In 2022, U.S. Bank processed $46 billion in freight payments for some of the world’s largest corporations and government agencies. Those payments and the data that accompanies them are analyzed quarterly by Bobby Holland, U.S. Bank Vice President and Director of Freight Data Solutions, and his team. The FPI report includes quarter-over-quarter, year-over-year, and full-year data and analysis.
In this livestream, Bobby shared six key takeaways from the Q2 2023 report, including a Freight Payment Index first: back-to-back quarters with national quarterly and yearly declines in shipments and spend. As he goes on to point out, everything is relative, but the finding is still a notable one.
In this interview, Bobby was joined by Heather Shilt, Director of Global Logistics at Fortive, to share and discuss the results of the Q2 2023 report with co-hosts Scott Luton and Constantine Limberakis:
• The year-over-year increase in shipments observed in the Southwest, the largest since Q1 2018
• A 27.1 percent drop in year-over-year shipments in the Northeast, the largest on record for any region dating back to Q2 2017
• Why a reduction in port volumes in the West is creating just enough extra capacity to drive spend down
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Scott Luton (00:33):
Hey, hey. Good morning, good afternoon, good evening, wherever you are. Scott Luton and Constantine Limberakis here with you live on Supply Chain Now. Welcome to today’s Live stream. Constantine, how you doing?
Constantine Limberakis (00:45):
I’m doing well. Thanks, Scott. Thanks for inviting me today to this session.
Scott Luton (00:50):
Of course. Great to have you. And I really appreciate you sitting in for Greg White here today as he had to tackle something here, kind of, in the moment. But hey, Greg White, Constantine Limberakis, good practitioner, driven color commentary. You find it right here. It’s — we’re consistent about, that’s really important in Adino.
Constantine Limberakis (01:11):
That is. Absolutely. Absolutely. And always enjoy the conversation, Scott.
Scott Luton (01:15):
I do, too. And we’re — and backed by popular demand today, folks, we’re going to be sharing key insights from one of the leading transportation industry resources, the U.S. Bank Freight Payment Index, this time for Q2 2023. Now, folks, we encourage you go check out and download the complimentary report. Focus on the domestic freight market, and that way you can follow along right with us, and you can learn more at freight.usbank.com. And Constantine, it’s really important that folks spill coffee on that report. Dog ear it. Mark it up. You know, that way we know we’re putting it to use, right?
Constantine Limberakis (01:51):
Absolutely, yes. I mean, it’s a great, you know, there’s some just great information there for businesses to understand the costs that are actually business, you know.
Scott Luton (01:59):
Constantine, I agree. And a couple things that folks need to know about today’s conversation. We’re going to be getting — we’re going to be gaining critical insights, actual insights on, again, the domestic freight market from two business leaders, right? One perspective focused heavily on the data and what the data is showing, which Constantine’s going to touch on in just a second. And then one other perspective focus heavily on practitioner expertise in terms of what’s going on out in the market.
Scott Luton (02:25):
So, before we bring on our guests, Dino, our Supply Chain Now team and audience has really enjoyed our ongoing collaboration with U.S. Bank, especially focused on the freight paint — Freight Payment Index for years, right?
Constantine Limberakis (02:36):
Yes. Absolutely, Scott. I know that you guys have been talking — you and Greg have been talking about this for a long time now. And it’s just some, you know, compelling insights that’s being offered and data that they process. I think it — I think the number you always quote is like $46 billion worth of transaction that handled in 2022, which is very impressive. And I think that’s — I guess one, again, one of the biggest reasons why you guys are working with U.S. Bank since it’s such a great resource for this kind of information. And just really help, you know, a hundred people understand what’s going on in the market.
Scott Luton (03:09):
Agreed, agreed. You know, what? We need to get insights and context and data, including $46 billion worth of data wherever we can get it to make better decisions as business leaders. All right. And folks, we’ve got a ton of folks, Josh in Seattle. Sylvia in Johns Island, South Carolina. John Peterson in Marietta. All points are from the — we have someone tuned in from sunny Tennessee. I bet sunny and hot. But hey, you’re in store here for a really cool conversation. I had to do that, Constantine. Had to do it. And we want to hear you throughout the hour, comment on what we’re talking about. Share your expertise, your perspective. We’d love that as you’re watching in the cheap seats.
OK. So, Constantine, with no further ado, I want to bring in our two guests that we have been chatting about on the front end here. Bobby Holland, Director, Freight Business Analytics at U.S. Bank, and Heather Shilt, Director of Global Logistics at Fortive.
Scott Luton (04:11):
Hey, hey, Bobby. Great to have you back. How you doing?
Bobby Holland (04:14):
Doing well. How are you guys?
Scott Luton (04:15):
Wonderful, wonderful. And Heather, so nice to meet you. And I’ve enjoyed our pre-show conversations. Great to have you here today.
Heather Shilt (04:22):
Happy to be here. Thank you.
Scott Luton (04:24):
You bet. You bet. OK. So, Dino, you know, we love, let’s see our food, our music, our sports, our space, our history around here. You know, kind of what makes up the pre-show conversations. We’re going to focus on food here because I want to pose a fun warmup question to our entire panel.
Scott Luton (04:40):
Bobby, you know what’s coming, right? You’ve been here with us for three or four years now. So, famed chef, author, and food expert, James Beard, we’ve all heard that name. Once stated, “Too few people understand a really good sandwich.” I tend to agree with James there. So, today in the States, we celebrate National Ice Cream Sandwich Day. How about that for holiday? So, my question — and I’m going to start with Heather here, my question to you whether it is a sweet or savory sandwich, what is one of your favorites, Heather?
Heather Shilt (05:11):
Being from the South, I have to go with the BLT, bacon, lettuce, tomato. It has to be on toast with crisp bacon, crisp lettuce with a fresh tomato from the garden, which you can’t find right now. And key thing, most southerners put the Duke’s Mayo on that, so.
Scott Luton (05:33):
You had me at BLT, and I love those specs, Heather.
Heather Shilt (05:36):
Scott Luton (05:37):
Spoken like a true supply chain practitioner. I love that. All right. So, Bobby, that’s going to be tough to top, but what’s one of your go-to sandwiches?
Bobby Holland (05:45):
My favorite sandwich is one that I’ve never personally eaten yet. There’s a vendor in Syracuse, Sicily.
Scott Luton (05:55):
Bobby Holland (05:55):
You can Google them on YouTube, makes the most beautiful sandwiches literally in the world. Unbelievable. But you can Google it, Syracuse, Sicily, sandwich, man.
Scott Luton (06:08):
Bobby Holland (06:09):
And you’ll find it.
Scott Luton (06:10):
So, as my middle daughter would say, I’m going to have to search that up. She loves to talk. Asking us to search up — search it up, search up stuff. So, hey, thank you Bobby and Heather for making us hungry. Constantine, I’m really curious your answer to this question.
Constantine Limberakis (06:25):
Yes. Well, I hate to do the plug for the Italian sandwiches, but I can’t help if I go to an Italian deli in Chicago or anywhere. And, you know, you’d get that prosciutto, you get — you know, the Italians that say — like, especially in the South, they go, you got the prosciutto, you got the mozzarella, you got to put all that on there. And you got to — sometimes you like the spicy capicola. Put all that on there. So, I think that’s where Bobby’s heading with this. So, I — to me that — there’s nothing better than like a really good Italian sandwich.
Constantine Limberakis (06:55):
So, I — that’s what I’d have to go to. So, there’s all different kinds. I think Pop Bellies — you guys have that in South, they have a really good hot Italian sandwich. You might have to try that out if you like.
Scott Luton (07:05):
I will check that out. And yes, I have one of everything. Italian sandwich, the BLT, Pop Bellies, you name it. As Josh says, yes, we’ll have a Bucky’s brisket sandwich as well. Sylvia, who is in South Carolina, as I mentioned, Heather, is all about the BLT as well. Don, Philly Cheese in Philly.
Heather Shilt (07:23):
That’s a classic.
Scott Luton (07:25):
Now, one quick follow-up question. And folks, you all drop all your favorite foods in here. Don, there’s Gino’s. And what’s the other one? They’re on different — they’re right across the street from each other. You got Gino’s — well, Don, let us know where you get that Philly cheese in Philadelphia.
Scott Luton (07:41):
All right. So, now that we’re starving for our favorite sandwich. Man, you all really hit it out to the park with that. I want to get into the reason we’re all here, and that is the domestic freight market, right? And all we’re going to learn from the data side and boots on the ground out in market.
Scott Luton (07:57):
So, I want to start with this, Bobby. We want to, offer a little tease here, a little sneak peek. So, tell us about the six key takeaways from the two — Q2 2023 Freight Payment Index, which we’re going to dive into the second half of the show. What would those be, Bobby?
Bobby Holland (08:12):
Well, we’re going to look at back-to-back dips in the index. We’re going to look at the southwest results. We’re going to look at the Southeast, surprising. We’re going to look at the Northeast plunge and address why. We’re going to talk about the headwinds facing the west region, and then what’s going on with the Midwest.
Scott Luton (08:30):
Outstanding. And folks, I want to encourage you again, download your own copy, your free copy of the Q2 U.S. Bank Freight Payment Index at freight.usbank.com.
Scott Luton (08:43):
All right. So, ask and we shall receive. Dan says it’s all about Pat’s. Don, says Gino’s is a lot better than Pat’s. So, you know, I’ll let them sort that out in the comments, but you all keep that coming. And as me and Bobby both mentioned, you all check it out. We’ve got via link, so download the index, one click away. One click away.
Scott Luton (09:05):
All right. So, let’s — so, Constantine, we’ve got a fully loaded conversation here today. I’m really looking forward to not only hearing Heather and Bobby’s expertise, but getting your take on what we learned. All right. So, what I want to do next is I want to level set a little bit, right? We’re going to dive into the six key takeaways that Bobby just shared in a second. But I want to start with, you know, Heather, welcome to begin to the show. Your first time with us here at Supply Chain Now. If you would, for this helpful context, tell us briefly about Fortive and what you do there.
Heather Shilt (09:36):
Perfect. Thanks again for having me. So, Fortive is based in the Pacific Northwest. We’re in Everett, Washington, about 60 minutes outside of Seattle. Next door neighbors with Boeing. And we like to think of ourselves as the Fortune 500 startup. So, we were founded in 2016 after separating from Danaher, which I’m sure many people know, a lot of Danaher companies.
Heather Shilt (10:06):
But Fortive is an industrial growth company. We have — we like to think of ourselves as delivering essential technology that makes the world stronger, safer and smarter. So, we do a lot of high impact workplace safety products, engineering, and then we also are in the healthcare space. So, some of our operating companies, we have 15 operating companies globally, about 17,000 employees. And some of the operating companies that you may recognize are Fluke, Tektronix, Advanced Sterilization Products. So, really just a strong company, a growing company, about 8 billion in size.
Scott Luton (10:50):
Man. Heather, very helpful context. Constantine, 17,000 team members, all dedicated on that mission of stronger, safer, smarter. I love that. What did you hear there, Dino?
Constantine Limberakis (11:01):
Yes, I hear that, you know, it was a focus in certain industries that are just critical. I mean, with the health and some of the other areas and some of these recognized names that in specific industries is pretty impressive, so.
Scott Luton (11:13):
I agree with you. And Heather, I don’t know if I can let this cat out to the bag because you mentioned your neighbors with Boeing. You all have got a really cool event coming up in September, which is going to be a highlight for many of your team members, right?
Heather Shilt (11:24):
Yes. We are bringing, you know, on the heels of Covid, finally having everybody able to travel again globally. We are doing our first ever global logistics and trade compliance here at our headquarters, our summit. We’re having 80 individuals across the corporation come into Everett. And we are planning, as part of a team building activity, to go tour Boeing, as well as many other key events. So —
Scott Luton (11:53):
Heather Shilt (11:54):
— we’ve got a lot of excitement in the organization right now about that event.
Scott Luton (11:59):
Heather, I’m going to try to bribe you with delicious homemade BLTs to see if I can’t get a ticket to that event. But thanks for sharing. Thanks for sharing and great to have you here today.
Scott Luton (12:09):
All right. So, Bobby, as you know, we always enjoy, you know, pairing your data-driven insights with executive practitioner perspective like we’re doing here today. So, for the handful of new viewers that may not know, share briefly what the U.S. Bank Freight Payment Index is, what it analyzes, and really how it works.
Bobby Holland (12:28):
Well, the Freight Payment Index is our view of the freight market space. It’s based on data from the transaction processing of the $46 billion in payments as of last year. It’s a chain-based index with data calculated from 2010. And we basically compare quarter over quarter, same store sales type activity as it generates as an index. And that’s how we represent economic activity in the market.
Scott Luton (13:01):
Outstanding. And that — and before I move on to Heather, I want to share folks a couple of graphics that Bobby’s talking about. There you see the spend and shipments, the two main focuses of the ongoing Freight Payment Index, which again, comes out each quarter, and is offered complimentary via that link. And, secondly, you’ll see the five different regions that the data focuses in and segmented by. And you’re going to hear that in some of our analysis. Again, freight.usbank.com.
Scott Luton (13:31):
So, Heather, I want to ask you, with resources like the Freight Payment Index, how do senior business leaders use these types of resources?
Heather Shilt (13:40):
Yes. So, Fortive has actually been partnered with U.S. Bank since we were a part of Danaher back in 2012. And I have the privilege also to sit on with numerous shippers and carriers that are partners with U.S. Bank. I sit on their Freight Payment Advisory Council. So, we are very intertwined. And, you know, we make sure that all of our logistics leaders at all of our 15 different operating companies receive a copy of the index quarterly. And what I love about it is it’s a good place to go for industry stats. You know, I’m actually here in Everett at our headquarters this week for our 2024 strategic planning.
Heather Shilt (14:24):
So, this is an example of a resource that I would use, right, to assess what’s going on in the market. Are we buying best? What are some watch outs? And to help us put together our budgets for 2024. So, there’s just some good key takeaways and findings where it summarizes everything together for people like myself, for carriers, other shippers.
Scott Luton (14:48):
You know, I imagine — and Constantine, I’m going to get your take there on the value of data-driven decision-making. But I imagine you roll up this resource and many others, Heather, to help fuel that mission of stronger, safer, and better. Stronger, safer, smarter. Sorry, I threw in —
Heather Shilt (15:03):
Scott Luton (15:03):
— I threw in some other verbal there —
Heather Shilt (15:05):
That’s fine. We’ll take it. We’ll take it.
Scott Luton (15:06):
It all rings in my ears. All right. So, Constantine, before we move on, and we’re going to be getting into the — those six key takeaways in a second. You know, looking at resources like the Freight Payment Index, chockfull of data, right? How important is that for business leaders in this era where we’ve got change and disruption and — I mean, you know, nothing stays the same hour to hour.
Constantine Limberakis (15:29):
Well, what I like about what they put together here is this consistent framework of year over year, you know, of how much information has been gathered, and it’s always that consistency. And it probably helps practitioners like Heather better understand the components that might be seasonality based versus those that might be aberrant, that might be something related to a disruption or shock. You know, you’re — we’re reading a lot and hearing a lot about the changes in the APAC region with globalization and in, kind of, the change in that.
Constantine Limberakis (15:59):
So, I’m sure so much of that you’re trying to dissect what has been traditionally a trend line versus what’s, kind of, out — the outlier and trying to figure out what do we do about that? Do we anticipate that to happen again? So, I — I’d really love to get your guys’ input on that, but that’s what I see from something like this, and that would be extremely helpful for planning.
Scott Luton (16:17):
Yes. Well said, Dino. And, we’re going to answer — you know, a lot of what we’re talking about as we dive into this — these six key takeaways that Bobby gave us a sneak peek a few sec — a second or two ago. And by the way, Atareme [phonetic] from Ontario, Canada. Welcome, welcome, welcome. Looking forward to your take here. And our dear friend, hey, Tom Valentine from the Atlanta area. Great to see you as well. And, Don — also, Don, who’s a fan of the Philly cheese steaks is also based here in the ATL. Great to see you, Don.
Scott Luton (16:47):
All right. So, Bobby, what I want to do, you mentioned those six key takeaways. I want to take those one by one, and then we’re going to get you to share and then I’ll get Heather and Constantine to weigh in on their analysis. And I want to start with the first one at a very high level because we’re seeing some firsts. Is that right, Bobby?
Bobby Holland (17:06):
Yes. So, on the back-to-back dips, the reason we called this one out is because it’s like the first time that we’ve had back-to-back reductions in overall Freight Payment Index, both shipments and spend, since basically the beginning of the index. You know, we attribute this — well, two things. One, nationally, it’s not so bad if that — if I can say it that way. If you look at the graphs on the index, you’ll see that while spend was down, you can see that it’s coming from a very high point. So, it’s — everything is relative. It’s dropping, but it’s, you know, you can see that it’s already at a pretty high post pandemic recovery.
Bobby Holland (18:02):
But you’ll also see that the shipments, although it was a drop, it was only 1.2%. Now, when we start talking about the regions, then we’ll get into, you know, the unequal impacts, if you will, unequal pain sharing across the regions that basically go into this national view.
Scott Luton (18:20):
Yes. Bobby, and I like how you said it there, unequal pain sharing. The pain distribution is not even and distributed equally. So, Heather, as we’re starting there, kind of, in the broader view, your thought or two.
Heather Shilt (18:37):
Yes, like what Bobby said is we have to remember that we’re coming down off of a high, you know, Fortive, ourselves. You know, we had two years of, you know, record spending and freight and logistics, like I’m sure many other shippers experienced. So, I know that in many modes, you know, rates have come down and capacity is available, which is welcome for some shippers, right? Where we’ve been fighting that battle for over two years now.
Heather Shilt (19:07):
I saw recently too that the ISM PMI index, you know, they reported the ninth consecutive month of manufacturer sector contraction, right? And we know that if anybody’s traveled recently, we know that consumers are, you know, shifting their spending habits away a little bit from goods and services — I mean from goods, rather, and moving over to, you know, travel, airfare, hotels, right? I came through the Charlotte Airport to get here and it was total chaos. So, it’s a good reminder of like what we see in the index and it’s like happening in real life, so.
Scott Luton (19:51):
Heather, excellent. And Constantine, I’m coming your way. But, Heather, you touched on one of my favorite sectors, the manufacturing industry, right? It’s where I spend a big chunk of my time in my practitioner career. But there’s a little bit of good news. A little bit of good news. It is, unfortunately, the U.S. manufacturing sector, as Heather pointed out, has contracted nine months. But in July, new orders were up. So, that could be a sign of things to come. We’ll see.
Scott Luton (20:16):
Constantine, again, as we’re, as we’re talking at a broader level, initially with what Bobby and Heather have shared, what would you add?
Constantine Limberakis (20:23):
No, I liked how you guys phrased that in terms of coming off of the highs from Covid and, kind of, that slowdown. And we’re trying to see — I think the other factor here is inflation and to be able to — and to purchase and see where things are going to happen. Because you’re starting to see — I think of the first, they made have mentioned this week or last week about the fact that they say that inflation is overall down for this quarter or for this month.
Constantine Limberakis (20:49):
And so, as that, as that kind of, tapers off, people might be willing to buy more. And as we’re seeing pressures off of some of the macroeconomic things like fuel coming down, we’ve all felt that a little bit better in our pockets. So, some of those dynamics, I think, have an impact here. And you’re always trying to see, well, what’s that going to be now, I guess, into Q3, right? So, what — where are we going to be at? What is that going to look like for the holiday season, I’m sure? How does that all impact? So, those are just some interesting observations, I would say.
Scott Luton (21:18):
Agreed. Very interesting indeed. I’ll move from there. We got five more key takeaways and the reasons why you should check out this report each quarter. And I want to move to, Bobby, it sounds like the southwest region had something in common as — with the Charlotte airport. It was humming. It was busy. So, let’s talk about this act of southwest region, Bobby.
Bobby Holland (21:39):
Well, again, if you look at the southwest region, it’s one of the less impacted regions if you — I’m trying to figure out the right way to articulate so I don’t overstate or understate. But anyway, the southwest, you know, shipments were actually up slightly. And this is — we attribute that in part from the data to Mexico border trade. Trucks are actually up, three percent over first quarter 2023, and five percent over year over year up.
Bobby Holland (22:12):
So, you know, again, we state these numbers but we want everybody to keep them in context. There are still the overall truck market, truck freight market, freight market in general is still expanding. It’s just — we’re seeing the results of hundreds of thousands and millions of decisions that people are making to try to adjust to the various market forces. So, we see that that’s the way it’s shaken out in the southwest. Again, we’re going to see a common theme of lower/stable fuel prices, which are helping to keep spend down. So, that’s what we’re seeing in the southwest.
Scott Luton (22:53):
Excellent. And you mentioned that robust U.S. and Mexico cross-border trade traffic. I saw — I’ve seen some reports that’s outpacing 2019, and largely one of the big factors there is fueling it is, of course, automotive trade. And it’s good to see — hey, I’m about you all. And Heather, I’m coming to you next. But it’s great to see our car lots at dealerships around the country finally start to gain some inventory.
Scott Luton (23:20):
Heather, your thoughts there as we were — as Bobby was talking about the second takeaway focus on the southwest region.
Heather Shilt (23:25):
I totally concur with, you know, the cross-border traffic with Mexico. When I was preparing my strategic summary internally, you know, one of the things that I referenced was that the Kearney Reshoring Index stated that the American imports from Mexican manufactured goods have grown by 26% dating back to spring of 2020. And so, I think many companies like Fortive, manufacturing companies, shippers, right, are looking assessing supply chains on the heels of Covid. Looking at how we can de-risk ourselves from what’s going on geopolitically. You know, all these terms we’re hearing. Reshoring, nearshoring, friendshoring, right? I mean, what — however you want to call it. There’s definitely, I think, a continued theme.
Heather Shilt (24:17):
And I thought that was really good of U.S. Bank to point that out, like of what’s specifically happening in the southwest with the cross-border. And it’s just a reminder, you know, for people like myself, shippers, right? Like I’m in close communication with my direct materials lead, right? As they’re making resourcing decisions in our supply chain, you know. These are happening, happening globally, but it’s interesting to see the impact that it has on domestic freight, right, as we make these changes globally, so.
Scott Luton (24:52):
Excellent point. And you know, that friendshoring is an interesting term. Who knows? Super friendshoring might be right around the corner, too, as we get Superman and Batman to help us in global supply chain.
Scott Luton (25:04):
And the other thing, kidding aside, Constantine, is this nearshoring and, in particular, the reshoring trend. It’ll be interesting to see as these plants are built and start to produce and add to our domestic freight markets where we’ll be, you know, two or three years from now. But Constantine, chat, what did you hear there from Bobby and Heather as we — as — on the second key takeaway focused in on the southwest region?
Constantine Limberakis (25:27):
Yes, I think, again, it’s just more evidence of the nearing relations on a regional basis. And, you know, because of the amount of automotive manufacturing in places like Mexico, that’s certainly a sign. But I think there’s just going to be other industries where that’s going to also increase, right? As there’s increased investment in that production, anything semiconductor related is going to also have an impact. I mean, there were discussions about where things are going to be happening in places like even like Costa Rica, and we talked about that. Where, where is that going to go? How’s that going to come through?
Constantine Limberakis (26:02):
And again, because then you’re not relying on these shipping aspects and the concerns of, you know, things coming from overseas, if it’s coming vertically and you’re dealing with more of a regional trade, it’s an expansion of our ability to get things there quicker. And that even more so, than I would say as to why the freight rates are going to be important because it — it’s how — where does it have to go through. It’s got to go through the southwest. So, it’s a very interesting dynamic that these numbers show that I just, again, are so pivotal for planning and understanding of what you need to do from a manufacturing standpoint.
Scott Luton (26:37):
Agreed. Agreed. Well, it’s going to get better. And I like, I like Bobby’s searching to find the right and most accurate term. Bobby, I’ve always liked that about how you do business here going back for three or four years because folks need to hear it. They don’t need to hear it dramatically put or blown out of proportion. We just need a little — take a level head and with context, data driven context, understanding what’s going on out in the market.
Scott Luton (27:03):
So, that brings us to our number three key takeaway, the southeast region metrics. Seeing the surprise a few folks out there. Is that right, Bobby?
Bobby Holland (27:12):
Yes, and the reason we call it a surprise is because if you look at what traditionally happens in the southeast, they usually have capacity shortages. But as we were seeing in the data, we see that the shipments dropped very slightly. The shipment volumes dropped very slightly, which almost if you look at the graph looks like a rise. But we see that the spend element dropped more.
Bobby Holland (27:37):
So, you know, minus 2.2% on shipments, but a 2.5% drop in spends, which means to us even when we see that we think, you know, capacity is greater and then we start to look at — try to figure out why it might be. And some of the things came back and as — and Heather actually, you know, said that earlier, is the shifting in goods and, you know, from goods to services. And again, that’s another theme that we’ll find throughout the index that as that happens, it affects the regions somewhat differently, but it still affects the truck freight volumes and spend.
Scott Luton (28:20):
Yes, that’s right. Everyone wants to get out and travel. They want to break out and see new places like, Everett, Washington or who knows that wherever folks getting out, eating new things, Italian sandwiches, Bobby, all that stuff we touched on earlier.
Scott Luton (28:35):
Heather, what would you add when we talk about key takeaway number three and what’s going on in the southeast?
Heather Shilt (28:41):
I always — being from the southeast, I always have heard and, you know, I think this has something to do with, you know, there’s a lot of highways, right? The intersect in the southeast with 95, 85, right? And just with everything that we’ll get to the West Coast region shortly but, you know, everything going on there with ports and things. I just, I also, see that, you know, as we are looking at, you know, this whole idea of nearshoring restoring, we are looking at a supply base, and some are in the southeast, surprisingly. So, you know, that didn’t surprise me to see that just thinking about, you know, the travel that takes place in the southeast and that highway system that we have.
Scott Luton (29:32):
Yes, agreed. Heather and Constantine, I’m coming to you next. But hey, don’t sleep on I-20. I-20 Prospects, Aiken County, South Carolina, where I grew up. And of course, it goes all across the country. And also, Heather, as you also pointed out, of course, here in the Atlanta area, let’s see here, 75, 85, I-20 —
Heather Shilt (29:52):
It’s all —
Scott Luton (29:52):
— and of course, the perimeter.
Heather Shilt (29:53):
Scott Luton (29:53):
It’s — yes, it’s just like the —
Heather Shilt (29:54):
Scott Luton (29:55):
Yes. And one other thing about Georgia, which of course is a very active region in southeast, is all these new plants that are going up. I think three mega plants have been announced, and at least two of them, I believe, have broken ground. It’ll be really interesting to see the ripple effect there in some of the clustering that goes on in industries like automotive and others. So, we’ll see.
Heather Shilt (30:18):
With labor rates, right? To —
Scott Luton (30:19):
Heather Shilt (30:19):
— be what they are.
Scott Luton (30:21):
Heather Shilt (30:21):
Different areas of the country.
Scott Luton (30:24):
Yes, that’s a great call out. And one other thing I saw last night is a nuclear power. They just — they started operation of the first nuclear reactor in the U.S. in like 30 or 40 years in Georgia with plans for a fourth one to come online soon. So, you know, that access energy is so critical for manufacturing and industrial activity in general.
Scott Luton (30:46):
Constantine, sorry, went on a diatribe there, but the southeast, your thoughts.
Constantine Limberakis (30:50):
Well, again, you guys are there more so than me. I’ve been experiencing, having traveled there. What I’d be really interested to understand is what that index portends with regard to some of the manufacturing in places like South Carolina where you have a manufacturing, particularly with automotive like the BMWs and of the world. Where you’re hearing stuff, for instance, with the German market where they were saying they had a slowdown, they had some kind of recession. Is that going to have an impact? How much of what percent of that index is related to some of that automotive and other new investments maybe that’s more sustainable type of investments that are going on.
Constantine Limberakis (31:28):
So, why that region? Again, I’d be interested to get some of your guys’ feedback on that to see how that dynamic’s different.
Scott Luton (31:35):
I agree. I think we’re going to probably touch on that as we get to these next couple of take — key takeaways. I want to talk about, Bobby, key takeaway number four, the northeast. We saw some big drops in northeast, didn’t we?
Bobby Holland (31:51):
Yes, we saw some big drops. And again, this — the interesting thing about the northeast region is if you look at the way that we have it broken out on the region maps, it, in effect, economically punches above its weight. It’s the smallest region, but it has such high population density that we can see the — some of these impacts that we’re talking about.
Bobby Holland (32:14):
For example, travel spending according to the Census Bureau to was — personnel lays is up two and a half percent from a year earlier, much lower spending on travel which was up 15 to 20% over the same period. So, we’ve got a lot of things going on that are affecting these numbers, and again, making them interesting as they are. We also have bad housing starts up here.
Bobby Holland (32:45):
But we also have, you know, stable fuel prices that are not, you know, they’re not plunging, but they’re not, you know, shifting like the stock market either. So, that definitely affects, you know, northeast. And northeast, like I said, has always been traditionally a hard — a harder one because of a variety of reasons in the truck freight market. But — so, we see some mixed influences here.
Scott Luton (33:08):
Yes. Agreed. Agreed. Heather, weigh in on the northeast and that fourth key takeaway here today.
Heather Shilt (33:16):
Yes. So, for the northeast, I don’t have anything like specific, I think. I think, just, you know, for me, just reading in the index right, that the major factor just based on the population density, right, really affects that area with if that region makes changes in their household consumption, right? That you do see the shift, you know, correlation to the freight. So, that was a point that I hadn’t thought of as I was reading through the index of just how much, you know, population didn’t city, right, and couldn’t impact that area.
Scott Luton (33:52):
Excellent point. And on that note, as I shift over you, Constantine, and we talk about population density and consumer preferences, you know, one of the numerous factors is BOPUS, you know, buy online, pick up in store. Of course, when we as customers, consumers select that option, which we are more and more, I’ve got — I walk past lanes at my local grocery store and they’re full of cars that I’ve ordered, and now their groceries are brought out and put in their vans or what have you. Of course, that impacts, freight and we’ll do — continue to do so more and more. But Constantine, the northeast, your thoughts on what Bobby and Heather have shared?
Constantine Limberakis (34:29):
Yes, I think that the thing I always am impressed by when you go to a place like in that region is the concentration, like, you were hinting at Heather, not only the population but of where people also go in, in the summertime, right? And also, what people would be demanding in those regions because there are so many of those places that are regionalized that could have an impact too, particularly on the consumer side, right? Where they’re like — there are certain places where they might be wanting to go.
Constantine Limberakis (34:56):
And then the other interesting factor is, again, the weather. Is this heat aspect — is the after effect of, you know, people are saying, I want to go to a region, or has it been too hot, it — the costs of air conditioning, and we’ve had a really hot summer. Has that region been impacted more? And also, a lot of the rains that we’ve seen, right, from the weather aspect of how does that impact people on what they’re going to then buy? Or does it have a negative effect of them being able to go somewhere and being able to get the stuff that they needed because of, you know, the heat or weather-related events.
Scott Luton (35:33):
I’m — Constantine, that’s such a great call out. As I’m — I was asking my wife, Amanda, the other day and our three kids, hey, you want to go to a Braves game? You want to go check out these waterfalls? She’s like, Scott, it’s way too hot. It’s way too hot. Let’s wait until we get into fall. And she’s so true. And Constantine, that certainly plays out into some of these consumer decisions and industry decisions we’re all making.
Scott Luton (35:55):
A couple quick comments here from the chat. Josh talks about how the India rice export ban, how that might factor into some of the data we’re talking about. Excellent point, Josh. And hopefully it’s cooler up in Seattle where you are. John makes a great point. We’re talking about Atlanta earlier. Atlanta was formerly known by state name Terminus due to its role as a centralized railroad hub. That’s a great piece of supply chain trivia there.
Scott Luton (36:18):
And finally, Tom speaking your language and speaking to you here to Constantine. He says, we should contact old Hank Hyatt at the Greenville Chamber to talk about some of the upstate manufacturing and manufacturing in South Carolina. Hey, we’ll do that and we’ll follow your advice. Tell him I sent you, Tom said. We’ll do that, Tom. Great to have you here today.
Scott Luton (36:37):
OK. We are, by my account, and I can be a little bit slow sometimes, but I think we’re coming up on number five. The fifth key takeaway here today, Bobby. So, we’re going to be talking about, I believe, challenging conditions out west. Is that right, Bobby?
Bobby Holland (36:49):
Correct. Basically, what’s going on with the west headwinds. Again, we can see that’s kind of reflected in the numbers where we have spend is down, in some ways out of proportion with the shipments. And again, when that happens, we look at why? You know, where is the extra — even if it’s a small amount, where is the extra capacity coming from? Well, it looks in the West like port volumes are reduced as, you know, shipments continue to — continue onto other ports. We see the imports in general are lower.
Bobby Holland (37:24):
But then we also see like a huge drop in housing starts, you know, 15 to 20% during the quarter, 15% compared with a year earlier. You know, things like that. That’s — those are big drivers of truck freedom. When they drop like that, you know, again, it makes impact.
Bobby Holland (37:42):
So, even if the economic activity in general is high, these big shifts can change the distribution of freight. We also know that the west has gone through a bunch of issues with, you know, strikes and threats of strikes and all of the decisions that are made to, kind of — how do you say, buttress against that happening, you know? Again, decisions are being made to keep prayed out of until, you know, that shows more stability. So, all of these decisions, we’re seeing the results of it. And this is what it looks like in the west with the numbers.
Scott Luton (38:18):
It’s never easy. Global supply chain, domestic supply chain is not for the faint of heart for sure. And you touched on those imports, Bobby. Did you know, Bobby, Heather and Constantine, U.S. imports in June hit a seventh month low. So, Heather, what — that or some other things that Bobby was talking about in terms of what’s going on out west, your thoughts?
Heather Shilt (38:41):
Yes, my thoughts went straight to the ports. Not only, you know, our U.S. West Coast ports, but our Canadian West Coast ports with the labor challenges, threats of strikes. You know, I know myself as a shipper constantly I’m reaching out to my peers at other companies, you know, as we’re trying to assess, you know, what are they doing, you know? Because it does cause a freakout factor for shippers, right? We’ve all lived through labor situations in the past.
Heather Shilt (39:14):
And so, I do think we have a little bit of battle going on now between East Coast and West Coast ports. I know a lot of shippers for fear of what would — could happen on the West Coast moved a lot of volume over to Savannah, Charleston, New York ports, right? And I think it’ll be interesting, thankfully, that was resolved, right? And I think it’ll be interesting now to see if that volume actually returns to the West Coast.
Heather Shilt (39:43):
And, you know, it — that does correlate too with what’s going on with the ocean market. We’ve got capacity there now. The rates have come way down. So — and, you know, the ocean carriers are more reliable now servicing the ports. So, lead times are better. You know, you’re not waiting as long in the ports to get your containers. So, I think all that has a direct correlation on what’s happening in domestic freight.
Scott Luton (40:10):
Excellent. Excellent analysis there. And I would just add, Bobby, if you heard Heather say that we got a new metric we got to add to the Freight Payment Index, that’s the freak out factor.
Heather Shilt (40:19):
The freak —
Scott Luton (40:19):
We got to start tracking that.
Heather Shilt (40:20):
We’ve been doing a lot of that lately.
Scott Luton (40:23):
Hey, no one’s immune. No one’s immune. Constantine, let’s talk about — we covered a lot of ground in that fifth takeaway with what’s going on out west, your thoughts.
Constantine Limberakis (40:31):
Well, when you guys brought this up and we were talking about this pre-show, Scott, about the freight index. And I was thinking out of one area that you keep hearing the most about with the impact on deglobalization or in regionalization into that, it’s that west. You know, aside from the route coming up from the southwest to the Mexico, you’re thinking about the countries that are shipping in the ports in Long Beach and et cetera. We’re thinking places like Vietnam, China, Taiwan, South Korea.
Constantine Limberakis (40:57):
And if you look at the graph, it’s really fascinating. There was a graph in the Wall Street Journal that’s published. It shows sinking Asian exports are slowing this economy, that has a direct ripple effect then on where those numbers are heading, right? Because there’s just not as much exports that are happening. And I think the Chinese exports, for instance, a number that they quoted was like, it fell 24% in June compared to a year earlier.
Constantine Limberakis (41:20):
So, I mean, that number alone just kind of makes you think, why is that going on, right? What’s going on in China? Why are those changes happening? They’re also having troubles over there in their economy where they’ve got like 20% plus unemployment for the youth, like, 25 years and under. So, there’s a lot of dynamics happening here. So, there’s these pressures that are forcing those things to go down, and then as a — an instant ripple effect on what those prices are going to look like in the freight index, right?
Scott Luton (41:50):
Well said. Well said. And John points out another factor that we may have touched on or may not, excess inventories. That all sorts of companies are trying to work their way through. Excellent point there, John, as always.
Scott Luton (42:03):
OK. Bobby, all this leads us to the sixth and final key takeaway from the Q2 U.S. Bank Freight Payment Index. And that is the Midwest where we saw some big declines. Is that right?
Bobby Holland (42:17):
Yes. And the interesting thing about the Midwest is that, well we have software manufacturing, and so that’s bringing down freight in the region. But housing starts are up. So, you know, again are those, kind of, balancing each other out? But we also, see that cross-border trade is probably preventing the region from going much worse because the imports from Canada are up four percent from the first quarter and three percent from a year earlier.
Bobby Holland (42:50):
So, again, different market forces, different distribution, different pain points. But we can see from the numbers that spend went down, shipments went down a lot less. Again, indication of decent capacity, or at least some excess capacity that allows them to make better decisions shipped for less. And again, one of the things, like I said, that’s been a constant across the country is the lower and more stable fuel prices, which also drive the cost down.
Scott Luton (43:26):
Bobby, excellent point. Excellent point. Year over year, regular and diesel gasoline prices are all down. But you look at the last couple of weeks, folks, keep your eye on the regular and diesel pricing. I wish I had better news to tell you, but I’m sure we’ll be tackling that in the Q3 version of the Freight Payment Index, Bobby.
Scott Luton (43:44):
Heather, as we — as Bobby shared that sixth key takeaway focus on the Midwest, your thoughts?
Heather Shilt (43:50):
Yes. My in-laws live in Midwest, in Missouri. And they’re always commenting like, you know, how great their fuel prices are, right. compared to what it’s like in Seattle here, where I am. over $5 a gallon right now. But I actually learned something through the index was that the cross-border Canada piece that, Bobby mentioned. I wasn’t really thinking about that trade lane, you know, falling into that Midwest region. So, I was happy to see that that was a bright spot that was calling out for the region as well as the — as Bobby mentioned, the housing starts we’re outperforming the Midwest as well. So, yes.
Scott Luton (44:34):
Interesting, interesting, interesting. You know, Heather — before I move to you, Constantine. Heather, I loved you sharing some of your career supply chain stories in the pre-show. We’re going to have to have you back on an episode. We’re going to dive deeper on some of the really cool things you did earlier.
Heather Shilt (44:48):
Yes. We should do a show on, like, what’s the most interesting freight you’ve ever moved?
Scott Luton (44:52):
Heather Shilt (44:53):
Or I’m sure, like, people would chime in with some really funny comments.
Scott Luton (44:58):
Heather Shilt (44:59):
Because people, I think, like, until Covid, I’m — I always say like, people had no idea what logistics professionals even did. I feel like most people just assume freight just shows up on the shelves and, like, it just magically got there. And now, like I tell people I’m in logistics or supply chain. People are like, oh, you know. Like, they have a real understanding when, you know, we couldn’t get toilet paper and things like that, so.
Scott Luton (45:23):
That’s right. And that’s a great thing, but it’s also a challenging theme because consumers are cracking the code more and more. And are asking better questions, tougher questions. And of course, all that rolls into continued to heightened expectations. So — but Heather, we’re going to have that show because everything has a supply chain. I appreciate you sharing.
Heather Shilt (45:41):
Scott Luton (45:41):
Constantine again, sorry, I went — I took a hard right turn there. I’ll say it, at Albuquerque, since we’re talking about the Midwest in the sixth key takeaway. Your thoughts on what Bobby and Heather shared there on the final takeaway.
Constantine Limberakis (45:53):
Well, when it comes to fuel prices, and there’s a difference between Chicago fuel prices and like Hannibal, Missouri. When I’m thinking Midwest, you know, I’m like, you know, smack deck in the middle, you know, we’re dealing with Cook County and dealing with that, kind of, local, kind of, sphere of pricing versus the rest of the Midwest. You know, places like Michigan, Wisconsin, Southern Illinois, Indiana.
Constantine Limberakis (46:17):
So, there’s a dynamics there. I mean, you start seeing a lot of, you know, investment too. We’re seeing a lot of activity like with housing. It might be increased in some of these regional locations where they might be college towns. I saw an article where there’s been increased interest in some of these regionalities like, West Lafayette, Indiana or South Bend, Indiana, where there’s been people moving to these regions because they want to have a little bit less cost pressure from some of the big metro areas in these Midwest cities. But then at the same time again, the dynamic from the fuel, it’s — we also have seen that decrease in pricing.
Constantine Limberakis (46:53):
So, that — that’s a good thing. But I — where you draw the line on Midwest, for me, is always interesting. I don’t know. I’d like to get better insight from you, Bobby, on where you guys draw that line because I live here and it’s just an interesting thing to see —
Bobby Holland (47:06):
Yes, in the index, we did call out the fact that it’s, you know, a lot of this is in more the northern states that are born than northern.
Constantine Limberakis (47:14):
Yes, because of Canada.
Bobby Holland (47:15):
Out into the Midwest. So, that, you know, to your point, that’s probably why some of these things that we’re talking about, you know, don’t — may not necessarily trickle down, if you will, to the state you’re in. Part of the — or part of the state you’re in. I used to live in Chicago too so I know exactly what you’re talking about.
Constantine Limberakis (47:34):
Scott Luton (47:35):
We’re going to have to get —
Bobby Holland (47:37):
Not like the rest of the world.
Constantine Limberakis (47:38):
Yes, that’s right. That’s right.
Bobby Holland (47:39):
Not like the rest of the world.
Scott Luton (47:40):
We’re going to have to get you all to share some of those Chicago stories in another — that’s a different episode coming up soon. But hey, I’m sharing this graphic here. I know that might be a bit of an eye chart. You all can check out how we define each region in the report. But, Dino, that kind of gives you, if you know your geography better than I do, that kind of gives you a sense of the states that are rolled up into the Midwest region there.
Scott Luton (48:02):
OK. So, now we’re going to arrive, as we start to kind of come down the home stretch here. Of course, Bobby, we’re not going to ask you. You’re not going to wear your futurist hat today or ever with us as always. But Constantine and Heather, I want both of you all to break out your crystal ball because — and Heather, we’ll start with you. What do you see in the next few months? What lies ahead for the freight market here in the U.S.?
Heather Shilt (48:27):
Yes. So, as I mentioned earlier, I do have my crystal ball out right now, because I’m in my pre-strap planning for 2024 already, which is just crazy that, you know, we’re already trying to think about 2024, you know. We’re at Fortive really going through it by mode, because every mode is really different right now. You know, ocean and air are stable. We got good capacity, right?
Heather Shilt (48:53):
But then there is some uncertainty right now in the domestic trucking. We do know that some recent events have happened in the market, particularly in LTL. And I think a lot of shippers, like myself, are questioning, you know, what the capacity situation’s going to look like. And then, you know, are other carriers able to absorb capacity as well as what will be the cost of absorbing that capacity. So, that is something that we are watching very closely right now because we do feel like there — that we will have exposure to that.
Heather Shilt (49:31):
So, just — it’s never a dull moment here in the domestic freight market, you know. Everybody knows, like, what’s been in the news with parcel as well. So, it’s been interesting times.
Scott Luton (49:46):
It really has. And I love what you shared on the front end of your response there. You got to take it mode by mode.
Heather Shilt (49:52):
Scott Luton (49:52):
Really break it apart and segment it out as you determine your strategies to drive success and profitability and less headaches in the months to come. Well said.
Scott Luton (50:02):
Constantine, what about you? What’s your prediction here?
Constantine Limberakis (50:05):
Well, I’m going to defer to the experts here in terms of the nature. Your nose is the grindstone, Heather. I mean, you’re seeing this stuff day in and day out, you know. And what we’re doing is we’re looking at these macro factors and kind of the consequences of that. I think when I’m looking at this, one of the big questions is going to be what’s going to be some of the impacts of things like interest rates, on costs, and on people’s capital controls and where they’re spending, how they want to spend that, where they’re — and aha, they’re able to defer to alternative providers, what their increase is.
Constantine Limberakis (50:36):
So, it’s interesting to see what the wider manufacturing outlook is going to be on the ability for people to get their product to market and what they’re willing to spend to do that. So, you know, I don’t know if I have a prediction, but a lot of what the people are saying is that they’re increasing rates again. And so, are they trying to slow things down? I don’t know. And what the impact does a recession or, you know, slow down have on everything else?
Scott Luton (51:05):
Yes. Well, let me put — let me pose a follow up quick question to you, Constantine, if you weigh in. Yes or no, the Cubs. The Cubs have been on a tear here lately. Are they going to make the playoffs in a strong finish or not? Yes or no?
Constantine Limberakis (51:18):
Yes. And I have to confess, I’m not like the biggest baseball fan.
Scott Luton (51:22):
Constantine Limberakis (51:23):
But I’ll say yes just for the sake of, because I’m a north sider. So, north side’s, I’m north side. So, yes, I am a Cubs fan.
Scott Luton (51:31):
All right. Good, good, good. Smartest — one of the smartest folks I know. So, I’m going to take that yes to the bank. Speaking of smartest people, I’ll tell you, between Constantine, Bobby and Heather, man, we have got a brain trust here today. And what I want to do, I’ve really enjoyed the last hour, really appreciate you all’s approach as we broke up all this data and these market observations that what we’re seeing and what the data is telling us into six key takeaways that hopefully folks can take and take some action with, right, as they start to plan for the rest of the year and into next year, like Heather and her team are going through.
Scott Luton (52:06):
So, Bobby, I want to — as we start to wind down, I want to make sure folks know how to find the Freight Payment Index, and of course, take the step to subscribe. Where would you point people to?
Bobby Holland (52:18):
I’d point them to freight.usbank.com. And again, you can subscribe to it, it’s a free publication. And it’ll be de delivered to you quarterly to your e-mail box.
Scott Luton (52:29):
That is right. It doesn’t get much easier than that in these challenging times. But really appreciate, and of course, Bobby’s team and information’s all on the report. You can connect with Bobby Holland there and the U.S. Bank team. Bobby, really appreciate all that you do on a quarterly basis here to help people, you know, be more informed. I got to come up with a tagline for what you do. I got to play on that stronger, safer, smarter. I’ll have one ready for the next livestream, Bobby.
Bobby Holland (52:57):
You guys as well.
Scott Luton (52:58):
Heather, Heather, Heather, Heather. Really enjoyed all of our chats. Especially not only your expertise here, but some of those pre-show stories that we’re going to get to in a future episode. How can folks connect with you and the ever-growing Fortive team that’s on the move?
Heather Shilt (53:15):
Yes. So, probably the easiest way is LinkedIn. I have actually been trying to make a conservative effort to be more active on LinkedIn. I think it’s a great platform. I’m thinking like, I love logistics. I love my job. I’m doing it every day. And I’m like, I make a post and like, people actually, like, are interested in this. Like, I went to career day at my daughter’s preschool and did preschool for logistics, and that blew up on LinkedIn. And I’m like, who knew? So, but yes, probably LinkedIn would be the best way or you can e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Scott Luton (53:53):
I love that. And Heather, I love logistics for preschool. Is that what you said? I get that right?
Heather Shilt (53:59):
Scott Luton (54:00):
You know, I love those approaches at really baking things down into really approachable ways that anyone can understand. Supply chain or logistics or manufacturing or whatever. So, I’m going to check that out too, Heather.
Heather Shilt (54:12):
Especially our future youth, right?
Scott Luton (54:14):
Heather Shilt (54:15):
It is such a growing industry and such an important field. And I think sometimes it gets overlooked. So, I felt like I was giving back by, I’m like, at least I’ve imparted this knowledge on a young group of people, so.
Scott Luton (54:29):
Well said. Attacking that aware — awareness gap which is so real. You know, Constantine, you — you’re — I’m not sure if you’re familiar with this. But we used to be in elementary schools with kids talking supply chain one-on-one with thousands of kids. And Heather, as you’re implying, man, the light bulb that goes off, they figured out really quick, and then they’re asking questions and cracking the code further. So, that’s so critical to what we do is we take care of the craft that is a global supply chain industry.
Scott Luton (54:55):
All right. So, before we sign off here — and I’m going to keep Bobby, Heather, sit tight just for a second. We’ll be signing off in just a second. And folks, I really appreciate all the audience that that showed up. I know we couldn’t get all the comments. But Constantine, if you think back through the last hour in what Bobby has shared, and Heather has shared, and what we’ve talked about. What is one key takeaway that you believe our global audiences got to take with them?
Constantine Limberakis (55:20):
I think — what I was observing here is just paying attention to the nuances of these regionalization and seeing how that could have an impact on, you know, what you’re trying to accomplish within your business. And, you know, do you go — do you shift? Do you pivot to the southeast? Do you go to the southwest? How does the west look? What are those dynamics? How are the — like, what — like Heather was saying, this capacity with some of these changes in some of the providers out there, how are you going to be able to handle that? And where is their concentration so that you’ll be able to get your product out and be able to move? So, that was just some interesting observations of how unique these regions are with what they are with the freight payments.
Scott Luton (56:02):
Agreed. That’s a great, great way to put a period on a great outstanding conversation here today. Folks, you can connect with Heather on LinkedIn, one click away there. Connect with Bobby on LinkedIn. Big thanks.
Scott Luton (56:15):
Hey, Tom, appreciate the feedback. Great segment. Thanks for the intel. You bet. Always here to deliver and help you. Hey, John, really appreciate that. He says, great content insight to the panel here today. I agree John. And I’m only slightly partial. But Bobby, really appreciate all that you do. Bobby Holland, Director of freight data — freight business analytics at U.S. Bank. Thank you for joining us here, Bobby.
Bobby Holland (56:38):
Thank you, guys.
Scott Luton (56:39):
And Heather Shilt, Director at Global Logistics at Fortive, thanks again for your time.
Bobby Holland (56:44):
Scott Luton (56:45):
Constantine, always a pleasure. Thanks for joining us here today. I look forward to the next conversation. Thanks for being here.
Constantine Limberakis (56:52):
Scott Luton (56:53):
But folks, to all of our listeners out there, one of our — we got the smartest audience in the world. Now, the onus on you to take something, all the brilliance that Bobby, Heather and Constantine dropped here at the last hour, put it into action. Do something with it, right? Deeds, not words. On that note, be sure to check out the U.S. Bank Freight Payment Index. Download your copy and then you can get future copies that you can see the links there we dropped in the chat. Connect with our panel. But take that action. Deeds, not words. On behalf of our entire team here at Supply Chain Now, Scott Luton challenge you to do good, to give forward, and to be the change that’s needed. And we’ll see you next time, right back here at Supply Chain Now. Thanks everybody.
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.
Bobby Holland leads the Freight Data Solutions team at U.S. Bank where he focuses in analytics and data-related product management for the freight industry. Bobby has more than 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. At the bank, Bobby leads efforts to produce the U.S. Bank Freight Payment Index. The often-cited Index is a barometer for freight shipping trends on both the national and regional level. The index source data is based on actual freight payment transactions from across the country. The pioneer in electronic freight payment, U.S. Bank Freight Payment processes more than $46 billion in freight payments annually for corporate and federal government clients. Connect with Bobby on LinkedIn.
Heather Shilt is the Director, Global Logistics for Fortive based in Everett, WA. Heather is responsible for the logistics direction and strategy working with Fortive’s operating companies to identify opportunities to leverage and drive logistics efficiencies in cost, delivery and quality. Heather has worked in various industries with a concentration in logistics for more than 15 years. Heather joined Gilbarco-Veeder Root (an operating company of Fortive) in 2012, where she worked in various logistics and procurement roles. Prior to joining Fortive, she held several logistics and procurement roles at Hanesbrands, Inc. and Sanford Corporation, a division of Newell-Rubbermaid. Connect with Heather on LinkedIn.
Constantine Limberakis is a thought leader in the area of procurement and supply management. He has over 20 years of international experience, playing strategic roles in a wide spectrum of organizations related to analyst advisory, consulting, product marketing, product development, and market research. Throughout his career, he’s been passionate about engaging global business leaders and the broader analyst and technology community with strategic content, speaking engagements, podcasts, research, webinars, and industry articles. Constantine holds a BA in History from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, and an MBA in Finance & Marketing / Masters in Public & International Affairs from the University of Pittsburgh. Connect with Constantine on LinkedIn.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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).
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.
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.
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.
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).
Host, Logistics with Purpose
Adrian Purtill serves as Business Development Manager at Vector Global Logistics, where he consults with importers and exporters in various industries to match their specific shipping requirements with the most effective supply chain solutions. Vector Global Logistics is an asset-free, multi-modal logistics company that provides exceptional sea freight, air freight, truck, rail, general logistic services and consulting for our clients. Our highly trained and professional team is committed to providing creative and effective solutions, always exceeding our customer’s expectations and fostering long-term relationships. With more than 20+ years of experience in both strategy consulting and logistics, Vector Global Logistics is your best choice to proactively minimize costs while having an exceptional service level.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Vice President, Production
Amanda is a production and marketing veteran and entrepreneur with over 20 years of experience across a variety of industries and organizations including Von Maur, Anthropologie, AmericasMart Atlanta, and Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta. Amanda currently manages, produces, and develops modern digital content for Supply Chain Now and their clients. Amanda has previously served as the VP of Information Systems and Webmaster on the Board of Directors for APICS Savannah, and founded and managed her own successful digital marketing firm, Magnolia Marketing Group. When she’s not leading the Supply Chain Now production team, you can find Amanda in the kitchen, reading, listening to podcasts, or enjoying time with family.
Constantine Limberakis is a thought leader in the area of procurement and supply management. He has over 20 years of international experience, playing strategic roles in a wide spectrum of organizations related to analyst advisory, consulting, product marketing, product development, and market research. Throughout his career, he's been passionate about engaging global business leaders and the broader analyst and technology community with strategic content, speaking engagements, podcasts, research, webinars, and industry articles.Constantine holds a BA in History from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, and an MBA in Finance & Marketing / Masters in Public & International Affairs from the University of Pittsburgh.
Host, Veteran Voices
Mary Kate Soliva is a veteran of the US Army and cofounder of the Guam Human Rights Initiative. She is currently in the Doctor of Criminal Justice program at Saint Leo University. She is passionate about combating human trafficking and has spent the last decade conducting training for military personnel and the local community.
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’.
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.
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 Cisco, Microsoft, 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 University, O’Reilly Media, LinkedIn Learning, and Pluralsight. Mr. Jackson retired from the U.S. Navy in 1994, earning specialties in Space Systems Engineering, Carrier 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.
Director of Sales
Tyler Ward serves as Supply Chain Now's Director of Sales. Born and raised in Mid-Atlantic, Tyler is a proud graduate of Shippensburg University where he earned his degree in Communications. After college, he made his way to the beautiful state of Oregon, where he now lives with his wife and daughter.
With over a decade of experience in sales, Tyler has a proven track record of exceeding targets and leading high-performing teams. He credits his success to his ability to communicate effectively with customers and team members alike, as well as his strategic thinking and problem-solving skills.
When he's not closing deals, you can find Tyler on the links or cheering on his favorite football and basketball teams. He also enjoys spending time with his family, playing pick-up basketball, and traveling back to Ocean City, Maryland, his favorite place!
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.
Principal & CMO, 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.
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.