Supply Chain Now
Episode 509

Episode Summary

“We’ve opened up this opportunity to solve the problem of congestion in cities like Los Angeles, Seattle, Savannah – almost everywhere these days – at the same time monetizing capacity that has sat there latent up to that point.”

– Lance Theobald, CEO and Co-Founder of SecurSpace

 

When we think of logistics, most of us naturally think of trucks and trailers out on the open road getting freight from point A to point B. But at some point, carriers need a place to park and store their equipment. Finding and securing access to sufficient yard space real estate can be a growth-gating challenge, especially since the most congested, highest delivery volume areas also tend to be the most expensive.

Drawing inspiration from the Airbnb model, Lance Theobald, CEO and Co-Founder of SecurSpace, finds and leases space from different types of property owners and makes it available to carriers who need a predictable cost to park and store their equipment even though they don’t necessarily have predictable storage needs.

In this conversation, Lance tells Supply Chain Now Co-hosts Greg White and Scott Luton:

· How they discover and monitor available yard space, and how they make it possible for operators to book that space

· Which changes in eCommerce and consumer behavior he thinks will last beyond the pandemic

· The current imbalance between the number of trucks currently on the road and the number of delineated parking spaces

Episode Transcript

Intro/Outro (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. Hey, good morning,

Scott Luton (00:28):

Scott Luton, Greg white with you here on supply chain. Now welcome back to today’s show, Greg, how are you doing this morning? Two in very well, Scott, how are you doing then? Fantastic. Had a great pre-show conversation with our guests here today. Excited about sharing his story and the company store with our audience that we’ve already been around the world today with the discussions we’ve had. Haven’t we? So it’s good to be back. Yes. And this will be even if only virtually back just to bring it full circle, for sure. Sure. Are. We’re talking with a business leader from a company that is on a mission to solve one of the transportation industry. Industry’s greatest challenges, universally probably safe, secure parking and storage options. So we’re gonna be working really hard as always to increase and enhance your supply chain leadership. Accu more to come on that in just a moment, but Greg, before we get started here, if folks enjoy today’s conversation, where would you direct our listeners?

Greg White (01:28):

Uh, Google, no, um, supply chain now.com of course, where else? Or you can go anywhere. You get your podcasts and subscribe or YouTube. We have so many options. Scott we’re in the options business. You’re right. It’s right. So it’s a trap. So you don’t miss a single thing cause you don’t want, you don’t wanna miss conversations just like this here. So with no further ado, let’s welcome in our featured guests here today, Lance Thea, bald CEO and co-founder of secure space. Lance, how you doing? I’m doing great, Scott. It’s great to be here. Well, we’re excited to have you, uh, w we’ve got a variety of, of common friends as we’ve found out. And goodness gracious. As, as we’ve learned in doing our homework, you and the secure space team have been on an incredible trajectory. And we’re going to dive in more to that here today.

Scott Luton (02:20):

Greg, I’m excited you. Yeah. This is a meaningful solution that we’ve talked about a lot, right? So yeah, let’s do this. Let’s do it. So Lance, before we get into the heavy stuff and get into work stuff, let’s get to know you better. So tell us, where are you from and give us an anecdote or two about your upbringing. So I grew up in Southwest, Missouri, down in the Ozarks. I, if you’ve seen that Netflix show, it’s a, it’s a little bit different. My upbringing was slightly different than that show, but uh, yeah, same, same neck of the woods, you know, graduated from high school in Southwest. Missouri went to Miami university in Ohio, got a degree in counseling about a decade, a little over a decade and

Lance Theobald (03:00):

Have kind of traversed the world across the supply chain and logistics industries and the defense contracting and military worlds as well, uh, over the past decade.

Scott Luton (03:12):

All right. So I got to circle back. You mentioned, uh, the Ozarks, which is one of the biggest shows certainly on Netflix and probably beyond in recent years. And you mentioned how is little bit different for your upbringing when you think, when you think of your childhood in those formative years, growing up in that neck of the woods, what’s one thing that really comes to mind that, that, uh, you may not get a chance to do as often these days.

Lance Theobald (03:34):

Oh man. The, the beauty of kind of the Ozark mountains, the lakes, the rivers, the forests, uh, I was very fortunate to grow up on a large farm, a couple miles outside of Springfield, Missouri, and, uh, my siblings. And I spent the bulk of our childhood summers, weekends, hunting, fishing, just kind of going outdoors and experiencing all that. You know, I, I grew up in the era, uh, and I’m not that old, but I grew up in the era that predated social media and all this connected technology that we have. That was something that I that’s a memory I cherish from my childhood. It’s something that I, I try to bring to my children. They have three kids ages, two, three, and five. And, uh, I try to get them outdoors and kind of experiencing the world, not behind a screen, you know, up close and personal. And that’s, that’s, that’s Southwest, Missouri really accommodates

Scott Luton (04:25):

Love that. So two, three, and five, God rest your soul, Lance man. That’s impressive. Hey, so you live in the Charlotte area now, is that right? That’s correct. Yep. And one final question about Missouri. You mentioned your siblings. How many, how big of a family did you grow up in?

Lance Theobald (04:43):

Uh, I have six siblings, two brothers. Uh, one of them works for me and, uh, four sisters. And we’re kind of spread across the world these days.

Scott Luton (04:52):

You had a fight and upbringing had to, did to get, uh, an extra snack or to be heard. Right, right.

Lance Theobald (05:01):

There was always competition with the first plate to get the seconds. Right. You just, you got to scarf it down and then you can enjoy the meal if you get that second place.

Scott Luton (05:09):

Well, I love that. I love how, uh, you’re applying those things that you valued growing up to your family now and, and the awesome opportunity you have to work with one of your siblings. That’s fantastic. Um, all right. So before I turn it over to Greg, one of the things we hear a lot about, especially in the information age where we’re really, you know, we’re trying to find signals and avoid the noise, right? Not avoid the noise that the old pizza Django from the eighties, but avoid the noise. So, um, you know, we all have probably a short list of, of sites or, or, or other sources for really good news related to business or supply chain or otherwise. What is part of your daily consumption when it comes to really good information?

Lance Theobald (05:52):

There are a couple of great sources across the, I think across the spectrum, you’ve got supply chain, you know, great, great source of, uh, continuing information. I enjoy catching up, uh, with the articles that are coming out of freight waves. You know, I’m just continually more impressed by what Craig and his team are doing over there. Uh, and I’ve been a long time reader of the journal of commerce as well. I think they’ve been around just about as long as the United States, if I remember correctly and

Greg White (06:21):

Ben Franklin printed that originally,

Lance Theobald (06:23):

I think he might have, uh, actually, it’s, it’s pretty close to that, but you know, Eric Johnson, one of their technology editors over there has, uh, here in recent, uh, the last couple of months, he’s pushed out a weekly newsletter that I’ve really enjoyed kind of long form expositions or, uh, deep dives on different areas of the intersection of technology and logistics. Uh, the whole world says there’s no real technology adoption or in logistics or logistics is slow to adopt technology. And I think he does a good job of breaking that down and kind of countering that, that idea in a lot of his, uh, in a lot of his recent article,

Scott Luton (07:01):

Well put, and we have Mar those folks as well, it was really neat to be in this digital content space we’re in, is that sense of community, you know, whether it’s Craig or Tim duner, who’s been on the show, Eric Johnson’s on the show a few weeks ago, really admire and appreciate what they’re doing as we work together to amplify what incredible leaders like you and others are doing to help make supply chain work better and work like it’s 20, 50, and not 1982, we can pick on whatever you go in the eighties won’t pick on, but I appreciate you sharing that. All right. So Greg, let’s dive into, let’s get a sentence of his professional during a bit.

Greg White (07:38):

Yeah. So it feels like supply chain might be a bit of a natural you being from around Springfield. It being such an enormous trucking hub for so many years. But tell us a little bit about, about your professional journey before secure space. Tell us a little bit about some of the places and people that you’ve met, you’ve been and seen, and some of the things that may have influenced you so significantly, any aha moments,

Lance Theobald (08:06):

You know, kind of starting out after college, uh, got a degree in accounting and with the conclusion of my first accounting course, I decided I did not want to be an accountant. Uh, but that was the language of business. And so duck that one out actually joined the Navy. Uh, my senior year of college did a delayed entry program coming out of college. Uh, went through officer candidate school and sort of launched my career. Uh, with the Navy short time later, I started working for a defense contracting company that had contracts and operations all across the world really, um, got to work on some really cool projects with them. One of the, one of which was a, a contract with the defense logistics agency, which is probably one of the biggest logistics entities in the, in the world, frankly. Uh, and that took me over to Afghanistan and across the middle East.

Lance Theobald (08:54):

So that was, uh, that was a really interesting thing to be doing in my mid twenties. Kind of get my first introduction to logistics in the professional sense, you know, in Springfield, everything’s about trucking, but, uh, I just kind of saw it happen. I wasn’t a part of it. My wife and I were, you know, coming back from the middle East, my wife and I were starting to talk about starting a family and everything that would mean and decided, you know, heading back to an active war zone, probably wasn’t the best long-term decision as we embarked upon, you know, starting a family. So I took a job in, I was in Charlotte, North Carolina at the time, took a job with a company called direct chassis link or DCLI, they are the largest provider of Marine and domestic chassies in the United States. And started off there as a project manager, helping them manage integrations and acquisitions of the former steamship line fleets in the United States.

Lance Theobald (09:47):

It’s kind of unique. The ocean carriers used to own all the chassies and this is only in the U S and then provide those chasses to their customers. They went on a divestment splurge in the early 2010s, um, which is when I joined, uh, or shortly before I joined DCLI. And so they brought me in to help kind of manage some of those acquisitions, did that for about a year and two months, three months, and then moved into a commercial role, uh, overseeing their sales team and sales efforts on the West coast. Uh, and that’s really, that’s kind of where the aha moment happened. It wasn’t a moment. It was a series of moments probably actually took me a little bit longer than it should have to see what see, see the opportunities kind of come together for what would eventually become secure space. My team and I were tasked with leasing chassies for DCLI two motor carriers, shippers people all over the spectrum, um, of the supply chain.

Lance Theobald (10:40):

And we, uh, one of the things that I would consistently see, especially in, in cities like Los Angeles, Oakland, Seattle, you know, big, big Seaport hubs, but also home to the most expensive real estate in the United States is your small to mid-size trucking companies particularly would have almost an impossible time trying to find real estate from which to operate. So they might have access to drivers, trucks, freight, all the elements are there, but there was no real readily accessible or available real estate that they could operate from. If it’s parking trucks, if it’s storing containers, whatever it might be. So about four and every five meetings, uh, with these smaller carriers to larger carriers, you have companies that were at a real estate deficit. They could never find enough. You could take a drive out in Compton, California right now, and probably see loaded containers parked on the side of the road, especially right now, you know, it’s November high to peak season. I’m sure the shippers would be very unhappy. The shippers who own the goods inside those containers would be unhappy if they saw their, their merchandise out there,

Scott Luton (11:41):

Lance real quick. But speaking of the ports of LA and long beach, I was reading earlier. Some analysts say that it hasn’t been this congested in eight, 10 years.

Lance Theobald (11:50):

It’s wild. You know, it’s a lot of it I think is driven. There’s, there’s a lot of factors right now, right? You have the stimulus back in. I can’t remember when that was now, 2020 has lasted for about a decade already. So I’m losing track of time, but, you know, it’s that the $2 trillion in stimulus that was injected into the end of the economy, this is an armchair economist speaking to you now, you know, fueled an enormous amount of personal consumption business consumption and factories in Asia had shut down for, uh, for an extended period of time. First do the Chinese new year and then an extended period of beyond that because of the very extreme measures those countries took and, and combating COVID, but then they, they turned back up again and we’ve, we’ve seen peak seasons now for this, our third peak season as a company, uh, and the last two don’t hold a candle to the volumes that we’re seeing particularly on the West coast right now, uh, is absolutely incredible. The volumes that are coming in,

Greg White (12:47):

I just did a live show that will have aired probably a couple of weeks before this airs, but with us bank who has the freight payment index and they saw an enormous uplift, this won’t surprise you on the West coast, mostly the California ports and in the Southeast. So mostly Savannah Jacksonville Charleston. And we did hear a lot about congestion there. So, so it’s interesting that as an inspiration, it’s also interesting, the alignment of coming from a trucking hub, though, you weren’t, as you said, involved in it, going to the Navy, then coming back and dealing with, with ocean and ground transportation freight, and then this inspiration, I mean, maybe this was your aha moment, this inspiration of seeing containers on the side of the road and thinking somebody needs to do something about that, which, you know, as Scott and I said earlier, that’s, that’s something we’ve been talking about for quite some time and especially now with so much traffic. So tell us a little bit about, about secure space, how you came up with the idea. I mean, just carry that forward a little bit, how you came up with the idea, what problem does it solve and, you know, and, and a little bit about what the company is doing or has been doing for the last couple, three years. Seems like something interesting might’ve happened fairly recently. Lance, maybe you could tell us about that.

Lance Theobald (14:11):

That I can tell you a little bit more about that. Yeah. Yeah. In late 2017, uh, I was still working for DCLI. I had taken a job overseeing their nationwide Salesforce, and, but I just had this burning kind of desire to do something, you know, jump out, be an entrepreneur, do something. And I’d seen this, this opportunity in Los Angeles. You know, again, the vast majority of carriers, motor carriers don’t have access to real estate industrial real estate, particularly the logistics, subset of commercial has been one of the best performing sub-sectors of all of real estate for the last 45, 46 straight quarters, just up into the right growth. Uh, constantly these motor carriers are stuck between a rock and a hard place. They need access to ample real estate to grow their operations or to operate fluidly. And it’s at the same time, the most expense it’s incredibly expensive and it’s getting more expensive and they’re not making any more of it. Right, right. So the big guys like Amazon or Walmart who have, you know, nearly limitless funding can come in and gobble up anything that they need on long-term leases. Meanwhile, the vast majority of carriers and operators don’t have those kind of resources to take down these leases.

Scott Luton (15:21):

Hey Lance and Greg, if I could interject for a second, I’m detecting a sense of a, uh, uh, democratization of supply chain coming, which we love here, Lance, where Greg and I are big fans of that.

Lance Theobald (15:34):

I, I that’s, that’s what drives us. That’s what drives us. You know, we, we look to Airbnb initially as kind of instructive and destructive business model. You know, if, if you have, um, a spare room or a vacation home or whatever it might be, uh, that’s just a cost of, you know, whatever your, your pursuits are. You know, your house is just a cost. Airbnb gave you and me this opportunity to lease that out and generate some income. Some found rep no additional costs really it’s just pure bottom line goes straight to straight to your bank account. So took the same model and brought it to the supply chain industry. We partner with a wide array of different businesses that have these facilities. It could be some of those big retailers or big trucking companies. It can be small trucking companies that have a deal on a piece of real estate, but they don’t utilize all of it.

Lance Theobald (16:25):

So what our model has done is taken kind of this cost of doing business. It’s just fixed in there. It’s X dollars per month for security, for my lease for whatever it might be. And we’ve opened up this opportunity to solve the problem of congestion in cities like Los Angeles, Seattle, Savannah, you know, almost everywhere these days and at the same time solving that problem, they monetize that capacity that has sat there latent, uh, up to that point. So we launched in Los Angeles. That’s a great case study. We started in LA with two yards and my wife and I had just welcomed our second kid into our family four weeks prior to me quitting my job. It was probably not the most intelligent decision I’ve ever made in my life, but we had two facilities and I had a list in Excel of carriers that I thought might be able to utilize those two yards or the excess capacity in those two yards. Uh, so my first official act as CEO of secure space and co-founder founder and CEO of secure space was to start cold calling people.

Scott Luton (17:24):

So Lance, if I could, if I could interject for a second and Greg, I’d love for you to, to weigh in here until you’re just talking about how looking back, it might not be, may not have been your smartest move and seven words of what you shared. However you believe that once you’re in it to win it wholeheartedly, that the focus should gain and the skin that you’ve gotten, the game that it forces you to get really serious about building a model and taking on the world. Do you not? Um, do you relate to that? Was that a big factor in your early, early stage success?

Lance Theobald (18:00):

Oh, 100%. You know, you, you kinda got to burn the bridges behind you, you know, and the blessing of living in this country working in this industry is there’s, there’s a need for talent. So the reality that you can always keep in the back of your mind is, Hey, my, my worst case scenario, if all fails, I need to go get a job, you know? And is that such a bad outcome? Not really, not at all, but for me, you know, I’m the type of person when I do something, I want to jump into it both feet, uh, and not look back. And so there was a pathway there where I could have been half in half out. I didn’t feel like that would be fair to my employer. And I didn’t really, really feel, it would be fair to myself and my co-founders of the folks that jumped on board right after me. So we burned the bridges. We, we jumped in and we found a way to make it work, starting with those two facilities and then just blocking and tackling afterwards,

Greg White (18:52):

Part of the world. We grew up in Lance, you load up the wagon and you head into the wilderness, right? Absolutely look. And I think that that is an important lesson for people to learn is that commitment is what’s required also interesting your perspective, right? You start cold calling because when, when you’re, when you’re a startup founder, you are head chef and bottle washer at the same time. So it’s, uh, it’s important for people to recognize that it’s not, it’s not the way people see Airbnb these days or Uber, right? I mean, those companies is, as I’d said, and as I’ve told people, it took us 10 years to become an overnight sensation. And that’s, that’s more common than not. And what we consider a startup is often not at all a startup, Uber history as long. Right. So, well, interesting. The Airbnb model, I wonder I stayed in an Airbnb once and I wound up next door to Justin Bieber and his gang and man, can they party, but I wonder, can you make sure that somebody has enough space or is, you know, is, is in a secure space and since it’s the name, how do you, how do you manage that?

Greg White (20:06):

I’m just curious how you manage that aspect of the business. Do you do the rating thing and all of that sort of thing?

Lance Theobald (20:12):

We do not do ratings right now. That’s something that we have looked at. And in our brief history, it’s something that we’ve, it’s been on the roadmap. It’s just the way these roadmaps go is, you know, if it’s not the hottest fire, it just gets pushed down. Yep. The way that we confirm that we have secure capacity, we launched. So I left my job in July, August, 2017. We actually launched the full blown solution or at least the first iteration of it a year later in August, 2018. So that’s the Airbnb marketplace coupled with what we call our gate management system or GMs. Uh, and that management system is really how we can control and have an understanding around the capacity to give them facility. Now there’s a large number of our facilities that are simply, Hey, we have capacity available. We’d like to list with you if you can send us a customer.

Lance Theobald (21:03):

Great. So for those facilities, we don’t have quite as much control. We don’t have quite the data, uh, that we might have at a, at a full-blown GMs using facility. And that is, that’s a hundred percent kind of the honor system, uh, operators list, their facilities. We have a process. We go through to confirm that they own the facility. They’re leasing it from et cetera, et cetera, before we list it live. And then customers, buyers in our marketplace can then request space there. And then the operator of that facility can confirm, approve or deny that that reservation request, it’s not quite as fluid as our full blown solution, which is all hinges around this software, that gate management system. And that is succinctly just the full kit and caboodle set of tools and features that you need to operate a parking or storage facility. We built that from the ground up.

Lance Theobald (21:57):

One of my co-founders runs a number of parking and storage facilities in Southern California. Uh, Ben, Ben Satterley. He was crucial to the early days, uh, you know, getting this right. He took it a lot of blows on the chin when we got it wrong, but unfortunately he was the, he was the proving grounds, the testing grounds for everything that we wanted to do. And so it was in August of 2018 that we launched that. And when we set up a yard on that, on that system, we know down to the spot what’s available at that facility because the operator is using that system, utilize a set of tools to manage everything that happens at that facility out in the yard. And that allows us to accurately understand where we have capacity and then sell that capacity if it’s available. And if the operator wants to,

Greg White (22:43):

That’s a great model. I mean, it’s particularly needed because of what we just talked about with some of the West coast ports, and also just the massive flow of, of transport. And of course, because so many things coming from West to East, they wind up there a day early or a day or two late, and then they have to be stored until they can get their S their next appointment or, or to wait for their appointment as well. Right. Oh, absolutely. Is that mainly the problem you’re solving or are there other, I mean, other use cases

Lance Theobald (23:16):

Yeah. You know, that’s, that would be the Merage or the detention, the detention, uh, charges, excuse me. At the, at the sea ports and the rail, uh, facilities, respectively, you know, those, those charges can run a hundred, $200 a day and up, uh, while we might have a secure space facility, right next door, sometimes adjacent to the sea ports and rail facilities for $20 a day, $25 a day, you have to, you have to bake in the cost of the Dre or the hall from the yard or from the port or rail facility to one of our yards. But if it’s going to sit there for two or three days, your ROI is, is, you know, off the charts, you know, so we started out as kind of that overflow solution. I need something for a day or a week, but really where we’ve built a lot of momentum and a lot of strength in our business is changing how carriers view real estate.

Lance Theobald (24:07):

We have people, we have customers that started with us in late 2017 and early 2018, just using us here and there that have grown their footprint within our network on the demand side, that these are buyers exponentially, and they use us as their real estate shop. And so in lieu of going out and trying to lease a space, they rely on, they depend on the secure space network to have something for them. And this opens up a world of possibility. If I’m servicing five customers in Southern California, rather than pulling everything from the port out to say Compton, where I might have a facility, I can now strategically direct my drivers to Compton to the amylin empire somewhere, maybe down in orange County, maybe all the way up in Los Angeles. And I have five Lance’s trucking company yards now all hosted on secure space, leveraging that latent capacity. That’s always been in the LA market, but no one ever really unlocked that or had access to that.

Greg White (25:04):

That’s great. So you started out cold calling and it’s seems like you may have progressed as a leader. And recently you’ve had something the ultimate sort of leader founder experience. So tell us a little bit about this partnership with, with invol se and how that impacts your business going forward.

Lance Theobald (25:23):

We, we came into 2020, uh, on fire. We had a great 2019, and we were looking at kind of going the traditional, Hey, we’re a tech startup. We’re growing by leaps and bounds, you know, and everything I’m reading tells me, I need to go raise some venture capital to continue this, this party. So we went out to the market, started talking to some people about bringing in capital. We had some, some commitments from big time investors and others. And I know the CEO, uh, at, uh, in boss technologies, uh, Larry Cuddy from my time with DCLI and then the early days was secure space. And he reached out to me one day and said, Hey, what do you think about just joining our team? And we were midstream on the capital raise, uh, you know, things were looking great on that front. And so we started having conversations around that.

Lance Theobald (26:09):

And, uh, long story short, you know, we were acquired by inbox technologies on October 2nd, so a month and a day ago. So it’s still pretty fresh. They are the market leader in intermodal and drayage TMS is for the drayage, um, excuse me, for motor carriers in drayage and intermodal, they’ve purchased now for TMS platforms merging those together and then secure spaces, the marketplace that will underpin the TMS, the entire TMS platform. So I don’t want to get too far into the end of the details and the secret sauce we were working on some pretty exciting things, but there’s definitely an opportunity. Uh, we see opportunity to drayage and intermodal for a holistic platform to come in and kind of help shape the industry moving forward. Uh, and I think in boss technologies is going to drive that it’s a great cooperative play, even, even as it stands, right. Even as, as you

Scott Luton (27:02):

Discussed. So yes, lots of growth, lots of growth. I am not jealous of the, the really sharp technology folks and our wiring together for TMS platforms though. But Hey, uh, what an outstanding opportunity and congrats Lance. So you and your whole team, because as Greg alluded to that’s, you know, there’s so many rewarding aspects of the entrepreneurial journey and certainly for a group to see such value in what you built you and your team have built and, and how you all have you been in the trenches at, you know, working at it day in and day and night in to serve, uh, the markets you’re serving and that that’s job well done. So congrats from our entire supply chain, the team here, and we look forward to keeping our finger on the pulse for what lies ahead. All right. Speaking of that, we like to consider 2020 as being the, the, um, the business school gift that keeps on giving. I mean, folks are going to classes and professors are going to be studying this year for decades to come. And, and especially some of those blind spots that, that every sector, every industry has uncovered, that was not part of their, their risk management strategy. So that’s one of the silver linings to such a historically challenging year. But, you know, beyond that, as you’re serving the global business world, that we’re all a part of, and what’s one thing what’s one topic or issue or challenge that really you’ve been tracking more than others here lately.

Lance Theobald (28:28):

One of the things I’m really interested to see when the dust settles on 2020, if the dust ever settles on the pandemic and kind of the repercussions of the pandemic, I’ll be interested to see how much the, the switch in consumer buying behavior sticks. You know, e-commerce has just absolutely exploded. I don’t have the numbers in front of me, but Walmart’s year over year, e-comm growth. Uh, you know, any retailer, Amazon’s just, you know, they’re there, you can’t even see them. They’re so far out there at this point in time, but how much of that sticks around, right. I, I can tell you every single day, I don’t know what it is, but we get two or three packages of something from Amazon or Walmart or somebody. And I think I’m far from unique in that, uh, and these are, this is purchases. These are purchases. We would have historically gone down the road and made it, uh, at a storefront. So one of the things that I’m tracking closely, you know, it’s very related to what, uh, what we do here at secure space, space utilization, industrial space utilization. Uh, I read something that it takes three times as much square footage to handle an e-commerce order of a widget as it might in just retail. So for the, those sales that switched from offline online, the need real estate

Greg White (29:42):

Is just going to explode. And so I’m very in tune and kind of tracking closely with how much of this consumer buying behavior sticks after the COVID hits. I mean, excuse me, after the COVID pandemic crisis fades, if it does, you know, and kind of hard to say,

Scott Luton (29:57):

It’s fascinating, you know, Greg, you and I tackle retail trends. And news seems like every week on the buzz on Mondays. And while it doesn’t mean there’s any shortage of, of what maybe is traditional supply chain news to Lance’s point, you know, e-commerce is such a huge factor that that’s directing so many supply chain resources and people and technology and investment dollars. It’s tough to ignore. And it’s so interesting. See these trends that are so deeply Tod, that consumer patterns. And I know we’ve heard it a thousand times, but Amazon effect, you know, and how we’re looking to apply that in all components and facets of our lives. But Greg, what are, what’d you hear there? That, from what Lance just shared?

Greg White (30:41):

Well, I mean, I think that it’s interesting, the take there, and I think that this, there is sustainability in, e-commerce not, and it’s not without its problems. One, the return rate is way too high, right? 30 to 40% returns is way too high. That’s not sustainable to the largest carriers are either unable or refusing to allow cost-effective last mile delivery. Um, though it seems that at least by their commercials that are friends of FedEx, or at least giving it a shot, unlike one of the other large carriers who essentially said, let them eat cake, but it’s here to stay. I can tell you because people’s eyes have been opened up that people think about, I think about this factor that was epiphanal for people. They didn’t have any idea how they could buy item X online. And now they’re clear, right? Who would have ever bought groceries online. And now that’s huge, right? Buying groceries online was a fad that, that failed in the 1950s in Chicago with a company called Juul and, and it’s back. And it’s probably back for good, but now people, as long as they can figure out how to do it. And as long as the retailers can enable it with an ability to reduce last mile cost and returns costs, it will stay because the retailers will facilitate it

Scott Luton (32:08):

Next step there, Greg, in, in home grocery delivery that will revolutionize the whole world is when the drones or bots can come in and put all those groceries away in your kitchen. Can you imagine how transformative that would be?

Greg White (32:24):

Well, I’ll tell you what will be a pivotal moment in our household is my wife loves to make guacamole when they can select an appropriate avocado. That’s when the transition will occur in our house. That’s me for over a decade. I still can’t do that in person. Right. I know I can’t be trained. I’m totally with you, Lance. I cannot be trained. I don’t get it, but I don’t have AI. I don’t have artificial or actually any actual intelligence. So it’s harder for me to learn. So maybe the drones can learn better, but look, I think the important thing is that this is solving a problem that is significant. I mean, we’re talking about real estate in Los Angeles, we’re talking, you know, and, and right now, Scott, this hit me the other day. We’re talking about how much less congested the East coast, the Southeast ports are, but how sustainable is that?

Greg White (33:16):

I mean, think about the roads in Savannah and Charleston and Jacksonville with all of its rivers and tributaries and whatnot. There will come KA congestion in those ports as well. So there’s a lot of room and in fact, Georgia, and I think now, uh, South Carolina have already built inland ports just to get that stuff away from the seaside. So there will come those opportunities for every port. And remember also that the supply chain is realigning, call it reassuring near shoring, optimal shoring. I can’t even remember all the names of shoring, but wherever it comes from, it’s going to come on a ship or a truck. And you know, we’re going to need a place to put those. And I, I think I know where Lance is going within Vos. I’m not going to say, but that is also going to be transformational for drivers as Overland. Transportation continues as well.

Lance Theobald (34:13):

Well, Oh yeah. You see this? I think the HTRI just came out with their top 10 issues that carriers face and top 10 issues that drivers contend with on the carrier list. Truck parking is nowhere to be found. Number one spot for the 2021 survey or late 20, 20, 20, 21. I can’t remember the date, but there’s one that came out two weeks ago. Truck drivers, truck parking is the number one issue. It’s exponentially harder now than it was pre pandemic. And it’s only going to get worse. Uh, you know, the EOTS at the state level at the federal level, many other public entities are, you know, scrambling to try to find options, to increase the available capacity for truck parking. It is so expensive to take a piece of dirt and turn it into a lot that’s suitable for truck parking. Meanwhile, you have tens of thousands of facilities, trucking, terminals, warehouses, distribution centers, all over the country. Purpose-built for trucks. And they’re sitting there with open vacant space every single day. I don’t care if it’s in Los Angeles, New York or Omaha.

Scott Luton (35:20):

So to our listeners that, you know, for a couple of those of you that may not be really closely attuned to this challenge that our, our dear truck drivers are having. I mean, you’re talking about drivers that keep the economy moving. They keep e-commerce moving that, um, you know, protect the psyche of the American consumer and elsewhere global consumer first at my radar, Lance, when, when the, um, there’s a freight taskforce in Atlanta here in Atlanta that commissioned a study, trying to identify the current inventory of safe and secure spaces for trucks to park. And it came on the heels of unfortunately, a truck driver in the upstate of South Carolina that couldn’t find a well lit, safe, good spot to pull over. And so he had, he had to pull over in a less than optimal. It was not lit and he ended up being robbed and lost his life and tragic, right? However, the good that comes out of that, that huge sacrifice hopefully is tackling this challenge that such a critical component of our global supply chain struggle with to your point, number one, topic, right? Safe, secure parking. We got to put it in a headlock. And that’s where I know Greg and watching now team love what you and the secure space team are doing, because it is such a huge challenge for some of the most important people involved and keeping things moving. So really appreciate that land. Yeah.

Lance Theobald (36:45):

Yeah. It definitely, you know, it’s, it’s, it’s far from salt. You know, we, we think that we have a piece of the solution. You know, this isn’t a plug for us or anything like that. There is a need for a multitude of solutions to come to the table to solve this. There’s something like three or 400,000 delineated truck parking spaces in the United States of America. There’s 2 million trucks on the road. Every single day. You can see the supply and demand imbalance is quite extreme, uh, in those, in those numbers. And we think that we can help solve part of that problem, but it’s going to take a lot of different entities coming together to provide a holistic solution. And it’s crucial. It impacts driver’s safety. It impacts their ability to earn a living so many different areas of a driver’s day can be dictated by or influenced by where they’re going to find a safe place to park

Scott Luton (37:32):

The other bottom line component that Lance you’re speaking towards that at least came out of this local study is that on average drivers are spending over an hour just finding a spot between their phone and other, other things they do to find a parking spot. It was eating up into their hours of service to, so to your point, maximizing, you know, those windows of, of active driving. So anyway, uh, really appreciate what you’re doing. Love that the smart technology that the democratic elements, the sustainability you’ve got factored into the model. I mean, it’s really Greg. I mean, it, it’s, it’s a wonderful, innovative entrepreneurial story, right?

Lance Theobald (38:12):

Yeah. Yeah. And I, I love that it, it has been recognized and leveraged upon and combined with other technologies, right. To create even more impact in the marketplace that is really important. Right.

Scott Luton (38:25):

All right. Let’s tour. So let’s make sure Lance, our listeners can connect with you and secure a space and, and learn a lot more about where you are and where you’re headed. So what’s the best way for folks to do that?

Greg White (38:38):

Uh, yeah, the easiest way to, to stay in touch. Uh, we’re pretty active on LinkedIn. So if you’re on LinkedIn, now you can look me up Lance, the evolve or secure space. Uh, we’ve got a little bit of a different spelling. It’s all one word. S E C U R S P a C E a. So if you check us out on LinkedIn, you’ll, you’ll find links to our website more about us, uh, where you can connect with me and, you know, see the occasional video of me walking around a, a, an empty piece of dirt or concrete, like a kid in a candy shop. I get excited when I see a little bit of daylight on, on an industrial piece of real estate. So counting trailer slots, you’re going one there

Scott Luton (39:19):

That he’s a trained accountant, so accounting degrees. So his ability to, to check that, uh, above my payroll, but, uh, pay grade. But, uh, Lance, you remember, I’ve got, I’ve got one question to ask of you remember the 18 in the eighties, right. I remember the show. Okay. Remember there, there, awesome ban that BA Barocas was really proud of. Yeah. Okay. So we’ve got a supply chain now, version of that van, and then get back into the normal and, and get back in person and get back to, you know, doing some of this stuff that we’re doing right now in person. I wanna be able to count on you, Greg. And I want to count on you to find space for our band parking from, from show to show. Can we count on you?

Greg White (40:04):

You can count on the account, I’ll have a spot with your name on it. That’s awesome.

Scott Luton (40:09):

Awesome. Well, Lance, a really, you know, I appreciate your down to earth kind of demeanor and disposition, despite all your success and growth, it’s really refreshing. And we’ll have to have you back on as we continue to track your progress and what y’all are doing over at secure space. Congrats again on the big news from October. And, uh, we wish you all the best. So really appreciate your time here today.

Greg White (40:32):

Thank you, Scott. Thank you, Greg. It’s. Yeah. Thanks Lance.

Scott Luton (40:36):

Well, Greg, we’ve been chatting with Lance Theobald CEO and co-founder of secure space all about you. I kept talking with Lance for a couple more hours, but what was your favorite part, Greg of our interview here with Lance,

Greg White (40:47):

How fast it happened? That was my favorite part. I mean, you know, it is sometimes a slog in a startup to find a spot, but you know, when you’ve found a solution whose time has come, that demand builds really, really rapidly. And I think that, I mean, I think the founder story here too is important, right? In recognizing one sort of subconsciously probably being prepared for this by living in a trucking town or near a trucking town and always having that awareness probably in his mind to look for semi-trucks maybe even the fascination that I do. I love semis and, uh, any big equipment really, but, um, and then, and then to have, have adapted that from his military logistics career to

Scott Luton (41:34):

His, his civilian, military, or logistics career into seeing a problem on the street and translating that into a solution. I don’t know if people understand what a special gift that is to be able to do that. And that’s just really, really impressive. And then to recognize not only the initial problem that they’re solving, but that there are other problems out there and then leveraging up with this partner within Vos to be able to do that is, you know, that’s a, sky’s the limit, it’s the ultimate startup story right there, and art of the possible, uh, being able to see that, uh, so clearly, so it’s Lance, I told you, we’d talked about you as if you weren’t still in the shot, but, uh, really enjoyed your, your, uh, your story resonates a lot with, with us as fellow entrepreneurs and, and, uh, just excited about what’s to come so big. Thanks to Lance Theobald again with secure space, a big thanks to Greg white here, enjoyed this story and to our listeners. Hopefully you enjoyed it as much as we did. Uh, if you’re interested in learning and hearing similar interviews, you can check us out@supplychainnow.com as we always wrap up every show, we will challenge you. Like we challenge our team, do good, give forward and be the change that’s needed. Hey, be light Lance. And with that note, we’ll see you next time here on Supply Chain Now.

Would you rather watch the show in action?

Watch as Scott and Greg welcome Lance Theobald to Supply Chain Now through our YouTube channel.

Featured Guests

Lance Theobald is the CEO and Co-Founder of SecurSpace, a software and marketplace technology provider serving drayage and intermodal carriers across North America. SecurSpace was acquired by Envase Technologies in October 2020, Theobald joined Envase’s management team and board of directors. Prior to launching SecurSpace, Theobald worked in a variety of roles around the world in the defense and transportation industries. The concept that became SecurSpace was developed during his tenure at DCLI, North America’s largest chassis supplier. Theobald lives in Charlotte, NC with his wife and 3 children. When he’s not at work, he can be found reluctantly watching a Disney movie for the 28th time or ecstatically teaching his kids the joys of sports, cooking, and pyromania.

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Greg White

Principal & Host

Scott W. Luton

Founder, CEO, & Host

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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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Patch Reilly

Data Analytics and Metrics Intern

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

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Scott W. Luton

Founder, CEO, & Host

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

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

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Greg White

Principal, 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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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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Host of TEKTOK

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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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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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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.

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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.

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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 singing second soprano in the Grayson United Methodist Church choir.

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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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Administrative Assistant

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Allie Krasinski

Marketing Coordinator

Allie is currently completing a degree in marketing with a certificate in entrepreneurship at the University of Georgia. She got her social media start through an internship with Shred, a personal training app, and she’s been hooked ever since. She works to optimize our following base while assisting the team with content creation, influencer outreach and other marketing endeavors. Allie can’t wait to keep growing alongside Supply Chain Now.

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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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Jada Carson

Marketing Coordinator

Jada is a recent graduate of Old Dominion University, having earned her Bachelor of Science degree in Communications with a media studies concentration and marketing minor. Jada got her start producing content at 16 years old, while attending a radio and broadcasting journalism program in high school, and hasn't looked back!  She is an asset to the Supply Chain Now team as a media specialist, podcast and media producer, and production coordinator.  Outside of Supply Chain Now, Jada is a big Lakers fan, and also a music journalist and enthusiast.

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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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