“I think we’ll look at back at this report 12 months from now and look on the data pretty fondly. It looks like [Q1] is probably going to be a peak in terms of demand. From our standpoint, things are collapsing.”
– Lee Klaskow, Senior Analyst for Bloomberg Intelligence
U.S. Bank processed $28.8 billion in freight payment transactions in 2019. Those payments and the data that accompanies them are analyzed quarterly by Bobby Holland VP/Director of Freight Data Solutions at U.S. Bank and his team. The FPI report includes quarter over quarter, year over year, and full year data and analysis.
According to the official report released by U.S. Bank, “The U.S. Bank Freight Payment Index indicates that both shipments and spend contracted from Q4 2019. Despite strong movement of consumer goods in March, it was not enough to balance out the market sectors impacted by shutdowns, such as restaurants and auto factories. Shipments were down 1.8% and spending dropped 3.7%, both from the previous quarter. As shippers and carriers approach the second quarter, we anticipate that both indicators could continue to contract.”
In this interview, Bobby is joined by Lee Klaskow, a senior analyst for Bloomberg Intelligence, to share the results of the on the Q1 2020 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.
Intro – Amanda Luton.
New Speaker (00:05):
It’s time for supply chain. Now broadcasting live from the supply chain capital of the country, Atlanta, Georgia, heard around the world supply chain. Now spotlights the best in all things, supply chain, the people, the technologies, the best practices and the critical issues of the day. And now here are your hosts.
Scott Luton (00:29):
All right. Good afternoon, Scott Luton here with you on supply chain. Now welcome to today’s live stream. On this episode we are continuing a series where we’re sharing key insights from one of the leading transportation industry resources, the U S bank freight payment index. We’re also going to be gaining key takeaways from the, from the uh, freight payment index from business leaders that know it better, much better than me and mr Greg white, who is my coach here today. Greg, good afternoon. Once again.
Greg White (00:57):
Yeah. Good afternoon. Good to be here.
Scott Luton (00:59):
Hope you’re doing well. A quick programming note for any of those that enjoy our live stream. Of course you can check out our podcast wherever you get your podcasts from. Um, so Greg, we’ve really enjoyed this series in partnership with USBank. We’ve got a great guest analyst, uh, here today, and we’ll introduce our two guests momentarily. But first a couple of thoughts from you. You know, clearly a U S banks, one of the leading financial institutions that makes global supply chain happen. And of course a big part of that is a backbone of global supply chain, the transportation industry. So share a couple of thoughts as we open up here.
Greg White (01:32):
Yeah. Over $28 billion a year in transactions. So, um, even when we, when we told Lee that even leeway, so that’s clearly, uh, an impressive, insignificant amount of the, uh, of the transaction. So using that really valuable data to bring insights around transportation. Um, you know, I think a lot of people suspect what the topic main reasoning will be, but there are a few surprises in this report, which we’re going to talk about here in just a little bit. One other quick note, our very first live stream was with U S bank and we’ve been talking about that for the last a couple of weeks. And I feel like we’ve already started this one much better than we started the last year.
Scott Luton (02:18):
I’ll tell you, we were sweating bullets for a little while there. You don’t want to mess up a live stream, but uh, we have come a long way since then and our audience has Cumberland right along with this. We’ve seen really appreciate the high levels of engagement we’ve seen both in the moment during the lab stream and of course as the, uh, the, the interview gets published and is consumed around the world. So with all that said, let’s welcome in our, our distinguished guests here today. First up, Bobby Holland, vice president group product manager and director of consulting services at U S bank. Bobby, how are you doing? I’m doing well. How are you doing? Fantastic. Great to have you back. Your thought leadership from the first one back in January was very well received and consumed and great to have you back as we, as we dive into the Q1 freight payment index shortly.
Bobby Holland (03:04):
Excellent. Thank you.
Scott Luton (03:06):
Uh, real quick before we introduce our, our, our co featured guests here, do they want to say hello to Patrick Kelly and Paul Jepson. Thanks for joining us here on the LinkedIn live stream. All right, so joining Bobby and Greg and myself is back. Third time’s a charm is Lee class Cal senior analysts transportation and logistics with Bloomberg intelligence. Lee, how you doing?
Lee Klaskow (03:28):
Well Scott, thanks for having me and thank you. A very proud of me as well.
Bobby Holland (03:32):
Yeah, welcome back. Good to see you. Our audience I think, right?
Scott Luton (03:38):
Well our also our audience demanded it, Lee, by the way. So, uh, we really enjoyed your, your practical, no-nonsense been there, done that analysis and the first two episodes and it’s great to have you joined Bobby as we dive into, uh, uh, an outstanding informational, uh, bit of research that U S bank provides. So with all that said, before we dive into the freight payment index, Greg, we probably should let our current audience get to know Bobby and lead a little better, right? Yeah, maybe so. That’s right. Not at all. So Bobby, starting with yourself, tell us a little bit about, you know, where you’re from and, and just, uh, uh, in a nutshell, your professional background.
Bobby Holland (04:20):
Um, I’m originally from California by way of Colorado. Uh, from a professional standpoint. Um, I have a software engineering and software architecture background, uh, came to the bank a little over three years ago, uh, looking at ways to develop freight or data related free products. And, uh, so what’s our freight audit and payment system? Uh, the free data solutions team was, was born and that’s basically where we are today. Yeah, free opinion index was our first published product and many more to come
Scott Luton (04:58):
and it seems like it’s resonated, uh, and, and, and it’s, it’s really caught on within the industry. Um, want to say real quick hello to Peter and derail has also, uh, both of these folks along with Bosco are all on the LinkedIn live feed. Thanks for joining us, gentlemen. All right, so Lee, same question to you. Tell us a little about yourself, where you’re from, and just like Bobby did your, your professional journey in a nutshell. Sure. Uh, I’m
Lee Klaskow (05:24):
from the great state of New Jersey. Um, I’m, uh, working for Bloomberg intelligence, which is Bloomberg research arm. Um, they have, uh, over, uh, 280 analysts globally covering industries and companies from an equity credit, regulatory and economic perspective. I’ve been at Bloomberg for I guess about 10 years, uh, September. So it’s, uh, it’s, it’s been a great journey. Um, I cover freight, transportation, logistics, and so that’s pretty much all modes, uh, here in North America. And I also do air freight, uh, and, uh, Marine shipping
Scott Luton (05:58):
globally, uh, with some of my partners in Asia and Europe. And then before that, before joining Bloomberg intelligence, I was a sell side equity analyst. Uh, most recently I was at, uh, Prudential equity group and Longbow research covering the space. And then prior to that I was six, six years of, uh, of investment banking experience. So in a nutshell, um, so there you go. Well, I’ll tell you between podcasts, live streams, keynotes, webinars, and walking the dog, it is tough to get some time from Lee class gal. So great. Have you back here and looking forward to some of your color commentary on the data that, that Bob and the team have assembled. So with all that said, Greg, let’s, let’s kind of set the, set the table a little bit.
Greg White (06:42):
Yeah. So let’s, uh, kind of connect the dots for the audience and make sure everybody understands how this data is constructed and analyzed. Bobby, and let’s start with, you know, how have you constructed this highest level to, um, create such a good source for freight data for the industry?
Bobby Holland (07:03):
Well, like I said, the, uh, the source data comes from a processing transaction processing and our freight audit payment system. And basically we do a quarter over quarter comparison, uh, same store sales type algorithm to basically determine the change in velocity of our shipments and our spend through our system. And so we measure how fast or how slow, much slower the rate of changes in our, in our, in our shipments and freight expenditure. So you find that these two are the, because they are taken from, uh, trucking and less than truckload, that which comprises about 80% of our data. It’s, uh, with the way that we process the, the, and create the index, we find it’s a good indicator of the trucking market and in general. So what you see reflected here with our shipments, the quarterly percentage change and in bullshit shipments and spin, again, that’s our extrapolation of the market.
Greg White (08:13):
Okay, great. I think that helps people get a baseline for how the data is, is collected, analyzed and constructed. Give us a bit of a of insight, Bobby, on how your clients and other people in the industry use the freight payment index.
Bobby Holland (08:32):
Well, we find that providing, uh, a national overview as well as our regional overview, uh, we start at the top level and our customers are able to look at the data and measure it and measure themselves in comparison to that. See how the market’s going. Again, it’s not supposed to be the end all and be all of the viewpoint, if you will, but it’s an important viewpoint and customers can add that to the body of data they’re already working with. They’re looking at their own data. First of all, they’re looking at other indexes and they’re looking at our index and that enables them to build a comprehensive or more complete picture of the trending in the marketplace. And we want to make sure that it’s well represented. And I think the regional aspect kind of puts, gives more detail just below the national as to the unique challenges that each region faces. And, and you’ll see and reflect in the numbers that there are some differences.
Greg White (09:32):
It really gave us some good perspectives last quarter when we analyze this where we saw some co, some, um, regions of the country where substantially, um, more increased than others in a quarter that was already down year over year from the previous year. Right? So I think that regional breakout becomes really valuable and I think as we talk through this, we’re going to see some significant differences region by region yet again. So I’m interested to get to that. Lee, I know you, you look at a lot of indices, a lot of indicators, a lot of analytics tools around transportation. So tools like this or maybe even the U S bank tool itself. Tell us what you see people using it for.
Lee Klaskow (10:21):
Yeah. So, you know, I think it gives people a good idea about, you know, you know, what happened in the previous quarter, uh, where people can benchmark that against where they think things are going. Um, cause you know, in my line of business it’s more about trying to look forward at and using the information that we have, which is information that’s happened already to try to predict the future as best as we can. Um, you know, it’s interesting to, to see some of the numbers, uh, that were positive. Uh, I would guess that, you know, on a monthly basis that, you know, late March, a lot of that, that demand probably fell off a cliff, uh, from some of the information that we see, uh, through channel checks or from companies that have recently reported earnings.
Greg White (11:09):
Yeah. Yeah. And I think we’re going to see, you know, we’re already seeing reports of what’s happening in April as well. But, um, there were actually actually some surprises in this for me in terms of, of where the uplifts were, where they continue to be even into March. Uh, and I think it, well we’re going to talk about it but it has a lot to do with the industry that you’re in. So, Oh, we don’t have any auto audio from Scott.
Scott Luton (11:35):
Oh, here we go. Let me button was on. I feel like it was a typical conference call bingo moment. So Hey, uh, the folks from LinkedIn, we’ve got a couple of quick shout outs, uh, first off our friends Nick from EFT by Reuters events as asking Greg what the white board messages. So Greg, maybe we will have to put something back there. I’m also want to thank is a really, really official organization frankly a little bit afraid to put something too witty up there. I’m with you. I’m with you. Also, we’re funny, only one letter from twit. Um, Theresa with the topper Institute joined us for our previous live stream live stream. She’s back. So hello Teresa. And she also has a lot of bright students that are looking for projects. And internships. So check that out. The Tomber Institute, T, a, U, B, E, R, M.
Scott Luton (12:28):
And then of course Claudia freed. What would a livestream be without Claudia? So Claudia, thanks for joining us once again and we’re looking forward to your insights today as well. Okay, so moving from there to Bobby, we’re going to dive right in and let’s start at the, um, you know, the national point of view. We’re going to throw up the, um, the kind of the, the, the main graph here that shows, you know, recent history, uh, from a national standpoint. Give us, give us some initial observations nationally of what, uh, the Q1 freight payment index showed you.
Bobby Holland (13:04):
Well, as you can see from, uh, with shipments were down 1.8%, quarter over Q4 20, 19, but we’re actually up 3.8% over a similar period last year to Q1 20, 19. A lot of freight movement, uh, it’s just, you know, it’s a mixed bag. As we’ll go through and we start talking about the commentary and from a spin perspective, uh, both of them are down 3.7%, quarter over quarter. And two and a half percent year over year, which is reflective of the fact that, you know, that we’re in the state that we’re in right now with the virus and all of the resultant impacts.
Scott Luton (13:47):
Mm Hmm. Yeah, certainly no shortage of factors that are impacting transportation rates and a lot of other things within supply chain. Um, let’s go to you next, just from this, this national point of view. You were talking a second ago about, you know, the March dips. What was an early observation for you from the national scope?
Lee Klaskow (14:08):
Yeah, so, so we, uh, you know, we, we track weekly, uh, spot market supply and demand through, uh, data from truckstop.com which is a load board, uh, and the kind of, you know, the service that we sell on demand, uh, to, you know, stay at home, kind of, uh, mandates for people. Um, you know, the big rush and obviously delivering essential medical equipment, uh, medical supplies, um, paper, beer, essentially, uh, to be staying, you know, we still have that kind of like fall off a cliff. Uh, probably like the week of March 20th. Um, so there was pretty good demand, uh, and, and the mid to late February for a couple of weeks and then it just kind of went away. And you know, what we’re seeing now in, uh, in April is that continue to decline. The trucking market getting softer again, rates going down, rates are down around, um, uh, 6% a year to date on the, on the spot side, excluding fuel surcharges. So that’s kind of what we’re seeing as of right now. Uh, and you know, most economists that you speak to, they’re expecting a lot of doom and gloom and the second border, you know, from, from, you know, I’ve seen estimates, you know, GDP down 30, 35%, uh, in the second quarter. Um, so, you know, that’s, that’s a lot of demand destruction, uh, that we’re heading into
Scott Luton (15:36):
real quick, uh, about fuel. Sorry. Surcharged we’re getting a comment from Patrick Kelly who’s also a podcast or focused on that space, the food industry space. He says, I’ve noticed that there are no fuel surcharges anymore in California and now getting fuel credits, that is always a plus good stuff from Patrick. Also want to give a shout out, mr. Supply chain himself. Daniel Stanton’s part of the LinkedIn audience. Daniel, hope you’re doing really well, sir. Great to have you here. Um, and I had one other, uh, comment, Oh, uh, J, uh, DRL is a business leader in a leading food retailer. So clearly that we’ve got a strong presence in the food industry space here on today’s livestream. Greg, uh, a date, um, Lee mentioned the date March 20th. Um, as you and I have talked about on a variety of shows, you know, that right after codex wrapped up, it seems like here in the States, everything changed that those, those middle two weeks in March, speak to that a little bit.
Greg White (16:36):
Well, I mean, I think that’s when the realization sort of hit that, um, things were going to change. And I think many people, even though a lot of the quarantines and the mandatory state homes and shelter and place orders had not gone into place, people saw it start to happening. Uh, and, and that’s when we started to see some of the panic buying, which Bobby alludes to in, in the narrative of the, of the report here that spiked a lot of demand on his centrals and, uh, a lot of, uh, um, you know,
Scott Luton (17:13):
Greg White (17:14):
Uh, heavy volume, sorry, heavy volume, uh, grocery type products. Right. Um, that’s really what we saw. What was interesting to me was, and I guess I’ll pose a question back, uh, Bobby to you is it didn’t fall off as much as I expected. And I wonder if that is, and Lee may have this same questioner or may, maybe you even have a thought on this and that is, is that because we didn’t really see demand start to collapse until the second half of March, is that why we don’t see, um, greater downturn in these numbers? Guess I was expecting
Bobby Holland (17:50):
that and I think a lot of us probably were, well, there’s two possible or two likely they’ll say two likely reasons. One is the fact that because of the stockpiling, as you, as you stated, that began ahead of the stay at home orders. Um, and, and not only the stockpiling of household goods, essential households, but also the medical equipment, um, and personal protection equipment. Uh, those things drove, um, like research drove a lot of the marketplace, the, the, the theme running through this quarters indexes. Even though those things were at record highs, it wasn’t enough to balance out, you know, for lack of a, put the downside, you know, the idols. Um, all of that is what dragged it down. So to your point, it didn’t, you know, one kept the other from going completely to the floor. But as we also stay to quarter, you know, [inaudible] expected to be a very challenging because those impacts are gonna ripple through that quarter and be more realized than, uh, what started on the tail end of Q1. Now there’s so much product back on the shelves that those shipments are, are gonna slow down. Um, and I’ve heard, I’ve heard, I think the word plummet was used in this, in this analysis. And I’ve also heard the word plummet from other people and I think that’s kind of what we can expect from demand. Lee, you have any thoughts on that?
Lee Klaskow (19:22):
Yeah, I mean, you know, most of the economy is shut down. So outside of you and I go into the grocery store and loading up on on supplies for a week. Um, there’s really not much economic activity. Um, you know, old dominion, uh, you know, a really large LTL carrier. They had their earnings, uh, earlier this morning they announced and you know, they were talking about, um, you know, their shipments, uh, being down round that it’s 20%, um, in April. Um, that’s a lot, you know, nights, just a triplet provider. You know, they mentioned that their um, uh, their, their April numbers are down in terms of loads down mid to high single digits. Um, you know, you look at, you look at uh, the rail of lines, you know, that, that especially the intermodal, which I guess is a little more competitive, a little more consumer driven.
Lee Klaskow (20:12):
You know, that’s down 17% for the quarter. So there’s a lot of things, you know, bad things going on in the freight world that is, you know, going to have a ripple effect on, you know, how these companies do in the second quarter and the third and fourth quarter for that matter. Know not everyone is going to, uh, you know, emerge from this, uh, alive of, from a company standpoint. Uh, you know, not to be flippant, but you know, a lot of companies, smaller companies that don’t have the liquidity are not going to be able to survive. Um, you know, the, the de-leveraging of,
Greg White (20:48):
uh, the reduced amount of demand that’s out there. Well, and they came off a tough year to begin with. Right. 19 was a crusher.
Scott Luton (20:55):
That’s right. Historical. Um, alright, so before we dive deeper into the regional side of it, we had a couple of questions from the audience and, and uh, um, one, the first question comes from Patrick. Patrick asks and Bobby will direct it to you first. Um, do you think the new farm bill will help truckers deliver produce to food bank centers throughout the USA? A lot of this produce is donated food from the grower that can’t pay freight and the OBS, any, any insights around that.
Greg White (21:27):
Uh, it’s expected to help, but I can’t quantify any percentages by how much, but anything that, um, gets the, you know, gets it off of the farm and out into the marketplace has got a benefit in some fashion.
Scott Luton (21:43):
Yep. Um, and before we pose that same question, Lee, quick observation from Claudia because we heard this directly from Kathy Fulton yesterday, who’s with, uh, executive director of the American logistics aid network, which is, is, uh, does a great job leveraging corporate supply chains to address, uh, disaster response. And she talked about how we’re getting uneven, um, policy implementation. So the truck drivers are driving through one state or even one County and they’ve got different restrictions, different expectations and, and that’s going to factor into, um, how we, how we move forward from here. So Lee, same question, the farm bill. What is your quick take on how that can help us out and help certainly help out the truck drivers in the food industry? So, I mean, I’d probably ask him about, Bobby said on the margin,
Greg White (22:31):
it’s a positive, but it’s probably not move the needle in terms of absorbing all the Slack acidy that’s currently in the than the truckload market. Um, so it’s just, you know, incremental positive that, you know, unfortunately it’s not gonna move the needle. Yep. Tears in a bucket, unfortunately. Um, it’s a sad metaphor. So I do have a thought on the numbers here and we saw some inversions, um, where, um, shipments move more than pricing and in some cases down. And I’m curious, Bobby, if you feel like or found that that was, uh, an effect of, of pro of rates already having been compressed from 2019 and particularly Q4 because I see some numbers and we’re going to talk about the specific numbers in the region, in some of the regions where, um, that occurred. Do you, do you guys, um, analyze whether that was an impact based on rate compression? So part of it’s the rates. There are stories of carriers that, you know, we’ll go
Bobby Holland (23:46):
in and negotiate with shippers just to be able to get freight moving. Fuel prices is a, is a big impact as well. The fact that fruit fuel prices and fuel surcharges are down means that you know, you can be moving more shipments, but you know, the costs are going to be a little bit lower.
Scott Luton (24:06):
So on that note and, and based on, uh, Daniel Stanton’s comment, we’re going to segue right into re into regional takeaways. Uh, Daniel mentioned a LinkedIn. I thought it was really interesting that the Southeast seemed to respond faster and better than the other regions. Uh, Southeast, uh, are splotching. Now folks will probably call that the supply chain city effect. I like that Daniel is referencing the moniker for, uh, what Atlanta refers to as supply chain city. So let’s pivot a little bit here. Uh, Bobby, let’s stop into, I think we’ve got our, uh, regional overview charts teed up, uh, starting with the Southeast, uh, which of course Daniel’s Stanton, right on time. Kind of segue this into what’s one key takeaway from the Q1 freight payment index? About the Southeastern region.
Bobby Holland (24:57):
Um, basically that the Southeast in our coordinator, our index was the only region to have, um, you know, a true positive growth in both indexes. Uh, and you know, that’s likely from a couple of factors. One was the fact that their supply chains are more resilient, um, having to deal with, um, multiple disasters and being able to, to, and their experience in responding and changing that quickly. And the other one perhaps is due to the fact that the stay at home orders went into effect a lot later if at all in the Southeast compared to the other regions. And then the, and then one other factor is a large amount of back haul traffic, um, out of the Southeast. And so, you know, freight is able to move in and out more readily than some of the other, um, regions that tend to call more freight in than they push out for various reasons.
Scott Luton (25:52):
Hm. The stuff there. Lee, do you want to weigh in on what we saw in the data from a Southeastern standpoint?
Lee Klaskow (25:58):
Yeah. Again, yeah, I probably echo what Bobby just said. You know, especially the state home orders, you know, the, the Southeast, um, a lot of the States where we’re very slow to implement those and you know, the West coast and the Northeast for kind of a lot quicker I guess, if you will, to pull the trigger and, and, and demand that people stay at home to try to flatten the curve. So I probably had a lot to do with it. Not to mention that a lot of supplies that maybe we were loading up on, uh, came from, you know, the South East and the Midwest in terms of, you know, um, our canned goods and, and, and other, uh, you know, consumable products we buy in the grocery store. So I think maybe those two things probably had the biggest impact from, from, you
Greg White (26:44):
know, just looking at the data, uh, and not knowing the data is as intimately as Bobby does. Yep.
Scott Luton (26:50):
Yep. And Greg, right before we get you to weigh in on Southeast quick comment from Claudia, she asked if the slides are available, uh, and by the way, Claudia says, your information is awesome, Bobby. So love that. And Claudia and to our audience, yes, it’s available. In fact, we’ve got a link to subscribe and download the full PDF report in the show notes of each of the, uh, live stream platforms that we’re, we’re, we’re currently broadcasting against Facebook, LinkedIn, YouTube, Twitter and Twitch. Um, so Greg and good, great, great question. Claudia. Greg, your take on the Southeast real quick.
Greg White (27:25):
I think there’s a couple of additional factors into, in addition to what Bobby and Lee talked about. One is, um, there has been a significant shift of goods even from China, um, from West coast ports to East coast ports. And we continue to see that because the West coast ports are pretty jammed up, uh, remain remarkably inefficient and the additional travel time of those ships to get to the East coast, um, you know, put, put those goods on land just a little bit later than they would have landed on the West coast anyway. So, um, that has probably some at least incremental effect.
Scott Luton (28:07):
Yep. You know, what’s interesting is also, as I think one of y’all alluded to, what’s cited in the report is the Southeast typical response to disasters and hurricanes, which of course are notorious in the, in the Southeast in particular. Um, what’s interesting though, what a lot of questions we get, I don’t know about you, Bobby, and Lee, is, you know, a lot of times, as we all know, the natural disasters are located and affect one particular geographic region. So, you know, uh, global supply chains or even, you know, uh, regional supply chains can make adjustments, uh, inventory or transportation or you name it, with something like COBIT 19, this impacting the globe and the supply chain industry on a whole, this is, that really illustrates the uniqueness about this threat we’ve been facing. Right, Bobby?
Bobby Holland (28:58):
Yes. Yeah. It’s unique in that regard. But again, it’s, it’s not the same as a hurricane obviously, but in the initial impacts, again, the resiliency and the adaptability of the supply chains, uh, are what, um, have helped the Southeast because a lot, you know, at least in Q1, a lot of the shortages were not due to, uh, no nothing being available. Um, it’s the, due to the stress on the supply chains, the ability to move the sudden, you know, new quantities needed in various places and that’s where the adaptability of the supply chain, you know, how do you reconfigure, how do you reconstitute across market sectors to get, you know, you know, change it over from type of freight to another quickly and move it to where it needs to be. Yup. That’s the problem. That’s the challenge that we had in Q1. Now going into Q2.
Bobby Holland (29:49):
Um, to your point, you know, once the full impacts of COBIT are felt on the marketplace and you’re going to see different stressors on the supply chain and that that’ll take, you know, kind of move it more in the direction that you were talking about where we’ll fill the unique challenges more so right now as a natural disaster and where things are needed to move quickly. The Southeast is more resilient, that fashion proven itself that we have paper plants all up and down the East coast East as well. Right. In paper one was a huge portion of what was being shipped.
Scott Luton (30:25):
Great point. All right, so we’re gonna move into the Northeast region next. Again, just one of the key takeaways from the data there to our audience. So whether you’re tuned in on LinkedIn or Twitter or Facebook or YouTube or Twitch, uh, tell us what you’re seeing in, in the freight market. We’d love to share your observations with this expert panel we’ve assembled. Okay. So Bobby, let’s go into the Northeast. What was some of the things that you were seeing there? Something that your key takeaway or two from that region?
Bobby Holland (30:54):
Well, again, uh, freight surges for essentials was not enough to offset weaknesses. Other work elsewhere in the Northeast markets, uh, and Northeast is almost say notorious but is more impacted by having more inbound freight then for food and other consumer stables, but less outbound freight. And because of the lower shipments in general, um, it hurts carrier revenues. Um, and the expectations that we’ll see lower continue to see lower freight levels. I mean, they’re the second quarter as the business closures and the basically the full impacts of the virus hit definitely impact the Narcy Northeast. Yep. Uh, Lee.
Lee Klaskow (31:37):
Yeah. And again, you know, um, I probably, I go, uh, Bobby said some people had concerns about, uh, go into New York or Philadelphia for concern, you know, not being able to bring a load to the next stop because, you know, this coven 19 to breakout was kind of highly concentrated in New York city and on the West coast. So, you know, people I think were maybe we were concerned about, you know, if a trucker went in there, would he be able to come back out and deliver the next load or would shipper and say like, Oh, you were in New York, you know, we don’t want you to, so we did hear anecdotal, uh, you know, comments from, from panel that some truckers were just avoiding the area altogether.
Scott Luton (32:20):
Mm Hmm. We saw plenty of the reports of that as well. Greg, quick take on the Northeast before we move right along.
Bobby Holland (32:26):
Yeah, I would just echo what, what Bobby and Lee have said. I mean, you know, the Northeast is pretty straightforward to, to analyze from that standpoint.
Scott Luton (32:36):
Yep. Okay. So real quick, a question from Claudia. Um, she asked, do you see any dry vans as temporary storage of some inventory, uh, that can’t be stored in warehouses? Clearly, we’re seeing, uh, in a somewhat related, uh, aside, we’re seeing supertankers are all the rage right now is we’re looking at the store crude, uh, and it’s amazing, uh, as reported in wall street journal. I think yesterday, the daily freight rates, uh, from $10,000 a day to $150,000 a day. So if you’re, if you drive or own one of the 815 super tankers out there, this is, this is a good time for you, I guess, but let’s talk about how we’re using drive ans as, as temporary storage. Have you all seen any of that and, and is it meaningful? Uh, Bobby early.
Bobby Holland (33:24):
I have not seen that. Um, that doesn’t mean that it doesn’t occur. Just my data doesn’t show it yet. Not movement. Right. So,
Scott Luton (33:35):
alright, so let’s talk about the Midwest. Uh, so Bobby starting with the Midwest, anything different than, you know, some of the general, uh, dynamics that we’ve identified.
Bobby Holland (33:48):
Uh, the agricultural sector is bearing the brunt of lower exports because of the, you know, they’re reduced, but there’s still ongoing trade Wars with China and they’re also being hit on the factory sector and their proximity to the West coast. There’s a lot of trade that takes place, not trade, a lot of freight that moves between the West and the Midwest regions. And so, you know, what impacts the West, you know, can tend to affect, um, the Western side of the Midwest region. And then, um, there’s increased activity in spot markets as carriers. Um, challenge on the agricultural side are looking for additional freight. Um, but again, they also are part of the trend where there’s an upsurge in, you know, moving out of central, you’re going to find that that’s the theme of, of this quarter’s index. But it wasn’t enough to offset the weaknesses as, as was what the other regions.
Scott Luton (34:43):
Mm Hmm. Lee, the Midwest.
Lee Klaskow (34:46):
Again, I sound like a broken record, but you know, uh, I think I, I would echo what Bobby said. You know, we look at data, you know, we’re really looking at it from a national standpoint. Um, you know, just given that most of the companies that we cover, I have national footprints. Um, so, you know, the, the, the, the, the equipment takes from each region kinda kind of wash out to get some more of a national picture, which is what we focus on. Uh, you know, I think the comments from, uh, from Bobby are probably right on.
Scott Luton (35:18):
Alright. So Greg, I know you’ve got some roots there in the Midwest, in the great city, Wichita, Kansas, and you may echo exactly what Bobby and Lee have shared, but having lived in the, in the great city of Wichita, any, any localized information or insights you might share?
Bobby Holland (35:33):
You just want to give me a chance to sound off in the Midwest? Appreciate.
Greg White (35:38):
Um, I can tell you that, that, you know, um, Kansas city, Springfield, Missouri, um, all have, um, you know, a significant chunk of, of short haul and long haul carriers. Um, and I know that the, the, the businesses down pretty substantially for them. Um, and the, you know, the cause is, is because again, even if we’re trying to move goods as opposed to waste move produce as opposed to waste produce, um, that the, that it’s not enough to offset the rest of the downturn. And additionally, because, uh, so many meat processing facilities are in the Midwest and that is way, way down as well. That’s having a big impact.
Scott Luton (36:25):
Yeah. That, that’s a situation that we’ve been keeping around for several weeks now. And I read, I think earlier today, I didn’t have time to take a deep dive into the article, but the inspectors are starting to get impacted, uh, in these, in, in the meat packing and the processing plant. So we’ll, we’ll keep our eye on that. Hey, real quick aside, um, uh, derail, who is a business leader in one of the food retailers has a comment. So he says we’re witnessing warehouses clear inventory out to stores as a means to clear space at the warehouse. And at the same time the shortage of drivers is playing a bit into the freight market. He also says that he and the team, uh, and I’m not going to mention the company, you can see that on the stream of LinkedIn, but they’re weathering the storm for each of us. So we’ve got to level all the re all the folks that, that play a part in the end to end supply chain, whether you’re in operations or warehouses or manufacturing or as Greg as we like to point out the folks that are stocking the shelves and, and, and making sure these stores don’t close. Right?
Greg White (37:30):
Yeah. If you’re running a register, you’re on the front lines.
Scott Luton (37:32):
That’s right. Yep. So really appreciate what you’re doing. DRL okay. So, you know, rather than as I’m Laura, it takes them a little while. Sometimes I’m a slow learner. Um, let’s look at, let’s, let’s conclude our regional rap. They interesting regions too. Alright, well let’s, let’s combine the Southeast and the West, right? Rather than taking them one by one. Um, I’m sure we’ll see some overlap in terms of what your observations are and the data. But Bobby, let’s talk about the South Southwest and the West regions.
Bobby Holland (38:03):
Um, Southwest is, um, effected by oil prices, a lot of, um, oil, um, energy producer, shippers and operators that are closely tied to that industry and the Southwest. And so with the fact that oil is literally tanking, um, I gotta give you cross on that one, but the fact that, uh, energy producers are being hit, uh, by dropping oil prices, it’s impacting their carriers as well. Um, but basically they’re suffering from lower volumes, lower fuel surcharges and stopping and pricing. I think, uh, um, as Lee had mentioned previously and in the West, um, again, impacted by trade Wars, it was the first, uh, region to be hit by Cobra 19 issues, uh, for truck freight. And it started earlier in the quarter. Um, and then when the Chinese economy shut down, that affected the ports as well. So, uh, but the West, you know, had the first way, um, it’s from a coal bed. So they’re suffering because those two regions are, are connected in some fashion. Um, they’re hurting. Yeah. Um,
Lee Klaskow (39:17):
and Lee, I’m scared to ask you, but I know you, you echo, I imagine a lot, I’m getting better by predictive analytics. You’re gonna echo some of what Bobby shared, but anything else stand out. I’ll talk about something different. Like, you know, in the Southwest, that number is going to probably get a lot worse because the increase coupled with the fact that crude is trading below 20 bucks a barrel. So people aren’t going to be, you know, the horizontal drillers are gonna have a real tough time from an economic standpoint of pulling that oil out of the ground to make sense. So all the truckers that were driving, you know, frac sand, water, chemicals back and forth to the Wells, um, you know, there’s gonna be a lot less loads there, you know, and that’s obviously gonna have a ripple effect for the regional economy, you know, as goes, uh, the energy market. So does part of the country economy. Good point. And Greg, anything else stick out to you?
Greg White (40:18):
Oil is key. I wonder if,
Bobby Holland (40:22):
Greg White (40:23):
Lee is oil had gone about 40 bucks a barrel, negative where I haven’t looked lately. Where does it stand now? Is it literally paying people to buy, to take the oil and carted away? I guess here, here’s why that’s important. My thought at the time was some struggling trucking company should go get paid 40 bucks a barrel to haul it away, find a supertanker and store it.
Bobby Holland (40:53):
Mm. And, and, um,
Greg White (40:57):
you know, boosts their opportunity to earn if that, if that still exists. Is that right?
Lee Klaskow (41:03):
The problem with that is it’s really not that much storage available. Uh, and then off shore, uh, the amount of capacity it’s been sucked up, uh, from a floating storage on large VLCC second handle into million barrel of oil, those rates have skyrocketed. So, you know, there’s still, uh, you know, speculation, uh, ability between buying it now, holding it and maybe selling it down the road, but because of where rates are going, that margin is kind of shrinking.
Scott Luton (41:39):
Yup. So, quick aside here, um, a comment from Daniel, uh, that he’s heard today that there are East coast ports starting to shut down because of low demand, uh, Lee, Bobby, have you all seen any of the similar reports of that happening?
Lee Klaskow (41:57):
I have not seen that yet. Um, you know, I know the ports, most sports are still operational because they’re considered essential. And at the end of the day, you know, people don’t have to work closely next to each other, um, because you’re in a, an a machine alone typically. Um, but, uh, I haven’t heard that as as of yet.
Bobby Holland (42:18):
Okay. I have not either. We’re tracking some data regarding D by region, not necessarily specifically at the ports. Um, and even into April. Um, Southeast and Northeast regions, um, are still are down a couple percent.
Scott Luton (42:38):
Gotcha. And Greg, what about the Cracker jacks supply chain now research team? Have we, have we heard anything of the port East coast ports going down because of the low demand?
Bobby Holland (42:48):
I know that, that um, I know that they had slowed pretty substantially, but I haven’t seen any breaking news on that. We’ll have.
Scott Luton (42:58):
That’s right. Okay. So we’re going to switch gears. We’ve been going region by region, going through all the data of the Q1 freight payment index, which a U S bank and Bobby and his team puts out, uh, four times a year. Uh, Bobby, we’re going to shift gears here. Um, what we’d like to do, you can answer both of these questions or you can pick your favorite question to answer your biggest single takeaway from the Q1 report or what to expect. And everyone’s crystal ball. Some of them are not. If you’re, if you’re a slight mind is not working at all right now. So what to expect and Q2 or the remainder of the year? What, what say you?
Speaker 6 (43:39):
Bobby Holland (43:39):
Uh, well we expect, um, largely because of the predictions of the GDP and again, the impacts of the virus that, um, Tutu is going to continue to, to drop. Um, ideally, and I’m not forecasting anything just saying ideally Q3 once, um, yeah, opening start to occur will mitigate some of the full impacts of that and we’ll start to see things climbing in Q three or at least by two, four. But Q2 definitely going to be off the charts right now as far as where it’s going.
Speaker 6 (44:18):
Bobby Holland (44:19):
Scott Luton (44:21):
either. I’ll tell you what. So Lee, same question for you. Um, you know, either biggest takeaway from what the, this report has shared or you know, what looked for moving forward?
Lee Klaskow (44:38):
Sure. I mean, I think we’ll look at back at this report from like 12 months from now and look on the data pretty fondly. Uh, cause you know, it looks like it’s probably going to be a peak, uh, in terms of demand, uh, and, and, and rates, uh, from our standpoint, you know, uh, things are collapsing. Um, things are getting bad in the second quarter. A lot of people are becoming, I don’t employ it, that’s gonna have ripple effects for demand. It’s going to have ripple effects for freight demand. Um, you know, and that’s obviously going to weigh heavily on these numbers going forward. So, you know, that’s the thing that we think about when looking at this that, you know, this might be the peak of a 2020.
Scott Luton (45:22):
Mm. Hmm. Okay. Greg, uh, your same question to you.
Greg White (45:27):
Yeah. Um, so, um, volumes are down eight to 10% from early February, just in April so far. Um, and spot quotes to quote somebody are at unprecedented lows. We have to, we have to, uh, slip unprecedented into any discussion around covert 19 and this seismic societal disruption. That’s right. Um, so, uh, yeah, I’m not, I can’t say that the worst is yet to come, but the, but worse than where we are is yet to come.
Scott Luton (46:01):
Yeah, I’m sure. Hey, going back, uh, uh, to the ports in this, in the East coast, we were talking about them potentially being idle. Uh, uh, JOC is reporting that the Virginia, uh, the port of Virginia is going to idle the terminal, uh, and suspend container operations and the Portsmouth Marine terminal beginning May 3rd due to Cobra 19 volume drops. So we’ll see if other ports, uh, followed suit. Um, okay. So, uh, as we start to wrap up, um, Bobby, I’ll tell you, I, I’m not envious of you and your team and, and the job they’ve got to do, pulling all these data points together, uh, to, to share these insights. But let’s make sure folks know how to compare, uh, reach out to you and connect with you as well as, um, sign up for the Q2 freight payment index that U S bank puts out
Greg White (46:57):
that’s at freight that us bank.com. And again, just fill out the form and it’ll be sent to you automatically on every publishing date, every quarterly publishing day.
Scott Luton (47:08):
Outstanding. And again, as we shared earlier that a signup link will make, try to make things easy for you, is in the show notes of each of the live streams here. Um, Lee, appreciate you coming back. You and Bobby both repeat guests now. Uh, let’s let, make sure folks know how to connect with you and, and certainly keep in, keep their finger on the pulse of all the things that Bloomberg intelligence is up to.
Lee Klaskow (47:33):
Sure. Uh, well most of our research that we do primarily goes across the Bloomberg terminal. Uh, but I am on LinkedIn, um, spelling of my last name the runway.
Greg White (47:44):
I know it’s hard,
Lee Klaskow (47:47):
right? That’s the spelling of my last name. You know, I’m all about meeting new people and getting smarter from industry professionals and I do smatter LinkedIn with, uh, with some of our research as well. So, you know, feel free to, to connect with me on LinkedIn.
Scott Luton (48:05):
Really appreciate it. Your supply chain Accu will certainly increase if you follow Bobby or Lee, uh, across social media and check out the research. All right. That’s right. That’s all right.
Greg White (48:20):
I can’t get my hand down there to pointed his name.
Scott Luton (48:23):
So Greg, a lot of them, a lot of information. I really appreciate how Bobby and the freight payment index bulls down all these data points into some really practical and, uh, executive level insights, right?
Greg White (48:40):
Yeah, it is. I mean, it’s, it’s a fantastic bit of analysis, um, based on a huge amount of data. Um, and good, I think to bring it to the industry bad news this time around. I feel, uh, I feel like when I talked to one of my cousins who’s a meteorologist, I want him to influence the weather. And I wish Bobby somehow could influence transportation, um, you know, transportation, um, movement. But we know we can’t and we know we’ve got a tough, tough things to come, but I gotta tell you this isn’t as bad as I actually thought it was going to be. Um, so, uh, you know, I don’t know if there’s, I don’t know if there’s any good news here. It’s just news at this point. Right.
Scott Luton (49:27):
Great. Well put. All right, so I’m going to surprise y’all with one final question that’s a little bit outside of the freight payment index we were before we went on. What’s that? I said you’ve been doing this lately. Well, right as we were coming on, we learned something about Bobby that we didn’t know that he is a voracious reader. Right? Uh, when he’s not providing, uh, cutting edge insights that that helps supply chain leaders make decisions. He’s reading a lot of books. So I want to pose this question to you either what’s your most recent read that you recommend or what is your go to resource that when you’re drinking your cup of coffee at four 30 in the morning, your first cup of coffee that you check, you know, online or, or, you know, get your insights from. So Bobby, you’re telling us about a recent read. Uh, what’s been your, one of your recent favorite reads? Recent favorite reads? I think it was one of my books on
Greg White (50:23):
Tableau. Okay. A lot about you Bobby.
Scott Luton (50:30):
So you’re taking the challenge to professionally develop yourself during this quarantine very seriously. Okay, man. Um, all right. So Lee, same question to you. So what’s a GoTo resource or a great recent read?
Lee Klaskow (50:45):
Well, of course it’s bloomberg.com and of course my news and information. Uh, uh, but, uh, yeah, I haven’t read a, uh, uh, a book in a long time. I think the last one was switched point, which was about precision scheduled railroading, uh, PRS. Yeah, that’s, that’s a PSR because I get, um, you know, part of my job was I read all day, so when I want to relax, it’s not usually not usually having a cocktail,
Scott Luton (51:18):
uh, to stay in and he can relate. Okay. Greg? Same question.
Greg White (51:22):
I happened to have it right here. So, um, I think on a show a couple of weeks ago, I confess that I don’t read much. And Peter Heflin, um, friend of mine that has worked with me at a couple of my companies suggested that I read this book culture code. Um, I’ve just started it, but, um, so far it’s a really good read the secrets of highly successful groups, team building a book. So, um, so far so good. Outstanding. Good stuff. Sunday funnies. But there aren’t any.
Scott Luton (51:54):
All right, well we got to thank our guests. Really appreciate y’alls time here today. We’ve been chatting with Bobby Holland, vice president and group product manager and director of consulting services at U S bank. Thanks so much Bobby. Good to see you. We’ll see you next time for the [inaudible] report. Uh, we’ve also been talking and getting the insights analysis from Lee class, Cal senior analyst, transportation and logistics with Bloomberg intelligence. Thanks so much, Lee.
Lee Klaskow (52:19):
Thanks Scott and Greg and I’ll be safe and healthy. Absolutely.
Scott Luton (52:24):
And keep our finger off the mute button. Right. Alright, so Greg, a great show here today as we wrap up, really appreciate, uh, you know, the content engine keeps churning here, but this is, this is really good information, you know, um, informed data-driven content, uh, from the experts that know that’s in demand right now and it’s proven in a variety different levels. And that’s what the last hour has felt like to me.
Greg White (52:51):
You’d feel you’d be hard pressed to find two people more knowledgeable on the transportation industry. I greatly appreciate both of your time, Bobby, you put in so much time into this thing, but I feel like that book on Tablo, you can learn some shortcuts that’ll help you save maybe an extra couple hours. Ooh, boy.
Scott Luton (53:12):
Um, all right, so to our audience, thanks so much for the engagement and the questions and the comments. Uh, uh, be sure to check out a wide variety of thought leadership email@example.com including other featuring Lee and Bobby, um, fondness and subscribe. If you listen to podcasts, you can find us and subscribe wherever you get your podcasts from. Uh, we want to wish a on behalf of the entire team here, stay safe, uh, brighter days. Absolutely lie ahead, even if we’re not exactly sure when there’ll be a right around the corner and we will see you next time here on supply chain now. Thanks everybody.
Bobby Holland is responsible for the Freight Data Solutions team at U.S. Bank. Bobby has over 36 years of broad-based data processing, software engineering and consulting experience. He has leadership in multiple industries including insurance, large-scale billing, customer care services and banking. His specialties include systems integration, enterprise applications architecture, agile methodology, DevOps practice, systems engineering, object-oriented development, analytics, and product and project management. Bobby’s current focus is in analytics and data-related product management for the freight industry. Bobby holds a degree in Computer Science from Metropolitan State University.
Lee Klaskow is a senior analyst for Bloomberg Intelligence, a unique platform for in-depth analysis, ideas, and data sets on industries and companies, as well as credit, government, ESG, and litigation factors that impact decision-making available on the Bloomberg Professional services at BI . He specializes in freight transportation and logistics, including global marine shipping, air freight and logistics sectors as well as the North American trucking and railroad industries. Klaskow provides primary company coverage on CSX, CP, CNI, CHRW, DPW GY, EURN, FDX, JBHT, KSU, KNX, LSTR, MAERSKB DC, NSC, ODFL, UNP, UPS, WERN and XPO, for Bloomberg Intelligence. Engaged in extensive contact with management teams, investors, sell-side analysts, bankers, industry contacts and Bloomberg customers to develop and refine research and analysis. Prior to joining Bloomberg, Klaskow was a senior analyst at Longbow Research and Prudential Equity Group, where he covered freight transportation and logistics companies. He has also worked at Prudential Equity Group as an industrial associate prior to being promoted to senior analyst. Klaskow helped originate and execute global equity transactions for both ABN Amro Rothschild and J.P. Morgan. Klaskow began his career at McCarthy, Crisanti & Maffei analyzing and reporting on the primary equity markets. Klaskow earned his bachelor of science degree in finance and management from Ithaca College, and his master’s in business from Fordham University.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Host of Digital Transformers
Kevin L. Jackson is a globally recognized Thought Leader, Industry Influencer and Founder/Author of the award winning “Cloud Musings” blog. He has also been recognized as a “Top 5G Influencer” (Onalytica 2019, Radar 2020), a “Top 50 Global Digital Transformation Thought Leader” (Thinkers 360 2019) and provides strategic consulting and integrated social media services to AT&T, Intel, Broadcom, Ericsson and other leading companies. Mr. Jackson’s commercial experience includes Vice President J.P. Morgan Chase, Worldwide Sales Executive for IBM and SAIC (Engility) Director Cloud Solutions. He has served on teams that have supported digital transformation projects for the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) and the US Intelligence Community. Kevin’s formal education includes a MS Computer Engineering from Naval Postgraduate School; MA National Security & Strategic Studies from Naval War College; and a BS Aerospace Engineering from the United States Naval Academy. Internationally recognizable firms that have sponsored articles authored by him include Cisco, Microsoft, Citrix and IBM. Books include “Click to Transform” (Leaders Press, 2020), “Architecting Cloud Computing Solutions” (Packt, 2018), and “Practical Cloud Security: A Cross Industry View” (Taylor & Francis, 2016). He also delivers online training through Tulane University, O’Reilly Media, LinkedIn Learning, and Pluralsight. Mr. Jackson retired from the U.S. Navy in 1994, earning specialties in Space Systems Engineering, Carrier Onboard Delivery Logistics and carrier-based Airborne Early Warning and Control. While active, he also served with the National Reconnaissance Office, Operational Support Office, providing tactical support to Navy and Marine Corps forces worldwide.
Host of Logistics with Purpose and Supply Chain Now en Español
Enrique serves as Managing Director at Vector Global Logistics and believes we all have a personal responsibility to change the world. He is hard working, relationship minded and pro-active. Enrique trusts that the key to logistics is having a good and responsible team that truly partners with the clients and does whatever is necessary to see them succeed. He is a proud sponsor of Vector’s unique results-based work environment and before venturing into logistics he worked for the Boston Consulting Group (BCG). During his time at BCG, he worked in different industries such as Telecommunications, Energy, Industrial Goods, Building Materials, and Private Banking. His main focus was always on the operations, sales, and supply chain processes, with case focus on, logistics, growth strategy, and cost reduction. Prior to joining BCG, Enrique worked for Grupo Vitro, a Mexican glass manufacturer, for five years holding different positions from sales and logistics manager to supply chain project leader in charge of five warehouses in Colombia.
He has an MBA from The Wharton School of Business and a BS, in Mechanical Engineer from the Technologico de Monterrey in Mexico. Enrique’s passions are soccer and the ocean, and he also enjoys traveling, getting to know new people, and spending time with his wife and two kids, Emma and Enrique.
Host of Dial P for Procurement
Kelly is the Owner and Managing Director of Buyers Meeting Point and MyPurchasingCenter. She has been in procurement since 2003, starting as a practitioner and then as the Associate Director of Consulting at Emptoris. She has covered procurement news, events, publications, solutions, trends, and relevant economics at Buyers Meeting Point since 2009. Kelly is also the General Manager at Art of Procurement and Business Survey Chair for the ISM-New York Report on Business. Kelly has her MBA from Babson College as well as an MS in Library and Information Science from Simmons College and she has co-authored three books: ‘Supply Market Intelligence for Procurement Professionals’, ‘Procurement at a Crossroads’, and ‘Finance Unleashed’.
Host, 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Ben Harris is the Director of Supply Chain Ecosystem Expansion for the Metro Atlanta Chamber. Ben comes to the Metro Atlanta Chamber after serving as Senior Manager, Market Development for Manhattan Associates. There, Ben was responsible for developing Manhattan’s sales pipeline and overall Americas supply chain marketing strategy. Ben oversaw market positioning, messaging and campaign execution to build awareness and drive new pipeline growth. Prior to joining Manhattan, Ben spent four years with the Georgia Department of Economic Development’s Center of Innovation for Logistics where he played a key role in establishing the Center as a go-to industry resource for information, support, partnership building, and investment development. Additionally, he became a key SME for all logistics and supply chain-focused projects. Ben began his career at Page International, Inc. where he drove continuous improvement in complex global supply chain operations for a wide variety of businesses and Fortune 500 companies. An APICS Certified Supply Chain Professional (CSCP), Ben holds an Executive Master’s degree in Business Administration (EMBA) and bachelor’s degree in International Business (BBA) from the Terry College at the University of Georgia.
Host, The Freight Insider
Prior to joining TeamOne Logistics, Page Siplon served as the Executive Director of the Georgia Center of Innovation for Logistics, the State’s leading consulting resource for fueling logistics industry growth and global competitiveness. For over a decade, he directly assisted hundreds of companies to overcome challenges and capitalize on opportunities related to the movement of freight. During this time, Siplon was also appointed to concurrently serve the State of Georgia as Director of the larger Centers of Innovation Program, in which he provided executive leadership and vision for all six strategic industry-focused Centers. As a frequently requested keynote speaker, Siplon is called upon to address a range of audiences on unique aspects of technology, workforce, and logistics. This often includes topics of global and domestic logistics trends, supply chain visibility, collaboration, and strategic planning. He has also been quoted as an industry expert in publications such as Forbes, Journal of Commerce, Fortune, NPR, Wall Street Journal, Reuters, American Express, DC Velocity, Area Development Magazine, Site Selection Magazine, Inbound Logistics, Modern Material Handling, and is frequently a live special guest on SiriusXM’s Road Dog Radio Show. Siplon is an active industry participant, recognized by DC Velocity Magazine as a “2012 Logistics Rainmaker” which annually identifies the top-ten logistics professionals in the Nation; and named a “Pro to Know” by Supply & Demand Executive Magazine in 2014. Siplon was also selected by Georgia Trend Magazine as one of the “Top 100 Most Influential Georgians” for 2013, 2014, and 2015. He also serves various industry leadership roles at both the State and Federal level. Governor Nathan Deal nominated Siplon to represent Georgia on a National Supply Chain Competitiveness Advisory Committee, where he was appointed to a two-year term by the U.S. Secretary of Commerce and was then appointed to serve as its vice-chairman. At the State level, he was selected by then-Governor Sonny Perdue to serve as lead consultant on the Commission for New Georgia’s Freight and Logistics Task Force. In this effort, Siplon led a Private Sector Advisory Committee with invited executives from a range of private sector stakeholders including UPS, Coca-Cola, The Home Depot, Delta Airlines, Georgia Pacific, CSX, and Norfolk Southern. Siplon honorably served a combined 12 years in the United States Marine Corps and the United States Air Force. During this time, he led the integration of encryption techniques and deployed cryptographic devices for tactically secure voice and data platforms in critical ground-to-air communication systems. This service included support for all branches of the Department of Defense, multiple federal security agencies, and aiding NASA with multiple Space Shuttle launches. Originally from New York, Siplon received both a bachelor’s and master’s degree in electrical and computer engineering with a focus on digital signal processing from the Georgia Institute of Technology. He earned an associate’s degree in advanced electronic systems from the Air Force College and completed multiple military leadership academies in both the Marines and Air Force. Siplon currently lives in Cumming, Georgia (north of Atlanta), with his wife Jan, and two children Thomas (19) and Lily (15).
Host, Logistics with Purpose
Kristi Porter is VP of Sales and Marketing at Vector Global Logistics, a company that is changing the world through supply chain. In her role, she oversees all marketing efforts and supports the sales team in doing what they do best. In addition to this role, she is the Chief Do-Gooder at Signify, which assists nonprofits and social impact companies through copywriting and marketing strategy consulting. She has almost 20 years of professional experience, and loves every opportunity to help people do more good.
Host, Logistics with Purpose
Kevin Brown is the Director of Business Development for Vector Global Logistics. He has a dedicated interest in Major Account Management, Enterprise Sales, and Corporate Leadership. He offers 25 years of exceptional experience and superior performance in the sales of Logistics, Supply Chain, and Transportation Management. Kevin is a dynamic, high-impact, sales executive and corporate leader who has consistently exceeded corporate goals. He effectively coordinates multiple resources to solution sell large complex opportunities while focusing on corporate level contacts across the enterprise. His specialties include targeting and securing key accounts by analyzing customer’s current business processes and developing solutions to meet their corporate goals. Connect with Kevin on LinkedIn.
Host, 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.
Host, Logistics with Purpose
Jose Manuel Irarrazaval es parte del equipo de Vector Global Logistics Chile. José Manuel es un gerente experimentado con experiencia en finanzas corporativas, fusiones y adquisiciones, financiamiento y reestructuración, inversión directa y financiera, tanto en Chile como en el exterior. José Manuel tiene su MBA de la Universidad de Pennsylvania- The Wharton School. Conéctese con Jose Manuel en LinkedIn.
Host, 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.
Host, Supply Chain Now
The founder of Logistics Executive Group, Kim Winter delivers 40 years of executive leadership experience spanning Executive Search & Recruitment, Leadership Development, Executive Coaching, Corporate Advisory, Motivational Speaking, Trade Facilitation and across the Supply Chain, Logistics, 3PL, E-commerce, Life Science, Cold Chain, FMCG, Retail, Maritime, Defence, Aviation, Resources, and Industrial sectors. Operating from the company’s global offices, he is a regular contributor of thought leadership to industry and media, is a professional Master of Ceremonies, and is frequently invited to chair international events.
He is a Board member of over a dozen companies throughout APAC, India, and the Middle East, a New Zealand citizen, he holds formal resident status in Australia and the UAE, and is the Australia & New Zealand representative for the UAE Government-owned Jebel Ali Free Zone (JAFZA), the Middle East’s largest Economic Free Zone.
A triathlete and ex-professional rugby player, Kim is a qualified (IECL Sydney) executive coach and the Founder / Chairman of the successful not for profit humanitarian organization, Oasis Africa (www. oasisafrica.org.au), which has provided freedom from poverty through education to over 8000 mainly orphaned children in East Africa’s slums. Kim holds an MBA and BA from Massey & Victoria Universities (NZ).
Host, Logistics with Purpose
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.
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.