Supply Chain Now
Episode 1050

People have to realize (other than the supply chain professionals) that it's not that easy to change your supply chain. I mean, these are complex things. You can't just say, okay, tomorrow I want to fly into Savannah. That doesn't happen. That requires: where are the goods going to go? Who's going to pick them up from there? Where are they going to be warehoused, right? How are they going to get to the end consumer? All of those are difficult. It takes time.

-Abishek Gupta

Episode Summary

World trade dynamics are changing at warp speed, ocean freight rates are plummeting and air cargo volumes are down … and we’ve got just the person to weigh in on it all. On this week’s Buzz, Abishek Gupta of UPS joins Scott and Greg to review the latest supply chain headlines and give us the skinny on all things global freight forwarding.

Episode Transcript

Intro/Outro (00:00:03):

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

Scott Luton (00:00:31):

Hey, hey. Good morning, good afternoon, good evening, Scott Luton and Greg White here with you on Supply Chain. Now welcome to today’s show, Greg. How you doing?

Greg White (00:00:39):

I’m doing very, very well, Scott. How are you?

Scott Luton (00:00:41):

Wonderful, wonderful, wonderful. Great weekend. Lots of rain. Much needed rain here in the metro Atlanta area. Uh, how was your, how’s your weather this morning?

Greg White (00:00:50):

Uh, it’s, it’s a little cold and, uh, cloudy, but it’s still the beach. So <laugh>, it’s great

Scott Luton (00:00:57):

<laugh> Happy

Greg White (00:00:59):

Buzz day to everyone.

Scott Luton (00:01:00):

Happy Buzz data, everybody. And that’s what, hey, that’s what we’re here, all here and gathered together, breaking bread talk and supply chain here on the supply chain buzz, where we share some of the leading stories across global business. Now we’ve got a couple of, uh, changes, uh, on the, on one hand, Sophia Rivas Herrera is not with us here today. Uh, we send her lots of good vibes. She’s feeling a little bit under the weather. Yeah. And it’s, this is, it’s tough. It’s tough to, uh, dive into supply chain if you’re not feeling a hundred percent isn it, Greg.

Greg White (00:01:29):

Yeah. Punky, or, uh, what are some of the other terms that people say? <laugh>?

Scott Luton (00:01:35):


Greg White (00:01:36):

Right? I’ve heard people say feeling puny, feeling punky <laugh>. It’s, its, you know, it’s tough for a lot of people to get into supply chain even when they’re healthy.

Scott Luton (00:01:46):

That is right. But hey, uh, uh, big positive vibes to Sophia, wherever she is. And of course, we’ve got some big things in store for supply chain now in Espanol, and she’ll be back with us really soon. Unpack that here with you. But on the, on the other hand, we’ve got a wonderful guest here today, Greg. Yeah. Abec Gupta with u p s, global Freight forwarding. And, uh, he’s, he’s, uh, he’s bringing, he’s, uh, really bringing it here in about 20 minutes. Syne Greg.

Greg White (00:02:13):

Yeah. I just love saying his name. Abec

Scott Luton (00:02:17):

<laugh>. Well,

Greg White (00:02:18):

But yeah, of course. I mean, you know, uh, a lot changing. Golly, it seems like it was not that long ago that we were, um, saying we’re not in a freight recession, but one might be coming. I think it could be argued that instead we’ve sort of reverted to the mean. I was thinking about that this morning. Um, and we were in a bubble over the last 18, 24 months. Right? Right. Um, so we’re much closer to normal. Maybe not even a new normal, but a old normal <laugh>. I, sorry, I was trying to avoid saying that, but <laugh>. But yeah, I think it’s, it’s a really interesting environment, isn’t it? Because there’s still lots and lots of disruptions, but at least one of them isn’t that you could go bankrupt buying a container, so That’s right. Let’s all those our lucky stars for that.

Scott Luton (00:03:10):

Uh, well, you know, beyond all of that, uh, abstract’s gonna let us know some of the, uh, global trade issues and developments you’ve gotta have on your radar, and lots of analysis and observations around all As, as Greg’s alluding to all the changes in across freight world, uh, which will, uh, coin a new, new word here. But stay tuned. He’s enjoying us about 1220 ish or so, uh, pm Eastern Time here today. Okay. We’re gonna say hello to a few folks here in just a minute. Um, but Greg, I wanna, uh, open up today’s, uh, conversation by talking about an initiative that’s really important. Yeah. Near and dear to our heart here at Supply Chain now. And that is the leveraging logistics for Ukraine initiative that, uh, really vector Global Logistics is leading. Uh, but we’ve got a whole, you know, folks around the world have, have joined in the effort. We’ve sent over 500,000 pounds of humanitarian aid to folks in Ukraine, Poland, and elsewhere. And Greg, this is what, um, you know, this is the, the calling for supply chain professionals to get in there and do good, right?

Greg White (00:04:10):

Yeah. I mean, uh, you know, this thing’s far from over, right? And it, while it has sort of fallen out of the news cycle, it’s still going on and people are still suffering. And, uh, this is a great cause. And it’s just, the energy you see from sitting in on these calls is really powerful. And, um, you know, we’ve sent over 500,000 tons, right? Pounds.

Scott Luton (00:04:36):

Yeah. Tons, pounds, pounds, pounds.

Greg White (00:04:37):

Yeah. So working

Scott Luton (00:04:39):

On that bigger figure, though, working hard and fast and furious on that bigger figure.

Greg White (00:04:43):

Yeah. So, um, we’re doing good. We’re all doing good. All of you who have participated in any way, even if just listening and, and sharing the initiative.

Scott Luton (00:04:53):

That’s right. So, uh, and the next, so we have a monthly planning session that really drives that our team has dropped a link in the chat. Y’all check that out. You don’t have to contribute or, you know, sign up for volunteer for anything to be part of that meeting. If you wanna come, just listen in to, um, market intel and all the, the planning that’s going on. That’s perfectly fine. Yeah. And if you’re, you’re in position to donate something, that’d be great too. Um, okay, so we’re gonna tackle a few on the front end here of the supply chain bus. We’ve got a, a, a bit of a, a little Baskin Robbins today. A little bit of this, a little bit of that. 52 different fla, 52 flavors, right? Greg, 52 flavors,

Greg White (00:05:30):

Baskin Robbins, 33

Scott Luton (00:05:32):

<laugh>. Oh, I’m giving him way too much credit. 33 flavors that what we’re gonna tackle on the front end. So <laugh> Greg makes a, a few adjustments, say, right?

Greg White (00:05:42):


Scott Luton (00:05:43):

<laugh>, it’s Monday morning, still

Greg White (00:05:45):

Getting settled in here, you know,

Scott Luton (00:05:46):

I just <laugh>. So, Jonathan, good morning to you. Uh, Jonathan says, we’re in full force fulfilling orders for Christmas. Uh, Jonathan, who helds, uh, from Louisiana, uh, supply chain practitioner, Greg, it’s a busy time for a lot of folks in that regard, right?

Greg White (00:06:03):

Uh, I’m trying to make it as busy as I possibly can. I mean it, we’re gonna talk about some people who could be busier and some people who are as busy as they can handle, right? That’s right. Yeah. It’s course this time of year, it’s big time,

Scott Luton (00:06:17):

Big time. T Squared, who holds on the Fort Force, uh, over at YouTube says it’s soul to soul, back to life. Back to reality. Monday, <laugh> miss the oncoming, uh, snow and bring on the supply chain management nourishment. Hey, we got it, uh, by the truckload here today, T squared, and great to have you here.

Greg White (00:06:38):

Literally <laugh>, 44,000 pounds. We’ve maxed it out. We are shipping no Air

Scott Luton (00:06:45):

Man, <laugh> and Leah Luton from Aiken, South Carolina is with us here today. So, uh, hi, mom, blue, mom <laugh>, love you. Okay. So, uh, Greg, uh, I’m gonna do a couple things before we get into, uh, um, uh, news of the day. First off, I want to share, uh, hopefully folks, and we, we were talking in the pre show about some of our favorite holiday movies. And of course, Christmas vacation is, is probably a top our list here in Luton household. So Greg, we use that kind of as a vehicle for our weekly LinkedIn newsletter, and I love the title. Yes, Sirius Clark, of course. We’re, we’re, we’re talking about with that said, which is our LinkedIn newsletter with, um, right, uh, about 18,000 subscribers. We appreciate all that Y’all, all of y’all, if you haven’t subscribed, it’s easy to do, go find us on, on Supply, uh, um, on LinkedIn, and you can sign up for this weekly newsletter. But, uh, Greg, so we were using this as a means of kind of pulsing the team here behind the scenes, their favorite holiday movies. So Kristen’s Vacation had a lot of votes, but what is one of your favorite holiday movies, Greg?

Greg White (00:07:52):

I’m gonna let people guess by giving them a line, okay. From my favorite holiday movie. Okay? Now I have a machine gun, <laugh>, ho, ho ho.

Scott Luton (00:08:05):

All right. Hey, we’re, hey, <laugh>, we’re gonna up the Annie a bit. We’re gonna up the Annie, so whoever gets that right, that quote, right? Drop it in the chat, huh? Uh, T-Square is not home alone, but drop it in the chat and we’re gonna send y’all, oh,

Greg White (00:08:20):

I’m sure he is not guessing. That’s probably his favorite.

Scott Luton (00:08:22):

Maybe, maybe

Greg White (00:08:23):

Sot squared. He’s a Gen Xer, so he, he’ll also know the title of that mo, uh, movie. I’m sure of it,

Scott Luton (00:08:30):

I’m sure of it as well. Um, okay. Oh, my,

Greg White (00:08:34):

Your mom <laugh>. Bring it. What? Bring, yes,

Scott Luton (00:08:40):

Yes, that is from

Greg White (00:08:42):

Greatest holiday movie of the eighties.

Scott Luton (00:08:44):

Love that. Um, speaking of holidays, Greg, I’m using this as a nice little segue, uh, to our first news story here today. Inventory, inventory, inventory in particular at one of my long time, especially as a kid I love shopping at, at Gap, right? Love shopping at Gap as a kid. Remember those, those khaki commercials, dancing kind of an old school fashion. I mean, that was a big part of my, my, my childhood. But talk to us, Greg, you did a supply chain commentary on what’s going on at the Gap last week, very well, received lots of comments and views. Tell us what, um, what’s going on?

Greg White (00:09:20):

Well, um, n not unlike a lot of other retailers, by the way, I don’t know if you heard the news about, uh, a couple of things. Uh, one Lululemon hit hit their revenue targets and their stock got crushed, and Costco missed their revenue targets, and almost nothing happened to their stock. So, very interesting times we’re having right now. But Lululemons situation, very much like the Gap, they’re incredibly over inventoried. Lululemon up 85% inventory up 85% over last year, and they’re trying to sell it to the market as if that was planned. Good luck with that. Um, <laugh>, and obviously the market’s not selling for it, but similar problem at the Gap, and we talked about that, um, they held inventory over from last year. Pack and hold is a euphemistic way of saying mothballing inventory, meaning all the stuff you overbought for last year, you’re storing and hoping that somebody will buy that old used stuff or old, uh, last year’s stuff, <laugh> for next year.

Greg White (00:10:26):

Uh, and that’s exactly what they’re doing. And, um, it’s been a struggle for ’em. And it, it’s really, really interesting in these times as both the economy tales, um, and that, and they missed it, missed the uplift in the economy, the very brief uplift in the economy last year by such a wide margin. Um, it’s really interesting to watch companies try to, uh, manifest, uh, you know, everybody is manifesting these days, right? To manifest a, a good story out of that. And there just really isn’t one, um, you know, they missed it. There’s a lot of reasons for missing it, especially in the fashion industry like Lululemon or Gap. They don’t have a lot of really good technology. It’s usually kind of seat of the pants. Apologies to anyone who feels it’s anything different, but I’ve been there and done it and seen companies do it for decades, and it is very much seat of the pants compared to a lot of Replenishable or what are called basics in a lot of fashion stores.

Greg White (00:11:27):

Yep. Uh, so it’s, there’s a lot of room for error because it’s basically my guess, I feel like I know my customers better than any system could, and this is what my customers want. Um, and that has really put a lot of companies in a, you know, in a tough position because whoever knew their customers better was wrong. That’s right. So, uh, it’s been a really, you know, it’s a really complex struggle, struggle. A lot of companies have attempted to put more technology into place. We, uh, did a commentary on Macy’s a few weeks back, and believe it or not, they are actually entering the 21st century with their technology and, and sort of, uh, leapfrogging the rest of the industry and applying more science and technology even to their soft goods, their fashion goods and fashion basics. So there’s a lot to learn there. Um, there’s, you know, a lot of, lot of, uh, companies that are gonna struggle with the same thing no matter what portion of the industry they’re in. Of course, Costco is in hard goods, largely, right? Food and hard goods. So, um, there’s a, a lot of challenges out there, and it’s just really hard to do it. And that’s the point of the article, uh, or, or the commentary on the article about the gap is it’s really hard to do it, but it’s time to start applying technology to even fashion goods.

Scott Luton (00:12:52):

Yeah, so true. Uh, love the commentary. And by the way, folks, uh, Greg kind of chatted a lot of things there, including the Gap, but you can find Greg’s commentary on the gap in particular at the link that our team has dropped in there. And you know, what we love, as much as I love Greg’s, uh, uh, initial commentary on each topic every Monday, Wednesday, Friday, I love the conversations that take place in the comments. So folks, we wanna hear from you. Y’all venture over, uh, to, uh, the link there and let us know what, what your take is here. And of course, all of this is driven by a great supply chain dive read on, uh, what, what’s going on in the gap. Yeah.

Greg White (00:13:28):

That, that was the commentary on this was particularly interesting. And then right towards the very end, some guy, which happens from time to time, pitched his technology as if it was really a advanced <laugh>, um, with a 90% forecast accuracy, which is abysmal, by the way, in terms of forecast accuracy.

Scott Luton (00:13:49):

Oh, man,

Greg White (00:13:50):

That was cute.

Scott Luton (00:13:52):

Uh, don’t fake the funk on that nasty dunk with Greg and technology.

Greg White (00:13:57):

Fix your product, make sure it’s

Scott Luton (00:13:58):

Superior. That’s right. Um, I’ll share a couple comments here. Uh, let’s see here. So Katherine, speaking of Macy’s, says she’s hearing lots of Macy’s ads on some of the podcast. She’s listening. She listens to, and she listens to a ton of them. Uh, and she was surprised to see they’re making a comeback, Greg.

Greg White (00:14:16):

Yeah. Yeah. I honestly, I was surprised also, Catherine. I mean, they have been one of the worst performing retailers for decades and decades and decades since probably most of us were not yet born. Um, right. But they finally stepped out of the 18th eighties when they were founded, or whenever it was, and, and, and have really stepped it up this new chief supply chain officer. First of all, they have a chief supply chain officer, which is huge for a fashion retailer. Two, that, that supply chain chief supply chain officer has a seat at the table and is at least actively supporting, if not even controlling a lot of their, uh, their strategies and execution around their supply chain, which is huge. That is a huge leap for a company like Macy’s. And it’s, and it’s even bigger leap for Macy’s in particular. I’m glad to see them, um, doing the right thing.

Scott Luton (00:15:10):

Love that. Uh, a lot of good stuff there. Hey, if you’re getting high praise from Greg, you’ve done something. Well, as Jonathan says,

Greg White (00:15:16):


Scott Luton (00:15:17):

<laugh>, there’s something to say for digitalization and automation. Completely agree, Greg. Thank you for that, Jonathan. Now, I wanna switch up here because as we mentioned, Leah Luton said, diehard back, uh, back to Greg’s quote. Now, Scott says, it’s not a Christmas movie. So Scott, we’re gonna have to get Scott and Greg talking about <laugh> give their take on whether or not Die Hard is a Christmas movie or not. Greg <laugh>

Greg White (00:15:47):

The same guy with the No. Oh, yeah, no

Scott Luton (00:15:51):

<laugh>. Greg says, a hundred percent. Let’s just summarize. Greg says a hundred percent Christmas movie. Hundred percent. Okay, speaking of having a little fun, uh, so we’ve got, uh, Abba Gupta with u s Global Freight forwarding joining us here in about five or six minutes here. So stay tuned for that. But, uh, last Friday, Greg, we did a little, what we call a pop-up livestream giveaway, and it was a, it was a short little 20 minute or so, very impromptu conversation, really trying to, uh, give some thanks to our listeners and, and folks out there across the global supply chain Now, uh, fam and we, and we gave Ray some of our favorite reads this year. So Greg, with that said, no pun intended there, I feel like I’m always promoting our LinkedIn newsletter. I’m not. It’s just <laugh>. It’s, you

Greg White (00:16:39):

Just say that all the time. That’s why we made it the title of

Scott Luton (00:16:42):

<laugh>. That’s right. But right here on, on today’s special buzz, uh, as we enter the holiday season, we’re gonna continue to give voice. So this is one of my favorite reads, this, this, uh, this year Beyond Good. This is by our friends Theo Lao and Bradley, um, uh, Limmer, and which we’ve interviewed them a couple of times. I’ll be, be reconnecting with, uh, Theo soon. Um, folks, if you want this, a copy of this book, we encourage you, you gotta enter the drawing. So, Amanda, if you would drop your email in the chat, you gotta send a note to Amanda, and that’s Amanda supply chain And, and Greg, there’s two pieces of feedback we’re asking, which if you send a blank email, you’ll be entered into drawing. But if you put some feedback in there, uh, it’ll enhance your chances of winning. And there’s two things we’re looking for your favorite show from this past year and why, or we’d love to know what topics you would like us to cover more in 2023. So, Greg, I think that, I think that’s a fair ask gi give away a, a few free books, getting some market intel from our, our global fan. What you think

Greg White (00:17:52):

It’s a free book, do something for it, right? <laugh>

Scott Luton (00:17:57):

That is right.

Greg White (00:17:58):

I think any ask it, well, not any ask, but any ask that simple yes, is definitely fair.

Scott Luton (00:18:04):

So, uh, folks, it’s simple. Shoot us an email, Amanda, supply chain I think we gave away, um, from Friday’s session. I wanna say we, we shot out 10 books already, and Greg we’re talking about like, heavy, heavy hitting books. Like, how

Greg White (00:18:18):

Many do we have? Are we over inventory, Scott, is that water?

Scott Luton (00:18:22):

<laugh>? Man, you ca you busted. B, this is my inventory management strategy. You busted me. Uh, no, it, it, it, it’s really, you know, we, we, uh, are so grateful for all the folks that plug in with us all year long, you know, dropping into comments or, or give, giving us fe uh, uh, feedback on social or, you know, via podcast or whatever. Yeah. And we are certainly, um, uh, feel to the brim with Holiday spirit and wanna find little ways to give him back so important, right, Greg?

Greg White (00:18:52):

Agreed. A hundred percent.

Scott Luton (00:18:55):

All right. So, um, we’ve got the address out there, Amanda, at SAP pacha Let us know those two things, favorite show or topics you wanna hear more about in 2023, and you’ll be entered into the drawing. Okay? We’re gonna get some bonus time here today, Greg, with our guest. I’m really, uh, excited. I’ve really enjoyed the pre show conversations with our guests. Are you, you buckled up and, uh, buckle, buckled up and locked in for this conversation with Abishek?

Greg White (00:19:22):

Hold on. <laugh>, yes.

Scott Luton (00:19:26):

Okay. I always gotta double checks. We’re, we’re about to move to ludicrous speed, low reference, put

Greg White (00:19:31):

Your hands and arms inside the

Scott Luton (00:19:33):

Vehicle. All right. So with that said, and with no further ado, I wanna welcome in our great guest here today, Abishek Gupta, director of Marketing for International Air Freight with U p s Global Freight Forwarding. Hey, Abishek, how you doing?

Abishek Gupta (00:19:47):

I’m doing great. Having fun with you guys so far. Yeah, it’s fantastic. Great.

Greg White (00:19:52):

I have a question for you, AEK. Sure. Is diehard a holiday movie or not

Abishek Gupta (00:19:57):

<laugh>? Yeah, its a holiday movie, just because you said so. Yeah,

Greg White (00:20:03):

Thanks. Even if it’s not, it’s fun to say movie. We’re all here.

Scott Luton (00:20:10):

Well, so Aek we’ll, we’ll, we’ll keep going down the fun track. So we we’re gonna be picking your brain on, on what’s going on in global trade and as well as what’s going on with, with a lot of freight rate changes. So, yeah. Uh, we’re gonna get to that in just a minute, but we’ve got a few bonus minutes with you here today. So I have Beche, I’ve gathered that you’re a big music fan, and so you fit right in. You’re part of the fan, me and Greg, both big, big music fans. Yeah. So here’s a little fun warmup question. So today is the birthday of one Sheila Cecilia Escovedo. Hmm. She’s better known as Sheila E That’s right. So the legendary percussionist and singer, and that was discovered by Prince, uh, was born December 12th, 1957 in Oakland, California,

Greg White (00:20:56):


Scott Luton (00:20:56):

Yeah, that’s right. Wow. How about that?

Greg White (00:20:59):

Yeah. Wow.

Scott Luton (00:21:00):

She’s still got the beat and brings it, uh, brings it like n like few others. So Aek, um, tell us using that as a, as a springboard, what’s one of your favorite musical acts of all time?

Abishek Gupta (00:21:14):

Oh, okay. I think, um, memorable one is one time around, I was, I think Feet, foot Mac gave a concert in, I was in Ohio at that point in time, so right, uh, Buckeye. Um, so, so in there by that, uh, there was this amazing, and I didn’t, I was not a diehard feed food Mac fan. I just went there because the thing, I got cheap tickets and I happened to be around close by, so I went there, but it blew me off. I mean, I can’t tell you guys, uh, how amazing that whole performance was. I, I, I, I think I was thrilled that I found it opportunity and every single tone, every single song that is sing, I mean, I knew I knew the songs, but when you hear them in a concert like that, completely different perspective that you get just listening to them, uh, sing some of those melodies. And it’s very refreshing. I mean, I, I was blown away.

Scott Luton (00:22:06):

Well, that’s a great one. I expected you to go a different, different, uh, angle, because one of your favorite bands is Def Leopard Aek, but hey, Fleetwood Mac is legendary too.

Greg White (00:22:17):

Yeah. It’s pretty hard to top them in concert for sure. <laugh>, right? No matter what you’re a fan of.

Scott Luton (00:22:23):

Well, so, Greg, I’m, uh, Greg, what about you? So Fleetwood Mac and the in-person constant concert experience with Aek was talking about. How about you, Greg?

Greg White (00:22:33):

Uh, wow, that, I mean, it’s tough to say. I I love so much different music. Th I mean, this is kind of out there just because it comes to the top of my mind, but, uh, I saw Zach Brown in concert once and just unbelievable. He had, uh, just first of all the stage set up that he had, he had these two long runways that went out, like kinda like this off the stage here, where, there you go. Like that <laugh> and two of his guitar players, one of whom was obviously a Stevie Ray, Vaughn Prodigy, and the other one who was a, uh, a Guns N Roses prodigy, I forgot their guitar player’s name. That’s embarrassing, isn’t it? But, um, they had, they right in the middle of a song, they had a guitar dual, both of them with their very, their incredibly varied styles and keeping it in tone with the same with the song that they were playing in.

Greg White (00:23:30):

I don’t know if everybody knows Zack Brown, but he plays a lot of kind of, um, honky Calypso music and, and, um, other types of just ge you know, generally entertaining music. I wouldn’t even call it country, though. Some of it is, but man, it was just super powerful to see how talented the musicians were in what I thought was just kind of a bar band. I mean, you know, Scott, you and I got to see, well, had the opportunity to see, I got to see, um, Zach Brown in the Dixie Tavern in Marietta, pretty much singing all by himself, the songs written by the bartender of, at the Dixie Tavern. So to see him go from there to that and the incredible, incredibly talented musicians he had, was very, very impactful.

Scott Luton (00:24:16):

Okay. We’re gonna have to have a, uh, a supply chain nerds talk music segment coming soon with Greg and Ab

Greg White (00:24:22):

Got some great musicians in supply chain. Yeah. Not, maybe not just talk, maybe talk and play.

Scott Luton (00:24:28):

That’s right. That is right. What was that Aek?

Abishek Gupta (00:24:31):

I was gonna say. No, no, no. I, I, I lost him when he says talk and play. Well, you know, the reason, the reason why I like Def Leppard was that I tried to play guitar. I literally tried very hard and I failed miserable. Right. And then seeing some of these guys do this magic with, with, with guitar. I mean, for that matter of fact, I mean, definitely plays is one band, but you pick any guitar based band. And when these bands played more like a solo lovely, you know, ba ballads, that became my favorite. So, I mean, whenever these play guys can do magic with guitar, I mean, I, I was so on it.

Greg White (00:25:05):

Yeah. And it, it, it can be inspiring and discouraging at exactly the same time, can it? Right. That’s right. You know what, AEK, I, we are much better at supply chain than any Def Leopard, right? Background guitar player or even Lindsay Buckingham

Scott Luton (00:25:23):

<laugh>. That’s a great call out. But I was gonna ask Aek, if any, uh, video footage of his guitar playing experiences may have existed. That’d be good. Good, uh, bribery, uh, footage, maybe. Hey, couple quick comments here. And then we’re gonna get into, uh, some trade observations and analysis. Uh, Justin, Hey, Justin, great to see you from Florida. He says, yes, diehard is a Christmas movie. He also talks about, uh, Zack has an amazing production crew and, and musicians Catherine’s calling out, little bit of chicken fried, of course, one of, uh, Zack’s big songs. And she says, supply chain now, jam session. Hey, let’s come up to a, to a, a venue near you. Okay. So let’s, let’s get back to supply chain little fun, uh, holiday episode here of the supply chain buzz. But we’re gotta get down to work at some point. And Aek, I’m really curious, um, a ton of things going on across, uh, globe, the world of global freight, right? Too much. Our radars are being overloaded, but, you know, from where you sit and, and using this great article from the World Economic Forum as a backdrop where they are sharing six of six top things to know, what’s a couple things on your radar that should be on ours as well when it comes to global trade?

Abishek Gupta (00:26:37):

Yeah. So of course, it’s a good read. I mean, I encourage anyone to read through that. I mean, there’re definitely efforts from the countries to ease the word trade. But I think at the same time, the things that caught my eye, and at least for everyone, which we are living and breathing through right now, is the change, the rapid change at which the word trade dynamic has changed in the last couple of months. Right? So, so it’s not a rosy picture, we all know it. The word, um, uh, trade organization is anticipating that the, the global trade and the flows of global trade’s gonna slow down next year. Um, you know, at, at, at, at pretty fast speed number of factors. We all are aware of it, right? I mean, there is definitely war going on. Um, in Ukraine. There is high energy prices, and there is inventory situations in different parts of the world for different things that all is basically hampering.

Abishek Gupta (00:27:30):

And on top of all of that is inflation, right? Uh, and on all the developing economies are pacing through that. And when consumer doesn’t have, um, you know, that much free money to kind of invest into things, then they become choosy and picky. I think that becomes, uh, you know, uh, uh, uh, a remedy where everything kind of goes away. So I think, um, that is, that is definitely, and that is having percussions everywhere, right? How that global trade impacts air, how that impacts ocean freight. I mean, that’s the areas where we deal with a little bit more. So then how do we, uh, kind of take that into consideration? What advice do we give to our customers? I mean, that’s where I think a bulk of, uh, our thought process goes these days.

Scott Luton (00:28:10):

Mm-hmm. So, uh, Greg, uh, what’d you hear, whether it’s from Abec there or the great, uh, read from World Economic Forum, or what do you think should be priorities for what we’re tracking across global trade right now?

Greg White (00:28:22):

Yeah, I mean, I think you really have to just focus on your goals and what you can control. You know, there are a lot of things out there that you can’t control, you can’t control, um, you know, what happens with geopolitical conflict like the Ukraine war. Um, you can’t control what China is gonna do to try to manipulate the economies or supply chains of the world, but you can identify your exposure to those things and figure out how to reduce your level of fragility there. So, you know, I think one of, I, I’ve been having a lot of discussions over the last several, uh, weeks now, and, you know, one of the things that I’ve discovered is it’s better not to target a particular type of event or event. It’s better to understand where your fragility are and try to shore those up so that any event has lesser or, uh, lesser impact on them.

Scott Luton (00:29:19):

Hmm. Well said. Um, well said. It’s kind of like a, you know, we’re in the middle of football season, right? And if you wanna fool yourself, if you’re, if you’re an Atlanta Falcons fan, if you wanna fool yourself that you’re a Super Bowl champion this year, that’s gonna have disastrous consequences. So, kind of <laugh> having a little fun play on what Greg’s saying, really being honest with your fragility across your global supply chain, and focusing there on how you can address and mitigate it. You’re gonna, you’re gonna be much more successful. I’ll give you, uh, uh, aek the, the last word. And folks, we dropped a link to this. Read in the chat, your one click away and give us your take, uh, on, uh, what the folks over at World Economic Forum are thinking. But aek, your, your final word here.

Abishek Gupta (00:29:59):

No, I mean, the final word is just, it’s good for anyone, like purchasing managers or people to kind of be aware of it, as Drex said, right? You can control everything. It’s good to know what the general trend and the notion is so that you’re better prepared and, uh, you know, you, it, it’s on your top of mind. You can address, you can let your senior leadership now, you know, things like that, that, that come in handy sometimes in conversations.

Scott Luton (00:30:21):

That’s right. And partner with pros, right? Greg?

Greg White (00:30:24):

You know, there are people that specialize in certain tasks. We’re talking to one of ’em, AEK, right? I mean, so many companies have tried to be generalists in so many categories these days, and that is one of the major fragility that these companies have. And more and more of them are starting to engage third party partners, or even specialist divisions within their own company or technology or whatever. But again, if you recognize those fragility, you know, do we have, or could we build the expertise here, or could we go somewhere else? Even if it’s only until we do build or could build the expertise here, do we go to somebody else? And who has that expertise? Now, I mean, Scott, we’re making these decisions within our own company every day, right? Right. With expertise, we don’t have, we’re going, how fast do we need to get there? What’s the risk if we don’t get there fast, et cetera, et cetera. And we’re making the decision, do we build it, do we buy it or do we outsource it, sort of thing, right? So I think every business goes through that in some level. Most people with much higher stakes, frankly, than we have at supply chain now. And that’s who we’re talking to right now. Is all of you out there with those high stakes, right?

Scott Luton (00:31:36):

That’s right. Decision making velocity is what comes to my mind. Um, all right. So Aek, we’re gonna get into the freight market Yep. Um, on a couple different ways. And, and I’m gonna make a little editorial change. We got some bonus time with Abha Gupta. So let’s take these next two articles. Let’s just separate them. And, and with this, with this next read here, um, we’ll talk about freight rates, especially when it comes maybe to o ocean carriers. Yeah. And what’s going on there. And then in a second we’ll get to air cargo. So here, CNBC is talking, uh, talking about a lot of things in this article, but including the ocean rates, how they’ve changed dramatically, of course, since, uh, about a year or so ago. Your thoughts here, AEK?

Abishek Gupta (00:32:16):

Yeah. So I think, um, in the last couple of years or so, definitely supply chains have become top of mind for a lot of people. Even general consumers realize why they can get stuff. And then people who are not very familiar with it got familiar with things like congestion at the Port La Long Beach. And some of those names that were like, what are those? Right? So Ocean become one of those areas where everyone was that what things are taking so long, the rates becoming high. There was congestion everywhere, and there was generally an assumption that things will eventually, at some point in time normalize. But the rate at which they normalize in the last six month or so, I would say is being exceptional. No one anticipated or could have anticipated, uh, that the rates will so dramatically drop down. I mean, at one point in time last year, remember I think November, December of last year, a container from a, you know, China to us east west coast was probably 18 to $20,000, right?

Abishek Gupta (00:33:14):

Right. Nowadays, you can get that same container probably in less than $2,000, right? So, so that change was inevitable. It was gonna happen because those rates were not sustain. But in planning your things, no one could have anticipated that you’ll be that far off. And a number of factors did happen, right? I mean, we talked about global trade slowdown. The demand definitely was a part of it. If we have access inventory, we don’t know what consumers gonna buy going forward, that is gonna stop some of that. And also congestion, right? I mean, we heard about it. Uh, the congestion was a big part of, uh, the reasons why things were taking longer. I mean, things were sitting at the ports way longer. They were con they were ships waiting to bird, like hundreds of them sometimes that all Remo got removed. That all vanished in the last couple of weeks, which is a good thing.

Abishek Gupta (00:34:03):

I mean, not a bad thing for consumer, but a good thing. But what did, what that did was that now the supply and demand is pretty much in balance, probably more supply than demand, and then all of a sudden the rates are plummeting. Um, it’s a, it’s good for consumer, but it’s a nightmare for supply chain professionals, because now all of a sudden, uh, things are upside down, right? For them, their plannings is completely, uh, different. But they have to pivot again. They pivoted before they can pivot again. It’s about having that information and working with good partners that led you pivot.

Scott Luton (00:34:35):

Mm-hmm. Greg, uh, I’d love to get your thoughts here on, on what Abashak is sharing or the freight, well, the, the ocean shipping freight market.

Greg White (00:34:42):

Yeah. Well, a couple things. One, I had to write it down, awareness. So what has changed the most in supply chain is not disruption, right? That’s the, that’s the sensationalization that the press does. But what has changed is the awareness ships have gotten stuck in the Suez Canal before. You know, we’ve had freezes where we didn’t expect freezes, Texas, right? We’ve had, um, we’ve had, uh, equipment get out out of balance, right? On the wrong side of the ocean, or the wrong side of the country, or that sort of thing. That’s happened before, not at this scale on that last point. But, um, but awareness is what has changed. We consumers, here I go again since the great toilet paper shortage of 2020. Now we know how supply chain works, and there’s nowhere to hide the other term that I love, ABEC, exceptional normalization, <laugh>. I love the oxymoron of that and just how poignant and pointed that is.

Greg White (00:35:42):

It is. This has been an exceptional normalization. We were talking not that long ago that no, we are not, you know, we let off with this. No, we are not in a freight recession, and we’re probably not in a freight recession now. We were in a bubble before, and now we’re back to normal. But exceptional normalization really goes to the rate of change and the, the level of change from 20, $30,000 containers to $2,000 containers or whatevers are going for around that now. Yeah. And in such a short time. So if, you know, what you made me think about Aek is one, we have to be very fleet afoot for these changes. Yep. Um, I do think some of these disruptions will persist because as long as governments continue to intervene in this, be that by their bad actions like Russia or China, different bad actions, right? War or manipulation of supply chains and labor and, and economies or, um, by changes and in and shifts of the economy that cause consumers to change their behavior, the combination of those impacts and the un unpredictability of those impacts is very, very disruptive.

Scott Luton (00:36:58):

Hmm. Well said. Abec, anything else, uh, before we move on to air cargo, which I know you’re a big fan of the air cargo world, right? Um, I would just, uh, I would just add, uh, uh, interesting read over the weekend. You know, Greg, something we’ve talked about feels like for years now, but some of the shifting, you know, o obviously, um, when West Coast Ports were going through the hurdles that they had, and we saw a lot of that traffic shift over to, uh, the east coast, then we, then we then, per your own tracking there in Hilton Head, uh, you know, we had East Coast.

Greg White (00:37:30):

I’m looking right now as a matter of fact, right?

Scott Luton (00:37:32):

Yeah. Well, uh, the Wall Street Journal, uh, interviewed a lot of the, uh, powers that be, uh, in, in the ports world. And they were, uh, one of the things they were analyzing, and, and something I read over the weekend is, is how much of that freight volume change is permanent. So, uh, you know, one West coast port leader thinks about 10% of the volume shift won’t come back. So they’re gonna have to, to, to work hard to, to make that happen. So we’ll see though, Greg, say

Greg White (00:37:59):

That again. Thanks. How much won’t

Scott Luton (00:38:01):

Come back? About 10% of, uh, the freight volume that went from West Co West to east isn’t coming back. How about that?

Greg White (00:38:09):

Uh, that could be true. Yeah. I, I can tell you that, that the conditions on the East coast right now, uh, might actually have an alternative impact to that statement, because right now, even Charleston has a few ships backed up, and when I checked yesterday, there were 34 outside the port of Savannah. Wow. Um, and it’s still a pretty good, see if we can get this to focus. There we go. Still pretty good chunk. All those green squares, those are ships waiting outside the port of Savannah

Scott Luton (00:38:47):

Abec. Um, we just can’t catch a break, can we just can’t catch a break. Supply chain practitioners just <laugh>.

Greg White (00:38:54):

I mean, it’s, it, it’s, uh, fascinating. I, I think, you know, it all started in Savannah with, they had a, they had a lift or two, uh, breakdown. So I think they are still down some processing or, you know, some, uh, well, whatever you wanna call it, processing equipment, um, that, that keeps them behind. But, and, and I think that that companies, you know, they have to make that shift of port relatively early. So they’re sort of stuck there now.

Abishek Gupta (00:39:27):

No, I mean, that, that, that’s the point that I wanna add is that people have to realize, uh, other than the supply chain professionals, that it’s not that easy to kind change your, your, your, your supply chain. I mean, these are complex things. You just can’t say, okay, tomorrow I wanna fly into to Savannah, rather than then, like, like, that doesn’t happen that that requires you to where the good’s gonna go. Who’s gonna pick them up from there, where they’re gonna be warehoused, right? How are they’re gonna get to the end consumer? All of those are, are difficult. It takes time. It’ll eventually move, it’ll eventually normalize. But I think, uh, some, some, some of these changes take time. Yeah, that’s, yeah, for

Greg White (00:40:04):

Sure. Yeah. I don’t want anybody to forget the term exceptional normalization, <laugh>. Cause that, I mean, seriously, that really does, yeah. I mean, that really does tell us where we are when we have to use words like that, right?

Abishek Gupta (00:40:18):

I mean, we, we were hoping that the carriers would be a little bit more disciplined. They are, again, they are doing a lot of blank ceilings to kind of manage the environment. But again, it’s just a combination of factors that probably seem too much for even them to kind of come together and then let the rates drop. 90%. So no fault of anyone. It’s just the way things work sometimes.

Greg White (00:40:37):

That’s right. Yeah. And nobody’s gonna be complaining about, uh, shipping, right. Shipping companies profits for the next couple years, <laugh>. Yeah,

Abishek Gupta (00:40:46):

I think they, they, they made plenty in last couple of years.

Greg White (00:40:49):

Yeah. Yeah. And, and they paid, I mean, they lost plenty over many of the years before that. Before that. Yes. It’s, I think this is a time that people ought to be observing, and they ought to be understanding the dynamics of this industry, that it is very much a pendulum swing. It goes from incredible lack of profitability to just obscene profitability. And they have to get, you know, they have to get while the getting is good. That’s

Scott Luton (00:41:13):

Right. All right. So folks, uh, you can find a link to that last read, uh, in the chat, uh, and would welcome y’all’s take on, uh, on topics we’re talking about. But as I segue into the air cargo world, I think I saw over the weekend, or maybe late last week that I think I’ve got this right, Greg and Ek, the last 7 47, the last one rolled off the production line, that legendary aircraft, uh, that was, um,

Greg White (00:41:41):

I didn’t know they were still building them anyway,

Abishek Gupta (00:41:43):

<laugh>. Yeah. I think it’s been built for like 53 years, something like that. Yeah.

Scott Luton (00:41:47):

Yeah, that’s right. So using that as a springboard, there’s a, a great read here by our friends at Air Cargo News where it speaks to ada, a aa, aa, ada, aa, I’m trying to get these acronym pronunciations, right? Abashak and Greg AA is predicting, uh, uh, further drop in air cargo volume. So, AEK, tell us more about, uh, one of your favorite worlds of air cargo here,

Abishek Gupta (00:42:13):

<laugh>. Yeah. I think, um, just being in the business, right? I think, um, ocean, I mean from, I mean, u p s as a supply chain, right? I mean, we definitely have the, the options of moving from ocean to air, but when both things are down based, DEF definitely makes the environmentally little challenging, right? I won’t say that’s not, um, and Eric, uh, AIR has definitely benefited last couple of years based on congestion of ocean also, and also the situation of demand in the US consumer perspective and everywhere post covid and did great things. Don’t take me wrong during Covid. I mean, air was a blessing for a lot of people to move things for, uh, you know, gloves and PPEs, and then baby, as we shouldn’t forget all of that stuff. But now we are in an environment where there’s plenty of ocean, there’s lack of demand.

Abishek Gupta (00:42:59):

So o so similar to ocean air is also coming under pressure. Uh, we are declining this year about seven, 8%, give and take. And then on top of that, with the, uh, global trade decline, it’s anticipated to move further down, right? So, so good. I mean, I think it would be a good, good news story from the consumer perspective, right? Or the planning perspective, because definitely means that the rates are going to further, further, uh, trickle down. So somewhere we are paying a little bit more for fuel, maybe the less reduction in the, the taxation expense definitely could benefit some, some of the, uh, the, the companies and consumers eventually. But, but from, uh, overall market perspective, yeah, I mean, uh, it’s definitely a sign that things are looking a little bit shaky in 2023.

Scott Luton (00:43:47):

Yeah. Greg, your thoughts?

Greg White (00:43:49):

Well, nine, I mean, just the, the exceptional numbers that we’re talking about are just shocking. They’re, I mean, regardless of how long you’ve been doing that, and everything I’ve said about the fact that we’ve faced these disruptions before, it is no doubt that those are shocking volume changes. And, and they are a, a shock to the system. And, um, you know, I was thinking Aek, while you were talking about this, this time last year, we were talking about, um, iRobot and Peloton, that’s correct. Using air freight to get the goods here. iRobot didn’t and didn’t make it for Christmas. So we’re buying year old, uh, Roombas this year from them. And Peloton did it to such an extent that they nearly bankrupted the company actually, did they bankrupt the company? Nonetheless? They definitely seriously negatively impacted the, the, uh, fiscal, um, uh,

Abishek Gupta (00:44:48):


Greg White (00:44:49):

Of the company, right? So

Scott Luton (00:44:50):

Bad things happened,

Greg White (00:44:52):

Bad things happened, right? They almost, they almost broke themselves, right? Mm-hmm. <affirmative>. So, um, but I think about how delicate this is and in this environment, again, how you have to acknowledge and try to preempt those fr knowing that the, you know, the carry on effect of, of, um, what has mostly been prompted by government intervention will, will continue. Yeah. Um, I mean, that’s, that’s what’s made this exceptional reversion to the mean, so exceptional is, is things that you can’t control. And honestly, even the governments that are intervening can’t control. So, um, you, you have to be aware of not what it is again, but how, how big of an impact could a, a disruption like this have, and how do we minimize the impact of it? Mm. And how do we not over respond to it? My goodness. Right? I mean, they’re great retailers, truly great retailers. Target, Costco, Walmart, the greatest of all retailers on the planet who completely overbought on patio furniture. We’ve been talking about it all summer. I took advantage of that. Um, but, um, how do you try to mitigate your response, not just your, your, uh, supply chain’s fragility, but how do you mitigate your response so that you don’t overreact Yes. So that you see a little bit into the future, and, um, don’t put your entire company at risk like Peloton did.

Scott Luton (00:46:25):

Mm-hmm. Aek, I’m gonna give you the final word, and then we’re gonna switch, uh, shift gears a bit and learn a lot more about your organization, some of the resources y’all have. So, aek your final word on the world of air, air cargo.

Abishek Gupta (00:46:36):

Yeah. So I think, um, the, the need of emphasis on communication, uh, isn’t gone away with any of that, right? Well, with three things move up, get trickier. Now, coming back down, I think the good thing that we’ll advise to anyone, uh, not just as a being because I’m in it, just because that’s how the freight forwarding industry works. Like you have to keep your partners in good communication. You need to let them know what you see, learn from what they see, and then adjust and adapt, adapt accordingly. Uh, I think these change are manageable, uh, working with a good partner, we can manage some of these things, but as long as the communication is clear, right, uh, from your side to your different partners, um, we can actually manage some of these changes. We just need to be aware of what those are. Make plan, if you were making plan A and you probably made plan B and C before, keep working down that track, you need probably more plans so that you can, uh, you can revert and pivot. And I think a lot of supply chain professionals have learned quite a bit in the last couple of years to be agile, to be nimble, to be able to kind of make quick changes, quick moves, and working with, with similar companies and partners who can do the same. So I think that emphasis on communication and agility is still required moving forward in 2023.

Scott Luton (00:47:54):

Yep. And the phrase you use, working with a good partner, working with a good partner, that’s somebody, one of our theme for today’s buzz. Yeah. Um, so Abashak, tell us, you know, for the three people out there that may be unaware, in a nutshell, what does, uh, what do you and the team at u s global freight forwarding do?

Abishek Gupta (00:48:11):

Yeah, so I think, uh, a lot of people in the US know u p s very, very well, but I think u p s is still a very global enterprise, right? Um, when our, when our CSA is that, um, you know, we are moving the word forward by delivering what matters. You can’t just move the word forward by delivering just one part of things, right? So we are very comprehensive offering through, uh, global freight forwarding from end to end in today’s scenarios, like, I mean, you want air, ocean, ground, transportation, brokerage, cleared, manager, supplier, uh, manager, destination, cargo ups can do all in all, uh, part of it with good visibility and tracking. So again, uh, as I mentioned that we have been in this business for a long time. Uh, we inherited the, some of these business through acquisitions, but we have made them a part of our brand, our portfolio, uh, to, to help our customers.

Abishek Gupta (00:49:00):

And, um, uh, I would encourage, uh, customers, if they’re not aware of u p s freight forwarding, just kind of, uh, check it out, listen to us, and then understand the, the ease of doing business and the, the, the ease and, uh, of integrating us within, within their own ecosystem. And as I mentioned, uh, the, the emphasis of a partner is definitely important. The way supply chain is evolving, you know, someone who can understand it, help you, uh, lead with it, tell you in upfront what could be happening, and then help you kind of mitigate some of those challenges. Especially for a lot of small businesses who are getting stuff from globally, from overseas, they don’t wanna get shocked by too much or they’re bankrupt, right? I mean, they want to have a partner who can alert them, talk to them about, uh, some of these challenges and, and things.

Abishek Gupta (00:49:47):

So we have, we have done quite a bit of work last couple of years during covid to be more informational, to be more, uh, pro predictive about what we see happening in the marketplace to help our customers, uh, who, who, who may want to be not that aware about some of these things. So, uh, definitely a good brand. I mean, we’ve been in business since 1907, right? Uh, so it’s, it’s been 115 years, so up s been around. I don’t have to talk much about it. But again, um, the brand goes with the global freight forwarding. I mean, it’s the shield that still works. We still want to be a global provider of logistics, end-to-end visibility for our customers. Yeah.

Scott Luton (00:50:26):

All right. Greg, your quick comments on, uh, what the team do over there at u s global freight forwarding.

Greg White (00:50:32):

Well, one thing that Aek said that just jumps out at me is, is the whole, uh, collaboration and sharing notion, right? I mean, and, and, um, you know, we use the term transparency in supply chain a lot. I think what we really ought to use is truth. Yeah. Be truthful, even when it hurts. Be honest with your trading partners, especially those that you’re paying to be on your side because everything they know can save you whenever the chips are down. Right? I know that there’s this tendency, I mean, I’ve seen it for decades and decades. I’m not gonna say a third decade, because we’re only confessing to two, right? <laugh>,

Greg White (00:51:13):

I’ve seen it for, uh, more than two decades. I’m willing to confess that, uh, where companies don’t share because they don’t wanna be perceived as disadvantaged or incompetent. Um, but I mean, let’s face it, there’s a lot of opportunity to be less than optimal because the tools have been outdated. A lot of the methodologies in supply chain are outdated. It’s not entirely your fault, but it is entirely in your hands to fix it. That’s right. And if you are open with the trading partners that, that you, you engage with, it’s an incredibly freeing experience. Because Aek doesn’t care if you screwed it up before <laugh>, he can’t hire you. He can only help you from getting fired in the future. <laugh>, something goes, goes bad in the future. So that, first of all, that notion of transparency and truth, I think is really, really important. And the other is, can you really afford, in these times that are so volatile, we’ve talked about so much volatility today, can you really afford to learn to do it yourself right now?

Greg White (00:52:20):

Mm-hmm. <affirmative>, like I said, even if your plan is to bring it in-house later, don’t do that right now. These are some of the toughest times that we have ever been in from a supply chain stand standpoint. Get a pro, engage them, have them help you rip off their ideas a little bit. I mean, some of what <inaudible> does, I mean, it’s not secret, right? It’s not secret. It’s just really hard. And there are a lot of things that, that you have to consider. Truthfully, I think most companies, especially a lot of the mod more modern companies, they’re, they are never going to build a supply chain. I think at, at some point in the future, I’m gonna make a bold statement, supply chains will be completely outsourced, right. Especially the very operational and technical aspects of it that we’re talking about here. Air freight predominantly, but, but all kinds of freight. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>, uh, because it is so complex and because what I’ve seen of brands and retailers is they are very good at retailing and they’re very good at branding, but they’re not very good at supply chain and most of them don’t want to be. So if you can, can find somebody who can do it better, do it,

Scott Luton (00:53:29):

And with less friction, I think ache. That’s one thing I heard as you were describing. You know, supply chain is hard. Yeah. Work with folks that make it easier, right? Even incrementally. Um, alright, so you brought some resources here. Aek, we wanna share this with folks. Yeah, that’s one of the things I, I really admire, uh, as much as we’ve rubbed delve budges with members of, of you and the u p s organization throughout 2022, and all the information y’all put out there, which is so valuable, whether you’re working with u p s or not. So, um, folks, you can sign up here for the us uh, U p s Supply Chain News and Insights page, uh, that, uh, resources, events, you name it. And then also, if you don’t want to visit that site regularly, which you may not, you can sign up for weekly emails. Yep. Uh, from the u p s team. So all, again, making it easier and, um, uh, to not only do supply chain better and more successfully, but, uh, making life a little bit easier too. Abak, right?

Abishek Gupta (00:54:26):

That is absolutely correct. I mean, we know that, uh, we don’t have all the time in the world to kind of dig through all the information and information. Uh, I mean, it’s, it’s typical, typically very valuable, right? So if you really high level wanna know before making a quick decision about what’s going in the world, you can go to that page, refreshing it up, and then say, Hey, okay, I definitely don’t wanna find a partner there yet because the things are not that right. But I may wanna part find a partner there or grow there. So I think these kind of observations and quick insights from u p s help a lot of customers kind of deal with, uh, these changes pretty quickly. Yeah.

Scott Luton (00:55:02):

Agreed. Okay. So here’s the, uh, the billion dollar question. Aek. How can folks connect with you and the organization beyond the resources you shared? Yes. How can folks connect with you?

Abishek Gupta (00:55:13):

Yeah, so there’s definitely, uh, as you mentioned on the, on the webpage, there is a, there’s a connection. You can, there are different ways of connecting to U P s. I also am available on LinkedIn. I mean, I definitely would love to hear from people who are having some challenges with the supply chain. There’s a big vast network of professional sales professional to help. I think that, that the option is out there. I think depending on the situation the customer is in, they can pick one of these, uh, these options. There’s a lot of help and resources on UPS websites too. So hopefully we have done, if we have done a good job, you can find some answers just by going there. If you wanna learn more, wanna connect to us, there are options over there. If you really are not finding what you need over there, you can definitely connect to me on LinkedIn. Absolutely.

Scott Luton (00:55:56):

Wonderful. And talk supply chain and music, uh, both with Aek. Yeah.

Greg White (00:56:01):

And what could be better than that?

Scott Luton (00:56:03):

<laugh>. Well, uh, AEK, it’s been a pleasure. Thanks so much for joining. Greg and I here on Supply Chain Buzz. Yeah. Uh, happy Holidays, happy New Year, all that good stuff. We hope to see you, uh, in the new year soon. Aek Gupta with u p s Global Freight 40. Thank you, AEK.

Abishek Gupta (00:56:17):

Thank you guys. Thank you. Thank you.

Scott Luton (00:56:20):

All right, Greg, man, uh, really enjoyed our chat there with Abashak. Enjoyed the pre-show too. Um, alright, so let’s assume, Greg, let’s play a little game here. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>, let’s assume, uh, folks are, maybe they have a attention span like I do, right? Seven seconds like a goldfish, and they forget everything else from the last hour. What is one thing that, especially that Absec shared, or that we talked about here today, that folks gotta keep on their radar front and center?

Greg White (00:56:49):

Uh, in this day and age, you absolutely, positively cannot do it alone. Absolutely cannot. First of all, your, your supply chain isn’t a chain. It’s more of a ecosystem, right? So that creates complexity. It doesn’t go like this. It goes like this, right?

Scott Luton (00:57:05):


Greg White (00:57:05):

<laugh>. Um, and, and, um, you know, I think Greg Studer said, there are companies that are worried about losing proprietary information, right? And I totally agree. I use that as both a legitimate reason as a retailer and as a red herring, um, loss of proprietary information. Duh. Don’t do business with people you don’t trust. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>. Um, which probably not a bad, bad policy in any, in any rate. Um, but you have to share, you have to share your information. You can of course do so. You can do so, um, you know, on a need to know basis. And of course you wanna do your diligence on whoever you’re sharing with, but you have to share, and you are sharing today, frankly, um, in some cases, and, and in a lot of cases, probably with people who are less trustworthy than you might find, find out there today.

Greg White (00:57:58):

So, that’s right. Um, but look, the, the most important thing from all of that is to recognize you can’t do it alone. You are not, you are not only inside your four walls, there are things outside your four walls that impact you. So acknowledge that plan for that provision for failure in that and, and enable yourself for success with that. And I think, uh, you know, there are so many of these opportunities to find really strong, legitimate partners like Abec and his group at up s um, to, you know, to help you accelerate, right? In a trustworthy way. I mean, I think we can all be pretty sure that if you sign a contract with up s they’re gonna adhere to it, right? Um, but, uh, uh, you know, I think that, that you just have to, uh, protect yourself by op opening yourself up more. That’s right. Trying to keep everything inside and do it yourself. I mean, we’ve watched thousands of companies disappear by doing that, right? That some of them during the, and after the pandemic. So yeah. Um, recognize that supply chain is way too complex to go it alone.

Scott Luton (00:59:10):

Yep. Will said there, and folks, hey, not

Greg White (00:59:13):

Very well said, but I think the point is good

Scott Luton (00:59:15):

<laugh>, I think

Greg White (00:59:16):

I was kinda meandered a little bit there, but

Scott Luton (00:59:19):

Hey, December, December is for meandering. There we go. Uh, if you don’t know, December is for meandering. Hey folks. Uh, information though. Everybody’s on the hunt for good information, actual information, uh, to, uh, to protect that decision making velocity when you’re making good decisions fast. That’s what we’re all after, right? But mm-hmm. <affirmative>, Hey, check out u s Supply chain news and insights, that page there. Lots of events, white papers, blogs, networking opportunities, and a lot more. Okay, folks, uh, thank you for being here, for the supply chain buzz as we start to wind down the year. Greg, hard to believe it’s December 12th, 2022, but, uh, we’ve got a lot of, uh, uh, we should make Vicki really happy out there, uh, member of our supply chain. Now, family, I, I gotta say this in her honor, Greg, we got a lot of good stuff coming. A lot of good stuff coming. Big, big new year coming up. There you go folks. Stay tuned. Greg, always a pleasure to knock out these conversations with you.

Greg White (01:00:13):

Yeah, likewise. Thank you. I appreciate it. And this was particularly good. I love App Spirit.

Scott Luton (01:00:20):

Uh, completely agree. Folks, thanks for showing up in the comments. Thanks for, uh, uh, uh, bringing that to bear. Thanks to our production team for helping us make production, uh, happen here every single day. But whatever you do, folks act on this information. Deeds, not words. With that said, Scott Luton challenging you to do good, to give forward and to be the change that’s needed. We’ll see you next time, right back here at Supply You Now. Thanks everybody.

Intro/Outro (01:00:43):

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

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Featured Guests

Abhishek Gupta joined UPS in 2010 in the Global Freight Forwarding Marketing group as a Senior Manager, where he worked on the deployment and launch of marketing initiatives for UPS Air Freight services. In 2013, he moved to International Small Package as Business Planning & Reporting Manager. He worked on several international special assignments including APAC Peak surcharge and Import 360. In 2017, Abhishek moved to the US Exports District where he was instrumental in establishing the revenue management discipline and launch of multiple pricing campaigns. In 2019, Abhishek moved to Corporate Strategy and worked on enterprise strategy projects globally including development of international growth markets and strategic competitive analysis. In 2020, Abhishek moved to GFF as Director of Marketing for International Air Freight. Prior to joining UPS, Abhishek worked for nine years in product development & innovation across number of industrial and research companies. As part of this work, Abhishek and his teams were awarded multiple US and International patents. Abhishek holds a Bachelor of Engineering from IIT (India), Master of Science from University of Pittsburgh and MBA from Ohio State University. He is also an active leader within the UPS BRGs and is the chair of Asian BRG Business Connections. Connect with Abhishek on LinkedIn.


Scott W. Luton

Founder, CEO, & Host

Greg White

Principal & Host

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Adrian Purtill

Host, Logistics with Purpose

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

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Joshua Miranda

Marketing Specialist

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

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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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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Scott W. Luton

Founder, CEO, & Host

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

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

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Allison Giddens

Host, Logistics with Purpose

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

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

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Greg White

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

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

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

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Chris Barnes

Principal, Supply Chain Now
Host of Supply Chain is Boring

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

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

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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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Jeff Miller


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

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Amanda Luton

Chief Marketing Officer

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

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Clay Phillips

Business Development Manager

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

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Trisha Cordes

Administrative Assistant

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

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Billy Taylor

Host of Dial P for Procurement

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

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

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

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

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Chantel King

Social Media Manager

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

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

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

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Lori Sofian

Marketing Coordinator

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

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Katherine Hintz

Sales and Marketing Coordinator

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

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Ben Harris


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

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Page Siplon

Host, The Freight Insider

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

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Kristi Porter

Host, Logistics with Purpose

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

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Kevin Brown

Host, Logistics with Purpose

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

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Sofia Rivas Herrera

Host, Supply Chain Now en Espanol

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

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Jose Miguel Irarrazaval

Host, Logistics with Purpose

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

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Demo Perez

Host, Supply Chain Now en Espanol

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

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Kim Winter

Host, Supply Chain Now

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

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

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

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Nick Roemer

Host, Logistics with Purpose

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

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Alex Bramley

Sales Support Intern

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

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