like shipping, right? You can front load.


Allison Giddens [00:29:39]:

You could devote all sorts of stuff and put things in containers. But once I’m out of cash, I’m out of cash. I can only front load so much. So I think it’s kind of a fitting conversation with what to project for the interest rates, for sure. Cause that’s gonna play a lot into what people have and what shippers have to spend.


Scott W. Luton [00:29:59]:

Only if we all had a more reliable crystal ball to know exactly what would take place a month.


Allison Giddens [00:30:05]:

Well, mine’s mine. I ordered it transit. Yeah, I had it shipped.


Scott W. Luton [00:30:12]:

Good stuff. Oh, I love it.


Drew Herpich [00:30:13]:

Allison, I always tell people in the Scott, if you had a crystal ball and you’re in freight, change industries, go back to Wall street. You know, there’s a lot more money to be made there that’s right.


Scott W. Luton [00:30:24]:

And more sleep to be had, I’m sure. Right. I hate to keep beating that dead horse, but we keep illustrating, Allison, Nathan, and Drew, why you got to work with partners that can deliver, partners that are informed, partners that have the expertise and the network and the contacts and the know how to make things happen on those good days, those easier days. I mean, think about now that things were perfect back in 2017 or 2016, but goodness gracious, hasn’t. Hasn’t the world changed dramatically since then.


Allison Giddens [00:30:54]:

But also a lot more ignorant on what things were happening.


Scott W. Luton [00:30:58]:

Yeah, yeah. We’ve forgotten a lot.


Drew Herpich [00:31:00]:



Scott W. Luton [00:31:01]:

But so those partners that can deliver on those good days, but those partners that, arguably, more importantly, Allison can deliver on those tougher days. Right. And Nat, Nathan, and Drew. I love where y’all are coming from. And clearly, how many, Drew? 80? What were some of those numbers on the front? You’re telling us of how many folks are working with out there at NTG?


Drew Herpich [00:31:21]:

Yeah, we’ve got over 14,000 shippers and over 80,000 carriers in our network.


Scott W. Luton [00:31:25]:

Okay, how about that for scale and scope and ecosystem? All right, Nathan and Drew and Allison, I want to make sure folks know how to connect with the team on the move. And I want to start with you. Nathan Crocker, the pride of Clinton, South Carolina. Did I say that right?


Nathan Crocker [00:31:44]:

Clinton, Clinton, where the tea is sweet and silent.


Scott W. Luton [00:31:49]:

Yes. I was hoping you’re going to say that. I love that. Oh, yeah. Fellow South Carolinian. How can folks connect with you, Nathan?


Nathan Crocker [00:31:56]:

Yeah, you can find me on LinkedIn, just Nathan Crocker.


Scott W. Luton [00:32:00]:

It is just that easy. Great to have you here today. And, folks, don’t leave just yet. We got a couple resources from the NTG gang I’m gonna share. Now, Drew, how can folks connect with you and all the things you’re up to there at NTG?


Drew Herpich [00:32:14]:

Yeah, we’ll keep it simple. You can connect with me right, on LinkedIn. And if you want to learn more about our company NTG, please go to We’d love to be able to help you out.


Scott W. Luton [00:32:24]:

We got Nathan’s LinkedIn profile. We got Drew’s profile here. Y’all check that out. Connect with the gang there. And as I’ve mentioned, these resources I want to share really quick. We got to keep our finger on the pulse long after today’s conversation has taken place. And that’s what some of these resources will allow you to do. So, first off, check out this NTG article focused on changes coming up in May.


Scott W. Luton [00:32:50]:

Related to Drayage, per diem. The game’s about to change yet again. And then also kind of more in the bigger picture, I would argue the ongoing changes in industry. If you’re interested in all the updates and news related to Drayage. Hey, NTG has you covered with this resource page that’s constantly updated with everything you need to know. So y’all check out those two.


Allison Giddens [00:33:13]:

I checked that one out earlier. And yeah, I like how covers a bunch. That’ll be a bookmarked page right there.


Scott W. Luton [00:33:20]:

Where there’s no shortage of changes. There’s no shortage of changes. Drew and Nathan, I think we got y’all back before we bid adieu. Allison, we’ve covered a lot of ground here today. If you had appoint to one piece of brilliance that Nathan and Drew brought here today from the Nolan transportation group, what would that be?


Allison Giddens [00:33:38]:

Allison, I think I’m gonna paraphrase that the path of indecisiveness is paved with flat squirrels. Right. So I think that the theme here is to get on some of these longer term decisions or longer decisions that you need to make, make it a priority to get with them today and address these, these decisions today, long term shipping decisions. Because even though we’ve talked like, the first few months are going to be kind of rocky, arms are going to be good, and then the last few are going to be rockier. Would hate for people to sit tight too long and wait until November and December and wonder why things aren’t like they were in April.


Scott W. Luton [00:34:16]:



Allison Giddens [00:34:16]:

So that’s kind of that theme.


Scott W. Luton [00:34:18]:

Allison, well said. And you know what I heard you say I’m paraphrased is just because you got time doesn’t mean you need to use it. Time is of the essence. Have the conversations today with do partners that could deliver when you need it. Right as we move into peak, and as Drew mentioned, a better than expected maybe peak coming up soon. So good options, good partners are great things. All right, so big thanks. Nathan Crocker, Senior Director of Drayage Operations with Nolan Transportation Group.


Scott W. Luton [00:34:51]:

Nathan, great to see you here.


Nathan Crocker [00:34:53]:

Thanks so much. Really appreciate it.


Scott W. Luton [00:34:55]:

You bet. And Drew Herpich, Chief Commercial Cfficer with NTG. Drew, I can’t wait to talk about the move, but also to talk about some of those Detroit lions stories from back in the day. Next time we get together. Thanks for being here.


Drew Herpich [00:35:08]:

Yes, appreciate it. We’d love to come back.


Scott W. Luton [00:35:10]:

You bet. Allison, always a pleasure to have these conversations with you. Thanks for being here. Allison Giddens.


Allison Giddens [00:35:16]:

Absolutely. Thanks for including me.


Scott W. Luton [00:35:18]:

You bet. But folks, the onus is on you, right? Take something that Nathan, Drew or Allison shared here today. Put it into action. Deeds, not words. Your team is ready, right? Your organization is ready, as we’ve proven here today. Despite our best expertise, our best guesses, our best educated guesses, right? We don’t know what’s around the corner. So start getting prepared in new ways and old ways today, right? So with all that said, Scott Luton, on behalf the entire team here at Supply Chain Now challenging you to do good, to give forward, and to be the change that’s needed. And we’ll see you next time.


Scott W. Luton [00:35:52]:

Right back here at Supply Chain Now. Thanks, everybody.


Narrator [00:35:57]:

Thanks for being a part of our Supply Chain Now community. Check out all of our and make sure you subscribe to Supply Chain Now anywhere you listen to podcasts and follow us on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter and Instagram. See you next time on Supply Chain Now.



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Featured Guests

Drew Herpich is the Executive Vice President of Brokerage and Chief Commercial Officer (CCO) for Nolan Transportation Group (NTG). Drew leads NTG and is responsible for overarching strategy with enterprise sales, SMB sales, carrier development and aligning technology strategy to NTG’s core focus areas. Drew joined NTG in 2020 as Executive Vice President, Enterprise Strategy. His extensive knowledge in creating carrier relationships has led to a successful transformation of carrier operations creating a flywheel that benefits customers and carriers alike. He reshaped TI & NTG’s value proposition by driving increased coverage of customer freight through various initiatives improving drayage, LTL, final mile, and warehousing opportunities. His work seamlessly provides the right solutions for each customer’s unique transportation needs by leveraging a vast carrier network. A seasoned thought leader in the transportation brokerage industry, Drew previously spent over 14 years at Coyote Logistics, where he rose through the ranks from General Manager to Senior Vice President, Carrier Sales. Drew is a graduate of Western Michigan University where he studied sales and business marketing at the Haworth College of Business. Connect with Drew on LinkedIn. 

Nathan Crocker is the Senior Director of Drayage Operations at Nolan Transportation Group (NTG) in Atlanta, Georgia. Nathan develops and oversees the drayage strategy for NTG, manages technology vendor, carrier and customer relationships associated with drayage shipping, while managing the day-to-day operations team for drayage. With a background in operations and account management, he has held various leadership roles within NTG, including General Manager and Assistant General Manager of Drayage. He holds a Bachelor of Science (BS) from Presbyterian College. Connect with Nathan on LinkedIn. 


Scott W. Luton

Founder, CEO, & Host

Allison Giddens

Host, Supply Chain Now

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From humble beginnings working the import docks, representing Fortune 500 giants, Ford, Michelin Tire, and Black & Decker; to Amazon technology patent holder and Nordstrom Change Leader, Kimberly Reuter has designed, implemented, and optimized best-in-class, highly scalable global logistics and retail operations all over the world. Kimberly’s ability to set strategic vision supported by bomb-proof processes, built on decades of hands-on experience, has elevated her to legendary status. Sought after by her peers and executives for her intellectual capital and keen insights, Kimberly is a thought leader in the retail logistics industry.

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Demo Perez started his career in 1997 in the industry by chance when a relative asked him for help for two just weeks putting together an operation for FedEx Express at the Colon Free Zone, an area where he was never been but accepted the challenge. Worked in all roles possible from a truck driver to currier to a sales representative, helped the brand introduction, market share growth and recognition in the Colon Free Zone, at the end of 1999 had the chance to meet and have a chat with Fred Smith ( FedEx CEO), joined another company in 2018 who took over the FedEx operations as Operations and sales manager, in 2004 accepted the challenge from his company to leave the FedEx operations and business to take over the operation and business of DHL Express, his major competitor and rival so couldn’t say no, by changing completely its operation model in the Free Zone. In 2005 started his first entrepreneurial journey by quitting his job and joining two friends to start a Freight Forwarding company. After 8 months was recruited back by his company LSP with the General Manager role with the challenge of growing the company and make it fully capable warehousing 3PL. By 2009 joined CSCMP and WERC and started his journey of learning and growing his international network and high-level learning. In 2012 for the first time joined a local association ( the Panama Maritime Chamber) and worked in the country’s first Logistics Strategy plan, joined and lead other associations ending as president of the Panama Logistics Council in 2017. By finishing his professional mission at LSP with a company that was 8 times the size it was when accepted the role as GM with so many jobs generated and several young professionals coached, having great financial results, took the decision to move forward and start his own business from scratch by the end of 2019. with a friend and colleague co-founded IPL Group a company that started as a boutique 3PL and now is gearing up for the post-Covid era by moving to the big leagues.

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The founder of Logistics Executive Group, Kim Winter delivers 40 years of executive leadership experience spanning Executive Search & Recruitment, Leadership Development, Executive Coaching, Corporate Advisory, Motivational Speaking, Trade Facilitation and across the Supply Chain, Logistics, 3PL, E-commerce, Life Science, Cold Chain, FMCG, Retail, Maritime, Defence, Aviation, Resources, and Industrial sectors. Operating from the company’s global offices, he is a regular contributor of thought leadership to industry and media, is a professional Master of Ceremonies, and is frequently invited to chair international events.

He is a Board member of over a dozen companies throughout APAC, India, and the Middle East, a New Zealand citizen, he holds formal resident status in Australia and the UAE, and is the Australia & New Zealand representative for the UAE Government-owned Jebel Ali Free Zone (JAFZA), the Middle East’s largest Economic Free Zone.

A triathlete and ex-professional rugby player, Kim is a qualified (IECL Sydney) executive coach and the Founder / Chairman of the successful not for profit humanitarian organization, Oasis Africa (www., which has provided freedom from poverty through education to over 8000 mainly orphaned children in East Africa’s slums. Kim holds an MBA and BA from Massey & Victoria Universities (NZ).

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Kevin Brown is the Director of Business Development for Vector Global Logistics.  He has a dedicated interest in Major Account Management, Enterprise Sales, and Corporate Leadership. He offers 25 years of exceptional experience and superior performance in the sales of Logistics, Supply Chain, and Transportation Management. Kevin is a dynamic, high-impact, sales executive and corporate leader who has consistently exceeded corporate goals. He effectively coordinates multiple resources to solution sell large complex opportunities while focusing on corporate level contacts across the enterprise. His specialties include targeting and securing key accounts by analyzing customer’s current business processes and developing solutions to meet their corporate goals. Connect with Kevin on LinkedIn.

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Vicki has a long history of rising to challenges and keeping things up and running. First, she supported her family’s multi-million dollar business as controller for 12 years, beginning at the age of 17. Then, she worked as an office manager and controller for a wholesale food broker. But her biggest feat? Serving as the chief executive officer of her household, while her entrepreneur husband travelled the world extensively. She fed, nurtured, chaperoned, and chauffeured three daughters all while running a newsletter publishing business and remaining active in her community as a Stephen’s Minister, Sunday school teacher, school volunteer, licensed realtor and POA Board president (a title she holds to this day). A force to be reckoned with in the office, you might think twice before you meet Vicki on the tennis court! When she’s not keeping the books balanced at Supply Chain Now or playing tennis matches, you can find Vicki spending time with her husband Greg, her 4 fur babies, gardening, cleaning (yes, she loves to clean!) and learning new things.

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Allison Krache Giddens has been with Win-Tech, a veteran-owned small business and aerospace precision machine shop, for 15 years, recently buying the company from her mentor and Win-Tech’s Founder, Dennis Winslow. She and her business partner, John Hudson now serve as Co-Presidents, leading the 33-year old company through the pandemic.

She holds undergraduate degrees in psychology and criminal justice from the University of Georgia, a Masters in Conflict Management from Kennesaw State University, a Masters in Manufacturing from Georgia Institute of Technology, and a Certificate of Finance from the University of Georgia. She also holds certificates in Google Analytics, event planning, and Cybersecurity Risk Management from Harvard online. Allison founded the Georgia Chapter of Women in Manufacturing and currently serves as Treasurer. She serves on the Chattahoochee Technical College Foundation Board as its Secretary, the liveSAFE Resources Board of Directors as Resource Development Co-Chair, and on the Leadership Cobb Alumni Association Board as Membership Chair and is also a member of Cobb Executive Women. She is on the Board for the Cobb Chamber of Commerce’s Northwest Area Councils. Allison runs The Dave Krache Foundation, a non-profit that helps pay sports fees for local kids in need.

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Billy Taylor is a Proven Business Excellence Practitioner and Leadership Guru with over 25 years leading operations for a Fortune 500 company, Goodyear. He is also the CEO of LinkedXL (Excellence), a Business Operating Systems Architecting Firm dedicated to implementing sustainable operating systems that drive sustainable results. Taylor’s achievements in the industry have made him a Next Generational Lean pacesetter with significant contributions.

An American business executive, Taylor has made a name for himself as an innovative and energetic industry professional with an indispensable passion for his craft of operational excellence. His journey started many years ago and has worked with renowned corporations such as The Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co. (GT) leading multi-site operations. With over 3 decades of service leading North America operations, he is experienced in a deeply rooted process driven approach in customer service, process integrity for sustainability.

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Tandreia Bellamy


Tandreia Bellamy retired as the Vice President of Industrial Engineering for UPS Supply Chain Solutions which included the Global Logistics, Global Freight Forwarding and UPS Freight business units. She was responsible for operations strategy and planning, asset management, forecasting, and technology tool development to optimize sustainable efficiency while driving world class service.

Tandreia held similar positions at the business unit level for Global Logistics and Global Freight forwarding. As the leader of the Global Logistics engineering function, she directed all industrial engineering activies related to distribution, service parts logistics (post-sales support), and mail innovations (low cost, light weight shipping partnership with the USPS). Between these roles Tandreia helped to establish the Advanced Technology Group which was formed to research and develop cutting edge solutions focused on reducing reliance on manual labor.

Tandreia began her career in 1986 as a part-time hourly manual package handling employee. She spent the great majority of her career in the small package business unit which is responsible for the pick-up, sort, transport and delivery of packages domestically. She held various positions in Industrial Engineering, Marketing, Inside and On-road operations in Central Florida before transferring to Atlanta for a position in Corporate Product Development and Corporate Industrial Engineering. Tandreia later held IE leadership roles in Nebraska, Minnesota and Chicago. In her final role in small package she was an IE VP responsible for all aspects of IE, technology support and quality for the 25 states on the western half of the country.
Tandreia is currently a Director for the University of Central Florida (UCF) Foundation Board and also serves on their Dean’s Advisory Board for the College of Engineering and Computer Science. Previously Tandreia served on the Executive Advisory Board for Virginia Tech’s IE Department and the Association for Supply Chain Management. She served on the Board of Trustees for ChildServ (a Chicago child and family services non-profit) and also served on the Texas A&M and Tuskegee Engineering Advisory Boards. In 2006 she was named Business Advisor of the Year by INROADS, in 2009 she was recognized as a Technology All-Star at the Women of Color in STEM conference and in 2019 she honored as a UCF Distinguished Aluma by the Department of Industrial Engineering and Management Systems.

Tandreia holds a bachelor’s degree in Industrial Engineering from Stanford University and a master’s degree in Industrial Engineering and Management Systems from UCF. Her greatest accomplishment, however, is being the proud mother of two college students, Ruby (24) and Anthony (22).

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Marty Parker serves as both the CEO & Founder of Adæpt Advising and an award-winning Senior Lecturer (Teaching Professor) in Supply Chain and Operations Management at the University of Georgia. He has 30 years of experience as a COO, CMO, CSO (Chief Strategy Officer), VP of Operations, VP of Marketing and Process Engineer. He founded and leads UGA’s Supply Chain Advisory Board, serves as the Academic Director of UGA’s Leaders Academy, and serves on multiple company advisory boards including the Trucking Profitability Strategies Conference, Zion Solutions Group and Carlton Creative Company.

Marty enjoys helping people and companies be successful. Through UGA, Marty is passionate about his students, helping them network and find internships and jobs. He does this through several hundred one-on-one zoom meetings each year with his students and former students. Through Adæpt Advising, Marty has organized an excellent team of affiliates that he works with to help companies grow and succeed. He does this by helping c-suite executives improve their skills, develop better leaders, engage their workforce, improve processes, and develop strategic plans with detailed action steps and financial targets. Marty believes that excellence in supply chain management comes from the understanding the intersection of leadership, culture, and technology, working across all parts of the organization to meet customer needs, maximize profit and minimize costs.

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Laura Lopez serves as our Supply Chain Now Marketing Coordinator. She graduated from Instituto Tecnológico y de Estudios Superiores de Occidente in Mexico with a degree in marketing. Laura loves everything digital because she sees the potential it holds for companies in the marketing industry. Her passion for creativity and thinking outside the box led her to pursue a career in marketing. With experience in fields like accounting, digital marketing, and restaurants, she clearly enjoys taking on challenges. Laura lives the best of both worlds - you'll either catch her hanging out with her friends soaking up the sun in Mexico or flying out to visit her family in California!

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An acknowledged industry leader, Jake Barr now serves as CEO for BlueWorld Supply Chain Consulting, providing support to a cross section of Fortune 500 companies such as Cargill, Caterpillar, Colgate, Dow/Dupont, Firmenich, 3M, Merck, Bayer/Monsanto, Newell Brands, Kimberly Clark, Nestle, PepsiCo, Pfizer, Sanofi, Estee Lauder and Coty among others. He's also devoted time to engagements in public health sector work with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. At P&G, he managed the breakthrough delivery of an E2E (End to End) Planning Transformation effort, creating control towers which now manage the daily business globally. He is recognized as the architect for P&G’s demand driven supply chain strategy – referenced as a “Consumer Driven Supply Chain” transformation. Jake began his career with P&G in Finance in Risk Analysis and then moved into Operations. He has experience in building supply network capability globally through leadership assignments in Asia, Latin America, North America and the Middle East. He currently serves as a Research Associate for MIT; a member of Supply Chain Industry Advisory Council; Member of Gartner’s Supply Chain Think Tank; Consumer Goods “League of Leaders“; and a recipient of the 2015 - 2021 Supply Chain “Pro’s to Know” Award. He has been recognized as a University of Kentucky Fellow.

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Marcia Williams, Managing Partner of USM Supply Chain, has 18 years of experience in Supply Chain, with expertise in optimizing Supply Chain-Finance Planning (S&OP/ IBP) at Large Fast-Growing CPGs for greater profitability and improved cash flows. Marcia has helped mid-sized and large companies including Lindt Chocolates, Hershey, and Coty. She holds an MBA from Michigan State University and a degree in Accounting from Universidad de la Republica, Uruguay (South America). Marcia is also a Forbes Council Contributor based out of New York, and author of the book series Supply Chains with Maria in storytelling style. A recent speaker’s engagement is Marcia TEDx Talk: TEDxMSU - How Supply Chain Impacts You: A Transformational Journey.

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Luisa Garcia

Host, Logistics with Purpose

Luisa Garcia is a passionate Marketer from Lagos de Moreno based in Aguascalientes. She holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Marketing from Universidad Autonoma de Aguascalientes, Mexico. She specializes in brand development at any stage, believing that a brand is more than just a name or image—it’s an unforgettable experience. Her expertise helps brands achieve their dreams and aspirations, making a lasting impact. Currently working at Vector Global Logistics in the Marketing team and as podcast coordinator of Logistics With Purpose®. Luisa believes that purpose-driven decisions will impact results that make a difference in the world.

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Astrid Aubert

Host, Logistics with Purpose

Astrid Aubert was born in Guadalajara, she is 39 years old and has had the opportunity to live in many places. She studied communication and her professional career has been in Trade Marketing for global companies such as Pepsico and Mars. She currently works as Marketing Director Mexico for Vector Global Logistics. She is responsible for internal communications and marketing strategy development for the logistics industry. She is a mother of two girls, married and lives in Monterrey. She defines herself as a creative and innovative person, and enjoys traveling and cooking a lot.

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Constantine Limberakis


Constantine Limberakis is a thought leader in the area of procurement and supply management. He has over 20 years of international experience, playing strategic roles in a wide spectrum of organizations related to analyst advisory, consulting, product marketing, product development, and market research.Throughout his career, he's been passionate about engaging global business leaders and the broader analyst and technology community with strategic content, speaking engagements, podcasts, research, webinars, and industry articles.Constantine holds a BA in History from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, and an MBA in Finance & Marketing / Masters in Public & International Affairs from the University of Pittsburgh.

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Scott W. Luton

Founder, CEO, & Host

As the founder and CEO of Supply Chain Now, you might say Scott is the voice of supply chain – but he’s too much of a team player to ever claim such a title. One thing’s for sure: he’s a tried and true supply chain expert. With over 15 years of experience in the end-to-end supply chain, Scott’s insights have appeared in major publications including The Wall Street Journal, USA Today, and CNN. He has also been named a top industry influencer by Thinkers360, ISCEA and more.

From 2009-2011, Scott was president of APICS Atlanta, and he continues to lead initiatives that support both the local business community and global industry. A United States Air Force Veteran, Scott has also regularly led efforts to give back to his fellow veteran community since his departure from active duty in 2002.

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Greg White

Principal & Host

When rapid-growth technology companies, venture capital and private equity firms are looking for advisory, they call Greg – a founder, board director, advisor and catalyst of disruptive B2B technology and supply chain. An insightful visionary, Greg guides founders, investors and leadership teams in creating breakthroughs to gain market exposure and momentum – increasing overall company esteem and valuation.

Greg is a founder himself, creating Blue Ridge Solutions, a Gartner Magic Quadrant Leader in cloud-native supply chain applications, and bringing to market Curo, a field service management solution. He has also held leadership roles with Servigistics (PTC) and E3 Corporation (JDA/Blue Yonder). As a principal and host at Supply Chain Now, Greg helps guide the company’s strategic direction, hosts industry leader discussions, community livestreams, and all in addition to executive producing and hosting his original YouTube channel and podcast, TEChquila Sunrise.

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Chris Barnes

Principal, Supply Chain Now
Host of Supply Chain is Boring

Talk about world-class: Chris is one of the few professionals in the world to hold CPIM-F, CLTD-F and CSCP-F designations from ASCM/APICS. He’s also the APICS coach – and our resident Supply Chain Doctor. When he’s not hosting programs with Supply Chain Now, he’s sharing supply chain knowledge on the APICS Coach Youtube channel or serving as a professional education instructor for the Georgia Tech Supply Chain & Logistic Institute’s Supply Chain Management (SCM) program and University of Tennessee-Chattanooga Center for Professional Education courses.

Chris earned a BS in Industrial Engineering from Bradley University, an MBA with emphasis in Industrial Psychology from the University of West Florida, and is a Doctoral in Supply Chain Management candidate.

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Tyler Ward

Director of Sales

Tyler Ward serves as Supply Chain Now's Director of Sales. Born and raised in Mid-Atlantic, Tyler is a proud graduate of Shippensburg University where he earned his degree in Communications. After college, he made his way to the beautiful state of Oregon, where he now lives with his wife and daughter.

With over a decade of experience in sales, Tyler has a proven track record of exceeding targets and leading high-performing teams. He credits his success to his ability to communicate effectively with customers and team members alike, as well as his strategic thinking and problem-solving skills.

When he's not closing deals, you can find Tyler on the links or cheering on his favorite football and basketball teams. He also enjoys spending time with his family, playing pick-up basketball, and traveling back to Ocean City, Maryland, his favorite place!

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Kevin L. Jackson

Host of Digital Transformers

Kevin L. Jackson is a globally recognized Thought Leader, Industry Influencer and Founder/Author of the award winning “Cloud Musings” blog.  He has also been recognized as a “Top 5G Influencer” (Onalytica 2019, Radar 2020), a “Top 50 Global Digital Transformation Thought Leader” (Thinkers 360 2019) and provides strategic consulting and integrated social media services to AT&T, Intel, Broadcom, Ericsson and other leading companies. Mr. Jackson’s commercial experience includes Vice President J.P. Morgan Chase, Worldwide Sales Executive for IBM and SAIC (Engility) Director Cloud Solutions. He has served on teams that have supported digital transformation projects for the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) and the US Intelligence Community.  Kevin’s formal education includes a MS Computer Engineering from Naval Postgraduate School; MA National Security & Strategic Studies from Naval War College; and a BS Aerospace Engineering from the United States Naval Academy. Internationally recognizable firms that have sponsored articles authored by him include CiscoMicrosoft, Citrix and IBM.  Books include “Click to Transform” (Leaders Press, 2020), “Architecting Cloud Computing Solutions” (Packt, 2018), and “Practical Cloud Security: A Cross Industry View” (Taylor & Francis, 2016). He also delivers online training through Tulane UniversityO’Reilly MediaLinkedIn Learning, and Pluralsight.  Mr. Jackson retired from the U.S. Navy in 1994, earning specialties in Space Systems EngineeringCarrier Onboard Delivery Logistics and carrier-based Airborne Early Warning and Control. While active, he also served with the National Reconnaissance Office, Operational Support Office, providing tactical support to Navy and Marine Corps forces worldwide.

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Enrique Alvarez

Host of Logistics with Purpose and Supply Chain Now en Español

Enrique serves as Managing Director at Vector Global Logistics and believes we all have a personal responsibility to change the world. He is hard working, relationship minded and pro-active. Enrique trusts that the key to logistics is having a good and responsible team that truly partners with the clients and does whatever is necessary to see them succeed. He is a proud sponsor of Vector’s unique results-based work environment and before venturing into logistics he worked for the Boston Consulting Group (BCG). During his time at BCG, he worked in different industries such as Telecommunications, Energy, Industrial Goods, Building Materials, and Private Banking. His main focus was always on the operations, sales, and supply chain processes, with case focus on, logistics, growth strategy, and cost reduction. Prior to joining BCG, Enrique worked for Grupo Vitro, a Mexican glass manufacturer, for five years holding different positions from sales and logistics manager to supply chain project leader in charge of five warehouses in Colombia.

He has an MBA from The Wharton School of Business and a BS, in Mechanical Engineer from the Technologico de Monterrey in Mexico. Enrique’s passions are soccer and the ocean, and he also enjoys traveling, getting to know new people, and spending time with his wife and two kids, Emma and Enrique.

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Kelly Barner

Host of Dial P for Procurement

Kelly is the Owner and Managing Director of Buyers Meeting Point and MyPurchasingCenter. She has been in procurement since 2003, starting as a practitioner and then as the Associate Director of Consulting at Emptoris. She has covered procurement news, events, publications, solutions, trends, and relevant economics at Buyers Meeting Point since 2009. Kelly is also the General Manager at Art of Procurement and Business Survey Chair for the ISM-New York Report on Business. Kelly has her MBA from Babson College as well as an MS in Library and Information Science from Simmons College and she has co-authored three books: ‘Supply Market Intelligence for Procurement Professionals’, ‘Procurement at a Crossroads’, and ‘Finance Unleashed’.

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Mary Kate Soliva

Host, Veteran Voices

Mary Kate Soliva is a veteran of the US Army and cofounder of the Guam Human Rights Initiative. She is currently in the Doctor of Criminal Justice program at Saint Leo University. She is passionate about combating human trafficking and has spent the last decade conducting training for military personnel and the local community.

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Amanda Luton

Vice President, Production

Amanda is a production and marketing veteran and entrepreneur with over 20 years of experience across a variety of industries and organizations including Von Maur, Anthropologie, AmericasMart Atlanta, and Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta. Amanda currently manages, produces, and develops modern digital content for Supply Chain Now and their clients. Amanda has previously served as the VP of Information Systems and Webmaster on the Board of Directors for APICS Savannah, and founded and managed her own successful digital marketing firm, Magnolia Marketing Group. When she’s not leading the Supply Chain Now production team, you can find Amanda in the kitchen, reading, listening to podcasts, or enjoying time with family.

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Clay Phillips

Business Development Manager

Clay is passionate about two things: supply chain and the marketing that goes into it. Recently graduated with a degree in marketing at the University of Georgia, Clay got his start as a journalism major and inaugural member of the Owl’s football team at Kennesaw State University – but quickly saw tremendous opportunity in the Terry College of Business. He’s already putting his education to great use at Supply Chain Now, assisting with everything from sales and brand strategy to media production. Clay has contributed to initiatives such as our leap into video production, the guest blog series, and boosting social media presence, and after nearly two years in Supply Chain Now’s Marketing Department, Clay now heads up partnership and sales initiatives with the help of the rest of the Supply Chain Now sales team.

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Trisha Cordes

Administrative Assistant

Trisha is new to the supply chain industry – but not to podcasting. She’s an experienced podcast manager and virtual assistant who also happens to have 20 years of experience as an elementary school teacher. It’s safe to say, she’s passionate about helping people, and she lives out that passion every day with the Supply Chain Now team, contributing to scheduling and podcast production.

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Chantel King

Social Media Manager

My name is Chantel King and I am the Social Media Specialist at Supply Chain Now. My job is to make sure our audience is engaged and educated on the abundant amount of information the supply chain industry has to offer.

Social Media and Communications has been my niche ever since I graduated from college at The Academy of Art University in San Francisco. No, I am not a West Coast girl. I was born and raised in New Jersey, but my travel experience goes way beyond the garden state. My true passion is in creating editorial and graphic content that influences others to be great in whatever industry they are in. I’ve done this by working with lifestyle, financial, and editorial companies by providing resources to enhance their businesses.

Another passion of mine is trying new things. Whether it’s food, an activity, or a sport. I would like to say that I am an adventurous Taurus that never shies away from a new quest or challenge.

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Lori Sofian

Marketing Coordinator

Lori is currently completing a degree in marketing with an emphasis in digital marketing at the University of Georgia. When she’s not supporting the marketing efforts at Supply Chain Now, you can find her at music festivals – or working toward her dream goal of a fashion career. Lori is involved in many extracurricular activities and appreciates all the learning experiences UGA has brought her.

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Katherine Hintz

Director, Customer Experience

Katherine is a marketing professional and MBA candidate who strives to unite her love of people with a passion for positive experiences. Having a diverse background, which includes nonprofit work with digital marketing and start-ups, she serves as a leader who helps people live their most creative lives by cultivating community, order, collaboration, and respect. With equal parts creativity and analytics, she brings a unique skill set which fosters refining, problem solving, and connecting organizations with their true vision. In her free time, you can usually find her looking for her cup of coffee, playing with her puppy Charlie, and dreaming of her next road trip.

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Mary Kate Love

Chief of Staff & Host

Mary Kate Love is currently the VP of marketing at Supply Chain Now focused on brand strategy and audience + revenue growth. Mary Kate’s career is a testament to her versatility and innovative spirit: she has experience in start-ups, venture capital, and building innovation initiatives from the ground up: she previously helped lead the build-out of the Supply Chain Innovation Center at Georgia-Pacific and before that, MxD (Manufacturing times Digital): the Department of Defense’s digital manufacturing innovation center. Mary Kate has a passion for taking complicated ideas and turning them into reality: she was one of the first team members at MxD and the first team member at the Supply Chain Innovation Center at Georgia-Pacific.

Mary Kate dedicates her extra time to education and mentorship: she was one of the founding Board Members for Women Influence Chicago and led an initiative for a city-wide job shadow day for young women across Chicago tech companies and was previously on the Board of Directors at St. Laurence High School in Chicago, Young Irish Fellowship Board and the UN Committee for Women. Mary Kate is the founder of National Supply Chain Day and enjoys co-hosting podcasts at Supply Chain Now. Mary Kate is from the south side of Chicago, a mom of two baby boys, and an avid 16-inch softball player. She holds a BS in Political Science from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

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Joshua Miranda

Marketing Specialist

Joshua is a student from Institute of Technology and Higher Education of Monterrey Campus Guadalajara in Communication and Digital Media. His experience ranges from Plug and Play México, DearDoc, and Nissan México creating unique social media marketing campaigns and graphics design. Joshua helps to amplify the voice of supply chain here at Supply Chain Now by assisting in graphic design, content creation, asset logistics, and more.  In his free time he likes to read and write short stories as well as watch movies and television series.

Donna Krache

Director of Communications and Executive Producer

Donna Krache is a former CNN executive producer who has won several awards in journalism and communication, including three Peabodys.  She has 30 years’ experience in broadcast and digital journalism. She led the first production team at CNN to convert its show to a digital platform. She has authored many articles for CNN and other media outlets. She taught digital journalism at Georgia State University and Arizona State University. Krache holds a bachelor’s degree in government from the College of William and Mary and a master’s degree in curriculum and instruction from the University of New Orleans. She is a serious sports fan who loves the Braves. She is president of the Dave Krache Foundation. Named in honor of her late husband, this non-profit pays fees for kids who want to play sports but whose parents are facing economic challenges.

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