Supply Chain Now
Episode 825

I think shippers really need to think hard and long about the strategic relationships they have with large transportation companies, small transportation companies, and making sure that their facilities are a place that a trucker wants to go, because truckers have the luxury right now of saying no to freight.

-Lee Klaskow, Bloomberg Intelligence

Episode Summary

Another quarter is upon us, and with it, a whole new view on freight spend thanks to the U.S. Bank Freight Payment Index. Join Scott and Greg as they sit down with U.S. Bank’s Bobby Holland and Lee Klaskow of Bloomberg Intelligence to review national and regional trends by spend, growth, shipping volume, and more. From Southeast port congestion to Midwestern microchip shortages and Western port backups that reach the southern border, get an in-depth look at what’s happening across the country — and how to best prepare moving forward.

Episode Transcript

Intro/Outro (00:00:03):

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 Luton (00:00:33):

Hey. Hey. Good afternoon. Scott Luton and Greg White with you here live on Supply Chain Now. Welcome to today’s livestream. Gregory, how are we doing?

Greg White (00:00:41):

We’re doing quite well. I’m looking forward to this. This is going to be an interesting discussion of this freight data, isn’t it?

Scott Luton (00:00:49):

Agreed. Absolutely agreed. And who knows? We may be talking some football chat at some point throughout the next hour as well. But as Greg said, on this episode, we’re going to be sharing key insights from one of the leading transportation industry resources. You heard it here before, the U.S. Bank Freight Payment Index, this time for Q4 2021. Greg, we’re going to be gaining key takeaways from all of our panel, but including two business leaders with extensive experience. Legendary, we’ll call it, in the transportation markets.

 

Scott Luton (00:01:18):

And, Greg, before we introduce our esteemed guests, you know, we enjoyed our collaboration now with U.S. Bank going back a few years. It’s one of the leading financial institutions as our ecosystem knows, involved in empowering the transportation industry forward. And, gosh, we’ve needed that by the truckload here in recent years. Because transportation, it is a backbone. The backbone, as we all know, of the global supply chain community.

Greg White (00:01:43):

Yeah. No doubt. I mean, what they’re doing and the data they’re collecting is pretty incredible. It’s $37 billion worth of transactions last year, and all the data that comes along with it. And I think as important as the data is for people to recognize the intensive analysis/analytics that go into assessing what it says and what it means. And then, discovering the underlying impact or the underlying cause of these data points, because it’s important for us to understand why things happen, not just in what measure they happened. And, you know, it’s truly a stock market quality analysis. And, actually, we have somebody with us today who can probably verify that. So, I won’t let the cat out of the bag. I mean, yeah, it’s really, really powerful information.

 

Greg White (00:02:41):

Hey, just one more thing, this is really interesting – at least to me, it is – so U.S. Bank is the bank behind my REI membership credit card. I did not know that until I just got it in the mail. And I was like, “Wow. They’re everywhere.”

Scott Luton (00:02:56):

Really? So, I got to ask you a quick follow up – and we’re going to say hello to a couple folks in just a second – so what’s the coolest thing have you gotten from REI lately?

Greg White (00:03:06):

A kayak.

Scott Luton (00:03:08):

Really? Have you used it? I didn’t expect that answer, Greg.

Greg White (00:03:10):

Not yet. Not yet. It hasn’t arrived – supply chain issues – but it’s on the way.

Scott Luton (00:03:18):

Love it. All right. We got to get lots of pictures. We got to get you a GoPro on that kayak, man. That’d make for some must see TV.

Greg White (00:03:26):

I’ll add that to my list at REI. I mean, it’s a pretty cool card. And, you know, U.S. Bank helps contribute to sustainability for every transaction. I might be the only person who reads through the actual document that comes with your card. Probably, the dial 1-800-XXX to activate it.

Scott Luton (00:03:53):

The fine print. The fine print. All right. So, Greg and a kayak, folks, tune in maybe next week on a livestream for that exciting action. We’ll say hello to a few folks before we bring on our guests here today. Samuel is tuned in via LinkedIn from Panama. Samuel, great to see you. Looking forward to your contributions here today. And, hey, on that note, folks that are tuned in via the cheap seats or skyboxes in the comments section, we’d love to hear from you throughout the hour as we talk freight and logistics with our panel here. Daniel is tuned in from New York City – maybe New York City, but New York State, at least – via LinkedIn. Great to see you here today.

Greg White (00:04:32):

Everybody assumes New York City when they see New York [inaudible]. So, Daniel, if you’re from the upstate, shout it out.

Scott Luton (00:04:38):

When’s the last time you went to New York, Greg?

Greg White (00:04:41):

Gosh, that’s a great question. It’s been a minute. Probably 2019, I guess. I mean, it might have been even earlier than that. I just realized this week how many things have escaped my calendar for two years. You know, I went to the dentist, and the last time I had gone to the dentist was September of 2019. Which, if I go every six months would’ve made my next visit March of 2020. So, of course, I didn’t go then, and then couldn’t go in the following September, and it’s been impossible to get an appointment ever since anyway. That’s way too much information, but it is funny how so much of the calendar has kind of slipped away. So, really I’d have to tell you, it’s probably been at least two-and-a-half, maybe up to three years.

Scott Luton (00:05:35):

Ask and you shall receive from Greg White.

Greg White (00:05:37):

That was a lot more information than you asked for, isn’t it?

Scott Luton (00:05:40):

A look into a day and the life of Greg White. Well, Dan, welcome.

Greg White (00:05:44):

Or three years in the life.

Scott Luton (00:05:47):

Maria tuned in, PH, Philippines I believe, via LinkedIn. Great to see you here, Maria. Of course, we can’t do a livestream without our dear friend Mohib from Wichita, Kansas. He says, “Good morning all. Greg, we went to your favorite Kansas City and had some world famous barbecue ribs in Jack Stack Barbecue.” I guess that’s the name of the restaurant.

Greg White (00:06:13):

Yeah. My favorite really is Jack Stack.

Scott Luton (00:06:15):

Okay. And Daniel is responding.

 

Greg White (00:06:12):

Long Island. Okay.

 

Scott Luton (00:06:14):

Long Island. Long Island. Yes. Well, great to have everybody. We couldn’t get to a few folks. We want to hear from you today as we get through this next hour. So, with no further ado, Greg, let’s welcome in our featured guests here today. Back by popular demand, Bobby Holland, Director, Freight Data Solutions at U.S. Bank, and another repeat guest, our dear friend Logistics Lee Klaskow, Senior Analysts, Transportation and Logistics with Bloomberg Intelligence. Bobby, Lee, good afternoon. How are you doing?

 

Bobby Holland (00:06:48):

Doing well. Doing well. How are you?

Lee Klaskow (00:06:48):

I’m doing great. Thanks.

Scott Luton (00:06:48):

We’re doing wonderful. Great to see you both. I have enjoyed our conversations in the lead up to this livestream. Greg, we had a little bit of NFL network in today’s pre-show, didn’t we?

Greg White (00:07:01):

We did. And we talked a little bit about snowfall and snow removal, which is, you know, an impact on the supply chain and we’ll be so more in the coming days, I believe.

Scott Luton (00:07:11):

Agreed. But not everybody.

Greg White (00:07:13):

I have to ask you, Lee, Logistics Lee, is that your new moniker or is that something Scott just handed out just today?

Lee Klaskow (00:07:21):

No. It’s something that I’ve been using for quite some time. Actually, I signed up for Twitter a couple years ago and I’ve actually started just posting, you know, being a little more active there. So, people can find me at @logisticslee, with an S between the logistic and the Lee. Yeah, it’s kind of cheesy, which for those that know me, it’s kind of me they think.

Scott Luton (00:07:44):

Par for the course. Hey, we love cheesy.

Greg White (00:07:46):

Not only one of the most talented, but one of the funniest guys in supply chain, Lee Klaskow. No kidding. So, I like it actually. I thought maybe Scott had coined that for you. I’ll be right back guys. I’ve going to follow Lee.

Scott Luton (00:07:58):

I’m not that quick. But we’ve got Lee, we’ve got Bobby Holland, we’ve got one heck of a one-two punch here today. And our listeners are familiar with both of them, so let’s start there. Let’s just refresh everyone’s memory. So, Bobby, we’ve been collaborating now for a couple years. I always walk away with my 17 pages of notes when you make your appearances here. I love talking freight and supply chain. But just refresh our listener’s memory of who Bobby Holland is. So, tell us a little about what you do.

Bobby Holland (00:08:28):

As you pointed out, I’m the Vice-President and Director of Freight Data Solutions in our Freight Division at U.S. Bank. And I’m a Product Manager, and we’re responsible for creating data products that add value to our customers. And the Freight Payment Index was our first product, if you will, basically, to demonstrate our perspective on the marketplace.

Scott Luton (00:08:53):

And I learned a little tidbit about Bobby and his family earlier today. Greg, you might have missed it. He’s got a Yorkie name, Malcolm. Is that right, Bobby?

Bobby Holland (00:09:02):

My wife does, yeah.

Scott Luton (00:09:05):

We talked about that, that’s right. How can I leave that important detail out? Well, Bobby, welcome back. Great to have you back. I really enjoyed our conversations here. And, Lee, we’ve had interviews dating back to in-person events – imagine that – in Austin, here in Atlanta, and you name it. Just refresh our listeners a little bit about yourself, Lee.

Lee Klaskow (00:09:25):

Sure. So, I work for Bloomberg Intelligence. For those that don’t know, Bloomberg Intelligence is Bloomberg, the big media company, it’s the research arm. So, my research goes across the terminal. We do share snippets of some of our insights on social media, so, like I’d mentioned earlier, Twitter or LinkedIn. I cover freight transportation and logistics, so that really includes all modes. So, whether it’s on the water, in the air, on the land, I’m covering it. I cover about 23 individual companies as well as to the industries. And right now for an analyst, it’s kind of a busy time because it’s earning seasons when companies report their fourth quarter results. This week and next or two pretty big weeks.

 

Lee Klaskow (00:10:12):

I’ve been doing this for Bloomberg for about 11 years. Prior to that, I worked for a couple banks for about five-and-a-half years also covering transport. So, I call it 17 years experience looking at the transport markets from the lens of an investor. We don’t give buy, hold, sell recommendations. But we do let people know at Bloomberg Intelligence where we think companies are headed, kind of the challenge and opportunities that they have in front of them

Scott Luton (00:10:39):

Very well said. I’m buying that. Greg, how about you? I’m buying that.

Greg White (00:10:42):

Yeah. And I think, it’s particularly important now because understanding a company’s supply chain has always been a big part of how they earn and how they create revenue. And it’s been largely ignored, Lee, as I’m sure you know. And, now, it’s right up there with sales and earnings. The condition of the supply chain is right at the top of the list even for the stock market. So, I think it’s cool that you’re providing that kind of information because those insights, I think, they’re indicative of the future of a lot of companies.

Lee Klaskow (00:11:18):

Yeah. And if companies aren’t executing right now, usually the problem is one of two things. It’s their supply chains are messed up or they’re dealing with too much labor inflation or not enough workers. And those are the two main areas, if you will, that Corporate America is suffering right now, you know, kind of trying to navigate through this pandemic.

Scott Luton (00:11:39):

So much to get to, so little time. Great to have Bobby and Lee with us here. Greg is smiling because he knows that is always true. Greg, where are we going next with our esteemed duo?

Greg White (00:11:50):

Yeah. I think before we dive right into what the report says, maybe, Bobby, you can go through a little bit, obviously, you do billions of dollars in transactions, and I don’t know the exact number of transactions, but it’s a whole lot. I mean, your methodology, the data that you use, or how you use it, what else help make this such a valuable resource for folks from your standpoint?

Bobby Holland (00:12:18):

Well, as you stated, it’s the quantity of data. That $37 billion in spend is approximately, around, 31 million transactions annually. And so, as you can imagine, from managing that many invoices and payments, we collect a lot of data. And it’s that big data perspective that enables us to, again, put together our perspective on the marketplace with our truckload and less than truckload data, which is about 70 to 80 percent of that spend in our system.

 

Bobby Holland (00:12:54):

And so, basically what we do is, you know, we measure the velocity deltas in the marketplace. We look at a quarter-to-quarter comparison. Our year zero was 2010 and we’ve calculated forward, even though the index hasn’t been around until 2010, that’s our starting point for the majority of the data that we have in our freight out and payment system. The majority of good data, let’s put it that way. So, from 2010 forward, we calculate, like I said, the deltas, compare. We have algorithms that, basically, pair out all of the seasonality, pair out all of the discrepancies, kind of normalize the data, if you will. And it enables us to make fairly accurate year-over-year and quarter-over-quarter comparisons. And that’s, basically, what we present along with economic commentary. We work with American Trucking Association, their economist, Bob Costello. So, put all that together and we think we’ve got a pretty good perspective, especially with our regional perspective in the marketplace.

Greg White (00:14:03):

So, 2010 is your baseline, right? So, whenever we talk about these numbers, it’s all relative to that. So, can you explain a little bit about how you use that baseline? Because we talk about year-over-year numbers, of course. And then, we’re going to talk about quarter-over-quarter numbers. So, can you relate that back to that baseline so folks can understand.

Bobby Holland (00:14:23):

Well, basically it’s the starting point, but we have a chain-based index. Which means, you start with 2010, and every quarter, you compare the current quarter or the previous quarter to its previous quarter. So, that’s why we’re in January and we’re talking about Q4 because, basically, we wrap up our data processing for the fourth quarter at the end of December, beginning of January. And then, basically, we calculate forward each quarter compared to the previous quarter.

 

Bobby Holland (00:14:54):

And we feel that because we want it to reflect not U.S. Bank’s business, but we want it to reflect the marketplace, and so that’s why we do a chain-base. We also call it something similar to same store sales algorithm, where you basically make sure the previous quarter looks like the quarter you’re comparing. So, you take out the seasonality, you take out any attrition, and add in customers that have been in both buckets, if you will, so that you’re making an accurate comparison as you move forward.

 

Bobby Holland (00:15:28):

And given the fact that we have to do that balancing act and make sure that the buckets are straight, that’s why it’s better for us to do a chain-based rather than everything reflected off of 2010 as year zero. It’s year zero for us from the starting point, but it’s not relative to year zero, like a lot of other straight indexes are.

Greg White (00:15:52):

But having done comp store sales reports, I totally get that. And I’m glad I didn’t actually do the reports. I just reported the reports. So, I’m glad there are people like you that make sure that the reports – because, I mean, that’s no small task. We have to consider, like you said, the attrition of carriers and whomever else, shippers, in the marketplace that impact that. So, it is an apples to apples kind of comparison quarter-over-quarter.

Bobby Holland (00:16:20):

Otherwise, we’re just measuring U.S. Bank’s business. And we may be doing better than the market, we may be doing worse, but we want to, again, represent the marketplace and not ourselves.

Greg White (00:16:31):

Yeah. Got it. So, Lee, tell us a little bit about how you, or maybe your clients, or you’ve seen other supply chain professionals use this thing. Give us kind of a practical perspective on how it’s –

Lee Klaskow (00:16:43):

Yeah. Sure. So, I think that it’s useful when you’re trying to figure out where we are in the cycle. That’s obviously an important aspect. Any transportation market that we’re talking about, they’re all cyclical, so there’s peaks and lulls within every cycle. And a lot of people right now are trying to figure out where we are, especially with truck rates, where we are in the trucking cycle. It seems like the cycle has some legs from our standpoint to go through 2022. Knight-Swift, which is a large trucking company, on their earnings release they mentioned that they thought that the contractual rates could increase around double digits this year. Obviously, they’re catching up to the huge run and spot rates that we’ve seen.

 

Lee Klaskow (00:17:32):

But all in all, I think these sort of indexes are really a good place to start when you’re trying to figure out where we are in the cycle. And, again, our call is for a really elongated rate cycle. And unless something tragic were to happen from the demand side, you know, we see the strength going into next year.

Scott Luton (00:17:55):

So, with all of that – that is very important from Bobby, and Greg, and Lee there, some level setting – let’s jump into the data. So, again, this is for Q4 2021. And, Bobby, I’m going to come back to you here. Before we go re region-by-region, let’s start with just that bigger picture, that national point of view. So, tell us what did you see in Q4 in the bigger picture?

Bobby Holland (00:18:16):

Well, overall, we saw that the spin index increased while the shipments index contracted slightly. And, again, the same pressures that we’ve had throughout this process, they’ve been intensified to a certain extent. But it’s, basically, the driver shortage, the capacity shortage, and then just other regional areas, manufacturing, in some cases, housing. All these have impacts on individual areas. But, basically, while there’s that labor crunch that Lee had mentioned, while they’re still now a growing capacity shortage – and in its capacity shortage from the standpoint that fleets are not able to expand as they need to. And so, technically they’re making due in some is with less – all of these are impacting, that’s why the spending growth has outpaced the volume. So, we’re paying, basically, more to ship less. And you can see that in the chart that you have up there, that the growth and spending has far outpaced the shipment volumes.

Scott Luton (00:19:32):

Agreed. And, folks, really quick before we go a little deeper – we’re about to go region-by-region with our panel here – you can sign up for the Freight Payment Index for free. Now, we’ve got the link in the show notes. And big thanks to Amanda, Chantelle, Clay, and Catherine behind the scenes helping make production happen, I bet they’ll drop it in the comments as well. So, let’s jump in. Let’s go region-by-region as we typically do. And we’re going to get Bobby to kind of layout what all this reporting, again from $37 billion worth of transactions is telling us. And then, we’re going to get here with Lee and Greg – maybe next time in Greg’s kayak – what some of their commentaries, some things they’re seeing out there in these regions.

 

Scott Luton (00:20:14):

So, Bobby –

 

Bobby Holland (00:20:14):

[Inaudible].

 

Scott Luton (00:20:15):

Yeah. Sure. So, while you get that straight, really quick, Greg – while Bobby finishes that – nationally, what was one of your takeaways nationally from the Q4 Freight Payment Index, Greg?

Greg White (00:20:29):

Well, the I word – inflation. You know, it’s impossible to ignore it. Even though the rate of increase in spend has tailed a little bit, it’s still much higher. And, yet, the number of shipments is going down. And the last time we did this, we talked about the possibility that there might be shippers pulling out of the market just because they can’t get capacity. We don’t know if we saw that to be interesting. I’m not sure the data necessarily reflects that. But clearly that, and yet the year-over-year spend change, it’s actually coming down, to Lee’s point earlier, we’re seeing the trend. Hopefully, it’s a trend. It’s at least trending that way now. And I’m really interested to understand what that means, obviously, it’s something Bobby can affirm that we’ve seen in the past. I’d be interested to see, Lee, what you think that might portend for the future.

Scott Luton (00:21:34):

All right. So, I think we’re ready to go region-by-region. Thank you for that, Greg. And we’re going to circle back and get Lee’s commentary. As we start, Bobby, with the Northeast Region, what is all the data telling us from the Northeast Region?

Bobby Holland (00:21:50):

The Northeast Region saw, like, almost 2 percent drop over third quarter, and it was down 1.2 percent from a year earlier, in shipments. And then, on spend, it was up 8 percent over Q3 and almost 24 percent year-over-year. So, a lot was going on in the Northeast. Again, we always talk in the index about the density of the population, basically, being able to show big swings on consumption. So, we saw that consumption was buoying things up. We saw that housing starts while dropping sales of houses. And I can attest to that personally, sales of houses, you know, big turnover up here, so a lot of activity there. And so, there’s some downstream aspects of that that keep things moving. But, basically, like I said, we saw it consistent with others. We saw big jumps over last year, which is, obviously, what everyone was hoping for, because now we’re well into the pandemic and possibly starting to come out of it, so you would expect to see some of those things happen.

Scott Luton (00:23:04):

Excellent point. And permitting, generally speaking, as you pointed to up across the country, including in the Northeast. We’re fortunate because Bobby’s Northeast and Lee’s Northeast and, not only are they experts but they’re living it too. So, Lee, some of what was going on in the Northeast Region, your take?

Lee Klaskow (00:23:23):

Right. Well, I mean, I don’t know how much anecdotal evidence I have. I barely leave this room.

Greg White (00:23:31):

You and Bobby, both, are room-bound, not just homebound.

Lee Klaskow (00:23:35):

When you think about the Northeast – obviously, somebody mentioned the density of the area – so congestion is always an issue. Also, some of the tougher COVID protocols that we had here in the Northeast made it a region that maybe some truckers didn’t want to go to. So, that probably propped up rates and kept things tight. So, Northeast, you got to be a special kind of trucker if you want to drive an 18-wheeler up and down Lexington Avenue in Manhattan, not an easy task. But there’s just a lot of different other things that come along with that density. And, you know, even though a lot of people are not working in the office full-time yet – I say some of us have gone back to working from home over the last 30 days – there’s still congestion on the highways. So, even though people aren’t going to work, people are still doing things.

Scott Luton (00:24:31):

Really quick, and going back to your trucker statement, you got to be a special trucker to get up and down Lexington Avenue, I think, you said. And Lee knows a little bit from his experience driving a truck, which one of the logistics companies out there afforded you to do. We’ll have to see if we can find that wonderful footage and drop that in the comments.

 

Greg White (00:24:53):

Backing a trailer, if I recall right, Lee? Right?

Lee Klaskow (00:24:53):

Backing up a trailer, driving to two pops around a yard in an XPO facility.

Scott Luton (00:25:04):

I love it. I hope I can do that at some point. I bet that was a really cool experience. And I loved the footage that came out of it. I want to share a couple of quick hellos we’ve got. Lucy is tuned in from Dubai. Lucy and her friend Kim Winter says hello. Great to see you there. Mohib, he’s in a Colorado state of mind. He’s wishing their flat heartland Kansas had some snow covered hills. Got to be careful what you wish for, Mohib. We were just talking about all this snow pre-show.

Greg White (00:25:30):

Well, first we need the hills in Kansas.

Scott Luton (00:25:32):

Good point. Fair point. Fair point.

Greg White (00:25:37):

He’ll get snow cover, let me assure you.

Scott Luton (00:25:39):

Right. And, Mohib, we’re coming to the Midwest here in just a few minutes. Memory is back with us. She’s been on fire. Memory, great to have you back. I’m looking forward to your perspective. Jonathan is tuned in from California – we’re going to cover the West Region, too, here soon – tuned in via LinkedIn. It’s great see you. And, finally, as y’all saw the graphic a second ago, we’ve dropped the link to sign up for free to get your copy of the Freight Payment Index each quarter. Okay.

 

Scott Luton (00:26:03):

So, Bobby, we’ve spoken to the Northeast. Let’s get to the Southeast, where Greg and I happen to live. So, Bobby, your thoughts there.

Bobby Holland (00:26:13):

Southeast spend index was up 8.4 percent over Q3 2021. The shipments index dropped almost 2 percent. Again, when we talked in the beginning, there were fairly moderate drops or slowdowns, if you will. And, again, it’s mainly the capacity thing. The fact that fleets aren’t able to expand like they need to. And diesel prices is also a big factor, even though prices started to moderate, they’re still high. And if you go through the index, you’ll see some of the numbers, particularly over last year. In some places, it’s up almost 50 percent over last year. It went up, you know, almost 10 percent in a quarter. And all these things are driving spend because those costs get passed on. They don’t get absorbed. Southeast is no different.

Scott Luton (00:27:09):

So, really quick about those diesel prices, let’s see here. I’ve got them up across the U.S., on average about a dollar per gallon from this time last year. And the biggest is in the West Coast, which we’re going to touch on here soon. And, of course, as Bobby just mentioned, diesel goes up, more surcharges, but that’s outside of any additional service charges just for the state of the market that logistics companies have to pass on. Bobby, any final thoughts related to Southeast before we bring Lee and Greg in?

Bobby Holland (00:27:42):

Just that there’s automotive impact, so states or regions that have automobile manufacturing, basically, have their freight impacted. And one of the things of note is that it’s across all areas of the supply chain. It’s not just the chips manufacturing. It’s raw materials, even the ability to move raw materials. And so, it’s kind of a contest between having the capacity to move what’s needed and the availability from other areas. So, the fact that the Southeast still has a significant automotive manufacturing capability just shows why they’re having some impacts as well.

Scott Luton (00:28:20):

Excellent point. And on that note, Greg, I can’t remember the name of the automotive company that had made the announcement – I think it’s formal now – bringing a new plant to Georgia. In fact, not too far from where we are home. So, automotive industry is alive and well in the Southeast, and certainly in Georgia. Lee, your commentary? And I’m coming to you, Greg. Lee, your take on what you’re seeing in the Southeast.

Lee Klaskow (00:28:43):

Yeah. You know, I would echo what Bobby talked about. Obviously, automotives are pretty important for the overall economy. I think there was also some colder than normal weather that happened in the Southeast that folks down there aren’t used to, and that kind of added to congestion issues and impacting the supply chain.

 

Lee Klaskow (00:29:04):

And then, I would also mention that on the fuel side, OPEC+ kind of said they were going to increase supply a couple weeks ago, that should be a good thing for prices. Also, as oil remains high, that could increase some more fracking here in the U.S. which will obviously increase the supply and help bring back prices. But, obviously, a lot of people are looking on what’s going on between Russia and Ukraine given how any knock on effect, any turmoil there, could have on the energy rates. Because, obviously, Europe depends a lot on Russia for some of its natural gas to heat themselves during the winter.

Scott Luton (00:29:48):

A lot of good stuff there, Lee. Greg?

Greg White (00:29:51):

Yeah. Well, I think one thing we don’t hear about as much because it’s become so matter of fact, but the truth is the ports continue to be jammed. And, I mean, I have a great view of ships waiting outside the port of Savannah now. So, I’ve been making somewhat of an amateur study of that, and it is not insignificant that the East Coast ports, particularly the Southeast ports – Jacksonville, Charleston, and Savannah – are really jammed up and they’re holding ships offshore just like they are in Long Beach in LA. So, that’s probably had some impact on both the need for chassis and for tractors, and drivers, of course, but, also, the delays around that are impacting the actual shipment volume.

Scott Luton (00:30:43):

Right. So, you’ve just earned a new assignment, Greg. Since you’re doing that amateur study, as you call it, man, we got to get you and footage of touring the Port of Savannah. Who knows? Getting your boots on the ground reporting, Greg.

Greg White (00:30:59):

Yeah. Yeah. That’s no doubt. I mean, it really is an interesting study to see. And just a side note, it’s interesting also, of course, Los Angeles and Long Beach have ships now anchoring 150 miles offshore because of the pollution effect. And in the few days around Savannah that I saw that were not incredibly windy in the last couple weeks, you can see out over the ocean the haze from the diesel exhaust out there. So, it’s not an insignificant impact, because the ships still have to run to their systems. But, yes, you can see them going into the port.

Scott Luton (00:31:45):

It’s truly fascinating. It is fascinating what goes on in our ports. Okay. So, we’ve just went through the Northeast and the Southeast. And, Bobby, that brings us to the Midwest – home of Mohib there in Wichita, Kansas. So, tell us what the data told you and the team in the Midwest.

Bobby Holland (00:32:07):

Midwest was down quarter-to-quarter on shipments about 3 percent – roughly 3 percent, 2.9 percent -but was up 6.7 percent in spend. And then, year-over-year was up almost 16 percent in spend and down 12 percent from last year in shipments. Again, the Midwest has big auto production capability. And some of our data from the Federal Reserve says that auto production was off by 10 to 15 percent. And, again, one of the big areas where it’s impacted up and down the supply chain, you can see that that big drop is going to affect, like I said, all areas of the supply chain. So, it’s why it had one of the larger slowdowns in shipment volume, we feel because of that.

Scott Luton (00:33:04):

Speaking of Midwest, y’all might have seen – Bobby mentioned chips earlier in some of his analysis – Intel made, I think, a $20 billion commitment to Ohio building a huge site there to produce semiconductors and chips. So, we’ll see, maybe a 27 year ramp up period. But, nevertheless, massive investment. Lee, when you look at the Midwest – again, home of A.A. Mohib and Wichita State University, which we have a famous alum right here on this panel, Greg White. But, Lee, what are you seeing in the Midwest?

Lee Klaskow (00:33:36):

I mean, not to be an echo chamber here, but, really, it’s the things that Bobby pointed out as it relates to the automotive industry. Obviously, the semiconductor chip shortage has really royalled that industry. And things are slowly getting back to “normal.” The Fed came out with some commentary yesterday where Powell said that the chip shortage – I believe this is what he said so don’t quote me quoting him – that it probably won’t be resolved until next year. So, that’s going to be a pressure. That’s going to impact the Midwest and also the Southeast way on volumes. And, also, it could also add to shippers looking for more expedited ways to ship stuff around, because maybe in the past, they might have waited for a pallet full of widgets or a trailer full of widgets. Now, they just might be wanting just to send stuff out as soon as it is available to help the manufacturers or the distributors with their own inventory issues.

Lee Klaskow (00:34:45):

So, the supply chain shortage probably has led to a lot of people increasing their spend by trading up. So, instead of doing rail, maybe doing truck. Instead of doing truck, maybe do more LTL. Instead of doing LTL, maybe do expedited. So, we are seeing that in the marketplace as shippers scramble to have either a product on the shelves or a product in the warehouse, so they can do their manufacturing or assembly and keep up with demand.

Scott Luton (00:35:20):

Good stuff there, Lee. Class Cow Greg, your quick thought.

Greg White (00:35:23):

Two quick things about the Midwest, used car sales are at an all time high. So, even as new cars are being produced or, in some cases, they are effectively old cars waiting for chips still, that has buffered sales, which has probably some portion of the big impact on shipment volume. But the other is that some of the Japanese makers, like Honda and Acura together, virtually skipped the 2021 model year and our shipping 2022s, and basically gave up on trying to produce those vehicles or import those vehicles to the states. So, instead of trying to keep two model years going, they effectively gave up early on 2021 and moved on to 2022. So, they don’t have the same amount of vehicle production backlog that needs chips.

 

Greg White (00:36:24):

So, I only know that anecdotally, because my daughter just got an Acura SUV of some sort. And she couldn’t buy a 2021. They didn’t even have them. So, we learned that Honda and Acura and others have done virtually the same thing. I’m not sure what other automakers have. That’s a really interesting strategy to get beyond that rather than try to fill two model years with semiconductors, just basically skip one.

 

Scott Luton (00:36:54):

Go ahead, Bobby.

Bobby Holland (00:36:54):

I was going to say, on top of that – you know, because my kids are buying cars, too, for a variety of reasons – anecdotally, one of the things that appears to be happening as well is, even heavier concentration on shipping loaded vehicles, so that if you have a limited set of vehicles, you want to ship the most loaded –

 

Greg White (00:37:16):

Profitable models.

Bobby Holland (00:37:17):

– profitable models with everything in it. My daughter had to replace her car after an accident and trying to find the vehicle that she had before. I think she got close, but she ended up paying a little more for it than what she paid previously. And then, my son was looking to replace his vehicle and ended up having to buy one that was extremely loaded, because he checked all the dealers in Colorado around where he lives, they had one or two vehicles and it was either take it or somebody else will.

Bobby Holland (00:37:57):

You know, I haven’t bought a car in a couple years, so I hear and read about these things. But, to me, when I drive by the dealerships here, they look like they have cars. I mean, they’re a little sparse on some of them, but some of them look like they have cars. But until you actually go to try to get one that you want, and then you find out there’s a labyrinth that you have to go through or you’re going to pay an inventory fee, which basically means they jack the price up, it’s just crazy times for buying a car.

Greg White (00:38:22):

And there is no negotiating. So, Bobby, just to paraphrase what you’re saying is, you, like I and probably many other parents, your kids are driving a nicer car than you are because they were forced to buy a car that was loaded.

Bobby Holland (00:38:37):

Yeah. My son is now. But [inaudible].

Scott Luton (00:38:43):

I was going to add, Bobby, hopefully your daughter and son brought in the negotiating talent, Bobby “The Hammer” Holland, to make sure they got the best deal.

Greg White (00:38:53):

There is no deal on a new car. That’s no joke. [Inaudible].

Bobby Holland (00:38:55):

And they’re like, “Hey, look.”

Scott Luton (00:39:01):

It is what it is, right?

Greg White (00:39:02):

If you don’t buy, literally, literally, someone else will.

Scott Luton (00:39:06):

Fascinating times. Fascinating times. I want to add Mohib says that, “Business jet sales -” which is Wichita is the air capital of the world “-is up.” He says, “The rich and famous has figured out that life is too short. Live it up while you’re still young.” Memory thinks it’s a really interesting practice that Greg just talked about the cancellation of 2021 models. And Memory says, “Mohib, I need a masterclass on economics from you,” referencing some of his thoughts around inflation that we’ll to try to get to.

Scott Luton (00:39:36):

But before we do that, we’ve got two more regions to get around to. The Southwest Region, Bobby, is the next one on our list. Tell us what the data told us about the Southwest Region.

Bobby Holland (00:39:47):

The Southwest Region was the only region of the five that had an uptick, albeit a slight one, in shipment volume, up just under one percent. But in spend, it was up almost 8 percent. So, again, a pretty big jump. But it was up, you know, almost 21 percent over last year in spend and 2 percent over last year in shipment volume. So, again, Southwest is doing really well comparatively speaking. A lot of that can possibly be attributed to even greater freight volumes between Mexico and the United States. As well as cost of energy in that area as energy is picking up. I think Lee had made comments about that earlier about in some places energy capacity is coming up. So, again, the only region to have an uptick in shipments. So, that was interesting because it’s usually the opposite trend.

Scott Luton (00:40:53):

Right. And that’s the Southwest Region that you’re speaking to. Lee, what do you see in the Southwest?

Lee Klaskow (00:41:00):

Yeah. Again, echo, echo. You know, it’s really the energy infrastructure that’s going on in Texas, obviously a lot of fracking in Texas and Oklahoma area. And then, because the supply chains are so screwed up, you’ve been seeing people coming in through the border in the South to bring in products. So, again, I totally agree with what Bobby is seeing. It sounds like that’s really what’s driving things there.

Scott Luton (00:41:36):

And, Greg?

Greg White (00:41:38):

Again, Houston, another very active port as people avoid with a plum. The LA and New York and New Jersey ports, and, of course, the sweet, sweet taste of Texas crude has gone up pretty dramatically. And the production is up in Texas and across the Midwest because of the price of crude and wells continue to be dug at disproportionate rates to previous years. So, in fact, I was just talking to someone who intended to sink ten wells this year, and instead they sunk 35. I mean, it’s dramatic. And they expect the price to go much, much higher.

 

Greg White (00:42:25):

I’d be interested, Lee, I think you probably disagree with that. But, of course, if I was an oil guy, I’d probably expect or hope to expect that it was going higher anyway. I was just going to say, the moving in and out of those kind of resources and natural gas, which is at a fairly high level as well and, of course, it’s winter, so it’s a natural for that region to see what they’re seeing, in my opinion.

Scott Luton (00:42:52):

So, Lee, I want to get you to respond. But really quick, I got to add this, every time I hear Texas crude, which Greg mentioned a couple times, I instantly think of swimming pools and movie stars. Anyone else? Is it just me? Anyone else? Anyone else?

Bobby Holland (00:43:06):

It’s just you.

Greg White (00:43:08):

Because the Beverly hillbillies are from Arkansas, just so you know.

Scott Luton (00:43:11):

You know. All right. So, Lee, respond really quick. Greg talked about a lot about the energy market there. Any commentary?

Lee Klaskow (00:43:19):

Yeah. You know, I think that most people believe that oil prices will remain relatively high in the short term. What tends to happen with fracking is that, when the price gets to a certain point where it’s above breakeven, that’s when a lot of the pumping begins. But those cycles tend to be very short lived because when they’re bringing up all the supply back online, that obviously dilutes the price. And then, if it happens too quickly without demand increasing, we’re not supposed to get to pre-pandemic levels. It might be this year for global oil demand, but it might not. It’s kind of like on the cusp of whether we’re going to get to pre-pandemic levels from a demand standpoint. So, the demand is slowly getting back to normal. And on the pricing side, it’s really going to be on the supply, what OPEC+ is doing, and what the frackers are doing.

Greg White (00:44:19):

And as sweet crude goes up and the U.S. produces more, OPEC will release more stocks to drive oil stocks, to drive the value down, to keep that from accelerating the price too much.

Scott Luton (00:44:34):

It’s fascinating. Fascinating

Greg White (00:44:36):

Allowing the U.S. to succeed.

Scott Luton (00:44:38):

In those markets. All right. So, coming down to home stretch, we’ve gone through Northeast, Southeast Midwest, Southwest, and all of that, Bobby, brings us to the Wild Wild West. So, in that fifth region –

 

Greg White (00:44:51):

It is wild, yeah.

 

Scott Luton (00:44:53):

– what do you see out there?

Bobby Holland (00:44:53):

Well, the shipments volume slowed 6.4 percent and spend, though, was up 12 percent. So, the largest amount of quarterly spend increase, but it’s also the biggest drop or slow down in shipments. A lot of things going on, and a lot of them we’ve seen in the news with port volumes. And, usually, the west is buoyed up by port volumes, but that’s assuming that they can actually move the stuff out of the ports. Obviously, they’ve had a big issue in getting things out of the ports, getting things into the ports. And one of the other things – and Greg alluded to it earlier – there’s always been some trickle of West Coast port volumes over to the East Coast. But it seems, perhaps, that in the fourth quarter, there was a huge push to do that because of the fact that they’re backed up. I read that it was practically backed up offshore in California, all the way down to the Mexican border.

Greg White (00:46:03):

I mean, I don’t know what the numbers got to, but I know that they were reporting 110 or more ships waiting, which that number has just continued to escalate. And, Bobby, remember last quarter, we were seeing much of the same thing, but the numbers were yet smaller in all of the ports. So, this has been a pretty dramatic spread, I hadn’t really thought about it that way until you said that. But it has been a pretty dramatic spread that all of the ports are now backed up. Because we could brag here in the Southeast that our ports were still operating very efficiently, which maybe they are, but they are still getting so much more volume that now, virtually, everyone is backed up.

Scott Luton (00:46:46):

Agreed. And speaking of volume, as we shared on the Supply Chain Buzz every Monday at 12:00 noon, looking at the Port of Charleston in 2021, 25 percent year-over-year volume increase, 2021 over 2020. So, a lot of the ports are benefiting from some of what Bobby was just sharing there. Lee, West Regions, what we’re talking about, what we’re finishing on before we make sure folks know how to connect with all of our panel here, your observations from the West.

Lee Klaskow (00:47:11):

Yeah. I think it’s really [inaudible] from the ports was about over a hundred ships that are kind of in Southern California waiting to unload their freight. I guess the good news is some of that backlog might get a little cleared as we head into the Lunar New Year, as a lot of China kind of shuts down. People go home from the cities, they go back to the rural areas. It’s worth noting, really, what’s going to happen this time when they have to come back, because a lot of those workers haven’t been home for two or three years since the pandemic began. So, it’ll be interesting to see what happens. That will have a good impact on spot rates. Liner rates are up around 80 percent this year, and we expect them to moderate over the coming weeks, but still remain extremely high from a historical standpoint.

Lee Klaskow (00:48:05):

That’s probably the biggest issue because those bottlenecks that are happening at the port is following its way inland. Warehouses, can’t find people. Rails are having difficulty finding people. So, the intermodal yards are being impacted as well. Intermodal is down about 12 to 15 percent so far this year. Some of the has to do with some cold weather – flooding, I should say – sorry- not cold weather, but flooding in Western Canada. It happened in December, just kind of still impacting intermodal volumes as we see it.

Scott Luton (00:48:44):

So, Greg, I’m going to give you the last comment on the West. But before I do, who knows? With all those folks coming back from those container ships, we might see a baby boom here in the states in the coming years. Greg, what else sticks out to you about the West?

Greg White (00:49:01):

Well, housing still continues to grow in the West. And, you know, the other thing that really jumps out at me is just the dramatic drop in volume and, yet, the same inverse dramatic increase in spend. That shows a significant delta between supply and demand versus all of the other regions of the country, frankly. And a lot of that is, as both Lee and Bobby have talked about, for those reasons. But I just think that’s the most imbalanced region of the country and it’s the most remote. It’s the longest distance between ship points. It’s the fewest number of ship points and delivery points of any of the regions. It’s also the largest physical region in the country. So, there’s just a lot of odd dynamics about the West, particularly now with what’s going on in the ports. But, clearly, there is a severe supply and demand imbalance out there.

Scott Luton (00:50:04):

Excellent point there. And, folks, I’m going to remind you again, freight.us bank.com, you can go there and sign up for this quarterly report. One additional comment, and then we’re going to make sure folks will know how to connect with Lee and Bobby, you know, Bobby mentioned their relationship or partnership with the American Trucking Association. And I think it was the ATA in this report, Bobby, that mentioned, in fourth quarter there was 5 percent less trucks in operation, which also didn’t help the shipping capacity and volume.

 

Scott Luton (00:50:37):

So, it feels like this fourth quarter a chuck full of key takeaways, Bobby. I always appreciate your analysis, especially in layman’s terms so we all could understand it, even if you’re not a freight broker, a freight analyst, you name it. Lee, I appreciate your time with us here today to help us decipher and give us some color commentary. Lee, let’s start with you. You, Logistics Lee, on the move always, no pun intended. Always a pleasure to have you on with us here. Greg mentioned our Austin trip, that was our cross country venture in the Supply Chain Now van. It was great to see you there. It feels like 17 years ago, but it was two probably. But, Lee, how can folks dial into what you’re doing at Bloomberg Intelligence?

Lee Klaskow (00:51:19):

Yeah. The best way really is to connect on Twitter @logisticslee. And I’m also on LinkedIn. I’m pretty active on both. So, you know, I love to connect with people. My research gets better the more supply chain professionals I get to interact with. So, please feel free to reach out.

Scott Luton (00:51:39):

I appreciate that. You know what? I’ve skipped over one critical question, Greg. Mainly, for you and Lee, whether it’s one key takeaway, Lee, or whether it is one maybe observation that you can make as we move deeper into 2022, what would you be your final thought, Lee?

Lee Klaskow (00:51:59):

Moving into 2022?

Scott Luton (00:52:01):

Sure. Yeah. Let’s go that way.

 

Lee Klaskow (00:52:03):

I think that we will have more events happening that will come up the supply chain. I think rates will remain high. I think shippers really need to think hard and long about the strategic relationships they have with large transportation companies, small transportation companies, and making sure that their facilities are a place that a trucker wants to go. Because truckers have the luxury right now of saying no to freight. And, you know, you mentioned that there’s fewer truckers in the market, and one of the reasons why is because they have a lot of other opportunities that provide better work life balances that could pay something similar or maybe a little less, but they’re willing to do that trade off because of the work-life balance. Because being a trucker is a very demanding job, especially for the folks that are over the road and doing irregular routes. So, make sure your facilities are a place where truckers want to go. And if you’re not thinking about transportation from a strategic standpoint and the C-suite, you know, you really should be.

Scott Luton (00:53:15):

That is some of the best stuff I’ve heard all week, Lee. I really appreciate we wrap it on that note. But before anyone takes off, Bobby, two part question. One, perhaps your biggest takeaway from this fourth quarter Freight Payment Index. And two, we have let folks know how they can sign up for it, but how can they connect with you? Two pronged question there, Bobby.

Bobby Holland (00:53:37):

The biggest takeaway, similar to Lee’s, is the pressure is still on. I can’t look forward to see, you know, what’s going to increase or what won’t. But the pressure is that we’re able to measure. There aren’t enough things coming in to abate those. I mean, one of the factors, for example, was the labor shortage in the market. We’ve been using the 60,000 driver shortage now. I think ATA is coming up with, like, 80,000. And we saw that that was happening. So, bigger number of truckers out of the market, the capacity shortage ability to expand your fleet, the ability to get new trucks without cannibalizing the ones you have. And then, as you said, the supply chain issues, there’s not enough abating those so we expect the pressure to continue and possibly get worse.

 

Bobby Holland (00:54:33):

As far as how to get in touch with me, LinkedIn, my information is all there, bobby.holland@usbank.com as well. And I’d be happy to answer any questions I can.

Scott Luton (00:54:43):

Except predictions for the months ahead.

 

Greg White (00:54:47):

That’s right.

 

Scott Luton (00:54:48):

But you heard it there, the pressure is on. And that reminds me of The Heat Is On from Beverly Hills Cop. Do y’all remember that, Glenn Frey?

 

Bobby Holland (00:54:58):

[Inaudible].

Scott Luton (00:55:00):

That 80’s track. Legendary. Okay. So, Bobby Holland, I really appreciate your time and the U.S. Bank team. Greg, I’m going to come circle back to you after we let Lee and Bobby go and get your chief takeaway here today. Big thanks, Bobby Holland, Director, Freight Data Solutions at U.S. Bank, and a dear friend, Lee Klaskow, Senior Analyst, Transportation and Logistics with Bloomberg Intelligence. Thank you both, gentlemen.

 

Greg White (00:55:23):

Thank you.

 

Lee Klaskow (00:55:24):

Thanks for having me.

 

Scott Luton (00:55:25):

You bet. Greg, good stuff. Man, The Heat Is On ringing my ears for about three years back in the 80’s. I couldn’t get enough of it. It was like Beat It with Michael Jackson. Oh, we could have a lot of fun. But kidding aside, especially with Lee and Bobby’s kind of powerful close there, Lee, I loved how he challenged folks to, basically, take care of our truckers. They’re so critical, hardworking, smart problem solvers, critical to our backbone. And Bobby talked about the pressure is still on. Your thoughts, Greg.

Greg White (00:56:00):

Yeah. The pressure is on because those 80,000 truckers that we’re seeking to get back into the workplace are never coming. There won’t be a substantial relative increase of drivers in the industry. So, I was interested kind of in the comments, Mohib was talking about his five whys for where things are today. And the truth is, every single one of those goes right back to labor. We paid people to stay out of the labor force for, in my opinion, too long. Many of them decided it wasn’t worthwhile to come back. In fact, 3.6 million more people left the workforce last year than were expected. And 95 percent of those people – 95 percent of those people – were 55 and above, which is the prime age for people who drive trucks, do physical jobs, and have been doing a lot of the labor jobs that are looking at being automated these days.

Greg White (00:57:02):

So, the labor force is not coming back – that’s just my opinion – ever, never to the level it was. You got to understand, first of all, that the largest generation in the history of the planet was – even before last year – leaving the workforce at 10,000 persons a day. And 3.6 million persons in addition, largely baby boomers, left the workforce. So, you know, we have to start thinking about things from a really different standpoint. The challenge that Lee leveled was to start thinking about this in different ways, to have leaders start thinking about this in different ways. Workforce and labor shortage is the root of inflation, it is the root of supply chain and disruption, and it is the solution for both of those things. We have to get people back to work. And we have to get people back to producing the goods or conducting the jobs that can and still will be conducted by human beings.

Greg White (00:57:58):

There are plenty of people that could go back into the workforce that aren’t. Some policy changes probably need to be put in place. For instance, you can still go on unemployment just because you fear Omicron or something like that. You probably need to go back to the standard federal unemployment rules that force people to have lost a job outside of their own free will to collect unemployment benefits. And when we do that, then people will go back to work. I think this change in the economy will also impact that as well.

Scott Luton (00:58:30):

The heat is on Supply Chain Now with Gregory S. White. I appreciate that. That is a great way to kind of bring our conversation to a close. A lot of data. A lot of takes. A lot of savvy takes on what’s going on across freight, but also global supply chain, global business.

 

Scott Luton (00:58:47):

I’m going to wrap on this here. Thank you, Daniel. This is great feedback. We appreciate all feedback we get from across the market. Daniel says, “Thank you so much for this insightful session. It very well complements my graduate studies and the supply chain analytics course that I’m taking this semester. Hoping to get more involved in the coming days and weeks. Thank you to all the panelists.” Daniel, thanks, first of, for being here. Thank you for that feedback, secondly. And third, I completely agree with you, Bobby and Lee, and then Greg, too, this is one heck of a one-two punch so we’ll have to have both of them back with us really soon.

 

Scott Luton (00:59:21):

All right. So, Greg, we want to encourage folks, check out their Freight Payment Index, free to get it. You got the link in the comments, so check it out.

Greg White (00:59:31):

Over there. I mean, anyway it’s over there.

Scott Luton (00:59:31):

Freight.us bank.com. Mohib says, “Hey, great to have analytical minds sharing their great insights.” Mohib, I agree. And folks to comments, bring it.

 

Greg White (00:59:42):

[Inaudible] among them.

 

Scott Luton (00:59:43):

Yeah. Bring it. I love your five things there. T-squared – holds down the fort for us on YouTube – says, “This was a triggering discussion.”

Greg White (00:59:52):

And T-squared is not easily triggered, let me assure you.

Scott Luton (00:59:55):

That’s right. Okay. Folks, stay tuned. Stay tuned as we continue to cover all things supply chain here at Supply Chain Now, the voice of supply chain. Stay tuned also for some wonderful footage of Greg White kayaking coming to a livestream near you.

Greg White (01:00:12):

Okay. Actually, it’s not my kayak. It’s on the way. It’s my wife’s. But, still, I will provide footage. She’s very good, as a matter of fact.

Scott Luton (01:00:20):

Vicky, you’re going to be a YouTube star, who knows. But, hey folks, thanks so much for tuning in. Big thanks to our friends at U.S. Bank, big thanks to Lee and the team over at Bloomberg Intelligence for what they do, both, to really get awareness, not just the data and what’s going on, but awareness of the industry. That’s good for everybody. Big thanks to our production team for all they do. Thanks to my co-host here. Folks, if you do anything, act on these challenges you heard from Greg, and Lee, and Bobby here. And do good, give forward, be the change that’s needed. And on that note, we’ll see you next time right back here on Supply Chain Now. Thanks everybody.

Intro/Outro (01:00:59):

Thanks for being a part of our Supply Chain Now community. Check out all of our programming at supplychainnow.com, 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

Bobby Holland is responsible for the Freight Data Solutions team at U.S. Bank. Bobby has over 36 years of broad-based data processing, software engineering and consulting experience. He has leadership in multiple industries including insurance, large-scale billing, customer care services and banking. His specialties include systems integration, enterprise applications architecture, agile methodology, DevOps practice, systems engineering, object-oriented development, analytics, and product and project management. Bobby’s current focus is in analytics and data-related product management for the freight industry. Bobby holds a degree in Computer Science from Metropolitan State University.

Lee Klaskow is a senior analyst for Bloomberg Intelligence, a unique platform for in-depth analysis, ideas, and data sets on industries and companies, as well as credit, government, ESG, and litigation factors that impact decision-making available on the Bloomberg Professional services at BI . He specializes in freight transportation and logistics, including global marine shipping, air freight and logistics sectors as well as the North American trucking and railroad industries.  Klaskow provides primary company coverage on CSX, CP, CNI, CHRW, DPW GY, EURN, FDX, JBHT, KSU, KNX, LSTR, MAERSKB DC, NSC, ODFL, UNP, UPS, WERN and XPO, for Bloomberg Intelligence. Engaged in extensive contact with management teams, investors, sell-side analysts, bankers, industry contacts and Bloomberg customers to develop and refine research and analysis. Prior to joining Bloomberg, Klaskow was a senior analyst at Longbow Research and Prudential Equity Group, where he covered freight transportation and logistics companies. He has also worked at Prudential Equity Group as an industrial associate prior to being promoted to senior analyst. Klaskow helped originate and execute global equity transactions for both ABN Amro Rothschild and J.P. Morgan. Klaskow began his career at McCarthy, Crisanti & Maffei analyzing and reporting on the primary equity markets. Klaskow earned his bachelor of science degree in finance and management from Ithaca College, and his master’s in business from Fordham University.

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Principal & Host

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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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Vicki White

Controller

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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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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Allison Giddens

Host, Logistics with Purpose

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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Greg White

Principal, Supply Chain Now
Host of Supply Chain Now and TECHquila Sunrise

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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Karin Bursa

Host of TEKTOK

If there’s one Supply Chain ‘Pro to Know,’ it’s Karin. She’s earned the title for three years and counting – culminating in her designation as the “2020 Supply Chain Pro to Know of the Year.” Karin is also an award-winning digital supply chain, business strategy and technology marketing executive. A sought-after speaker at industry conferences, you will find her quoted in a variety of supply chain publications – and active in forums like ASCM/APICS and CSCMP.

With more than 25 years of supply chain experience, Karin spearheaded strategy and marketing for Gartner Magic Quadrant Leader and IDC MarketScape Leader, Logility. Karin has the heart of a teacher and has helped nearly 1,000 customers transform their businesses and tell their success stories. Today, she is a sought-after advisor helping high-growth B2B technology companies with everything from defining their unique value propositions to introducing new products and capturing customer success. No matter their goals, she makes sure her clients have actionable marketing strategies that help grow global revenue, market share and profitability.

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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 transitioning from active duty in the US Army. 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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Jeff Miller

Host

Jeff Miller is the host of Supply Chain Now’s Supply Chain is the Business.  Jeff is a digital business transformation and supply chain advisor with deep expertise in Industry 4.0, ERP, PLM, SCM, IoT, AR and related technologies. Through more than 25 years of industry and consulting experience, he has worked with many of the world’s leading product and service companies to achieve their strategic business and supply chain goals, creating durable business value for organizations at the forefront of technology and business practices. Jeff is the managing director for North America at Transition Technologies PSC, a global solution integrator, and the founder and managing principal of BTV Advisors, a firm that helps companies secure business transformation value from digital supply chain technologies and their breakthrough capabilities.

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Amanda Luton

Chief Marketing Officer

Amanda is a marketing veteran and entrepreneur with over 15 years of experience across a variety of industries and organizations including Von Maur, Anthropologie, AmericasMart Atlanta, and Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta. In 2016, Amanda founded and grew the Magnolia Marketing Group into a successful digital media firm, and now she develops modern marketing strategies, social campaigns, innovative operational processes, and implements creative content initiatives for Supply Chain Now. But that’s just the beginning of her supply chain impact. Amanda also served as the VP of Information Systems and Webmaster on the Board of Directors for APICS Savannah for several years, and is the face behind the scenes welcoming you to every Supply Chain Now livestream! She was also recently selected as one of the Top 100 Women in Supply Chain by Supply Chain Digest and IBM.  When she’s not leading the Supply Chain Now marketing team, you can find Amanda with her and her husband Scott’s three kids, in the kitchen cooking, or reading.

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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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Billy Taylor

Host of Dial P for Procurement

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.

A disciple of continuous improvement, Taylor’s love for people inspires commitment to helping others achieve their full potential. He is a dynamic speaker and hosts "The Winning Link," a popular podcast centered on business and leadership excellence with the #1 rated Supply Chain Now Network. As a leadership guru, Taylor has earned several invitations to universities, international conferences, global publications, and the U.S. Army to demonstrate how to achieve and sustain effective results through cultural acceptance and employee ownership. Leveraging the wisdom of his business acumen, strong influence as a speaker and podcaster Taylor is set to release "The Winning Link" book under McGraw Hill publishing in 2022. The book is a how-to manual to help readers understand the management of business interactions while teaching them how to Deine, Align, and Execute Winning in Business.

A servant leader, Taylor, was named by The National Diversity Council as one of the Top 100 Diversity Officers in the country in 2021. He features among Oklahoma's Most Admired CEOs and maintains key leadership roles with the Executive Advisory Board for The Shingo Institute "The Nobel Prize of Operations" and The Association of Manufacturing Excellence (AME); two world-leading organizations for operational excellence, business development, and cultural learning.  He is also an Independent Director for the M-D Building Products Board, a proud American manufacturer of quality products since 1920.

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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

Sales and Marketing Coordinator

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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Ben Harris

Host

Ben Harris is the Director of Supply Chain Ecosystem Expansion for the Metro Atlanta Chamber. Ben comes to the Metro Atlanta Chamber after serving as Senior Manager, Market Development for Manhattan Associates. There, Ben was responsible for developing Manhattan’s sales pipeline and overall Americas supply chain marketing strategy. Ben oversaw market positioning, messaging and campaign execution to build awareness and drive new pipeline growth. Prior to joining Manhattan, Ben spent four years with the Georgia Department of Economic Development’s Center of Innovation for Logistics where he played a key role in establishing the Center as a go-to industry resource for information, support, partnership building, and investment development. Additionally, he became a key SME for all logistics and supply chain-focused projects. Ben began his career at Page International, Inc. where he drove continuous improvement in complex global supply chain operations for a wide variety of businesses and Fortune 500 companies. An APICS Certified Supply Chain Professional (CSCP), Ben holds an Executive Master’s degree in Business Administration (EMBA) and bachelor’s degree in International Business (BBA) from the Terry College at the University of Georgia.

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Page Siplon

Host, The Freight Insider

Prior to joining TeamOne Logistics, Page Siplon served as the Executive Director of the Georgia Center of Innovation for Logistics, the State’s leading consulting resource for fueling logistics industry growth and global competitiveness. For over a decade, he directly assisted hundreds of companies to overcome challenges and capitalize on opportunities related to the movement of freight. During this time, Siplon was also appointed to concurrently serve the State of Georgia as Director of the larger Centers of Innovation Program, in which he provided executive leadership and vision for all six strategic industry-focused Centers. As a frequently requested keynote speaker, Siplon is called upon to address a range of audiences on unique aspects of technology, workforce, and logistics. This often includes topics of global and domestic logistics trends, supply chain visibility, collaboration, and strategic planning. He has also been quoted as an industry expert in publications such as Forbes, Journal of Commerce, Fortune, NPR, Wall Street Journal, Reuters, American Express, DC Velocity, Area Development Magazine, Site Selection Magazine, Inbound Logistics, Modern Material Handling, and is frequently a live special guest on SiriusXM’s Road Dog Radio Show. Siplon is an active industry participant, recognized by DC Velocity Magazine as a “2012 Logistics Rainmaker” which annually identifies the top-ten logistics professionals in the Nation; and named a “Pro to Know” by Supply & Demand Executive Magazine in 2014. Siplon was also selected by Georgia Trend Magazine as one of the “Top 100 Most Influential Georgians” for 2013, 2014, and 2015. He also serves various industry leadership roles at both the State and Federal level. Governor Nathan Deal nominated Siplon to represent Georgia on a National Supply Chain Competitiveness Advisory Committee, where he was appointed to a two-year term by the U.S. Secretary of Commerce and was then appointed to serve as its vice-chairman. At the State level, he was selected by then-Governor Sonny Perdue to serve as lead consultant on the Commission for New Georgia’s Freight and Logistics Task Force. In this effort, Siplon led a Private Sector Advisory Committee with invited executives from a range of private sector stakeholders including UPS, Coca-Cola, The Home Depot, Delta Airlines, Georgia Pacific, CSX, and Norfolk Southern. Siplon honorably served a combined 12 years in the United States Marine Corps and the United States Air Force. During this time, he led the integration of encryption techniques and deployed cryptographic devices for tactically secure voice and data platforms in critical ground-to-air communication systems. This service included support for all branches of the Department of Defense, multiple federal security agencies, and aiding NASA with multiple Space Shuttle launches. Originally from New York, Siplon received both a bachelor’s and master’s degree in electrical and computer engineering with a focus on digital signal processing from the Georgia Institute of Technology. He earned an associate’s degree in advanced electronic systems from the Air Force College and completed multiple military leadership academies in both the Marines and Air Force. Siplon currently lives in Cumming, Georgia (north of Atlanta), with his wife Jan, and two children Thomas (19) and Lily (15).

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Kristi Porter

Host, Logistics with Purpose

Kristi Porter is VP of Sales and Marketing at Vector Global Logistics, a company that is changing the world through supply chain. In her role, she oversees all marketing efforts and supports the sales team in doing what they do best. In addition to this role, she is the Chief Do-Gooder at Signify, which assists nonprofits and social impact companies through copywriting and marketing strategy consulting. She has almost 20 years of professional experience, and loves every opportunity to help people do more good.

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Kevin Brown

Host, Logistics with Purpose

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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Sofia Rivas Herrera

Host, Supply Chain Now en Espanol

Sofia Rivas Herrera is a Mexican Industrial Engineer from Tecnologico de Monterrey class 2019. Upon graduation, she earned a scholarship to study MIT’s Graduate Certificate in Logistics and Supply Chain Management and graduated as one of the Top 3 performers of her class in 2020. She also has a multicultural background due to her international academic experiences at Singapore Management University and Kühne Logistics University in Hamburg. Sofia self-identifies as a Supply Chain enthusiast & ambassador sharing her passion for the field in her daily life.

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Jose Miguel Irarrazaval

Host, Logistics with Purpose

Jose Manuel Irarrazaval es parte del equipo de Vector Global Logistics Chile. José Manuel es un gerente experimentado con experiencia en finanzas corporativas, fusiones y adquisiciones, financiamiento y reestructuración, inversión directa y financiera, tanto en Chile como en el exterior. José Manuel tiene su MBA de la Universidad de Pennsylvania- The Wharton School. Conéctese con Jose Manuel en LinkedIn.

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Demo Perez

Host, Supply Chain Now en Espanol

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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Kim Winter

Host, Supply Chain Now

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. oasisafrica.org.au), 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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Nick Roemer

Host, Logistics with Purpose

Nick Roemer has had a very diverse and extensive career within design and sales over the last 15 years stretching from China, Dubai, Germany, Holland, UK, and the USA. In the last 5 years, Nick has developed a hawk's eye for sustainable tech and the human-centric marketing and sales procedures that come with it. With his far-reaching and strong network within the logistics industry, Nick has been able to open new avenues and routes to market within major industries in the USA and the UAE. Nick lives by the ethos, “Give more than you take." His professional mission is to make the logistics industry leaner, cleaner and greener.

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Alex Bramley

Sales Support Intern

Alex is pursuing a Marketing degree and a Certificate in Legal Studies at the University of Georgia. As a dual citizen of both the US and UK; Alex has studied abroad at University College London and is passionate about travel and international business. Through her coursework at the Terry College of Business, Alex has gained valuable skills in digital marketing, analytics, and professional selling. She joined Supply Chain Now as a Sales Support Intern where she assists the team by prospecting and qualifying new business partners.

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