Episode 709

You know, I've been doing this for 30 years plus, and there's been more innovation in the last three or four years than there were probably in the previous 25.

-Ben Cubitt, Transplace

Episode Summary

In the middle of pandemic disruptions and driver shortages, how can you expect to plan ahead on freight management without the most current information right in front of you? Luckily, Transplace’s Ben Cubitt and Matthew Harding are helping companies take a forward look at shipping trends, mitigate risks and shore up planning. In this episode, they introduce us to their Q3 research report, where you can review the latest market conditions, supply and demand drivers, a 3-6 month outlook and more. Join us as we dive into the challenges of forecasting and root cause analysis, why contract rates will lag behind spot rates and more for timely insights on reducing volatility in the supply chain.

Episode Transcript

Intro (00:00:02):

Welcome to TEKTOK Digital Supply Chain podcast, where we will help you eliminate the noise and focus on the information and inspiration that you need to transform your business, impact, supply chain success, and enable you to replace risky inventory with valuable insights. Join your TEKTOK host, Karin Bursa, the 2020 Supply Chain Pro to Know of The Year. With more than 25 years of supply chain and technology expertise, and the scars to prove it, Karin has the heart of a teacher and has helped nearly 1,000 customers transform their businesses and tell their success stories. Join the conversation, share your insights, and learn how to harness technology innovations to drive tangible business results. Buckle up, it’s time for TEKTOK. Powered by Supply Chain Now.


Scott Luton (00:01:06):

Hey. Hey. Good afternoon. Karin, how are you doing?

Karin Bursa (00:01:08):

Hey. Good afternoon, Scott. How are you today?

Scott Luton (00:01:11):

Wonderful. Excited about this big conversation here on TEKTOK Digital Supply Chain podcast right here on Supply Chain Now.

Karin Bursa (00:01:19):

Yeah. Absolutely. Thanks so much for joining me today. I am really excited to share some insights or, actually, to get some insights from our guests today. And I want to welcome all of our supply chain movers and shakers to the discussion. So, you guys sharpen your pencils, get ready. I’m sure you’ll have some questions for today’s guests as we dive into what’s happening in the shipping arena as you are struggling to get your products in the hands of your customers. So, we’ll tell you a little more about that in just a minute. Scott, anything we need to be aware of?

Scott Luton (00:01:52):

You know, just buckle up. We’ve got a great conversation. Karin said it right, two movers and shakers. The Smothers Brothers of supply chain are with us here today on this livestream episode. But we should say hello to a few folks that have joined us. Folks, we’re going to want to hear your insights and POV throughout the livestream. We’ll bring your comments in. You’re going to really enjoy Ben and Matt’s take on a lot of things that are taking place across global supply chain today. We want to say hello to Pratik. And Pratik’s got some good news, Karin.


Karin Bursa (00:02:24):

What’s the good news?


Scott Luton (00:02:26):

Pratik finally made it to Atlanta.


Karin Bursa (00:02:27):

Really? Awesome.


Scott Luton (00:02:28):

We’re going to have to reconnect soon. So, Pratik, welcome. And looking forward to seeing you in person soon. Srinivas is back with us via LinkedIn from India. Srinivas, how are you doing? Great to have you back as always. Now, Barbara is reading our mind, Karin. Because when folks join us in the sky boxes as we call it, the cheap seats, or whatever the latest phrase is of the week, we love to hear where you’re from. So, Barbara is tuned in via LinkedIn from Marietta, Georgia here in the Metro Atlanta area. Welcome. Welcome. Y’all get ready to join in on a great conversation.


Scott Luton (00:03:02):

Okay. So, Karin, we’re trying to save a lot of time on the frontend because we got so much to get through here today.


Karin Bursa (00:03:09):

We do. We do.


Scott Luton (00:03:10):

So, are we ready to go ahead and swoosh in our guests?

Karin Bursa (00:03:14):

Yeah. Let me say just a few things about what we’re going to cover today, right? So, we’ve got a great conversation teed up with Ben Cubitt and Matthew Harding. They’re both with Transplace. So, Transplace has been doing a quarterly research project that takes the forward look at shipping trends and what you can do to mitigate some of the risks and shore up your planning and your collaboration with your carriers. So, we are bound to get some interesting insights today. If you’re not familiar with Transplace, chances are there’s some products in your home that had been shipped and coordinated with the Transplace team. So, Transplace manages about $11 billion under freight management, 11 billion. And their key market –

Scott Luton (00:04:01):

Wait a second. Wait a second. Eleven B as in billion?

Karin Bursa (00:04:06):

Yes. Billion. That’s a lot of freight. And their primary markets are north America and Europe. And then, they’re growing in a number of different ways. And they’ve had some interesting news recently as well. But I think that means they’ve got somewhere, Scott, in the range of 60,000 or so users on their platform, bringing carriers and shippers together to help move goods more efficiently in the marketplace. So, we have got a strong point of view and some good data to review with the audience today.

Scott Luton (00:04:42):

Really quick, really quick, Karin. I want to say hello to a couple of folks. Silvia Judy is back with us.


Karin Bursa (00:04:47):

Silvia, I’m looking for some jelly.


Scott Luton (00:04:51):

That’s right. It’s a jam. From the holy city of Charleston, South Carolina. Silvia, you’re going to get a kick out of this conversation, so stay tuned. And Azaleah Davis, one of our favorite commenters that shares her POV on here all the time. Azaleah, great to have you back here. We’re looking forward to your take on the conversation. Okay. So, with no further ado, Karin, I think you were going to officially introduce.

Karin Bursa (00:05:15):

I was. I would like to. Joining us today is going to be Matthew Harding. He is the Senior Vice President of Data Science and Engineering with Transplace. And then, Ben Cubitt, who is also Senior Vice President. And his focus is in the area of consulting and network services. So, we’re going to get a great comprehensive view of both the data and the research as well as the practical use of that information to help you guide your businesses better. So, Scott, I’m going to call it. Let’s bring them in. Trigger this –

Scott Luton (00:05:47):

I love that. What a great energetic start to the conversation. Hey, Ben, Matt, how are we doing?


Matthew Harding (00:05:52):


Ben Cubitt (00:05:53):

Hey, Scott. We’re doing great. We’re looking forward to it. We’re looking forward to talking with Barbara, and Silvia, and Azaleah, and everyone.

Scott Luton (00:05:58):

Oh, absolutely. So, you know, Karin and I were talking earlier – a sidebar – I feel like I got a certification from our pre-show planning call from you both. I mean, you know, we’re dropping a ton of knowledge. We’ve enjoyed a couple of episodes with Transplace leaders and thought leaders. So, great to have you back. But, Karin, Matt, and Ben, and all our friends in the sky boxes, before we get to getting your take on what’s going on in supply chain and freight in the 2021 Q3 market update and outlook, I want to start kind of on a fun note. We’ll get to the heavy lifting.


Scott Luton (00:06:34):

So, I got some, some hard hitting questions for you. I got two of them. The first one, so this past weekend we love going to the Monroe Farmers’ Market here on the fringe of the Metro Atlanta area. We had the best tomatoes we’ve had all summer yet. So, that always brings my mind to food. It’s a lunch hour. So, Ben, I want to pose this to you first, when summer comes around and you’re also in the Metro Atlanta area, what’s that one food or culinary experience you look forward to?

Ben Cubitt (00:06:59):

Well, summer is great for me when it comes to helping out with cooking, because I can cook out and that’s about the limit of my cooking. So, any kind of cooking out with family and friends is great. I have a [inaudible] making those shrimps stir fried over the last year. So, that’s my new add to my limited cooking skills.

Scott Luton (00:07:18):

I love that. I love that. Hey, Karin, Silvia says, “Sorry for the Sendepause. Will start working on the jam.” So, Silvia has some award-winning blue ribbon jam, and she’s a dear friend of Supply Chain Now. Okay. Matt, same question for you. You’re based up in New Hampshire, what do you look forward to in the summers?

Matt Harding (00:07:39):

Well, I mean, if you’re in New Hampshire – first of all, I’m an omnivore so I always look forward to food – for the summers up here, there’s really nothing better than a lobster roll. You have to cook it the right way. It has to be, you know, buttered hotdog bun cooked on both sides. And you can’t do it just buttering the lobster. You got to have the celery, the paprika, the mayonnaise, that has to be done perfectly. And if you’re in flip-flops, when you have one, it’s even better.

Scott Luton (00:08:08):

Gosh. I’m not sure if we’ve had a guest make us all collectively hungry painting such a gorgeous picture.


Karin Bursa (00:08:13):

At the same time, yeah.


Scott Luton (00:08:16):

All right. So, second question, maybe a tougher question. So, we had a lot of fun in the pre-show and, of course, I think we mentioned the Smothers Brothers of supply chain here, Bartles and Jaymes, you name it, a lot of other famous duos. But one thing we gleaned from our conversation, Karin, earlier, is that, evidently, we’ve got the Top Gun duo here. So, they described themselves as Ben Maverick, Tom Cruise, and Matt being Goose. And I can’t remember the actor that played Goose in Top Gun. But, nevertheless, so that’s one of my favorite 1980’s movies, there’s so many good ones. So, the tough question here, the billion dollar question, the $11 billion question here, Ben, is what’s one of your favorite 1980’s movies?

Ben Cubitt (00:08:56):

Scott, yeah. I love the making of movies, documentaries, and specials, and they are running them kind of back to back a week or two ago. And I saw the making of kind of the story behind Back to the Future and Ghostbusters, so two great ’80s movies. And it was really interesting hearing the story of who got cast and how they got cast. And the Back of the Future one, of course, was really great and a classic. And really interesting to get a chance to watch the making of it. It’s great.

Scott Luton (00:09:25):

I love that. I saw a Netflix documentary, I think, about the super fans that are part of the Back to the Future, and how they’re rebuilding DeLoreans and all kinds of stuff. It is fascinating. Very passionate. All right. So, Matt, same question for you as we wrap up our lightning round on the frontend. What’s one of your favorite 1980’s movies?

Matt Harding (00:09:43):

I like sort of the realism of the stories. I think Rudy is probably one of my favorite movies. You know, steel mill kind of family, and gets his butt kicked on the football field, gets celebrated for having lots of courage. So, that’s my favorite.

Ben Cubitt (00:10:00):

Rudy was all sides, right? Wasn’t [inaudible].

Scott Luton (00:10:05):

All right. We’re going to have to talk football, we’ll save that for the next show. We got Georgia Tech, Auburn. And, Ben, your team is?

Ben Cubitt (00:10:12):

I’ve got multiple and people give me a hard time. My daughter graduated from Georgia and we shared season tickets with her and her husband. So, Georgia is probably my number one right now. I grew up a big Tennessee fan too.

Karin Bursa (00:10:25):

I hate to say it, but Georgia is going to be interesting this year, especially with Muschamp helping out. It’s going to be an interesting SEC season for sure.

Scott Luton (00:10:36):

Agreed. Agreed. Silvia says the Breakfast Club is one of her favorites from the ’80s. And by the way, hello, Susheel. Great to have you here via LinkedIn. Azaleah says, “Is Gremlin’s ’80s?”


Karin Bursa (00:10:48):

It is. It is.


Scott Luton (00:10:48):

Let’s go with it. I think it is.


Karin Bursa (00:10:50):

Just add water.


Scott Luton (00:10:51):

That’s right. Shawna says, “Woo Pig, Ben.” Woo Pig. Azaleah, The Bronx Tales. That’s a good one. And, finally, Greg says Hoosiers. What a great movie Hoosiers was. So, welcome to all of y’all to the conversation and keep feedback coming. We’ve got a wonderful, informative, intriguing conversation focused on freight, logistics, shipping, and, of course, global supply chain. So, with that said, Karin, where are we starting with our duo here?

Karin Bursa (00:11:17):

Yeah. I think we’re going to start actually with a big piece of news. I would be remised if I didn’t bring this up. But, Matt and Ben, you guys had some really big news that got announced towards the end of July about Uber Freight with plans to acquire Transplace. Anything you can let us know about that?

Ben Cubitt (00:11:37):

Yeah. I think, right now, it’s business as usual. We did have the news. We’re excited about the opportunity. But it has to go through regulatory approval. And, really, no changes for Matt and I day to day right now. We’re just focused on, you know, helping shippers and working with carriers during this difficult, challenging market. We are excited about it. You know, I’ve been doing this for – gosh – 30 years plus and there’s been more innovation in the last three or four years. And there were, probably, the previous 25. So, I think this has a potential if we do it right, to be a pretty innovative and exciting combination.

Karin Bursa (00:12:13):

Absolutely. Matt, anything from you? Any data insights?

Matt Harding (00:12:17):

It’s kind of hard to top that. It’s very early if you think of a large carrier networks or large shipper networks coming together. You think – if you look out three, five, ten years from now – sustainability, you think about productivity, all those things that networks could sort of tap into differently. Think about the computing power and the trucking assets sort of changing. There’s just a lot of really amazing shifts ahead of us. So, how all that comes together, I think, is just very exciting. But, yeah, it’s very early. So, we’re excited about what’s coming, but we’re a little too early to kind of get into any nitty gritty on that.

Karin Bursa (00:12:57):

Understood. Understood. Well, as we think about what’s coming, let’s maybe bring our horizon in a little tighter and we’re going to talk about the latest report that Transplace has brought to the market. And I love the fact that you guys have rolled out this forward-looking view of what’s happening in the industry, and trying to help shippers and carriers plan better and look at some strategies that are going to help them mitigate some of the variability we’re seeing. So, the focus of the report, Matt, help me a little with the demographics. Is it North America and Europe? And how was some of that material gathered? And you’re the numbers guy, talk about the trends.

Matt Harding (00:13:39):

Yeah. It’s really a combination of leaders in the market. So, we have highly specialized focus on modes here in North America for LTL, intermodal. We have a focus in Mexico, Canada, and then Europe. So, the individuals that are in those markets really understand the day-to-day, so it’s got a bit of a procurement, you know, working with transportation providers slant to it. Though, we want to roll in the data that’s on our platform as well as data sources outside of our platform and sort of synthesize that.


Matthew Harding (00:14:12):

So, we have four main areas that we try to cover for each of those, either equipment and geography combinations or markets. We’re trying to understand supply, what’s driving that from a class A manufacturer to labor, everything that impacts supply. Focus on the demand portion, you know, where’s the demand coming from, how congested are the flows, things like that. And then, synthesize that into current conditions and then sort of short-term outlook, you know, what everything’s going to happen in the next three to six months as a forecast. So, it’s a lot of work. It takes us about six weeks. But it’s been really well-received and we send it out to thousands of individuals. So, very exciting project.

Karin Bursa (00:14:53):

That’s awesome. And the Supply Chain Now team is going to drop a link to that report in the show notes. So, anybody listening, feel free to download that. It is packed full of valuable information. So, I’m sure as you look at it with your company’s eyes on it, you may pick out a few pearls of wisdom that are going to help you in the weeks and months ahead.

Scott Luton (00:15:15):

And, Karin, really quick. The report – we’re digesting it earlier – it’s put together almost an executive summary mode. Great infographics, easy to understand, bullet points – one of my favorite things around here. So, y’all check that out. Easy to read and easy to use.

Karin Bursa (00:15:32):

Absolutely. Absolutely. It’s easy to consume. So, that’s good. Ben, talk about consuming, right? So, in your role with Transplace, your working and helping a lot of your shippers and carriers come together and really do the next right thing, if you will, for the business. So, as a trusted advisor, what are you looking at even more keenly these days? I mean, we’re in a crazy, crazy time. There’s constraints everywhere. Tell us a little bit about just a few of the things that you see as drivers and mitigating maybe some of the disruptions that are occurring.

Ben Cubitt (00:16:12):

Thanks, Karin. You know, it is an unusual time. You know, you look at the statistics, and you look at what rates are doing, what capacity is doing, you know, unprecedented is a word that just perfectly fits. And we saw the lowest spot rates and the highest spot rates in the seven or eight years we’ve been tracking that, and the same year last year. You know, just unbelievable. I had a large shipper call me this morning and said, “You know, Ben, you’ve been hectoring us, advising us to add capacity. And we really do need to look at that. Because our existing four carriers, who are our partners, they just can’t keep up with our strong demand. And we need to look at going back to the same folks and asking for capacity just doesn’t work.” And so, I think that’s one of the first things, the playbook that many people used for 20 years, doesn’t work in 21.


Scott Luton (00:17:08):

Throw it out the window.


Ben Cubitt (00:17:09):

Throw it out the window. And keep it, remember some parts of it, be nostalgic about it, but it’s gone to look forward. And I think it’s really about, you know, drivers and disruptions. And there’s a lack of drivers and there’s disruption in the supply chain, regional disruption, modal disruption. And so, it’s all about capacity. And so, what we’re stressing to people is, focus on capacity, not rates. Certainly, as a shipper, you have a budget, you have to try to respond to that budget, but you can’t go out and source a rate or a nostalgic rate. And, you know, you have to recognize the market for what it is. You have to keep your core carrier capacity. You have to partner with those folks. You have to be good at adding new carriers. You have to look at different modes, like dedicated and intermodal, and try to bring that capacity. Intermodal has some disruptions like every other mode, so you may have to be phased about that.

Ben Cubitt (00:18:01):

You may have to watch it almost like the stock market. You know, “Today I’m buying the Chicago to California lane. I’d really like to do Dallas to California, but maybe it’s not available. So, I’ll hold off and I’ll watch the market and see when I can go in and buy that.” But I think it is kind of we look at managing your freight right now is almost like managing the portfolio. You know, you have to pay attention to what’s working, what’s lagging the market, where you have challenges. And you have to have a lot of different tools that you bring to bear. And we think it’s all about data, you know, the big investment in data science. So, the insights that Matt’s able to bring us about the market, about a shift, or about a lane, about a carrier, you’ve really got to do that daily lane carrier battle. But we’ve got to constantly be sourcing capacity.

Scott Luton (00:18:49):

So, it’s a triple D. It is drivers, disruption, and data. That’s an [inaudible], Ben, that we’re after there. I love that. So, Matt, I’m going to come to you next because I love that overview that the product of Spartanburg, South Carolina just shared, Ben Cubitt. And he touched on service capacity and price, and some of the things we’re expecting there. But given this business environment we’re in, if you could speak to some of what you’re seeing in those three areas. And kind of a follow up question, what we’re seeing different between the regions that the report breaks down? And Ben, I’ll circle back with you after Matt shares.

Matt Harding (00:19:23):

I think, you know, it’s really tough. You look at COVID and sort of how we got here was, and, you know, Ben talks about rates being as low as we’ve ever seen them coming into April of 2020. That’s kind of a nuclear winter kind of feel. We’re all on lockdown. We don’t know what’s coming. Flows are slowing down. There were companies that were negotiating hundreds of millions of dollars of freight in April. And as you can well imagine all of that uncertainty, there’s going to be really aggressive negotiations to shore up those volumes. Within three months, the market had completely shifted. You think about automotive stopping. If you built your portfolio on automotive as a carrier, you’re in trouble. Where do you put those assets? If you’re CPG, anything that’s associated with cleanliness or sanitation is off the charts.

Matt Harding (00:20:19):

So, some are zigging and some are zagging in extreme ways. And then, as you get out of the COVID and we start understanding it, you know, we made some headway relative to vaccines and we think we’re getting back to normal. Oh, by the way, the consumer is not spending money on trips to Atlantis or Disney World. And, now, we’re going to start fixing our decks and making our house look better because now we’re going to work in it. So, all these flows changed at the same time. And we’re really in a point now where just the consumer is in the strongest position from a credit, from savings perspective, that we’ve ever seen. And they’re buying things, and all those things require trucks to move them.


Matthew Harding (00:21:08):

And here’s the challenge, we don’t have any sort of green shoots of optimism right now. The economy –


Scott Luton (00:21:14):

None at all? None at all?


Matthew Harding (00:21:15):

None at all. I mean, it all needs to be white hot. There’s backlog for new equipment. People are moving around in jobs. And there’s stimulus money that’s making difficult jobs less attractive. So, you have a confluence of things that are occurring. And so, what I’m seeing from the data perspective and where we’re being pushed – and it’s very exciting – when you think of a normal economy, the normal ebb and flow, things are in tolerance, you have seasonality, it’s not as extreme as now, then the focus on the data, those metrics are fairly stable. What we’re seeing now for things like on-time, can you get into all the granular aspects of knowing why something was late to then assign root cause remedies, but taking disparate sources. We can say, “Okay. It was late. Why was it late? Did they drop 20 orders on one day and we had no time? Was it the appointments moving?” You know, there’s all these different stories in the data.


Matthew Harding (00:22:13):

And so, now, we’re getting to a point where companies have to go and resolve things quickly, particularly where they’re not working. And we’re sort of synthesizing that information so that they can take action much faster. And that’s happening in a lot of different areas. So, for me, being in data science, this type of shock has just put a premium on knowing exactly the extent of issues, and where to find them, and where it’s all in them, and how to rely on processes based on those changes, because it’s a real time environment that we’re trying to deal with. You know, it’s not a business cycle type of situation. So, that’s the change.


Matthew Harding (00:22:46):

And then, as far as locations and locales, pretty much everything in the U.S. is tough. Mexico is tough. There’s a lot of trade and balance there that creates issues for drivers and capacity. If you think of NAFTA working both ways, you can build logistics that are more efficient. If you break one flow, if the manufacturing is going northbound, but we’re not getting anything southbound, and you have issues there as well. Canada has been very mild. But there’s a sense that they’re going to be following our footsteps. And then, Europe is very much like the U.S. So, we’re seeing, I think, Canada is probably been the least impacted through all this. But every other mode, every other location. And then, you can’t forget international right now, I think Vietnam has closed their ports because of COVID and lock down. And so, that’s what happened in China. So, you know, just the level of uncertainty is unlike anything I’ve seen in my career.

Scott Luton (00:23:43):

Agreed. And speaking of Vietnam, they never stopped taking foreign investment throughout 2020. And because of some of the conditions you’re talking about, Matt, the apparel, the shoe wear, even the smartphone industries are being disrupted there with what’s going on in Vietnam.


Scott Luton (00:23:57):

I want to share a couple of things. I’m going to circle back to Ben. And then, Karin, I think we’re going to break out the crystal balls. But I want to share, first off, Asim – welcome – via LinkedIn. Let us know where you’re tuned in from. I’m glad you’re here today. Greg Beegle says, “It is systemic. Shippers are looking at different options and not staying with the status quo. The prices have caused them to examine new avenues.” And then, I’ve got a great question from Azaleah, but I’m going to bring that back around.


Scott Luton (00:24:24):

Ben, before we move forward to kind of what’s ahead, anything else you’d like to add from what we’re seeing from, again, that service capacity and price standpoint or the geographic differences?

Ben Cubitt (00:24:34):

I think, you know, as Matt talks about the prep for our webinar and the report, I spent a lot of time talking to carriers and shippers. And so, in talking to carriers, I felt like I was seeing some thrown trends, but we’re going to put some data behind it. And so, we did a survey of our 300, 350 core carriers, strategic partners, and we asked them a couple of questions. You know, what is your seated truck count? Is it higher or lower than it was in 2020, in January compared to July? Do you have more drivers, less drivers? What are the reason drivers are leaving? What are you doing to try to improve drivers? And we got a great response. We had a good data dispersion. We had carriers with less than a 100 trucks, 100 to 250, 250 to 400, 500 to 1,000, et cetera. And I thought the results were really interesting.

Ben Cubitt (00:25:26):

So, if you look at historical, when we’ve had capacity, supply mismatches, carriers have been able to buy class A’s, they recruit drivers, but that hasn’t worked in this market. So, you look at carriers, what carriers consistently told us is, “I have fewer drivers than I did in 2020. I have fewer than I did in January.” We did the survey in July and, you know, it was about 10 to 20 percent drop. And 70 percent of the carriers said they had fewer drivers. I think it was around 10 percent were about the same, and 20 percent said more. And when you looked at that, you know, carriers were saying, “I have 10 to 15 percent unseated trucks. I’ve invested a truck. I have it sitting against the fence. I have plenty of loads.” Carrier after carrier tells me, “Then, I got plenty of loads but I don’t have drivers.”

Ben Cubitt (00:26:19):

And then, if you do get a driver, you don’t have a trailer. And that’s the disruptions part. And a lot of carriers was really interesting, tied that back to warehouse labor, you know, Matt talking about the challenges of people doing difficult jobs. But we see shippers not able to show up, not able to turn equipment, not able to meet their full order book because they don’t have enough warehouse workers. They don’t have enough plant worker. And so, those disruptions are just all across the supply chain. And a challenge of warehouse labor creates a challenge in turning trailers, which now means that you’ve got a driver, you’re 10 percent short of drivers, you’ve got to load, and you can’t find a trailer. So, you know, a lot of truck drivers spend their day looking for trailers in the morning and then parking at night, [inaudible] the parking. So, it’s a very tough job. And what carriers are also seeing is that even with two, three, four raises things that, historically, put driver in there or they’re not. And that’s a challenge for all of us in supply chain, how do we recruit drivers and how do we keep drivers in this industry.

Scott Luton (00:27:26):

Yep. All right. So, Karin, I’m throwing it over to you. But I’m going to say, it’s like we’ve got the lobster and the flip-flops, but no rolls, right? We’re always missing something here. So, Karin, where are we going next?

Karin Bursa (00:27:37):

Hey, I’m willing to eat the lobster all on its own. Just if there’s any question there, let me know. I’ll even come pick it up, Matt. So, just tell me when and where. And I’ll bring some butter along. So, obviously, Ben, you’ve just gone through constraints in every area of the process, right? From the finished goods right through to get them on board and delivered. Let me step back for just a minute, Matt, and ask the data science perspective. So, artificial intelligence and machine learning have never been more critical because our data, and our profiles, and our trends are completely different than they have been in the past. I mean, we really need to evaluate the most current information to get that look forward. So, as you’ve done the research for Q3, so this is hot off the press, tell us when you look at your crystal ball, when you look at the data, what should we expect, not just in the next three months, but what does that trend look like through the end of the year?

Matt Harding (00:28:43):

Yeah. So, that’s a great question. Certainly, markets, particularly in contract markets where you’re negotiating and you’re setting a rate, they move slower than the spot market, this kind of goes without saying. The inflation we’ve seen on the contract side over the last 12 months is about a percent a month. And what drives that is how effective those route guides are and actually getting the freight. Because when they don’t work –the spot markets. So, we measure those using the same baseline. And we know that spot markets are anywhere from 30 to 50, 60 percent, sometimes more, over the contract rates. That pressure and that difference in the rate hasn’t changed since about – I mean, it fluctuates. But in terms of the separation, it has been with us for 12 months, at least, or maybe more. So, there’s really nothing that we see in the horizon looking out that would indicate that separation would collapse and bring things [inaudible]. In soft markets, that gap is very small. In extremely soft markets, the spot market actually inverts under the contract rate. So, right now, that pressure is holding. We’re continuing to see route guide struggle.


Matthew Harding (00:30:02):

Now that said, when you’re talking about data science and looking across our 11 billion in freight, there are differences by companies, each individual company depending on their industry and how they manage their carriers. Some will pay a little bit more to get that service and their performance will be a little higher. Others, maybe they secured those rates back in April when they’re cheap. And, now, they’re in the spot market more than they’d like to be. So, individual results vary. And so, we’re in a position to serve all of those companies.

Matt Harding (00:30:33):

But just reporting on the data, I would say, in the next six to nine months, we’re not seeing anything that’s going to alleviate this. We’re not going to get new capacity from manufacturers very quickly. They’re 12 months backlog. I mean, their build out is almost through 2022. And they’re delivering about – I don’t know – 25,000 power units a month. And so, that’s not going to fix itself. I think the only thing that’s really going to fix the situation is if the economy cools down. And we’re seeing reports of consumer price inflation, that came out today. The market kind of reacted to that not so positively. So, once this market starts cooling off and the alignment between the supply and the demand is a little more in balance, that would be our saving grace. But could we have another year in 2022 that’s similar to 2021? I think it’s definitely possible.

Scott Luton (00:31:24):

If I can butt in just for a second here. So, Azaleah, not only is she a biomedical engineer, but she is a world class data analyst, and one of our favorites here. She’s got a great question that’s above my pay grade, maybe it’s for the three of you all perhaps. But I’ll address Matt here. Matt, she says, “Do you encounter false outliers because of all of the variables in the economy today? And if so, how do you identify those in your analysis?”

Matt Harding (00:31:51):

Yeah. So, that is a really great question. And the reason that it’s great is because artificial intelligence, machine learning, they’re terms that we’ve all come to use very quite easily. They just roll off of our mouths. But when you get to open the hood a little bit and take a look at how those things work, you’re essentially trying to map a reality based on the data you have, so that could be useful as a model. With the types of shocks that we’ve seen – so I built forecasting models. I’ve taken the PMI index, the classy ordered builds and all that. And, you know, you’ve got a hundred different trends, and then you’re trying to predict what the market is going to do. When you have a big shock and you’re looking back four or five years, the model is not smart enough, typically, to know what caused that shock. And it sort of ingests or puts noise into the process.

Matt Harding (00:32:43):

So, I think when it comes to using any sort of data, the question is, do you really understand it? And do you account for those variables? Because the other risk is you just sort of make the model fit whatever it’s doing, and then it’s not really measuring anything. It’s just sort of giving you a representation of what you’re looking for. So, that’s a $20 question, and I think I’m giving it a 5 pennies answer here. But you just have to be very smart with what you’re looking at. And, for me, I can tell you personally that we have a lot of processes that are set up with individual accounts and they might measure things differently. And so, I have to actually take their data and harmonize it, which means I’m going to be telling you how we’re measuring this because your individual results are a little bit different in your process.

Matt Harding (00:33:31):

And if those results come out and they’re not as advantageous to the current reports, then I get questions of why you’re doing it that way. “Well, because we have to, because we have to harmonize everything. I can’t go and take 50 different ways that are all unique to your business and then tell you this is a benchmark. I got to take one way, and you may not agree with it, but that’s okay because it’s harmonized.” So, you really have to understand the processes in your data. And you have to understand what it is you’re trying to explain. And all of these data models, they don’t really do well with glitches. You have to have ways to sort of understand what those glitches do to what you’re trying to find.

Ben Cubitt (00:34:04):

Matt and Scott, I’ll add a little bit to that. Azaleah, I think it’s a great question. And what we believe is doing root cause analysis. In this market, root cause analysis may be more important than ever because we’re really trying to answer, is it the market? Is it me? Is it my carrier? So, if it’s the market, you know, you have to have some strategies to counter that. But is it me? So, I’ll give you a good example of is it me. What we’re seeing is the importance of forecasting, and not enough shippers forecast. But, if all of a sudden, the carrier is expected to give me 20 trucks a week and I’m shipping 40, first off, if I hold that carrier and give them a black eye, you really want to understand, they’re making the commitment. They may even be giving me five extra, but they can’t give me the 15.

Ben Cubitt (00:34:50):

So, beating on that carrier, doesn’t solve the problem. It’s, is that 40 going to continue? And do I need to go source it? You know, is it the carrier? But I think, we believe that you really have to understand the data, the finite level. I think your question, Scott, about markets is really interesting. And, again, you have to translate that into your strategies. Is it the market? Meaning, you know, Southern California is disrupted. Texas is a problem when we had the storms back in February and really disrupted kind of regional.


Ben Cubitt (00:35:22):

So, is it the market? Is it me? Is it the carrier? Is it my strategy? And you have to do root cause analysis. And I think some people are surfing at the higher end of the data. And in this market to win, you really have to understand what is the data telling me, what is the root cause, and what do I need to correct, and then what are my strategy tools that I can go do it.

Karin Bursa (00:35:43):

Yeah. Ben, you know, that’s a really important point that you made. So, forecasting is critically important in a couple of different areas for supply chain, forecasting what products I need at what time, et cetera. But then, also, using that market demand to help determine what transportation I need in order to move those goods to market when I expect them to be needed by my customers. You made the comment at the beginning of your statements there, what percentage of shippers do you consider good forecasters that are able to kind of come to the table with a pretty good indication of what they’re going to need? And then, secondly, do they continue to refine that? Are they able to kind of sense and respond as market changes occur?

Ben Cubitt (00:36:30):

Yeah. And I divide that into two groups of forecasting. You know, it’s amazing as much as forecasting as many models as are out there, it is still extremely rare to be applied to transportation. So, most shippers don’t forecast. They don’t even tell their carriers when things are happening. For instance, I may have a plant shutting down or move a plant, and I may make them my carriers, I may not. [Inaudible] just not seeing the demand anymore.


Ben Cubitt (00:36:55):

But forecasting, let’s take weekly forecasting. It is rare. We see only a small percentage of shippers. Some of the larger CPG shippers have experimented with it because it’s so core to their business. And, you know, we see some people really experimenting with it. A large shipper here in Atlanta is doing a good job and they’re at the early stages and they’re measuring their accuracy. And I think it has an impact. If they can tell their carriers, “Hey, I’m going to have extra demand.” In your lane, it needs to be specific. It can’t be, “Hey, I’m just going to be busy.” But your lane is going to see a surge. Those carriers are going to start redirecting capacity. Or they can tell you, “I’m not going to be able to help you. Go find a plan B instead of just starting to scramble as you have those loads.” So, that’s one thing. But we see less than, I want to say, 10 percent, but I’m very confident less than 20 percent, even trying to forecast. And then, of those who do forecast, most are in the early stages. It’s not a mature process.


Ben Cubitt (00:37:56):

And then, the second thing I’d say is, we still have surges end of month, end of quarter. You have people that are making certain canned goods that have a seasonal demand. You know, so you’re kind of packing it all. And then, you have these demands. Water has a demand right now, you know, 4th of July demand. And it’s interesting, some people are good at predicting that, but we still see lots of challenges. People, when they try to estimate end of quarter, end of season surges, it’s amazing how variable the actual is to the demand. And there’s a lot of reasons for that. But it’s a challenge. And I think it’s worth the investment. I think it would help carriers. I think it would help the networks. But right now, it’s a very immature, rarely used tool.

Scott Luton (00:38:44):

So, I think along the same – go ahead, Matt.

Matt Harding (00:38:46):

Yeah. I was just going to share a really interesting quote that I think kind of captures the challenge.

Scott Luton (00:38:52):

You have a need for speed?

Matt Harding (00:38:57):

No. No, no, no. No. No. That’s good. That’s good. Well, this was last year and we were being asked to forecast this year. And we were, you know, kind of vacillating between certain numbers. And so, the challenge that was presented to me – and this company ships billions in trucking expense, a very large company – the CFO was asking the person over transportation budget, “Just tell me what we’re going to spend in transportation next year. It’s not like I’m asking you to predict the economy.” Then, I thought, that was just so interesting of a statement because trucking is so deeply intertwined to the economy, that if you can figure out tracking forecasts, you’re in the wrong industry. You might want to go work for Warren Buffet or somebody else, because that level of supply disruptions and demand disruptions across all those industries, it’s all connected. So, it’s just super challenging.

Matt Harding (00:40:03):

I tend to believe that the more rapid you are assessing, and the best dealers in the ground that you have, and how you build optionality into your decisions, you know, kind of have a plan B or processes that support that, that’s your best path forward versus trying to guess where you’re going to be in six months, because you’re going to be wrong. There’s different opinions on that. And this is coming from somebody who’s worked with a lot of data and should be able to answer those questions with data, but data is an artifact, right? The future perplexes all of us.

Scott Luton (00:40:36):

Right. And it’s a dynamic environment, right? It seems like it’s changing hour to hour.

Ben Cubitt (00:40:44):

Ships get stuck in the Suez Canal, right? We could forecast that.


Karin Bursa (00:40:48):

Hey, let’s not temp fate with any other [inaudible] and crazy disruptions here.

Scott Luton (00:40:54):

But, you know, a lot of what y’all are sharing paints a grim picture, current state and future state. And I know we’re all looking to minimize volatility. We’re trying to gain and optimize clarity. We’re trying to mitigate the risk in all different forms. And then, you’ve touched on a couple of things, of course, forecasting, root cause analysis were a couple of great points, but what else? And I’ll start with you, Ben, what else would you advise shippers to reduce that volatility and be more successful in the path ahead?

Ben Cubitt (00:41:29):

You know, as we do these market updates, we also talked to companies. Probably Matt and I both talked to five or six of our shippers, consulting customers about outlook and prep for budget season, what should I budget. And sometimes we get the market update and we’ve learned to get better about it. It can seem gloom and doom. You know, “Okay. Great. That sounds horrible. What do I do now?” Which is your question, Scott. So, I think first of all, you know, what Matt said, we’re big believers in it’s optionality. Have a market outlook and probably think about the market outlook as scenarios. You can get worse, stay about the same, it could get better, it could get a lot worse, and what’s your strategies, and what do you need to do if those happen. And then, watch the data to tell you which way you’re going. Because in this dynamic, as soon as you have all your ideas, and your optionality, and your strategy, you’re going to have to change it.

Ben Cubitt (00:42:23):

LTL carriers, we’ve always seen that capacity is finite. You just give it to the LTL carriers and they take it, they may have another trailer. So, now, we’re in this world where LTL carriers have finite capacity. Parcel carriers, the same way. We’re getting ready to come into e-commerce season, and that’s going to impact all of us. So, we think it begins with just good sound fundamentals. We talked about football earlier, football begins with good, strong fundamentals, so that’s watching your lanes, watching the data, paying attention to the detail. And some folks don’t do that. So, again, we just reiterated that again, it’s a daily, weekly battle.


Ben Cubitt (00:43:07):

But then, look at that optionality Matt discussed, when you have these disruptions, you can be unhappy about them. You can ignore them. You can not see them. But when you do see them, look at your alternatives, go to your partners first. And we think this market, it’s critical to work with your carrier partners. And take the answer they give you, not the answer you want. So, you may go to them on a lane and say, “I need help. You’ve got to take all of this.” And one of the two bad things will happen – I guess, three bad things. They’ll tell you they can’t take it, which is good, it’s honest. They’ll say I’ll try and then they’ll fail. Or they’ll say I can do it but at a higher cost. So, if a partner tells you they can’t do it or they can only take half, you know, accept that. Push back. “Okay. If they do half, let me go find another alternative.”


Ben Cubitt (00:44:01):

So, you know, I think, Scott, it’s not very exciting, but it comes down to that, really understand your data, understand your disruptions. Are they regional? Are they local? Are they lane level? Am I causing it? Kind what we said earlier. And then, go do something. And the go do something is critical. We still see shippers where we’ll do a deep dive in their data, trying to help them. You know, they’ll say, “Gosh. I got too much spots, then I got this and that.” And we’ll kind of put a SWAT team, SWAT approach on it. And we’ll see lanes where they offered the same shipment to a carrier 84 times. And the carrier is taken at zero. The mysteries are Uber in this lane. They’re not going to take it.


Karin Bursa (00:44:37):

They’re not going to take it. They’re not, no.

Ben Cubitt (00:44:39):

Go do something else, please.


Scott Luton (00:44:43):

Matt, I want to get your take on the same question. But I want y’all thinking about something before we pass it back to Karin, we’ve got a great question from Ziggy about how reverse logistics is impacting. So, I want to get that question before we move ahead. But, Matt, same question, reducing volatility, what’s your take?

Matt Harding (00:45:01):

So, just to build on what Ben was saying about being nimble and tracking and doing the triage, you’re really trying to establish a commercial relationship with companies that can provide services, right? If you’re a company that has four levels of approval for a new truck rate, and it takes you four months to get that across the line, guess what you’ve just done? You’ve just put yourself in the spot market and you’re going to pay 40 percent over that contract rate. And when you could just push in a 10 percent increase and get market alignment and then get those trucks. So, my biggest thing is, the volatility that can exist from a cost perspective or a service perspective is really the root cause is the lack of nimbleness or understanding the breadth of what’s possible, which is what we do as a 3PL right. We’ll show up with 20 different approaches. Your organization may have only had two over the last five years and the two that you’re using now don’t work. So, I think nimbleness, and intelligence, and knowing what’s a realistic expectation of both service and cost in this market is really the key drivers there.

Scott Luton (00:46:12):

I love that. And I also love the phrase art of the possible. And if it’s ever applied, as in terms of getting out of how things have always been done, this air we’re going through. And to some degree, it’s the silver lining in all this. But, Karin, you and I both know, we’ve got the Reverse Logistics series here at Supply Chain Now. We partner with our friends that are really there. We had a great livestream with Cisco, who was doing some really cool things when it comes to anything, but especially reverse logistics. And, of course, in this environment where e-commerce continues and for forever will continue to increase. Of course, what goes right along with it is returns and reverse logistics. So, I know this is a kind of a curve ball, but any commentary on how you’re seeing reverse logistics impacting that demand for shipping services?

Ben Cubitt (00:46:58):

Yeah. I think reverse logistics can often be done inefficiently. And if you think about, you know, there’s so much focus in reverse logistics as an afterthought. So, reverse logistics and with the growth of e-commerce, there’s a lot of reverse logistics in e-commerce. And you buy five things and you keep returning it until you get something you like and you can try stuff. And it creates inefficiency in the supply chain. But it also creates opportunity because if you have a reverse logistics, and if you can put some planning, and you can do some prediction, maybe it will tie those two lanes together. And that’s a win. So, I think reverse logistics can be both a loss for the network or it can be a win.

Ben Cubitt (00:47:45):

And if I expand upon reverse logistics, if I think about non-primary shipping, if I look about vendor inbound, or if I think about evolving receivers, you know, the folks who are doing a great job in this supply chain are looking across their network. And then, they’re coming to people like Transplace, who have 11 billion in freight. And they’re saying, “Hey, you have somebody else’s reverse logistics or somebody else’s inbound move matches with my outbound.” And so, when we’ve got this giant challenge of capacity that we have and this sustained capacity, we need to ship forward trucks with less empty miles. So, that’s the way I look at reverse logistics is, you know, can you bring that same efficiency and can you maybe tie it into your network? And that’s what we see, you can be dedicated.

Ben Cubitt (00:48:33):

And, you know, that’s good for the carriers and drivers too. So, now, instead of having a half truck or a full truck that shifts to the middle of nowhere without a design, and then has to drive 80 empty models, how do I pair up? And that’s a big focus. You know, half of what I’m doing at Transplace is what we call Transplace Network Solutions, where we try to get all that inbound, outbound, reversed demand, and try to bring carrier solutions that are multi-shipper, multi-load. We have a service that does nothing but partial loads together. And things like reverse logistics are great for that. If we see you have half a truck going to California from Ohio, and somebody else has a couple pallets of reverse logistics, will you put that together, save your money, get your capacity, and really be more efficient across the industry.

Karin Bursa (00:49:18):

Yeah. And I want to jump in there. So, Ben, it’s a terrible time to be a bad customer. It’s a terrible time.


Ben Cubitt (00:49:26):

[Inaudible] than ever.

Karin Bursa (00:49:29):

Yeah. Yeah. So, you’ve been involved in carrier shipper collaboration for a number of years. As we look at the marketplace, number one, I want to make sure that our listeners understand where Transplace can help as they look to, you know, minimize the impact of all of these disruptions and constraints in the marketplace. So, just give us a quick perspective on what Transplace offers in the marketplace. You were just talking about some of the network services. But why you’ve got such a strong opinion and point of view on both the shipper perspective as well as those carrier partners that are in the mix as well.

Ben Cubitt (00:50:15):

Yeah. So, you know, I think collaboration begins with trust. And the first thing I’d say is that, it works. And it works for those people who commit to it, invest in it, and work around the challenges. And so, you know, one of our acquisitions of the last couple of years was Lanehub. So, Mark Hackl’s team built this tremendous tool that lets all kinds of networks, you know, 29 billion in freight overlap. And then, you can see that Home Depot has a truck going, and I can put a Kellogg’s load with that. It works out great for both of those folks. So, we have Lanehub which does what we call Planned Continuous Moves Lane Matching. Then, we have an AI in this, but where we’re doing dynamic continuous moves.

Ben Cubitt (00:50:58):

So, I have a team that looks at that every morning. And so, they see a load today, one of the 25 loads coming into Atlanta matches up with another shipper’s load over to Alabama. It may never happen again. But that day, the arrival and departure times match up, the freight types, and we put those together every day, all day with over a hundred shippers. We also have the partial load matching. We’ve been building our own LTL pool network, so we have well over a billion in LTL freight. We’re building collaborative pools like Chicago to Texas to Laredo, Chicago to California. And then, we may see two or three shippers who, say, are up in Wisconsin and we could put their freight together and pool it. We run a series of dedicated fleets. We’re non-asset, but we’re contracted with over six or seven carriers approaching multiple hundreds of trucks. And we just put those shippers together, both planned and unplanned. But we run those trucks.

Ben Cubitt (00:51:51):

We look at low volume freight. We’ll challenge the shippers. We have over 1.5 billion of low volume freight when we consolidate that in our network. So, while a shipper can’t build density, we can build density from Ohio, back to Illinois and Wisconsin, and back. So, we can put dedicated trucks. And we may have 15 customers in Ohio, Pennsylvania, and 20 customers in Illinois, Wisconsin, and put those low volume lanes together and run dedicated. So, those are the types of solutions. And we’re continuing to look and do new things each week. But those are some of the ideas, and it’s just trying to build out a shipper’s network.


Ben Cubitt (00:52:36):

The other one I’ll throw out is backhauls for dedicated private fleets. That’s been a real win for shippers and for carriers and for our network. And we’re trying to keep that care capacity in our network to help our shippers and to bring them capacity.

Karin Bursa (00:52:50):

Yeah. Yeah. Good stuff. So, lots of different areas and bringing those relationships together. Maximizing not just your own dedicated teams, but the ability to match and eliminate some of those empty miles and get better leverage on shipments as well. I like the point about those infrequent high value shipments as well. It’s handling a lot of those one-off scenarios or a big customer order going to a new location. That can be so challenging in working with carriers that you haven’t worked with before. So, working with a team like Transplace can help you match up with a high caliber partner to move those goods. So, thanks for those examples. That’s really helpful.

Scott Luton (00:53:37):

Yeah. And real quick, we picked on the 1980s earlier, but now’s not a time to ship like it’s 1982. If you’re bad shipper, you’re in trouble, as Ben said. All right. So, Karin, I know we’re up against the time. What’s our final agenda item here today?

Karin Bursa (00:53:52):

I think our final agenda item is to encourage our listeners to download the report. Take a look at it, dig into the analysis. It is really comprehensive. It’ll give you some specifics around truckload and less than truckload, and then some insights around ocean and intermodal as well. So, I want to encourage you to take a look at that information, see how that applies to your business. And then, if appropriate, be sure to reach out to the team at Transplace and see if they can help you overcome some of this volatility and disruption that’s in the marketplace.

Scott Luton (00:54:25):

So, Matt, Ben kind of shared some of his last thoughts there. I want to throw it over to you and whether you want to challenge the audience or share – I love the quote you shared – you name it, what’s some final words you’d like to share with our audience here?

Matt Harding (00:54:38):

Well, I mean, there’s sort of the idea that, you know, the data should be evolving. So, in addition to all the services Ben talks about, we do have data services where if you want to understand – you know, Ben had said, is it me, the market, or my carriers, my lanes – we’ve developed services to help companies do that. They don’t have to be on our TMS. It’s just we have a connector and they can plug into it, and get all the insight and information they need in terms of costs, wrap guide metrics, on time, payload, all that. And so, we make comparisons against our slice of the market for individual companies, regardless if they’re on our network. So, that’d be one closing thought.


Matthew Harding (00:55:16):

And just keep your chins up. I mean, I know from the market perspective that, you know, what goes up, comes down. And we’re all earning our paychecks this year. And it’s a tough job, but it won’t stay this way forever. I’d give it another year, and maybe sooner. We’ll be watching and I know that’s for sure.

Scott Luton (00:55:34):

Awesome. Well, I’ll tell you if you can tap into Matt Harding’s data scientists brain and while getting hectored by Ben Cubitt – which is a great word he shared earlier- you’re in a good place. But big thanks to our friends at Transplace. Y’all check out, we’ve got the link in the comments there. Big things with Ben Cubitt and Matt Harding, and, of course, all of our friends, Alyssa and the whole team at Transplace. Great conversation here today. Thank you so much.

Ben Cubitt (00:56:00):

Thanks, Scott. Thanks, Karin.


Matthew Harding (00:56:00):

Thank you. We appreciate it.


Karin Bursa (00:56:01):

Thank you. Thank you.

Scott Luton (00:56:03):

All right, man.

Karin Bursa (00:56:04):

Lots of good stuff, right? I felt like we were just getting started, Scott.

Scott Luton (00:56:07):

Well, we could easily. Bright folks like that, you need a couple hours, especially with all that muffs, and that’s with two F’s, Karin. That’s high level thinking. But that’s the world we live in, right? We have more data and meaningful information at our fingertips. We’ve got to be dynamic, especially with these long shipping lanes and especially some of the other challenges that they spoke to. And you got to lean on folks that know how to get it done. But, Karin, there’s so many comments we couldn’t get to here today. I hate it. We had so many great questions. But an hour never goes by like that. We got a couple of quick events I’ll mention here momentarily. But give me one of your key takeaways here today.

Karin Bursa (00:56:51):

Yeah. One of the things that stuck to me early on that I think Ben mentioned is, focus on capacity instead of rates. So, the first and foremost goal is, can we move it and who are we going to move it with? And then, let’s look at rates. Because as Matt said, those rates, the spread between contracted rates, what I negotiate ahead of time, and my spot rates, that gap is bigger than ever. If you can find a carrier, your spot rate is going to be a lot higher than it has been historically. But focus on getting that capacity first and then work through the details of the cost basis to get it there.

Scott Luton (00:57:26):

Well said. Well said. And I would just add to Karin’s wonderful take there, don’t run in flip-flops, folks. Don’t make that mistake this summer. Do not run in flip-flops. That’s what my kids try to do all the time. All right. So, really quick, we’ll touch on a couple of upcoming events. We invite y’all to join Karin and I, and Kevin, and Kelly, and Greg as we serve as the exclusive virtual host of Lora Cecere’s – the one and only – annual event, The Supply Chain Insights Global Summit, September 7th through the 9th. Karin, we’ve got a half-day with you as we kind of cover the rock and roll conversations taking place there, right?

Karin Bursa (00:58:01):

Yeah. I’m looking forward to it. There’s always, always some really good insights that come from these conversations. So, I hope that folks can join us. I hope they can register for the event as well. I guarantee you’ll get some good direction and good insights.

Scott Luton (00:58:17):

Yes. It’ll be almost as good as Ben and Matt today, we think. They set a tall standard here today. But kidding aside, y’all come out and check it out, supplychaininsightsglobalsummit.com is the place. And a lot of great movers and shakers across the world of global business. And then, finally, hey, we want to celebrate a lot of good news. A lot of the successes in a very challenging year. Great stories of leadership and beyond at our Supply Chain and Procurement Awards taking place December 8th. Nominations are open and we’re donating all of our nomination fees to Hope for Justice, which is a great global nonprofit that’s tackling and eradicating slavery. So, I can’t believe it’s 2021, and we’re still using that word and we’re tackling that travesty. But y’all come check it out, nominate, register, sponsor, you name it. We’d love to have you part of that December 8th event. Okay. Holy cow, man. Ben and Matt were as advertised. They should be doing a show in Vegas, not only you laugh a little bit, but you also get a lot smarter, right?

Karin Bursa (00:59:19):

Yeah. You can’t call out Maverick and Goose and not bring something to the table. So, we certainly appreciate their insights today. Thanks to the team from Transplace for sharing their Q3 insights with us. I encourage you all to download that report and dive into some of the details we weren’t able to tap into today. I guarantee it’s going to raise your supply chain IQ.

Scott Luton (00:59:45):

That’s right. I agree that as well. Money back guarantee, with that said. Hey, but we got link in the comments. You can also visit them at transplace.com. All one word, transplace.com. And Karin, with that, I’m going to give you the final word to take us out.

Karin Bursa (00:59:58):

Thanks so much. So, on the topic of raising your supply chain IQ, I want to encourage you all to check out the many resources that are available at supplychainnow.com. And while you’re there, please look for TEKTOK and subscribe. We want to help you eliminate the noise and focus on the information and inspiration that you need to transform your business and replace risky inventory with valuable insights. We’re going to see you next time on TEKTOK and, of course, here on Supply Chain Now, the voice of supply chain.


Scott Luton (01:00:30):

Thanks everybody.

Would you rather watch the show in action?

Featured Guests

Ben Cubitt has more than three decades of supply chain and consulting experience, working with multiple Fortune 500 companies in the consumer products, paper and automotive industries. Ben joined Transplace in July 2010 after four years as Vice President, Supply Chain for RockTenn Corporation and currently leads Transplace’s Network Services and Consulting teams. Ben is an active CSCMP member is frequently quoted and published in leading industry and business publications. Connect with Ben on LinkedIn.

Matthew Harding has over 20 years of supply chain and transportation industry experience.  Matthew has held leadership roles supporting consulting, technology, data analytics and 3PL services.  Prior to Transplace, Matthew led a market intelligence service for shippers and 3PLs supporting well over 200 clients globally processing over $70B into actionable market intelligence for its clients across all major trucking modes.  Matthew has also held roles leading consulting, transportation management systems implementation, procurement and manufacturing.  Matthew is also a frequent author and industry speaker providing commentary on market conditions and their impact on the industry. Connect with Matthew on LinkedIn.


Scott W. Luton

Founder, CEO, & Host

Karin Bursa


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Additional Links & Resources

Learn more about TEKTOK

Subscribe to TEKTOK and ALL Supply Chain Now Programming Here

Learn More About Transplace

UPS Supply Chain Solutions Virtual Connect

Register for the 2021 Supply Chain Insights Global Summit

Register for the OMNIA Partners Connections Conference

WEBINAR- A Data-Driven Approach to Smarter Deals

WEBINAR- State of the Supply Chain Report – Priorities for Building Resiliency in Your Supply Network

2021 Supply Chain and Procurement Awards

Download the 2021 Q2 U.S. Bank Freight Payment Index

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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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Katherine Hintz

Creative Director, Producer, Host

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

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Kim Reuter


From humble beginnings working the import docks, representing Fortune 500 giants, Ford, Michelin Tire, and Black & Decker; to Amazon technology patent holder and Nordstrom Change Leader, Kimberly Reuter has designed, implemented, and optimized best-in-class, highly scalable global logistics and retail operations all over the world. Kimberly’s ability to set strategic vision supported by bomb-proof processes, built on decades of hands-on experience, has elevated her to legendary status. Sought after by her peers and executives for her intellectual capital and keen insights, Kimberly is a thought leader in the retail logistics industry.

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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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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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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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Adrian Purtill

Host, Logistics with Purpose

Adrian Purtill serves as Business Development Manager at Vector Global Logistics, where he consults with importers and exporters in various industries to match their specific shipping requirements with the most effective supply chain solutions. Vector Global Logistics is an asset-free, multi-modal logistics company that provides exceptional sea freight, air freight, truck, rail, general logistic services and consulting for our clients. Our highly trained and professional team is committed to providing creative and effective solutions, always exceeding our customer’s expectations and fostering long-term relationships. With more than 20+ years of experience in both strategy consulting and logistics, Vector Global Logistics is your best choice to proactively minimize costs while having an exceptional service level.

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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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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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Vicki White


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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Allison Giddens


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

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

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Billy Taylor


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

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

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

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

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Tandreia Bellamy


Tandreia Bellamy retired as the Vice President of Industrial Engineering for UPS Supply Chain Solutions which included the Global Logistics, Global Freight Forwarding and UPS Freight business units. She was responsible for operations strategy and planning, asset management, forecasting, and technology tool development to optimize sustainable efficiency while driving world class service.

Tandreia held similar positions at the business unit level for Global Logistics and Global Freight forwarding. As the leader of the Global Logistics engineering function, she directed all industrial engineering activies related to distribution, service parts logistics (post-sales support), and mail innovations (low cost, light weight shipping partnership with the USPS). Between these roles Tandreia helped to establish the Advanced Technology Group which was formed to research and develop cutting edge solutions focused on reducing reliance on manual labor.

Tandreia began her career in 1986 as a part-time hourly manual package handling employee. She spent the great majority of her career in the small package business unit which is responsible for the pick-up, sort, transport and delivery of packages domestically. She held various positions in Industrial Engineering, Marketing, Inside and On-road operations in Central Florida before transferring to Atlanta for a position in Corporate Product Development and Corporate Industrial Engineering. Tandreia later held IE leadership roles in Nebraska, Minnesota and Chicago. In her final role in small package she was an IE VP responsible for all aspects of IE, technology support and quality for the 25 states on the western half of the country.
Tandreia is currently a Director for the University of Central Florida (UCF) Foundation Board and also serves on their Dean’s Advisory Board for the College of Engineering and Computer Science. Previously Tandreia served on the Executive Advisory Board for Virginia Tech’s IE Department and the Association for Supply Chain Management. She served on the Board of Trustees for ChildServ (a Chicago child and family services non-profit) and also served on the Texas A&M and Tuskegee Engineering Advisory Boards. In 2006 she was named Business Advisor of the Year by INROADS, in 2009 she was recognized as a Technology All-Star at the Women of Color in STEM conference and in 2019 she honored as a UCF Distinguished Aluma by the Department of Industrial Engineering and Management Systems.

Tandreia holds a bachelor’s degree in Industrial Engineering from Stanford University and a master’s degree in Industrial Engineering and Management Systems from UCF. Her greatest accomplishment, however, is being the proud mother of two college students, Ruby (24) and Anthony (22).

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Marty Parker


Marty Parker serves as both the CEO & Founder of Adæpt Advising and an award-winning Senior Lecturer (Teaching Professor) in Supply Chain and Operations Management at the University of Georgia. He has 30 years of experience as a COO, CMO, CSO (Chief Strategy Officer), VP of Operations, VP of Marketing and Process Engineer. He founded and leads UGA’s Supply Chain Advisory Board, serves as the Academic Director of UGA’s Leaders Academy, and serves on multiple company advisory boards including the Trucking Profitability Strategies Conference, Zion Solutions Group and Carlton Creative Company.

Marty enjoys helping people and companies be successful. Through UGA, Marty is passionate about his students, helping them network and find internships and jobs. He does this through several hundred one-on-one zoom meetings each year with his students and former students. Through Adæpt Advising, Marty has organized an excellent team of affiliates that he works with to help companies grow and succeed. He does this by helping c-suite executives improve their skills, develop better leaders, engage their workforce, improve processes, and develop strategic plans with detailed action steps and financial targets. Marty believes that excellence in supply chain management comes from the understanding the intersection of leadership, culture, and technology, working across all parts of the organization to meet customer needs, maximize profit and minimize costs.

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Laura Lopez

Marketing Coordinator

Laura Lopez serves as our Supply Chain Now Marketing Coordinator. She graduated from Instituto Tecnológico y de Estudios Superiores de Occidente in Mexico with a degree in marketing. Laura loves everything digital because she sees the potential it holds for companies in the marketing industry. Her passion for creativity and thinking outside the box led her to pursue a career in marketing. With experience in fields like accounting, digital marketing, and restaurants, she clearly enjoys taking on challenges. Laura lives the best of both worlds - you'll either catch her hanging out with her friends soaking up the sun in Mexico or flying out to visit her family in California!

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Jake Barr


An acknowledged industry leader, Jake Barr now serves as CEO for BlueWorld Supply Chain Consulting, providing support to a cross section of Fortune 500 companies such as Cargill, Caterpillar, Colgate, Dow/Dupont, Firmenich, 3M, Merck, Bayer/Monsanto, Newell Brands, Kimberly Clark, Nestle, PepsiCo, Pfizer, Sanofi, Estee Lauder and Coty among others. He's also devoted time to engagements in public health sector work with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. At P&G, he managed the breakthrough delivery of an E2E (End to End) Planning Transformation effort, creating control towers which now manage the daily business globally. He is recognized as the architect for P&G’s demand driven supply chain strategy – referenced as a “Consumer Driven Supply Chain” transformation. Jake began his career with P&G in Finance in Risk Analysis and then moved into Operations. He has experience in building supply network capability globally through leadership assignments in Asia, Latin America, North America and the Middle East. He currently serves as a Research Associate for MIT; a member of Supply Chain Industry Advisory Council; Member of Gartner’s Supply Chain Think Tank; Consumer Goods “League of Leaders“; and a recipient of the 2015 - 2021 Supply Chain “Pro’s to Know” Award. He has been recognized as a University of Kentucky Fellow.

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Marcia Williams


Marcia Williams, Managing Partner of USM Supply Chain, has 18 years of experience in Supply Chain, with expertise in optimizing Supply Chain-Finance Planning (S&OP/ IBP) at Large Fast-Growing CPGs for greater profitability and improved cash flows. Marcia has helped mid-sized and large companies including Lindt Chocolates, Hershey, and Coty. She holds an MBA from Michigan State University and a degree in Accounting from Universidad de la Republica, Uruguay (South America). Marcia is also a Forbes Council Contributor based out of New York, and author of the book series Supply Chains with Maria in storytelling style. A recent speaker’s engagement is Marcia TEDx Talk: TEDxMSU - How Supply Chain Impacts You: A Transformational Journey.

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Luisa Garcia

Host, Logistics with Purpose

Luisa Garcia is a passionate Marketer from Lagos de Moreno based in Aguascalientes. She holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Marketing from Universidad Autonoma de Aguascalientes, Mexico. She specializes in brand development at any stage, believing that a brand is more than just a name or image—it’s an unforgettable experience. Her expertise helps brands achieve their dreams and aspirations, making a lasting impact. Currently working at Vector Global Logistics in the Marketing team and as podcast coordinator of Logistics With Purpose®. Luisa believes that purpose-driven decisions will impact results that make a difference in the world.

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Astrid Aubert

Host, Logistics with Purpose

Astrid Aubert was born in Guadalajara, she is 39 years old and has had the opportunity to live in many places. She studied communication and her professional career has been in Trade Marketing for global companies such as Pepsico and Mars. She currently works as Marketing Director Mexico for Vector Global Logistics. She is responsible for internal communications and marketing strategy development for the logistics industry. She is a mother of two girls, married and lives in Monterrey. She defines herself as a creative and innovative person, and enjoys traveling and cooking a lot.

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Constantine Limberakis


Constantine Limberakis is a thought leader in the area of procurement and supply management. He has over 20 years of international experience, playing strategic roles in a wide spectrum of organizations related to analyst advisory, consulting, product marketing, product development, and market research.Throughout his career, he's been passionate about engaging global business leaders and the broader analyst and technology community with strategic content, speaking engagements, podcasts, research, webinars, and industry articles.Constantine holds a BA in History from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, and an MBA in Finance & Marketing / Masters in Public & International Affairs from the University of Pittsburgh.

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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 & Host

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

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

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Chris Barnes

Principal, Supply Chain Now
Host of Supply Chain is Boring

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

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

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Tyler Ward

Director of Sales

Tyler Ward serves as Supply Chain Now's Director of Sales. Born and raised in Mid-Atlantic, Tyler is a proud graduate of Shippensburg University where he earned his degree in Communications. After college, he made his way to the beautiful state of Oregon, where he now lives with his wife and daughter.

With over a decade of experience in sales, Tyler has a proven track record of exceeding targets and leading high-performing teams. He credits his success to his ability to communicate effectively with customers and team members alike, as well as his strategic thinking and problem-solving skills.

When he's not closing deals, you can find Tyler on the links or cheering on his favorite football and basketball teams. He also enjoys spending time with his family, playing pick-up basketball, and traveling back to Ocean City, Maryland, his favorite place!

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Kevin L. Jackson

Host of Digital Transformers

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

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Enrique Alvarez

Host of Logistics with Purpose and Supply Chain Now en Español

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

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

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Kelly Barner

Host of Dial P for Procurement

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

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Mary Kate Soliva

Host, Veteran Voices

Mary Kate Soliva is a veteran of the US Army and cofounder of the Guam Human Rights Initiative. She is currently in the Doctor of Criminal Justice program at Saint Leo University. She is passionate about combating human trafficking and has spent the last decade conducting training for military personnel and the local community.

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Amanda Luton

Vice President, Production

Amanda is a production and marketing veteran and entrepreneur with over 20 years of experience across a variety of industries and organizations including Von Maur, Anthropologie, AmericasMart Atlanta, and Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta. Amanda currently manages, produces, and develops modern digital content for Supply Chain Now and their clients. Amanda has previously served as the VP of Information Systems and Webmaster on the Board of Directors for APICS Savannah, and founded and managed her own successful digital marketing firm, Magnolia Marketing Group. When she’s not leading the Supply Chain Now production team, you can find Amanda in the kitchen, reading, listening to podcasts, or enjoying time with family.

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Clay Phillips

Business Development Manager

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

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Trisha Cordes

Administrative Assistant

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

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Chantel King

Social Media Manager

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

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

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

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Lori Sofian

Marketing Coordinator

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

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Katherine Hintz

Director, Customer Experience

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

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Mary Kate Love

Chief of Staff & Host

Mary Kate Love is currently the VP of marketing at Supply Chain Now focused on brand strategy and audience + revenue growth. Mary Kate’s career is a testament to her versatility and innovative spirit: she has experience in start-ups, venture capital, and building innovation initiatives from the ground up: she previously helped lead the build-out of the Supply Chain Innovation Center at Georgia-Pacific and before that, MxD (Manufacturing times Digital): the Department of Defense’s digital manufacturing innovation center. Mary Kate has a passion for taking complicated ideas and turning them into reality: she was one of the first team members at MxD and the first team member at the Supply Chain Innovation Center at Georgia-Pacific.

Mary Kate dedicates her extra time to education and mentorship: she was one of the founding Board Members for Women Influence Chicago and led an initiative for a city-wide job shadow day for young women across Chicago tech companies and was previously on the Board of Directors at St. Laurence High School in Chicago, Young Irish Fellowship Board and the UN Committee for Women. Mary Kate is the founder of National Supply Chain Day and enjoys co-hosting podcasts at Supply Chain Now. Mary Kate is from the south side of Chicago, a mom of two baby boys, and an avid 16-inch softball player. She holds a BS in Political Science from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

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Joshua Miranda

Marketing Specialist

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

Donna Krache

Director of Communications and Executive Producer

Donna Krache is a former CNN executive producer who has won several awards in journalism and communication, including three Peabodys.  She has 30 years’ experience in broadcast and digital journalism. She led the first production team at CNN to convert its show to a digital platform. She has authored many articles for CNN and other media outlets. She taught digital journalism at Georgia State University and Arizona State University. Krache holds a bachelor’s degree in government from the College of William and Mary and a master’s degree in curriculum and instruction from the University of New Orleans. She is a serious sports fan who loves the Braves. She is president of the Dave Krache Foundation. Named in honor of her late husband, this non-profit pays fees for kids who want to play sports but whose parents are facing economic challenges.

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