Supply Chain Now
Episode 884

There's a lot of talk on social media about whether or not we're in a freight recession. As far as I'm concerned, we're not. There's too many other variables that are pointing otherwise right now.

-Cathy Morrow-Roberson with Logistics Trends & Insights LLC

Episode Summary

In 2021, U.S. Bank processed $37 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.

According to a summary released by U.S. Bank, “Truck freight spending was up 27.5% year-over-year and 1.2% compared to the fourth quarter of 2021. This marked the fourth consecutive quarter that spending increased for shippers, keeping the total measure at the highest recording in the history of the index.”

In this interview, Bobby is joined by Cathy Morrow-Roberson with Logistics Trends & Insights LLC, to share the results of the on the Q1 2022 report with Supply Chain Now Co-hosts Greg White and Scott Luton, interpreting what they may mean for the economy and the shipping industry in the short and longer term.

  • The expected ‘dip’ observed in Q1 2022 wasn’t as steel as it could have been, especially given a confluence of supply chain disruptions
  • Which regions were hit hardest by the spike of COVID-19 in the first quarter of the year
  • The mode shifting observed that may have directed volume away from truckload and less than truckload freight

Episode Transcript

Intro/Outro (00:00:03):

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

Scott Luton (00:00:33):

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

Greg White (00:00:40):

I’m doing well. How are you doing?

Scott Luton (00:00:42):

We’re doing wonderful. It is a gorgeous day in Metro Atlanta. What’s the weather like down where you are?

Greg White (00:00:48):

I’m looking outside. It’s beautiful out there. Yes, it’s beautiful. And, Hilton had – oh, Scott, I promise that the next time we were on the air, I would have the numbers for the global supply chain, Hilton Head supply chain, container back-up, whatever –

Scott Luton (00:01:09):

Transportation, logistics, supply chain, low country index, global index.

Greg White (00:01:14):

Yeah. So, good news there. So, for the Port of Savannah, right off of Hilton Head here, the Port of Savannah seven, the count is seven ships waiting this morning, first thing in the morning. the even better news, Scott, is down from 27, the Port of Charleston had only 12 ships waiting outside of the port this morning. So, they are making progress and its progress based on some numbers, we’re about to discuss a today with our friends from U.S. Bank.

Scott Luton (00:01:45):

We sure are. That’s a perfect segue, very apropos. Don’t ask me to spell that. On this episode, Greg, we’re going to be sharing key insights from one, the leading transportation industry resources, the U.S. Bank Freight Payment Index. This one for quarter 1 2022 we just wrapped up a few weeks ago. We’re also going to be gaining key takeaways from the index and from two business leaders with extensive experience in the transportation markets and beyond. Don’t miss this. We’ve got a great, great repeat, or two great repeat guests, frankly.

Greg White (00:02:16):

Yeah. I got to sit up straight ‘cause Cathy is on.

Scott Luton (00:02:19):

So, really quick, Greg, before we introduce our guests, and before we say hello to a few folks, we really enjoyed our ongoing collaboration with U.S. Bank going back several years now. It’s one of the leading financial institutions involved, empowering the transportation industry forward, the backbone, as we all know of the global supply chain community, right?

Greg White (00:02:39):

Yeah. I mean, look, this is based on 37 billion worth of transactions. So, all these freight transactions that go through US Bank, the data is captured anonymized, of course, and then utilized to understand what’s going on in the marketplace. And we’re going to have some really good discussion about what is, Scott, and what isn’t going on in the freight marketplace. So, I’m pretty excited to have Cathy here and, of course, Bobby Holland here to talk about this. But look, this is a huge authority in terms of what’s going on in the freight world. And there’s a lot of misinformation potentially out there, but, and it’s really interesting to see how things have shifted over the last several quarter. Scott, we’ve been doing this. I think this is two years and one quarter, or is it three years in one quarter?

Scott Luton (00:03:34):

Hey, when you’re having fun, who – we all lose count.

Greg White (00:03:36):

It’s a long time, isn’t it? I mean, you know, we know Bobby’s grandkids now. Right?

Greg White (00:03:45):

I feel like we’ve done everything, but meet Bobby with his new grill.

Scott Luton (00:03:49):

That’s right. We’re going to do that soon. But, hey, you mentioned this inform. We just might, as part of our conversation today, dispel the notion that’s out there, pervading certain conversations that there’s a freight recession. We have one panelist that’s very adamant that that is not a case. We’ll see if that comes up today. Before we bring in Bobby and Cathy and formally introduce them, I want say hello to a few folks. Srinivas is back with us from India, of course. Srinivas, it is so great to have you back with us. You’re one of our longest running listen and livestream participants. So, we look forward to hearing what your take is today.

Greg White (00:04:25):

Yeah. The weather is in India, but he’s just going to say dark because it’s late.

Scott Luton (00:04:29):

Oh, it is. Yeah. Gosh, it is pretty late there. Srinivas –

Greg White (00:04:33):

[Inaudible] what part of the country he’s in. It’s like 10.5 to – or 9.5 to 11 hours ahead or something like that.

Scott Luton (00:04:41):

Well, I look forward to his perspective. Adedamola is back with us. Really have enjoyed your feedback throughout very a few recent live streams. She says, “It’s a sunny day here in Hull. Hello, Scott and Greg.” Great to have you, Adedamola. Let’s see, Brenda Allen is back, president at Kenny Bob’s Foods from Springfield, Tennessee. Brenda, I hope this finds you well. So great to hear you. Now, Brenda says she’s not hearing any sound. We’ll make sure that –

Greg White (00:05:08):

Turn up the volume.

Scott Luton (00:05:09):

Turn up the volume, turn up the volume, pump up the jam. But, hey, Catherine and Amanda and Chantel on the team will double check that and let us know. Hopefully that gets better.

Greg White (00:05:20):

All you got to do is make the call to technical support and that fixes it, right? It seems like –

Scott Luton (00:05:25):

That is right.

Greg White (00:05:26):

[Inaudible] call for help [inaudible].

Scott Luton (00:05:29):

Jignesh is also tuned in via LinkedIn. Great to see you here, Jignesh. And, again, we want to hear, everybody’s take as we talk about what’s going on in freight from coast to coast. So, with all that said, Greg, we couldn’t get to a few folks, we’ll work through that throughout the hour. Are you ready, Greg? You buckled up? Ready to go and introduce our guest here today. Up first, Bobby Holland, director Freight Data Solutions at U.S. Bank and Bobby is joined by our dear friend, Cathy Morrow Roberson, founder and president at Logistics Trends & Insights, LLC. Hey, Kathy, Bobby, how are we doing today?

Bobby Holland (00:06:04):

Doing well.

Cathy Morrow Roberson (00:06:05):

Yeah. Doing well. Thanks. How are y’all?

Scott Luton (00:06:07):

Doing fantastic. And we’re doing even better now because we got two of our longtime favorites back with us here today, Bobby Holland and Cathy Morrow Roberson. And, you know, I bet we got some new listeners. You know, you y’all both have appeared as Greg was talking about. And Cathy, of course, has been with us on numerous shows, going back a couple years. But for the handful of new folks, let’s let them kind of get to know y’all a little better. So, Bobby, I want to start with you. Tell us just a little bit about who Bobby Holland is.

Bobby Holland (00:06:33):

Well, I’m the director of Freight Data Solutions at U.S. Bank. I’ve been with the bank for almost six years. But I’ve been in data processing, computer science related fields for a long, long time. I’m not going to be specific.

Greg White (00:06:50):

That’s good. That’s good. Never be specific.

Bobby Holland (00:06:53):

So.

Scott Luton (00:06:54):

Vagueness is our friend for sure, Bobby, and –

Greg White (00:06:57):

We had somebody can to Fortran coding, Bobby, which I mean makes them our grandparents I think, so.

Bobby Holland (00:07:04):

I do not recall.

Greg White (00:07:05):

Yeah. I have no recollection of that senator.

Scott Luton (00:07:08):

Oh, gosh. Well, hey, Bobby, great to have you back as always. That’s some really smart stuff you’ve been dealing with for quite some time, not including Fortran, which we won’t mention. Again, vagueness is our best friend. Cathy Morrow Roberson, so great to see you again. Last time we connected you were in Vegas at the Reverse Logistics Association, but you’re one of our faves and I know freight is one of your faves, right?

Cathy Morrow Roberson (00:07:30):

Definitely. Definitely.

Scott Luton (00:07:31):

So, tell us about yourself.

Cathy Morrow Roberson (00:07:33):

Okay. Well, so the Fortran thing. Yeah. I remember that.

Greg White (00:07:42):

[Inaudible]

Scott Luton (00:07:43):

You were studying that in textbook, you mean, right?

Cathy Morrow Roberson (00:07:45):

Yeah. From [inaudible]

Greg White (00:07:45):

Yeah. History.

Cathy Morrow Roberson (00:07:46):

Perspective, there you go. No, I’ve been in the supply chain world for over 20 years and I wear many hats these days. So, yeah, overall, I do have my company, Logistics Trends & Insights, which is a market research firm. Under that umbrella, I work with the Reverse Logistics Association as their research manager. I write content for other companies within the logistics space. I also hang out with The Journal of Commerce people, folks for a few hours a week, helping them out with research and such as that.

Scott Luton (00:08:27):

And you have got your finger on the pulse of many things, but including the freight markets globally, but we’re going to focus here of course, of course, coast to coast. So, great to have you here, Cathy. And towards the end of the day’s show, we’re going to one of the things that she’s leading, Freight Forward, in addition to The Journal of Commerce so stay tuned to that. So, Greg, before we keep moving with Bobby and Cathy here, this is like a one heck of a one-two punch, right?

Greg White (00:08:54):

Yeah. No doubt. Well, and I think, I think it would be good to explain for anyone who’s new or doesn’t recall ‘cause it it’s very complex and data intensive process, this Freight Payment Index. So, Bobby, maybe you can start by sharing. Aside from $37 billion worth of transactions, what is it that goes into the Freight Payment Index to give us all this incredibly valuable data and maybe a baseline for how it works so people understand the numbers as we go through this thing.

Bobby Holland (00:09:30):

Well, as you said, it’s based on a lot of data, data that’s generated from our transaction processing. It’s a truckload and less than truckload based because well over 70% of our processing is in those two modes. And it’s a team based index and it’s calculated back from 2010 and basically, you know, we do a lot of calculations basically to balance out the time periods, the quarterly time periods, to ensure that we’re doing accurate comparisons between quarters and then also between year over years.

Greg White (00:10:08):

Yeah. So, 2010 is kind of the zero mark.

Bobby Holland (00:10:14):

It’s the starting point. And then, we calculate in know each relative to previous quarter and each previous year.

Greg White (00:10:20):

Got it. Okay. So, people know what they’re looking at. So, Cathy, when you’re looking at this or when other companies are looking at this, how do you, or how do other people in the industry use this to figure out what it’s telling them and what they can do with this information?

Cathy Morrow Roberson (00:10:36):

I think it’s kind of a benchmark on where we were and where we’re heading into the next quarter or so. It’s great to know. It’s a respected index for one [inaudible]. The number of data points that it has makes it a trust pollution for analysts like me to be able to use and, you know, to feel more confident. Yeah. As you remember, you know, former librarian here, so that’s always the first thing I look for is a methodology and an understanding of what that index means. And this one is one of those. It makes sense to me. So, yeah, I use it in market analysis and it helps with a forecast, helps me with my forecasting as well.

Scott Luton (00:11:30):

Love it.

Greg White (00:11:30):

I think that’s a really important understanding to have, because look, especially with the way the media works today, things can get really emotional and really nonacademic anecdotal. And, someone’s singular experience can turn into something that’s broadcast as fact or truth in, you know, about a marketplace. And we’re going to talk about, we kind of alluded to that earlier. We’re going to talk about some of that later in the show, but I think that’s important is that the truly knowledgeable use this as a baseline to understand what’s really going on in the marketplace, not what people perceive as going on.

Scott Luton (00:12:10):

Yeah.

Bobby Holland (00:12:10):

Yeah. It’s another perspective. It’s another perspective. And, I appreciate that Kathy uses that way because that’s what our intention was. We wanted to provide U.S. Bank’s perspective on the marketplace and allow customers and non-customers even who use this to take it in as another point that helps them to make pertinent decisions in their business so we appreciate that.

Scott Luton (00:12:33):

Well said. Hey, really quick, sidebar. Some of our listeners are – for some for some of our listeners, it’s working great. For other of our listeners, they’re having a problem with the video and the audio. Sometimes the social platforms don’t play nice. It looks like it’s getting rectified in some cases. Our team is on it and they’re in touch with Streamyard, our platforms, so stay tuned. And, hey, worst case scenario, we’ll be publishing the recording of today’s discussion so stay tuned. We’ll work through any issues we have. Okay.

Greg White (00:12:59):

Looks like YouTube is good. If folks are having trouble on LinkedIn, they could jump over to that.

Scott Luton (00:13:04):

That’s an excellent point. And, to our team, Amanda, Chantel and Catherine, drop – if y’all would drop the YouTube link to the livestream in the comments, that’d be great. Okay. So, we’re going to keep driving with the Freight Payment Index and, Bobby, I want to start with, as where we normally start before we go region by region and get everybody’s color commentary, there let’s start at the higher level, right? The national point of view, what’s going on with the first quarter here?

Bobby Holland (00:13:28):

So, from a national perspective, we had shipments that were down 2.2% over Q4 of 2021 and shipments, or I’m sorry, spend was up 1.2%. There’s usually, and I think Cathy mentioned it earlier, but we normally have a seasonal dip in Q1. Things are coming down off of the higher holiday shipments and expenditures in the last quarter of 20, of the previous year. And so, there’s normally a dip. Now, in this particular quarter, we had headwinds. We had the various COVID-19 variants. We had severe spikes in energy prices. We had the ambassador bridge closure, which put a dent in auto manufacturing. And then we’ve also all, you know, read the news and seen the reportings on inflation. So, these are the headwinds that we faced in this quarter. But the good side of it is that, even though we had those headwind, the dip wasn’t as low as it could have been because there’s also a lot of economic activity going on. One of the statistics we cited in the index was at 1.7 million new workers added according to the Department of Labor, highest factory output since 2008 according to the federal reserve. So, things like that. A lot of economic activity in certain sectors is kind of helping to keep that dip from going lower than usual. So, it’ll be something we definitely want to continue to watch as we go into Q2.

Scott Luton (00:15:09):

Well said. Okay. Hey, really quick, to our listeners, I got a little trivia question. So, Bobby mentioned the ambassador bridge. It’s one of the busiest stretches in all the world. It’s been an operation for over 90 years. But the trivia question is what two cities does it connect? So, we’re going to give a minute. The panel is excluded, but the first person to get that right, the first two -the two cities that Ambassador Bridge connects, we’re going to send a little goodie to. Okay. So, Bobby, kind of laid out some initial observations coast to coast. Cathy, you know, what would you add initially here?

Cathy Morrow Roberson (00:15:46):

The one thing I would mention is the Chinese New Year, Chinese Lunar holiday season, which changes on an annual basis. So, it could be – it could fall in February or it could fall in January. So, anytime you’re trying to make, gather any type of understanding of the market for just those two months along, it’s difficult. It’s almost next to impossible because it’s like comparing apples to oranges. So, the one thing that is, you know, another plus for the index is the fact that it is quarterly. So, you have that March in, you know, the month of March in there, which really helps to smooth it all out and get a better understanding of what happened in the quarter. And yet Bobby’s right. The COVID hit pretty hard for a number of shippers as well as logistics providers in that January time period and it slowed things down, and then you saw it recover [inaudible] nicely in March.

Scott Luton (00:16:53):

That’s right. Thank you for that, Cathy. And we’re going to – again, we’re going to go region by region in just a second. But, Greg, based on what Bob and Kathy have shared, what else would you add?

Greg White (00:17:02):

I think what’s important is what we didn’t see, which is a pretty good-sized dip, you know, usually in Q1 because usually in the report talks about this January and February are very, very low as Bobby talked about and March is not enough volume though it’s starting to come back. March is not enough volume to offset that. I think we had a combination of factors happening, particularly on the west coast, where there was so much backup. We’ve talked about this. There was so much backup and such an incredible imbalance, some of it self-induced. But for instance, we, I commented on an article about iRobot whose shipments for Christmas didn’t make it by Christmas, I imagine, because of the number of ships outside Long Beach and Los Angeles that occurred with many, many other shippers. The other is that the Ports of Long Beach and Los Angeles made an exceptional effort to you because they had so heavily used trucking because of the situation in Chicago, where Chicago shut down to rail early in the year. They started moving ships via trucking, but then they realized that they had imbalanced demand for the rail carriers. And then they started making a significant move towards rail carriers to move that those goods inland as well.

Greg White (00:18:18):

So, there’s just all kinds of conflicting strategies. Everyone is in ketchup mode right now, right? And they are responding not preempting and, you know, cats are sleeping with dogs and you know, the seventh sign is coming but not really. But I think we have to understand that there is a lot of imbalance in the marketplace and, you know, we’re going to see some nutty numbers even with an index that is, you know, that has so many years of history and so much looking back the other is rates, hello, up 27.5% over last year. I mean, the spend is up 27.5% even though shipments are only up 1.2%. So, you know, it is, it’s a little bit crazy right now.

Scott Luton (00:19:06):

So, my dogs, Ruby and Dexter, are offended by your comment about cats and dog getting together. So they wanted me to communicate that to you.

Greg White (00:19:13):

Sorry. That’s an old Steve Martin schtick. Sorry about that.

Scott Luton (00:19:15):

Okay. Hey, we have a winner. So, TSquared doesn’t win for specifics, but generally speaking, he got it. It is the – that’s right. Ambassador Bridge connects Detroit, the great city of Detroit, with the great city of Windsor, Ontario, Canada. But, hey, he got Detroit to Ontario, right? So, he’s going to be our winner. Hey, TSquared, if you would, of course, you hold down the fort for us on YouTube, but shoot Amanda a note or connect with Amanda or Catherine on LinkedIn. That way we get your email address and then we’ll get your little prize out to you. So, great to have you here as always.

Scott Luton (00:19:46):

Okay. So, let’s keep driving. We want to go regionally. We got a lot more to tackle and there’s some regional differences. There’s some regional common trends and, as always, there’s some unique differences amongst the regions. What we’ve got here pulled up, and again, folks y’all can get the Freight Payment Index for free using the link in the show notes. This is the kind of the top line themes. We’ve got it broken down. You’ll find in the index on the spin side and the volume side, and you can also go to freight.usbank.com. But now, Bobby, we’re going to go region by region and we’re going to start up here in the Northeast. Let’s start there. What do you see specifically in the Northeast?

Bobby Holland (00:20:27):

The Northeast perhaps because of population density was hard hit, hardest hit by the COVID variants. So we see that for the Northeast, they were down, shipments-wise, 1.8%, again a minor drop, but still in line with the usual considering, but spend was up almost 3%. So, a lot going on, again impacted by the COVID variant.

Scott Luton (00:21:00):

And some chilly weather, right?

Bobby Holland (00:21:02):

Chilly weather and energy costs. That’s a big one. The cost of moving goods went up substantially. As we could see, it was 2.9% up in spend, but over 31% from last year. A lot of that can be attributed to rising fuel prices. We put some statistics in there on how fuel prices went from about 360 end of 2021, floating it around a little over $5 now substantial in just three months, almost doubling in price for fuel and that’s diesel. So, again –

Scott Luton (00:21:36):

Not pretty. Makes me want to close my eyes and close my ears.

Bobby Holland (00:21:37):

Yeah. [Inaudible] going on. Pardon?

Scott Luton (00:21:38):

Okay. Oh, it makes me want to close and shut my eyes and close my ears sometimes, some of the bad news, some things we’ve been seeing. But, hey, it’s reality. Cathy, when we’re looking at Northeast, what else would you add to Bobby’s take there?

Cathy Morrow Roberson (00:21:52):

I think Bobby’s right. He’s spot on with it. I know with the port, the Port of New York, New Jersey had some COVID outbreaks during the quarter. There was also weather issues that slowed things down as well.

Scott Luton (00:22:08):

Yep. Yep. And, Greg, you’re on mute my friend.

Greg White (00:22:11):

Sorry. There’s a little noise in the background here. So, I –

Scott Luton (00:22:15):

There’s cats and dogs getting together having a party, isn’t it? Right?

Greg White (00:22:18):

Rates, rates, rates, rates, rates, and, you know, and again, what Bobby and Cathy have said, I think that’s going to be a really familiar tune as we go through these regions of the country. But, you know, I think the thing to see is where these rates come out. You know, I think there were some areas of the country that were impacted by other factors and we’re yet to see the impact. We’ll talk about that when we talk about a couple of the other regions.

Scott Luton (00:22:47):

That’s right. That’s right. Okay. Hey, we really quick. I want to welcome in, this is Mokrane from Algeria. Sometimes if you comment on LinkedIn and if you’ve got a certain privacy setting, your profile doesn’t pop up. So, check out your privacy setting, but regardless, Mokrane great to have you here today. And one of our favorites also, Dr. Rhonda from out in Arizona. Hey, Rhonda, we’re going to be talking about the Midwest and West when it comes freight soon. So, hopefully you can stick around and let us know what you’re seeing. Always love your insights here. Okay. So, we’re moving from the Northeast to, let’s go to the Southeast, kinda home base for us here. So, Bobby, tell us what you saw going on in Southeast.

Bobby Holland (00:23:26):

The Southeast had one of the larger declines in shipments. It was 4% in the first quarter and off 2.9% from a year earlier. And the spend was down to 1.4% from fourth quarter. But, again, these are – it’s all relative. These are coming from very high levels over last year. We can see that things are, you know, continue to recover from all the pandemic issues. The Southeast has heavy reliance on automative manufacturing. And so, another ripple, potential ripple effect from the Ambassador Bridge closing is kind of rippled through. This is one of the regions that was affected. So, again, the same pressures that were there, plus the additional pressure from, you know, semiconductors plus you have, like I said, the, what I frame it as an outsized effect of the Ambassador Bridge closing and the shutdowns that occurred because of that impacted this region a lot.

Scott Luton (00:24:35):

Yep. Well said there. Of course, the automotive, just like the Midwest, which we’re going to touch on a minute, you know, how important automotive industry is, and the housing starts. I think the Southeast was one the few bright spots for housing starts and housing permits nationally because at least in March, nationally housing starts, single family housing starts and permits really plunged. A lot of good stuff there.

Bobby Holland (00:24:56):

They have 20% over –

Scott Luton (00:24:57):

That’s right. That’s right, Bobby. Okay. So, Cathy, our home base, you know, we love South Carolina and Georgia and our getaways in the mountains and whatnot. Freight-wise, what’d you see the Southeast?

Cathy Morrow Roberson (00:25:09):

I’m kind of surprised about the decline in shipments. And so, I’d like more information on that. ‘Cause I tell you, I’m out – they’re on the interstate [inaudible]. There’s a lot of trucks. And the ports, I mean, Savannah and Charleston a have been super busy. Yeah. There have been backups for sure. And maybe that attributed to some of the decline there with the inability of the trucks to get to the ports in and out on a consistent basis. Maybe, that was it. I don’t know. But it was some interesting numbers there.

Scott Luton (00:25:46):

Yep.

Bobby Holland (00:25:46):

One of the sideline impacts is, and I think Greg alluded to it, and what I mentioned it earlier was a possibility that a lot of mode shifting occurred. And, again, because we’re truckload and less than truckload, if they were shifting modes, it would look like a drop in some of these prices, some of these areas, even though perhaps in others, you know, it’s gone up and that’s the thing. You know, one of the things that we’ll be doing in the future is adding modes, but right now most of our data is, because that’ most of our processing is on truckload and less than truckload, we don’t have necessarily the visibility we would like currently into some of these other modes to be able to balance that. But that’s thing – that’s some of the research that I did, so that that’s a possibility.

Cathy Morrow Roberson (00:26:33):

Ah. That’s –

Bobby Holland (00:26:33):

[Inaudible] shifting.

Cathy Morrow Roberson (00:26:34):

That makes sense. That makes sense. Because I know there was a Journal of Commerce article, I think last week talking about that shift from ocean to air on the east coast, something. It was like from a volume perspective, it was up over 24% year over year in the month of March. So, yeah, that makes sense, Bobby.

Scott Luton (00:26:57):

A lot of good stuff. General commerce. And, Cathy, please tell Eric Johnson we said hello. Eric’s one of our faves here as well. Really quick, Greg, I’m coming to you for your take. Again, we’re talking about the Southeast. But really quick, Bobby mentioned LTL a couple times. We interviewed earlier, last week I think it was, an LTL driver with Southeastern Freight Lines. He’s been driving. He’s a veteran. He’s been driving about eight years. His dad’s been driving same company for 30 years and it was really neat conversation. But Joey Thiessen had a message for all of us. He wants to start a campaign, #bringbacktheairhorn, is what Joey Thiessen said. So, he wants all the kids across the country, across the globe #bringbacktheairhorn. So, Greg, with that in mind, let’s talk about freight in the Southeast.

Greg White (00:27:40):

I just want to know who these people are who don’t do that. I mean, I was brought up doing that. I still do it when I’m driving even by myself. That’s what makes it fun.

Scott Luton (00:27:52):

It does. It sure does.

Greg White (00:27:54):

Yeah. Well, regards to the Southeast, look, I can tell you that a lot of cars to the automotive point that Bobby made, a lot of cars land in Charleston. I can tell you that at the RBC Heritage, the golf tournament here in Hilton Head, we did our part. I drove into the area where the golf tournament had been played and there were fairways of other golf courses lined with the BMW courtesy cars. So, those view out there looking for a new car. I think they used X3 if you like the X3. There are about to be hundreds of them hit the used car lots. And that’s the point. Used cars are more readily available, particularly for the German makes than new cars and it’s going to get worse because the other factors that are impacting German cars are the availability of componentry. Some of which is made in Ukraine, the wiring harnesses for virtually every German car maker made in Ukraine. And, of course, no production in Ukraine. We tried to – I actually just bought a car, a new car for the first time in seven years because it was cheaper to buy the same model new than it was to buy it used with 15,000 miles.

Scott Luton (00:29:13):

wow.

Greg White (00:29:14):

So, I mean, used cars have gotten outrageous and, of course, that’s a whole separate story, but the point that they made was you better buy a new car now if you’re going to buy a German make because they won’t – they may not be available. Audi has already ceased taking additional orders from dealers. BMW has announced to their dealers that they are – the production will get worse. I had a friend who ordered either an Audi or BMW, and it was originally going to be produced in June of this year as a 22 model. He’s been notified that it will be delivered, I think –

Scott Luton (00:29:53):

About 2030.

Greg White (00:29:54):

[Inaudible] as a 2023 model in October, November of this year. So, that impact is going to be greater going forward. I know Bobby can’t speak to forward looking comments –

Scott Luton (00:30:07):

That’s right.

Greg White (00:30:07):

But demand from Europe for those things that are being impacted because you have to think about the fact that also Poland, Moldova, Romanian, Hungary are also being overrun by refugees and that’s impacting production in those countries as people step away from work to help those people find homes or survivor, whatever. So, the impact of that is going to be substantial, particularly on the automotive trade.

Scott Luton (00:30:36):

That’s right. Along those note lines, really quick note, our dear friends at Veteran Global Logistics are pooling resource together to leverage logistics for folks in Ukraine and Poland, vetted needs with vetted resources and vetted conveyances. So, check out, you can Google Vector Global Logistics, where folks on the production team can drop that into comments. Really quick. Huw, thank you for sticking it out. Again, it’s been a tale of two cities. Some folks have not had any issue, but LinkedIn is bit janky for some folks here today. So, Huw, thank you for sticking it out and great to have you here looking forward to your comments.

Greg White (00:31:07):

It should be on their website, shouldn’t it?

Scott Luton (00:31:08):

Yeah.

Greg White (00:31:09):

LinkedIn. It’s janky.

Scott Luton (00:31:11):

Yeah. Some days for sure. All right. So, we’re about halfway through the regions. We’ve gone through Northeast and Southeast. We’ve got the Midwest and Southwest and the West. Really quick though, ‘cause I think folks are going to enjoy this. Cathy, if I can put you on the spot. One of my favorite moments of the pre-show was your take dispelling the freight recession, and really quick, could you just give us a couple of comments there? ‘Cause I know this is something you’re passionate about. I think folks need to hear what you have to say.

Cathy Morrow Roberson (00:31:37):

Oh, my goodness. So, there’s a lot of talk on social media about whether or not we’re enough freight recession. Now, we’re not. As far as I’m concerned, we’re not. There are too many other variables that are pointing otherwise right now. Now, with that being said, maybe later, next, later this year, early next year, we may be in a freight recession by then. Who knows? But right now, we’re not because first of all, we’ve got the rates. The spot rates, particularly for truckload, have been falling dramatically over, I think what from March until, I think they’re continuing to drop as we speak. However, while the spot rates are dropping, the contract rates are holding. It’s really a shift away from spot to contract to help balance out shippers’ supply chains. Their transportation spend. So, they’re seeing an opportunity right now to take advantage of the contract.

Cathy Morrow Roberson (00:32:49):

There’s capacity. The capacity’s there. We have ample, well, I wouldn’t say we have ample capacity. It’s still [inaudible] tight, but there is capacity out there. The outlook right now is still promising for shippers as well as consumers. We’re still spending. You know, as consumers we’re still spending. It may have slowed a bit, but we’re still spending. And,we’re also this whole March, April time period is kind of like a trough, where we’re moving from cold weather, the winter into spring, which is the agricultural season. That’s where you usually see spot rates start jumping up. Also, as we go into June, that time period, that’s peak season for ocean freight and for retailers’ inventories for the back-to-school time period and on into the fall. That’s still very promising from everything I’m seeing.

Scott Luton (00:33:48):

So, don’t buy into the hype. When you hear anything, check in with Cathy or Bobby first and you’ll better understand, or my dear friend, Greg White, who I loved – last week, Greg, really quick aside and we’re going to keep moving I promise, is when the bird flu came out. You use the pun of the sky, you know, Chicken Little, sky’s not falling. It’s been – it’s happened before. We’ll get through this. You know, supply chains. You know, we’ve gotten through this stuff before. You know, a lot, some folks like to blow up everything and are addicted to bad news, but we’ve been there before.

Greg White (00:34:19):

But I think we have to also recognize, Scott, that a lot of this was prompted by the markets, the stock markets’ reaction to the Dow Transports, right, which got crushed by 14% starting about the beginning of April on the speculation of a freight recession. And that, of course, blew up all over social media and throughout the environment. By the way, the Dow Transports have moved back up.

Scott Luton (00:34:44):

Wonderful.

Greg White (00:34:19):

And, you know, the thing that we have to understand is particularly that with the stock market, that you move your stocks, some say bye, but you move your stocks on speculation. And when somebody says recession, you know, the bottom drops out and that’s what happens. So, you know, some of this could be a precursor. Some of it could be completely erroneous. But it’s not happening now, I guess is the point that Cathy is making. There are good reasons to believe that it could happen in the future as there are with everything because we are in an everything bubble right now. That is, I am not an economist nor am I a banker nor an analyst but an opinionist.

Scott Lutton (00:35:32):

A futurist.

Greg White (00:35:32):

Yeah. Futurist, right, right. So, I mean, I think we have to understand that there are a lot of factors at work that if people do stop buying things or companies are unable to ship things, then, of course, the demand for shipping will go down and their indicators of, you know, kind of pointing every direction right now. So, no need to panic.

Scott Luton (00:35:54):

No need to panic. Hey, love that. Thank you, Cathy and Greg, for your frankness here today. Really quick. Hello, Jose. Hey, thank you for that feedback. We look forward to hearing your take throughout the conversation. Balan from UAE, welcome in, appreciate that. By the way, Jose, let us know where you’re tuned in from. We’d love to make that connection. Kiran’s also tuned in from India. Great to see you here, Kiran, once again, via LinkedIn. Okay. So, let’s get back to – we picked back up with the Midwest region of Bobby Holland. So, what’s going on in the Midwest region?

Bobby Holland (00:36:25):

Okay. So, for the Midwest region, shipment was down 3.1%, but spend was up 3%. Again, this was the other region that was hard hit by the automotive manufacturing issues surrounding the closure of the Ambassador Bridge. However, in other sectors of manufacturing, the Federal Reserve says that it’s been at the highest level since 2008. So, you’ve had a little bit of counterbalance there. And, partly why spend might be up over, even though shipments were down, aside from all the other usual issues, we still have capacity issues. You know, we still have capacity issues. We still have the truck driver constraints. We still have all of those same pressures going on, but there again, there’s a lot of underlying positive economic activity that’s kind of helping out and then spend also is impacted by fuel. Again, that’s going to be one of the themes, as you refer to it earlier one of the constant themes amongst all the regions, ‘cause fuel prices are not substantially different in one region over another so they’re all impacted in spend in that way, except like I said, where maybe mode changes might have shifted that to a different mode away from trucking.

Scott Luton (00:37:53):

Yep. Thank you for that, Bobby. Cathy, I’m coming to you next, but before I do want to say, so Jose is from right here, Atlanta, GA. Jose, wonderful. Let us know what you’re seeing out there in the freight markets. Manoj has tuned in from Riverside. Hey, let me know, Manoj, is that Riverside, California? Confirm that for us, but great to have you here. And let’s see, Rhonda, really enjoyed your perspective, Greg. We certainly can be certain – we certainly can be certain that certainty is [inaudible], try to say that three times fast. And finally –

Greg White (00:38:23):

That is true.

Scott Luton (00:37:53):

Wesley, great to see you here today. Let us know where you’re tuned in from. He says, “I wonder how the use of technology is being leveraged to assist with visibility and near real time data to determine where supply is and where it’s being held up.”

Greg White (00:38:39):

All the time. Every moment of every day. Yep.

Scott Luton (00:38:42):

That’s right.

Cathy Morrow Roberson (00:38:44):

I think this is where you’ve seen a lot of truck brokerage firms really shine during this, you know, during the whole pandemic for the past couple of years. I mean, being able to tap into their database, the digital freight brokers as well as the traditional ones, if there are traditional ones. To be able to tap into capacity and take advantage of the rates for better or for worse and such.

Scott Luton (00:39:12):

So, excellent point. Let’s keep going there. So, in the Midwest, you know, very common challenges, common conditions. Cathy, what else would you add in the Midwest?

Cathy Morrow Roberson (00:39:21):

Weather. The weather was kind of stinky during the quarter. I believe there –

Scott Luton (00:39:27):

Highly technical term, right?

Greg White (00:39:29):

Right. That’s a meteorological term. Stinky weather.

Cathy Morrow Roberson (00:39:32):

I think there was a couple of inches of snow here and there that caused some delays at airports in particular as well as on the road as well. So, that may have also been a problem.

Scott Luton (00:39:47):

Yep. Excellent point. So, stinky weather. Gregory, and beyond what Bobby shared there, what else would you add? Now we know Midwest is one, your favorite parts of the country, of course, Kansas city and Wichita. But what else would you add?

Greg White (00:40:01):

And Chicago. Yeah.

Scott Luton (00:40:02):

And Chicago. That’s right.

Greg White (00:40:03):

Great food. Let’s just start with the positives. Great food, okay. Great people. Right? Stinky weather. And, seriously, some serious difficulties because of the Ambassador Bridge, you know, as Bobby has talked about semiconductor issues. So many parts for American cars are made in Canada and shipped in that it has created issues up there. And, of course, trucks that are jammed on a highway or bridge are not moving freight, or occupying Toronto, where the heck, or Ottawa. Yeah. Right? I mean, they weren’t moving freight. So, you know, that’s well documented, but I think it’s important for us to point out what the net impact of that was and it was a significant and substantial impact on the transaction volume there.

Scott Luton (00:40:58):

Yep. And, of course, automotive manufacturing, which I think Bobby mentioned Midwest depends on that. And we all know we don’t – you know, semiconductor is like toilet paper. We’ve mentioned both so many times and hopefully we’ll have a remedy soon for the chips, but I digress. Huw, Huw Hugh is from, this is the first time – Huw, let us know. he’s from Northern Vermont, heart of the pure maple syrup country. Huw, good stuff there. Sulaiman tuned in from Retailworld, Nigeria. Great to have you here, Sulaiman. Thanks so much for joining us. And, let’s see here, TSquared says, “I’m seeing a lot more breaking the bulk taking place in the Northeast.

Greg White (00:41:36):

That’s interesting.

Scott Luton (00:41:37):

That is interesting, ain’t it? Okay. So, we’ve gone through the Northeast, the Southeast, the Midwest in a whirlwind tour. We’ve talked cars. We’ve talked gas. We’ve talked truckers. We’ve talked Omicron. We’ve talked stinky weather and food, Greg. And, Bobby Holland, maybe we can add some of these new categories to the Freight Payment Index, maybe new parts of the index.

Greg White (00:42:00):

Maybe your new term should be stinky weather.

Scott Luton (00:42:03):

Cathy, I love that.

Greg White (00:42:05):

I love it.

Scott Luton (00:42:06):

That’s a bless – that’s a gift that keeps on giving here. So, thank you so much, Cathy.

Cathy Morrow Roberson (00:42:10):

Stinky weather index. There you go.

Greg White (00:42:11):

Yeah.

Scott Luton (00:42:12):

Yeah. All right. So, let’s move to the Southwest, Bobby. So what do we see in the Southwest?

Bobby Holland (00:42:19):

Southwest was down 2.1%, but had one of the biggest jumps in spend at 8.4% up. A lot of that could be attributed per chance to increased truck volumes between the US and Mexico. [Inaudible] inbound truck values from Mexico are 4.3% in that region during the first two months of the quarter compared with the same period in 2021. This is statistically quoted in the index. And also because of all the pressures on energy industry –

Scott Luton (00:42:51):

The winds that get me all the time, too, Bobby.

Bobby Holland (00:42:54):

Oil production is up down there, which is another contributor to freight in that region. So, again, a lot of underlying economic activity that’s keeping some of these dips from being as severe as they could be considering everything else happening.

Scott Luton (00:43:09):

Yep. And, Bobby, his last point there was about energy, crude oil production is up as the index points out. And whenever I hear crude, I don’t know about you, Greg, Cathy or Bobby, up from the ground came bumbling crude. You remember – do y’all know what –

Bobby Holland (00:43:27):

I do not.

Scott Luton (00:43:27):

You do not know. Greg, I know you and Cathy –

Bobby Holland (00:43:30):

[Inaudible] about The Beverly Hillbillies.

Scott Luton (00:43:32):

Oh, there you go. Thank you, Bobby. Thank – I knew you knew, The Beverly Hillbillies. What swimming pools –

Greg White (00:43:38):

Swimming pools and movie stars, right? And the fancy eating table.

Scott Luton (00:43:41):

The fancy eating table. Concrete pond or swim pool or something. Anyway, Cathy, I digress. We’re talking about the Southwest. We’re talking –

Greg White (00:43:48):

[Inaudible]

Scott Luton (00:43:49):

Talking about the energy impact amongst others and by the way, Cathy, Huw back to your earlier point, if I can pull it out here. Huw is seeing what you called out a moment ago. He is seeing local brokers really shine when it comes to being nimble and flexible. So, thank you for adding that, Huw. But when it comes to Southwest –

Cathy Morrow Roberson (00:44:16):

[Inaudible]. Thank you.

Scott Luton (00:44:11):

Yeah. So, Southwest, what would you add to what Bobby laid out there, Cathy?

Cathy Morrow Roberson (00:44:16):

I think one thing in particular would be the shift from using the West coast ports to using Houston. A lot of shippers kind of learned the hard way, you know, not to put all their eggs into one basket when they’re importing from Asia, the Asian countries. So, you know, the majority of those come in at LA and Long Beach, however, a lot of the shippers have diversified onto the East coast, but also into Houston as well, which is, I think driven a lot of demand for trucking as well as that whole rail intermodal type of activity in that area.

Scott Luton (00:44:58):

Excellent point. I think Bobby mentioned it, of course, Trade with Mexico and some places have seen increases and hopefully will continue to see that as some reassuring activities continue. Of course, Mexico’s an excellent destination for that. Greg, we’re talking Southwest, and beyond with Bobby and Cathy shared, what else would you add?

Greg White (00:45:18):

Energy, of course. That’s not really an add. But, you know, I was thinking back to when we were talking about the Southwest this time last year when the entire place was iced over, frozen in and completely shut down. Right? So, we couldn’t get paints. Energy was a big issue. We didn’t have that nasty old freeze. We didn’t have – we had nasty weather, which is worse than stinky weather on the meteorological scale. And it basically shut down the state, you know, in the first quarter of last year and that didn’t occur this year. So, you know, that helped along with obviously the increase in rates of crude oil, which allows U.S. producers to produce and refine oil there and then of course move it. So, you know, I think it’s a pretty simple scenario down there, the dramatic shift in the weather, which I’m sure a lot of Texans are thankful for this year.

Scott Luton (00:46:19):

No kidding. Man, that was some strange weather a year or so ago. Hey, really quick, Bobby, or the panel here has mentioned truck driver situation. And there’s a bunch of different takes on that, but I want to bring in Manoj’s comment here ‘cause ge found that companies could hire truck drivers on H2B visa, if there’s a constraint of employees. So, maybe a little tip there for some of our hiring managers out amongst our listeners. Okay. So, we’ve tackled Northeast, Southeast, Midwest, Southwest, and now we’re moving to the wild, wild West, our fifth region. Bobby, what did you see going on there?

Bobby Holland (00:47:00):

This was our anomalous region because in this region shipments were up 3% quarter over quarter, but spend was down almost 4% instead of the inverse, even though the fuel prices didn’t go down. And this is again why there’s some speculation that, you know, mode shifting might have been at play here. You know, as I worked feverishly to try to move freight out of the ports in inland, you know, again, it’s just not heard of to have the opposite occur with all the same resulting pressures. You know, one thing of note is that even though spend dropped almost 4%, it’s still up over 42% from last year. So, again, we’re still flying pretty high there, and –

Scott Luton (00:47:59):

Still spending that money.

Bobby Holland (00:48:01):

Still spending that money. Like I said, the pressures haven’t abated. So that’s the only thing that can explain this anomalous behavior.

Scott Luton (00:48:08):

Yep. All right. So, talking to West, the west region, Cathy, what else would you add to what Bobby shared there?

Cathy Morrow Roberson (00:48:15):

Yeah. I agree. There is a good bit of the mode shifting, particularly to air, you know, from ocean to air.

Scott Luton (00:48:23):

Your favorite.

Cathy Morrow Roberson (00:48:27):

Yes. Okay. A little digression here, so I read a lot of earnings transcripts from retailers and other shippers, and it really depresses me when they’re talking about how they had to invest in air, you know, even though they didn’t want to, and they’re not planning to do that anymore. Air is a wonderful part of anybody, any shipper’s strategy and it should be included in a strategy. It should never just depend on ocean. I’m a multimodal person. You need to spread the love across all of them. And, it’s interesting. You know, the year over year comparison is interesting, but I haven’t been able to use year over year comparisons in my analysis for a while just because we’re still in a pandemic situation, a sporadic pandemic. Okay. And, it’s hard to use those year every year. And this is something I truly appreciate with this index is the quarterly comparison going back for as long as it has, because you start seeing the trends that way.

Scott Luton (00:49:44):

Right. Yeah. Helpful context for sure, Cathy, thanks so much. And, by the way, if you love Twitter and you love real analysis of these quarterly reports and these earning statements and whatever that Cathy mentioned, hey, make sure you follow Cathy on Twitter. Some of the best, most informed writing on supply chain. And, Cathy, your Twitter handle is?

Cathy Morrow Roberson (00:50:06):

Cmroberson06.

Scott Luton (00:50:08):

Wonderful, wonderful. Maybe our team could drop that into comments. All right. Hey, Greg, I’m coming your way next. But I want to take a couple quick comments here. Maybe. we can circle back as a panel on this one. Alie, and welcome in Alie, Great to have you here. He says that Samsung moved their imports from California to New Jersey, coast to coast. How about that? Greg Campbell. Greg, I hope this finds you. Well, I think Greg, this is the Greg Campbell, our dear old friend that hosted a show at his facility I believe in Atlanta, if you remember way back with Bo and Jason. So, Greg says, “Entry level drivers are entering the market, finally. That pipeline draws up during the pandemic as students couldn’t or wouldn’t attend the state funded tech programs. I think that hangover is starting to wrap up.” Excellent. Excellent.

Cathy Morrow Roberson (00:50:51):

That’s a good point.

Scott Luton (00:50:52):

It’s a great point. And, good afternoon to you, Evans Dispatching Logistics Supply Distribution. Great to have you here via LinkedIn. Okay. So, Greg, a lot of stuff you can comment on here, whether it’s a west or whether it’s some of the points made the comments. What’s on your mind?

Greg White (00:51:08):

I think the West is probably the most interesting in that the backlog is starting to break up there. Far, fewer ships than the maximum that we’re offshore of Long Beach and Los Angeles at the peak time and I think it’s about time and, you know, we’ve started to see the impact of that. I don’t know to what extent that increased the shipments year over year, but a 17.5% increase from one year to the next is pretty dramatic. I don’t have the data, but I have to believe that that had a lot of impact on it. I feel like that impact could have been much higher if so much hadn’t been shifted late in the quarter to multimodal to rail, right, to get inland. But it does definitely reflect the fact that the ports, both the ports on the West coast intentionally move to trucking from rail early in the year.

Scott Luton (00:52:13):

You say you don’t have the data. You know who I know who has the data? Bobby Holland and Cathy Roberson. Whether it’s good or stinky data, they got it all, Greg. They got it all. Really quick. We’re starting to wrap. We’re coming down to home stretch here and we’re going to make sure folks know how to connect with Bobby and Cathy and Greg. I want to add in this comment really quick, folks. You can go to freight.usbank.com to sign up for your free copy of the quarterly Freight Payment Index. So. check that out. Our team also dropped the direct link in the comments so check that out. Greg, before I take a couple of comments and before we make sure Bobby and Cathy can connect with our listeners, you posted today on your supply chain perspective, on LinkedIn, talking about the Kosherization in the manufacturing industry, very interesting and niche industry, a lot of folks may not know too much about.

Greg White (00:53:05):

Yeah. I mean, you want to talk about compliance, compliance with the ultimate authority, right? Kosherization is something that you do in the Jewish faith to make sure that your facilities are clean, operating appropriately and are making the right foods the right way. And particularly because Passover was last weekend, it’s even more strict during that time of year. And there are some great ideas to be handled. I’m not sure that – I’m not sure that we shouldn’t. I’m not sure that we always need a faith leader in our plants, but they appear to be doing a better job than the FDA. So maybe – maybe so – but I think that the way the rigor that is required there, you know, and has been for thousands, literally millennia, not millennial, but millennia, thousands of years has been the precursor to what the FDA and other food authorities try to accomplish with cleanliness, you know, in food production facilities. So, there’s a lot, you can learn there from the details of how it’s done to even why it’s done. I didn’t put links to the Talmud or the Torah or the Bible in there, but you can go to Wikipedia if you really want to understand why, you know, why Passover kosher is even more strict than regular kosher.

Scott Luton (00:54:34):

So, check that out.

Greg White (00:54:35):

When people say that’s kosher, they mean it’s really good, really clean, really closely looked after. Right?

Scott Luton (00:54:43):

So, check that out Monday, Wednesday, Fridays, Greg White Supply Chain perspective. Maybe we can drop a link to that in the comments. Bobby and Cathy, now, Bobby, you can’t comment here. I almost forgot my last question here. We might run a minute or two over. But, Bobby, I know we shy away from forward looking statements here with U.S. Bank team, so I want to ask one quick observation as we move into firmly into spring, early summer, getting closer and closer to peak season 2022. Cathy and Greg, what’s one – and, Cathy, will start with you, what’s one thing to look for in the freight market, as we get closer into, you know, May, June, July?

Cathy Morrow Roberson (00:55:20):

Backups at the port. I think you’re going to see them both on the East and the West coasts as Shanghai and other Chinese ports reopen from their COVID lockdowns. You’re going to see them start coming to us hot and furious. And a lot of that shift it’s going to occur, like I said, it’s going to hit Savannah and it’s going to hit Charleston. So, that’s probably going to occur probably in the July, June, July period, which is going to also create an interesting situation on the West Coast because you also have the port contractors of the ILWU contract, which is up for renewal July 1st.

Scott Luton (00:56:09):

Wow. Just one more thing, one more thing, come July 1st. Thank you for that, Cathy. Greg, one thing to look for.

Greg White (00:56:18):

Yeah. Stability look for it, but you won’t find it ‘cause it’s not coming soon. You know, the point Cathy made, you know, with Shanghai and other ports in China coming online, potentially going offline, the disruption to the supply chain and the disruption to supply as long as this war in Ukraine is going on for European countries and as long as China remains complicit in supporting and defending Russia for their misdeeds, then you will continue to see, arguably, legitimate disruption coming from China, whatever the reason you’ll continue to see it. And not to mention consumers, as you said, consumers are becoming less confident. Builders are becoming less confident, right? Housing, depending on where you are at, is slowing down substantially in terms of sales and starts. So, there is a lot of transition coming in in the economy. We may not have a freight recession, but we may have a real recession. Goldman Sachs said there is a 35% chance of recession in the next two years. Again, not an economist, but I think it is a much greater chance and much sooner than two years. But that’s based on anecdotal experience, not data, so, but –

Scott Luton (00:57:42):

So, when you say –

Greg White (00:57:43):

Keep your eyes is open because things will continue to shift, right? Now we’ve gone from one global upheaval COVID and the government’s necessary response to that to now we’ve got what is effectively a war that is impacting the entire globe, though it’s not occurring across the entire globe, but it is impacting the into higher globe because it impacts grains as well as automotive and other materials, you know, across the world.

Scott Luton (00:58:13):

Right. So, when it comes to stability, the global supply chain has a little bit of U2 in it. I still haven’t found what I’m looking for, right? Yeah. A little Joshua Tree comment there. Hey, we’re going to close – to the production team we’re going to close with Bobby and Cathy with us. So, we’re going to close in just a second or two. I want to call attention all of us reference what’s going on in Ukraine. Amanda dropped the link in there. Y’all check that out, Leveraging Logistics for Ukraine, getting really desperately needed aid to the right people, not just Ukraine, but in Poland and elsewhere. So, y’all check that out. Also, there were some comments here, as we start to wrap. Manoj was asking about jobs across supply chain. James makes a great point. Big surge contracts and purchasing agents and procurement in general. You know, check out Dial P and Kelly Barner. But when it comes to transportation jobs, maybe we can tackle that in another show. But James also says production, planning, job, no shortage there. And we’re definitely seeing that as well. So that’s a great call out, James. Okay. So, as we wrap here, I want to start with you, Bobby, let’s make sure folks know how to connect with you and sign up for the U.S. Bank Freight Payment Index.

Bobby Holland (00:59:22):

I’m available on LinkedIn. And you can also reach me @bobby.hollandatusbank.com if you want to reach me more directly and then you can sign up as what was stated many times previously, freight.usbank.com, for your free copy. It’s a subscription, so you sign up, you’ll get it regularly on a quarterly basis.

Scott Luton (00:59:44):

Wonderful. And you don’t want to miss it. Bobby and the team always bring it. We should also give a shout out to Dan who got – Dan got our trivia question earlier right. So, Dan, high five to you, but big thanks for your time and all that you do, Bobby, you and your team. Cathy Roberson, you know, beyond, we want to make sure folks not connect with you, but also what is Freight Forward? This is kind of a new cool thing you’re working on.

Cathy Morrow Roberson (01:00:08):

Yeah. Well, first of all, you can connect with me on LinkedIn, connect with me on Twitter. I am all over supply – all over the social media thing, but I also have an email address too. So that is croberson@logisticsti.com. But, yeah, Freight Forward, this is a really cool little project. It comes out every Monday and it was something that some of the guys at The Journal of Commerce and I were bating around doing. So, what it is, is it’s a compilation. I read all of their articles, the stories that they write, put it all in a story how I see the market looking based on their stories, and I throw in a couple of other stories from other publications that I tend to use a good bit of. And there’s some commentary from LinkedIn or from Twitter that I’ll throw in as well from folks that I know. And, like I said, you can subscribe to it. It’s on LinkedIn. There’s no charge. So, just there’s a little subscribe button on the newsletter, hidden.

Scott Luton (01:01:12):

Love it.

Cathy Morrow Roberson (01:01:12):

You’ll get [inaudible].

Scott Luton (01:01:15):

I love it. What’d you say, Bobby?

Bobby Holland (01:01:17):

I said I like it. I’m a subscriber.

Scott Luton (01:01:18):

Oh, man. How about that? Hey, if you get Bobby Holly’s endorsement, Greg, I mean –

Greg White (01:01:24):

Tell me about it.

Scott Luton (01:01:18):

Right?

Greg White (01:01:26):

Yes.

Scott Luton (01:01:27):

But, Greg, I’m going to give you the final word here. Big thanks again to our esteem panel. Quite the one-two punch here with Bobby Holland, director Freight Data Solutions at U.S. Bank, and Cathy Morrow Roberson, founder and president of Logistics Trends & Insights. Greg, it’s all about bringing these experts and these resources and both – and the Freight Payment Index and Freight Forward, both are free and they got the finger on the pulse with hard data and expertise and knowhow behind it that fuel it. But, Greg, your final word. What was the best thing you heard here today maybe?

Greg White (01:02:00):

I think – the best thing is this is a great baseline to tool for forming your own knowledge base around what has happened and what will happen in the freight markets. I don’t think we’ve said that that explicitly like Cathy did that this is one of the benchmarks that is used for people like Cathy and people who are making strategic decisions based on Cathy’s guidance in the industry. So, it’s that important and it’s that impactful and it’s that good of quality of information. And, you know, however, you form your view of the world, this is a rate tool for informing that view.

Scott Luton (01:02:42):

Excellent. I couldn’t have said it better, as always. That’s usually the case though. Greg White. It’s Wednesday, Bobby, that Wednesday [inaudible] got me there. Greg, always a pleasure. And folks, again, check out Greg White’s supply chain commentary every Monday, Wednesday, Friday on LinkedIn. Okay. Big thanks to Bobby Holland and Dan, the whole team at U.S. Bank. Big thanks to Cathy Morrow Roberson and all the cool things she’s up to. Great to have two of our faves back. Big thanks to Greg White. Big thanks to Amanda, Chantel, Catherine, Clay, everyone on our production team that helps make today happen. Folks, this episode was chuck-full, chuck-full of actual insights. Make sure you with Bobby, Cathy, and Greg. But whatever you do, hey, whatever you do, Scott Luton, on behalf of our entire team, challenging you to do good, to give forward and to be the change that’s needed. And on that note, we’ll see you next time right back here on Supply Chain Now. Thanks, everybody.

Intro/Outro (01:03:35):

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

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Featured Guests

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

Cathy Morrow-Roberson began her career as a librarian working in libraries in North & South Carolina and in Georgia. However, during the first wave of e-commerce startups, Cathy accepted a position at an e-commerce consulting startup working on such projects as the first internet bank and providing strategic analysis on other projects. After a couple of years, Cathy moved on to UPS where she was part of the team that created UPS Supply Chain Solutions. Cathy was responsible for logistics research and analysis including competitive and market analysis and more. With eleven years of UPS experience, Cathy returned to the consulting world, first working with a British-based firm and then launching her own business in 2015, Logistics Trends & Insights LLC, a supply chain market research and consulting firm.

Hosts

Scott W. Luton

Founder, CEO, & Host

Greg White

Principal & Host

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Adrian Purtill

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.

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Joshua Miranda

Marketing Specialist

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

Patch Reilly

Data Analytics and Metrics Intern

Patch is a fourth-year Management Information Systems and Marketing major at the University of Georgia. He is working with Supply Chain Now in data analysis, finding insights and best practices to increase company efficiency. Patch previously worked as an intern at AnswerRocket, a data analytics company where he gained invaluable knowledge about analytics, webpage SEO and B2B marketing best practices. In his free time, he enjoys playing tennis, going to concerts, and watching movies.

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Vicki White

Controller

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

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Scott W. Luton

Founder, CEO, & Host

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

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

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Allison Giddens

Host, Logistics with Purpose

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

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

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Greg White

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

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

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

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Chris Barnes

Principal, Supply Chain Now
Host of Supply Chain is Boring

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

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

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Karin Bursa

Host of TEKTOK

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

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

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Kevin L. Jackson

Host of Digital Transformers

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

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Enrique Alvarez

Host of Logistics with Purpose and Supply Chain Now en Español

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

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

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Kelly Barner

Host of Dial P for Procurement

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

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Mary Kate Soliva

Host, Veteran Voices

Mary Kate Soliva is transitioning from active duty in the US Army. She is currently in the Doctor of Criminal Justice program at Saint Leo University. She is passionate about combating human trafficking and has spent the last decade conducting training for military personnel and the local community.

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Jeff Miller

Host

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

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Amanda Luton

Chief Marketing Officer

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

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Clay Phillips

Business Development Manager

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

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Trisha Cordes

Administrative Assistant

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

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Billy Taylor

Host of Dial P for Procurement

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

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

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

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

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Chantel King

Social Media Manager

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

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

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

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Lori Sofian

Marketing Coordinator

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

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Katherine Hintz

Sales and Marketing Coordinator

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

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Ben Harris

Host

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

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Page Siplon

Host, The Freight Insider

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

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Kristi Porter

Host, Logistics with Purpose

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

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Kevin Brown

Host, Logistics with Purpose

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

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Sofia Rivas Herrera

Host, Supply Chain Now en Espanol

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

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Jose Miguel Irarrazaval

Host, Logistics with Purpose

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

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Demo Perez

Host, Supply Chain Now en Espanol

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

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Kim Winter

Host, Supply Chain Now

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

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

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

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Nick Roemer

Host, Logistics with Purpose

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

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Alex Bramley

Sales Support Intern

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

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