Supply Chain Now
Episode 693

Episode Summary

“If a driver can’t go in and get more than two or three turns a day, they could stay home with some of the federal funds currently going to them. They can make their truck payment without having to put the truck on the road. Whether it is LTL or the truckload marketplace, they’re all struggling to put drivers in. The driver is king; he’s determining where he wants to go, what loads he wants to handle. It has put tremendous pressure on the industry.”
– John Janson, Senior Director of Global Logistics at SanMar

U.S. Bank processed $29.7 billion in freight payment transactions in 2020. Those payments and the data that accompanies them are analyzed quarterly by Bobby Holland VP/Director of Freight Data Solutions at U.S. Bank and his team. The FPI report includes quarter over quarter, year over year, and full year data and analysis.

According to a summary released by U.S. Bank, “The most recent U.S. Bank Freight Payment Index revealed an improved truck freight market during the second quarter of 2021. The spend index surged in the second quarter on gains from extremely tight truck capacity, a profound shortage of drivers and a rise in diesel fuel prices, which are reflected in increased fuel surcharges.”

In this interview, Bobby is joined by John Janson, Senior Director of Global Logistics at SanMar, to share the results of the Q2 2021 report with Supply Chain Now Co-hosts Greg White and Scott Luton, interpreting what they may mean for the economy and the shipping industry in the short and longer-term.

• How consumer spending trends towards services and entertainment – industries that are less shipping/trucking intensive – will affect the demand for freight capacity in certain parts of the country.
• The interplay between LTL and truckload capacity as shippers try to optimize their freight costs and carriers work to adjust in kind
• The challenge of continued congestion at major U.S. ports, and how carriers are responding by trying to avoid them or shortening the detention time they are allowed during unloading.

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 (00:00:32):

Hey. Hey. Good afternoon. Scott Luton and Greg White with you right here on Supply Chain Now. Welcome to today’s show. Gregory, how are we doing today?

Greg White (00:00:40):

I’m doing pretty well, Scott. And how are you?

Scott Luton (00:00:42):

I’ve been wonderful. I had a wonderful start to the day with the team. I really enjoyed a catch-up meeting this morning. But these quarterly livestreams that we’re diving into today, we’ve gotten a ton of feedback around these, right?

Greg White (00:00:54):

Yeah. Do you think Bobby misses us as much as we miss him between these quarterly meetings?

Scott Luton (01:010):

I don’t know. But we’re –

Greg White (00:01:02):

I have been dying for this one. I mean, seriously, what we’ve seen in the last quarter made me harken back to a-year-and-a-half or so ago when we started these things, and who could have predicted what we’re about to talk about. It is compelling.

Scott Luton (00:01:22):

Right. But we know Bobby couldn’t predict it. It’s off limits.

Greg White (00:01:26):

That’s right. We cannot make forward-looking statements because he is a member of U.S. Bank.

Scott Luton (00:01:32):

That is right. But the insights and what the data is telling us today, a ton of value there for business leaders, supply chain leaders, you name it. And so, on this episode, Greg, as you’re alluding to, we’re going to be sharing key insights from one of the leading transportation industry resources, the U.S. Bank Freight Payment Index for Q2 2021. We blinked, Greg, and we’re now in Q3. So, we’re looking back at the last three months that make up Q2.

Greg White (00:01:59):

Somehow it feels like this year went faster than last year.

Scott Luton (00:02:03):

No kidding.

Greg White (00:02:05):

And almost like last year didn’t exist. I keep saying this happened last year when it happened the year before last kind of things, right?

Scott Luton (00:02:13):

Well, I’m game if we want to blot 2020 out from collective memory.

Greg White (00:02:16):

Yes. We can call it the year that never was.

Scott Luton (00:02:19):

That’s right. But, hey, today, we’re going to dive into the U.S. Bank Freight Payment Index, Q2 2021. We’re going to have two business leaders. We’ve mentioned one already, back by popular demand, Bobby Holland is joining us from U.S. Bank. We also have John Janson with SanMar. So, stay tuned. They’ve got a ton of experience in transportation markets. And I love the mix of the data-driven, but also the practical been there, done that mix of perspective that we have right here.

Scott Luton (00:02:45):

But, Greg, talk just about the wherewithal behind what U.S. Bank does and where all this information comes from.

Greg White (00:02:52):

Well, I mean, U.S. Bank processes a ton – more than a ton – billions of dollars in freight transactions, $31.4 billion worth of transactions in 2020. And I can only imagine what that number is going to be this year with freight rates being what they are, and even not just spend, but also shipments being up significantly this year as well. So, you know, they’ve got their finger on the pulse of what’s going on in freight – you know, ground transportation is what we’re specifically talking about here – because they fund and process a ton of these transactions. So, Bobby’s organization – well, we’ll let him tell us – that’s what Bobby’s organization does, is, they compile all this data and tell us what it means and what it’s meant. And then, of course, our guests from the industry always help us translate it from the data into what’s happening on the ground for companies that are dealing with freight every single day.

Scott Luton (00:03:55):

A perfect mix to increase your supply chain accu. So, stay tuned for that. So, Greg, let’s say hello to a few folks. And then, we’re going to swoosh Bobby and John into the stream and we’re going to get started. I want to say a big thanks to Amanda, and Jayda ,and Allie, and Clay behind the scenes helping to make the production happen. So, hello to each of y’all. Srinivas is tuned in once again from India. Srinivas, how are you doing? Give us an update. Drop the team a line, let’s know how you and your family are doing. Great to have you back here with us today. Adil from Dubai. Gosh, Dubai. Greg, the innovative things taking place in Dubai, it just [inaudible] your socks off.

Greg White (00:04:33):

It’s incredible. It really is. And, you know, it’s kind of the hub of that area of the world. So much incredible stuff happening. A beautiful place. And, fortunately, one of the few places on the planet that’s hotter than Atlanta. We actually give out some empathy for them.

Scott Luton (00:04:55):

That’s right. Adil, let us know how hot is it in Dubai right now. But, most importantly, great to have you here tuned in via LinkedIn. Thanks so much. Mohammed is also with us via LinkedIn from India. Tell us what part of the country there in India you’re tuned in from Mohammed. Let’s see here. Seyed is back with us from Iran. Great to have you here via LinkedIn. We look forward to your perspective today.

Greg White (00:05:18):

We won’t tell anybody you’re listening.

Scott Luton (00:05:20):

Susheel is back with us. I think he had joined us for a couple of livestreams in the last few weeks via LinkedIn. Great to see you here. And, Susheel, tell us what part of the world you’re tuned in from as well. Rasheed is with us from Nigeria. Great to have you on LinkedIn. I mentioned Clay –

Greg White (00:05:39):

A lot happening in Nigeria.

Scott Luton (00:05:38):

What’s that, Greg?

Greg White (00:05:39):

I said a lot happening in the logistics world and supply chain in Nigeria, right?

Scott Luton (00:05:44):

Agreed. Agreed. You know, I was able to catch up this morning with our dear friend, Jenny Froome, who leads SAPICS. And, of course, she’s always a bundle of informed positivity. But there’s a lot happening across the continent there. Brandie is back with us. Brandie, great to see you’re part of the UGA livestream yesterday. Great to see you back here today. And, Greg, Brandie has a new consulting gig. So, she’s going to be celebrating, I think, this weekend.

Greg White (00:06:11):

Not too hard. You got to get to work. You got to get on that plane on Monday, I’m sure.

Scott Luton (00:06:18):

Get those results. Adil says it’s too hot to handle in Dubai. It’s above 40 degrees Celsius.

Greg White (00:06:25):

Yeah. I’m trying to figure that out.

Scott Luton (00:06:28):

And then, finally, welcome to everybody. I know we couldn’t hit everybody. But, Salahuddin is tuned in from Bangladesh via LinkedIn. Great to have you here today. We look forward to your POV. Okay. So, Greg, are we ready to bring our guests into the stream?

Greg White (00:06:47):

Yes. It’s 104, by the way, in Dubai, in case you are wondering. I’m sorry. I wasn’t ready right at that moment. So, I just kind of hesitated a little bit to let you know that, now, we are officially ready.

Scott Luton (00:06:56):

I saw the gears doing that hard math, that conversion math, Greg. Let me check one other thing here. Oh, okay. Yeah. I see, we got some math behind the scenes too, so thanks for that, Dawg, Clay Phillips. All right. So, with no further ado –

Greg White (00:07:10):

Did we come up with the same number?

Scott Luton (00:07:12):

Yes. Yes.

Greg White (00:07:13):

Okay. He said over 40, so it’s over 104 there. But it’s a dry heat.

Scott Luton (00:07:19):

Yes. It is a dry heat. But, you know, I like how Clay’s got your back and is double-checking your math there, Greg. He’s supporting.

Greg White (00:07:23):

Yeah. Yeah. Well, I think everybody here knows you shouldn’t trust my [inaudible].

Scott Luton (00:07:29):

Hey, you know, before we bring on our guest, I think this is Koray Kose. Y’all let me know if it’s not. So, Koray is with Gartner. He’s been on the show before. A really sharp individual. But he is getting the word out on what they’re seeing there in Germany. And it’s helping power relief efforts, which is really important for the flood victims. Which, I think, this is the worst they’ve ever seen it. So, Koray, thank you for what you do. Let’s drop the link in the comments. And as a former community in global society, let’s help give that some uplift there. So, Koray, I hope we can move the needle there.

Scott Luton (00:08:05):

All right. So, with no further ado, Greg, I want to introduce our two featured guests here today. Of course, back by popular demand, we have Bobby Holland, Director of Freight Data Solutions with U.S. Bank. And he’s joined today by John Janson, Senior Director of Global Logistics with SanMar. Hey. Hey. Good afternoon. Bobby, how are you doing? Great to have you back.

Bobby Holland (00:08:23):

I’m doing well. Good morning, gentlemen. Good morning.

Greg White (00:08:26):

Good day.

Scott Luton (00:08:28):

That’s right. It’s been a full day already.

Bobby Holland (00:08:30):

I guess it’s afternoon.

Scott Luton (00:08:30):

And, John, great to have you as well.

John Janson (00:08:34):

Good morning guys. And not to compete with Dubai, but the weather in Boise, Idaho has been, like, a 100 plus for 13 days in a row.

Greg White (00:08:42):

Which is?

John Janson (00:08:43):

It’s a dry heat though.

Greg White (00:08:45):

Right. So, it’s hell and nobody wants to live there. But that’s unprecedented, I think, the amount of heat that you’ve had for the amount of time that you’ve had there, right? [Inaudible].

Scott Luton (00:08:57):

Agreed. Agreed. And a quick shout out, Samuel and Daria, great to see you all, both here via LinkedIn. Okay.

Greg White (00:09:03):

Do you think Bobby can answer my question now?

Scott Luton (00:09:07):

Well, let’s see.

Greg White (00:09:08):

Bobby, do you miss us as much as we miss you between these quarterly meetings?

Bobby Holland (00:09:12):

Absolutely. Absolutely.

Greg White (00:09:15):

You know, it makes me feel good to hear you say that. Thank you.

Scott Luton (00:09:18):

Two thumbs up, too, from Bobby Holland. That’s worth the [inaudible] here today. But, Bobby, it’s great to have you back. We’ve really enjoyed, I think, this is our sixth or seventh livestream together. A truck full of data-driven insights that the global business community can learn a lot from, especially here across the country with the national freight market. But for the handful of folks that may have forgotten what they know about Bobby Holland, tell us a little about yourself.

Bobby Holland (00:09:44):

Well, I come from a technology background, mainly in software engineering and architecture. And I’ve been with the bank for about five years as a product manager, a technical product manager, again, freight data solutions. We provide data related products from our freight audit and payment transaction processing, as Greg White pointed out earlier on in the broadcast

Scott Luton (00:10:11):

$31.4 billion in 2020. A ton. And, you know, the transaction numbers are big, but all the data behind that is even more massive. So, I appreciate how you all share that to better inform all of us. And, of course, you’re joined by John Janson, our new friend from SanMar. John, I’ve got a particular question I want to ask you about. But before we get there, tell us about yourself.

John Janson (00:10:36):

Sure. Well, again, I work for SanMar. And a lot of folks had not heard of SanMar. We’re the nation’s largest wholesale distributor of apparel that is sold into the decorated marketplace. So, we bring in the blank canvas and it then becomes the uniform that your employees wear, it becomes the t-shirt you got at a fun run, your team’s uniforms. So, our product is, you know, very much spread across the United States. We manufacture that product in 22 countries around the world and bring it all into the United States, and distributed across the U.S. with eight distribution centers. So, again, a pretty complex network, but one that we’re glad to see people coming back to work and then starting to happen because that’s what our business is all about. I’ve been in the logistics world for almost 30 years and I’ve been at SanMar for five. So, excited to be here today.

Scott Luton (00:11:32):

I love that. And a lot of what you’re alluding to are reflected in the second quarter numbers that we’re going to walk through. Some of that had a big impact. So, John, Greg and I are big, big sports fans. Many of our team members are big sports fans. And a little birdie told me that you played football at an iconic school here in the state, so tell us more.

John Janson (00:11:54):

I had the great chance to attend Boise State University back when we were a Division 1 AA school and the field was green, and easier to watch probably on everybody’s television. So, it’s a different university now than it was back when I went there. But, yeah, pretty proud of the Boise State heritage.

Scott Luton (00:12:16):

I love that. Greg?

Greg White (00:12:18):

Are you from Boise originally, John? I mean, you’re still there, correct?

John Janson (00:12:22):

I’m still here. Yeah. Actually, one of the very few natives, second generation. I mean, now, I think all of my neighbors are all from Seattle or California that have moved into the state. But, nope, happened to be a native and just had the chance to work for some pretty good corporations here in electronics and pharma, and now with SanMar. So, it’s given me the opportunity to travel the globe and be in the world of logistics.

Scott Luton (00:12:48):

I love that.

Greg White (00:12:48):

So, you guys at SanMar, you provide swag, basically. So, does this Boise State get a discount because you’re an alumnus?

Greg White (00:12:58):

No. But we’ve been trying to get more of the product into the bookstore, and we’re getting more of it out there. So, royal blue is a really good cover, so it goes deep.

Scott Luton (00:13:11):

I love that. Gosh, so many more things we could talk about, boys. I think our dear friend, Mike Griswold, is up in that neck of the woods that joins us each month. But, nevertheless, Greg, where are we going next for this whole segment?

Greg White (00:13:24):

Well, so we’ve talked about the volume of data and the volume of transactions that U.S. Bank moves here. I have a couple of questions. So, I’m going to go off script on one question, because I’ve been curious about this for months. And I keep forgetting to ask you, Bobby. But can you share a little bit about how you put together the index? And, also, aside from the credibility of $31 billion worth of transactions, what kind of rigor do you go through to put all this together?

Bobby Holland (00:13:59):

Well, the index is a chain based index, which means we compare quarter to previous quarter. The first quarter start point start point was 2010, and that’s a base point of 100. And from there, we apply calculations to our data to, basically, shape it so that every comparison is an apples to apples comparison. So, we reduce seasonality or eliminate seasonality. It’s similar to store to store sales comparison.

Greg White (00:14:39):

Yeah. On store sales for a retailer, right?

Bobby Holland (00:14:41):

Right. Right. Because we want it to be a statistical reflection of our view of the market at large. We don’t want it to be, you know, strict measurement of U.S. Bank’s business. We may be doing better than market and we don’t want to artificially skew that. So, we balance out each quarter making sure that its comparison has the same companies, the same transaction levels, and everything, so that it can accurately represent the economy. And that’s why it’s team-based as well. We decided that this was a better method than, basically, reflecting the index off of year zero. We do it off the previous quarter.

Greg White (00:15:26):

That’s really important because, you know, I mean, a lot of us, of course, we get to hear unemployment numbers and whatnot from the government, and they have to give us both the total number and then they give us the seasonalized numbers. You just do the de-seasonalization and take out all of the other effects to give us apples to apples comparison quarter to quarter, right?

Bobby Holland (00:15:49):

Correct.

Greg White (00:15:50):

Cool. So, you probably thought that was my off the script question. But I’m curious, because you are also director of consulting services, I don’t think we’ve ever asked what all you all do aside from the Freight Payment Index. So, your division, can you give us an idea of kind of some of the services you provide?

Bobby Holland (00:16:13):

Well, the group that I work in, we’re a group of product managers and some of our products span from quick payment type products to the main product. Obviously, the freight audit payment system, which provides the ability to manage the transactions between shippers and carriers, and enable those transactions to proceed. You know, shippers can order services from carriers. And carriers can buy those or sell those services and invoice the shippers. And we make sure that the payment process is quick and painless, easy and accurate. Again, the audit piece of the freight audit and payment.

Bobby Holland (00:16:59):

And then, there’s an offshoot functions from that. You know, there’s settlement, we have, like I said, frictionless payment opportunities. And then, my group, like I said, we’re a different product, in that, we take that data from all of this interchange and then we use it to do such things like benchmarking. We can take your data as a customer and normalize it, create some metrics. And then, we can take a peer group of similar shippers and compare your data and your metrics to theirs. You know, again, the peer group is entirely normalized. No, you can’t determine who exactly you’re being compared to —

Greg White (00:17:43):

Anonymize all the peers, right?

Bobby Holland (00:17:45):

Right. Other than by just general characteristics, because we want to make sure that the comparisons are similar both in terms of size of company, industry, and also just mode mix is another aspect. And then, we can compare so that you can see how you relate, how your business and these key metrics that we’ve developed compares to those of your peer group. And some of the comparisons are even with the industry, our network of companies, and compare your data there so that you can see, “Okay. When these particular lanes, we’re paying way more than our peers are.” Or, “In this lane, we’re not. We’re saving way more than they are.” Keep doing the things that we’re doing right, but also maybe have some visibility into the things that, maybe, we can improve. And then, that takes us to the consulting services, where we can create custom analysis and custom analytics, based on those factors that you want more visibility into. So, that’s kind of how it stars.

Bobby Holland (00:18:47):

Freight Payment Index is like the national view. Then, you go more granular down into the benchmarking. And then, you can go the next level down with the consulting services to see those individual points and try to figure out where you can fix it, where you can move the needle back in the direction that you prefer.

Greg White (00:19:04):

That’s really cool. So, SanMar could have – and maybe you do John. I don’t know – their own index to say, “Hey, we’re paying more than lands end in whatever.” Or maybe you guys –

Bobby Holland (00:19:16);

They want to know its lands end that they’re paying more than similar companies.

Greg White (00:19:20):

Yeah. Sorry. Right. Because you anonymize that. They don’t know who it is. They just know they’re paying the highest, right? Or second highest or whatever. That’s interesting. That seems particularly valuable these days. And, Scott, from our buddy, Nurfad, post today – what was it? – $9,000 quote for the 900 mile shipment or something like that. I would think that that kind of knowledge would be really, really valuable to help companies really improve really fast in this volatile and – as we’re about to see – skyrocketing spend market.

John Janson (00:20:00):

No. I mean, being able to have that and to have it as a reference point when you’re going in and talking to the senior executives at the C level, and you’re talking about budget, and budget hits and budget miss, and being able to quantify how you compare, are you doing better than others. Critical tool.

Greg White (00:20:20):

So, you use a custom view, John?

John Janson (00:20:23):

We’ve kind of put together a combination of some of the analytics that come together, and certainly the Freight Payment Index is part of that. And then, we’re putting that together to try to judge how do we compare. And are we doing better than the market, greater than the market? And I mean, right now, it’s turned from almost what we pay to how much capacity can we get type of a model.

Bobby Holland (00:20:50):

Because one the things I did mention was, one of our other ancillary products, we have a business intelligence platform. And I believe SanMar uses that data. It enables them to pull reports on various aspects of the business. We also have a series of dashboards that show data at a glance. And so, we provide as much information to our customers to add value as possible. And our business intelligence platform is one that’s highly used.

Greg White (00:21:20):

That’s powerful stuff. Scott, I can’t believe I waited a-year-and-a-half to ask that. I think we all kind of assumed it was something like that. But I think that’s really powerful stuff and particularly valuable, as I said right now. So, maybe you got to get into the numbers so people can see why I’m so shocked.

Scott Luton (00:21:40):

Agreed. I think you’re reading my mind, Gregory. You’re reading my mind. And the good news here is that, the Freight Payment Index that we’re going to show here – a couple of visuals – it’s free to sign up. And we’ll tell you how to do that here momentarily. Amanda and team – well, she’s already beat me to it. So, the link is already in the comments to sign up for the Freight Payment Index.

Scott Luton (00:22:03):

Okay. So, Bobby, I want to start with a little more level table setting as we dive deeper into what the Q2 numbers are telling us. So, first from a national point of view, give us some highlights of what the data is singing to us.

Bobby Holland (00:22:15):

Okay. So, from a national perspective, as we can see, the shipments index was up 4.4 percent over Q1. The spend index was up 10.1 percent in Q2. Some of the main drivers that we’ve seen is that the economy is gaining momentum as companies are emerging and industries are emerging from the pandemic. We see retail sales, imports, construction, manufacturing output are increasing. And that’s driving shipments and downstream the spend as well. The spend is being affected and why it’s rising or what appears to be rising faster than the shipment volumes are, we believe is because of tight capacity, both in terms of getting more drivers on in the seats and getting more trucks on the road. And because of that, shippers are having to pay more to move their goods. And we see that this may continue or could continue as things continue to —

Greg White (00:23:27):

[Inaudible]. What Bobby’s about to say is not a forward-looking statement, because that’s not his thing.

John Janson (00:23:34):

Let me help him out, they’re going to continue.

Greg White (00:23:37):

There we go. John can make forward-looking statements as can we. But I think you’re right, John.

Bobby Holland (00:23:43):

If things continue on the trajectory, barring some catastrophes, things should continue to move forward. And that’s what we’re seeing. And, ideally, as time goes on, some of these pressures on the market can be resolved and the capacity can open up even further so that, you know, costs can kind of adjust more. But, again, we can only go by what we see in the data. And right now, the data just says that it’s on an upward trajectory, which is good. That’s what we’ve been talking about for the last several quarters as we’ve gone through the pandemic. And right now, seeing things open up and stay open, and not threatened to go back, which causes flips and jumps. But right now, things are moving upward.

Scott Luton (00:24:27):

So, that’s kind of a very high level national breakdown. We’re about to go through region by region and give some a little more detailed insight. So, I want to welcome Peter Bolle. You just about missed. You just about missed it. But great to have you here today. And we’d welcome your perspective. And Azaleah is with us. So, hello, Azaleah. Great to have you here today. She asks a great question that, certainly, is reflected in some of the narrative around the numbers. And she says, “Driver shortage marketing/incentive programs, how are they affecting this?” You know, driver supply certainly has been a long time running challenge. John, you’re nodding your head, any perspective to share there?

John Janson (00:25:06):

Well, I mean, we’re seeing it at a couple of areas. When you’re looking at the stars at the very beginning with the dray drivers, the guys that are going to the port and picking it up. And with the current port congestion, if a driver can’t go in and get more than two or three turns a day, they could stay home currently with some of the current federal funds going to them, and they don’t have to drive, and they can make the truck payment without having to put the truck on the road. And then, once it’s hit there, you’re just working across the country, whether it be LTL or the truckload marketplace. They’re all really struggling to put drivers in. And the driver is king. I mean, he’s determining where he wants to go, what boats he wants to handle. And it’s put tremendous pressure on the industry.

Scott Luton (00:25:54):

Agreed. Agreed. A couple of quick shoutouts. Aaron Peterson, great to have you here. Aaron is a graduate of the supply chain program at Morgan State University. And I think he joined McCormick not too long ago, I think. And, Aaron, I apologize if I got that wrong,

Greg White (00:26:09):

So, [inaudible] and McCormick recruiting out of Morgan State, right?

Scott Luton (00:26:13):

That’s right. That is right. And we mentioned Dubai, Kim Winter, a titan there in the Middle East in Dubai. Great to have you here with us, Kim.

Greg White (00:26:23):

And we’ve seen no shade on his patio. He is indoors right now, I guarantee it.

Scott Luton (00:26:28):

That is right.

Greg White (00:26:29):

Well, wait. It’s night there, isn’t it?

Scott Luton (00:26:32):

So, what we want to do now is we want to go kind of region by region. And we want to make this very conversational, Greg, and John, and Bobby. We’re going to lead with Bobby and I’m going to pose each region to him. Folks who are listening or tuned in, via the stream, you’ll see the regions there. We’ve got five of them that they report and their research kind of breaks things out into. And we’re just going to pose each of these to Bobby. And then, Greg and John, y’all weigh in if there’s something that you saw in the data per region that you can add to the conversation. So, Bobby let’s start with the Northeast Region. So, you know, give us some highlights there.

Bobby Holland (00:27:09):

Okay. Well, the Northeast Region in shipments throws about one-and-a-half percent. It was the third sequential gain. It was off as we can see from the heat map that it was down. It was one of the regions that was down a bit year-over-year. But because it has a dense population, goods consumption is helping to keep the freight levels up. Our economist expects that growth may slow in this region as greater numbers of people get back to going to sporting events, basically shifting the usage pattern, if you will, which affects the trucking industry. They’re shifting from retail shopping and restaurants and things that are more truck intensive and possibly moving to sporting events and more travel, more things that don’t require as much trucking to support it. So, we’ll see if that pans out. And then, carriers are dealing with pretty significant capacity limitations in the Northeast, again, for all the things that we’ve talked about. And the Northeast has generally been difficult, whether it’s in the seasonal, only affected in the winter, or because of less return. You know, shippers can go and deliver stuff, but they don’t necessarily get outbound as much outbound traffic as they can in other regions. So, Northeast is generally a tough region.

Scott Luton (00:28:34):

I think it’s all those bad New York Giants football teams out of late having an impact. But, hey, I’m a Falcons fan. I can’t make fun of anybody. So, John or Greg, anything to add in what you’re seeing there in the Northeast Region?

John Janson (00:28:48):

You know, the congestion and, again, you’re looking back at a driver situation wanting to be able to go into an area and get out of an area. And I think it’s one of the reasons that you’ve seen some of the LTL carriers actually come out and embargo parts of the Northeast. So, that’s an area that, you know, we had one of our carriers calls and say, “I’m sorry. We are not sending trucks into that region right now.” Overall, I think it’s the congestion. You’re starting to see product flow. And the demand is just exceeding the capacity.

Greg White (00:29:22):

That’s a great one. I mean, they’re kind of cherry picking loads then, John. Are they saying, because they can’t get a haul back out of there that they don’t want to go in? [Inaudible] Bobby you were saying.

John Janson (00:29:33):

That’s part of it. And you’ve seen the truckload market, because if they’re not wanting to do that, now, you get shippers breaking it down into smaller shipments, putting it into the LTL marketplace, and all you’ve done is move the dial a little bit. And so, now, you’re getting LTL carriers that are getting 10,000 pound shipments that normally would have gone truck load. And it’s causing that LTL network to start to compress and forcing them to look back and say, “We just don’t want this business. It’s not profitable for us.”

Scott Luton (00:30:04):

And we’re seeing those same business cases made across rail as well. You know, they’re looking for smart business right now. And the leverages is on the other side of the table as opposed to where it was say five, six, seven years ago.

Greg White (00:30:18):

I think when you see loads go down by any percentage and yet spend go up by over 40 percent, that should tell you something about the attractiveness of that market or the strain on that market.

John Janson (00:30:31):

And, you know, for a company that normally spends 5 percent of our time in the spot market, I can tell you that we’re spending a significant amount of time in the spot market, because we’re trying to make sure that we can cover loads and move product.

Greg White (00:30:46):

And that’s because your contract carriers are rejecting loads, correct?

John Janson (00:30:50):

Correct.

Scott Luton (00:30:51):

All right. So, I got to pull up this comment from Avijit – I believe. And I’m sorry if I got that wrong, let us know. I like to get people’s names right – via LinkedIn, “Nice presentations.” Well, you know, I’m an infographic addict. I love when you lay it out and you don’t lose any context when you take the data and the written word into the infographics. And we got that shamelessly from the Freight Payment Index.

Greg White (00:31:15):

Right. Because U.S. Bank has an amazing marketing [inaudible]. For anyone who hasn’t actually seen the Freight Payment Index document, it’s very easy to read. It’s very concise. They’ve taken a ton of really complex – as we just talked about – data and simplified it so that even I can understand it.

Scott Luton (00:31:35):

Right. Man, we’re moving mountains then. I’m kidding. I’m kidding, Greg. But, hey, I got to share this comment from Kim. And, Bobby, it looks like sometimes we attract business opportunities. Our friend Kim Winter says, “It’d be great to replicate this type of index in the GCC market, huge trucking industry in this region. Major difference being abundant drivers in this market. Our M&A team is selling two regional trucking companies currently.” Good stuff there from Kim.

Scott Luton (00:32:00):

But it is. It’s laid out very nicely. And, again, we’re using the free for everyone version of the report here today. Okay. Moving right along for the sake of time, from the happening in Northeast market, let’s move to the Southeast market. Bobby, that’s our part of the war, at least Greg’s and I. Tell us what’s going on in the Southeast.

Bobby Holland (00:32:20):

The Southeast was up 5.8 percent in shipments in the second quarter. And the Southeast Spend Index rose 9 percent from Q1. Again, some of the same impacts, you know, solid manufacturing activity growth. Even though auto is somewhat soft. Manufacturing is picking up in the Southeast. We also see the home construction is boosting freight in the region, not only from new home construction, but from hurricane repair. And, again, we kind of have seen that seasonal pattern and it seems to follow the trend. And, again, this is kind of bolstered by our economist, in that, you get the damage, and then take some time for insurance to sort everything out and the weather to adjust, and the marketplace to adjust to be able to mobilize to get goods down there. And then, [inaudible] that results subsequently in that market. So, that’s what we’re seeing in the Southeast.

Bobby Holland (00:33:22):

Spending was up 54.2 percent from a year earlier. And, again, same drivers, drivers shortage, constraining capacity. But one of the other underlying issues is the rising diesel prices, which are pushing up the rates as well. Specifically in the lower Atlantic region, we saw from the EIA that diesel prices were up 10 percent in the second quarter compared to the first quarter. And they had already risen quite a bit in the first quarter. So, again, all of these things are kind of layering to push prices up and faster than the shipment volumes are increasing.

John Janson (00:34:01):

You know, I think another key area that people are seeing is, it’s a cause and effect of what’s happening on the West Coast. A lot of the major importers are bringing product through the canal up to the East Coast to try to avoid West Coast port congestion. And it’s literally starting to clog Savannah. We have a huge facility in Jacksonville, and we were bringing in some of the subcontinent, we’re bringing in India, Pakistan, Bangladesh. We’re bringing all that into the East Coast now versus we used to bring it into the West Coast to avoid West Coast congestion. The ocean carriers don’t want their cargo to go inbound. So, transloading or shifting to the truck marketplace. And I think you’re seeing some of that on the Southeast.

Greg White (00:34:50):

Wait. You mean you don’t want their containers going in? So, you’re shifting out of their containers into land-based —

John Janson (00:34:57):

Absolutely. The ocean carriers, they want that asset empty on their boat and going back to Asia, where they can turn around and get $18,000 to $20,000 a container to the West Coast. And they don’t want to see us sitting in Memphis or Chicago or somewhere else.

Bobby Holland (00:35:16):

It totally makes sense. It totally makes sense.

Scott Luton (00:35:16):

Opportunity cost.

Greg White (00:35:17):

Yeah. It does. This is something we talked about the last time, Bobby. We had already started to see people moving to the East Coast. I think the last time we were talking about companies that were moving their goods to Houston and even some of these ports that we don’t always talk about, Jacksonville is a good example, Charleston and Savannah. And I’m sure we’ll talk about this when we talk about the Midwest. We started to see it coming all the way back around to the Great Lakes as well, because now every port, as you said, John, is jammed. I think it was the last report that Savannah and Charleston were bragging that they weren’t jammed up like Long Beach and LA and Jersey. But, now, I mean, so much freight is moving and there’s so many jams around the country that they just continue to move wherever the jam is not. And it’s really hard to find that spot.

Scott Luton (00:36:22):

Where is Sylvia, Greg, when we need the jam queen to help us out?

Greg White (00:36:26):

Yeah. That kind of jam we want.

Scott Luton (00:36:28):

But John’s snicker there, his little laugh there is very telling. You know, it’s a very unique environment. And, you know, no port is immune it seems like these days. So, let’s move. Greg kind of provided a great segue there. Let’s talk about in the Midwest, Bobby. What do you see in there?

Bobby Holland (00:36:47):

Midwest was up two-and-a-half percent in shipments over Q1. And then, the spend was up almost 8 percent from Q1, but it was up 32 percent year-over-year. However, the shipments were down 2 percent from last year. The Midwest is affected by auto production and because of the supply chain issues that the auto manufacturing has been having, you know, particularly the chip shortage that impacted shipping quite a bit. And then, home construction is softer in the Midwest. And in some of the other regions, housing starts were flat. So, again, they’re still impacted. They’re still rising, but they’re not as aggressive about it as some of the other regions were. But then again, they’re also affected by the energy cost, the diesel prices, and they’re up 10 percent over Q1 as well. So, again, a lot of pressures on the marketplace, which are driving spending, again, way over shipments.

Scott Luton (00:38:04):

Yes. Absolutely. It reminds me of Freddie Mercury and the Queen song, everybody’s under pressure unlike never before in many ways.

Greg White (00:38:13):

Well, I think we’ve heard it called an everything bubble, right? Housing, lumber, the stock market, trucking, all kinds of transportation, vehicles. I have a 24 year old daughter whose 2013 car is worth more now than it was six months ago by thousands of dollars. And, I mean, this a car that it’s not even worth 15,000 now. So, I think it’s really interesting to see what’s going on in the market. And when we reach that equilibrium point, what starts to happen at that point? I can tell you, as we were talking about earlier before we got on the air, I have reached my equilibrium point with chicken wings. I have stopped eating chicken wings because I will not pay $19 for a dozen chicken wings.

Scott Luton (00:39:05):

You’re breaking my heart. You are breaking my heart, man.

Greg White (00:39:08):

I know. And Bobby is in Upstate New York, so we know he won’t stop. He is culturally obligated by living in Upstate New York to eat chicken wings.

Bobby Holland (00:39:21):

I’m obligated, but I got an invisible doctor’s note that’s stapled in my –

Greg White (00:39:24):

Yeah. That’s right. That’s good. Well, your doctor’s not only saving your life, Bobby. He’s saving you hundreds of thousands of dollars, in my opinion.

Bobby Holland (00:39:32):

There you go. There you go.

Scott Luton (00:39:33):

Right. So, John, talking about Midwest, any additional comments there?

John Janson (00:39:38):

Just the driver situation. We’ve got facilities in Minneapolis and in Cincinnati, and just the sheer fact of the carriers that we use having a hard time putting drivers in the seat to be able to make all the deliveries. And, you know, I think just a nationwide fact, who would have ever thought that 1,400 customers got a letter from FedEx freight saying, “We’re firing you.” And I mean, literally, they sent letters to customers saying, “We can’t handle your freight anymore.” And it’s just a telling situation as to where this marketplace is at. And so, if you want to move from the chicken wings, support the State of Idaho, potato skins, try them.

Greg White (00:40:21):

This is just a philosophical statement, John. Every place that serves chicken wings should also serve potato skin with a little bacon and cheese and little sour cream on top. I totally agree.

Bobby Holland (00:40:39):

Is it lunch time?

Scott Luton (00:40:39):

No kidding. All right. I want to say hello to a few folks really quick. So, Rhonda, Dr. Bompensa-Zimmerman, great to have you here today. Multitasking as usual. The world-class multi-tasker. Musawer is back with us via Pakistan on LinkedIn. Great to have you back with us, Musawer. Okay. So, anything else about the Midwest before we move to the Southwest?

Greg White (00:41:03):

Yeah. I think one of the things we need to acknowledge is twofold. One, the ports are also jammed as evidenced by a Union Pacific ceasing transportation of containers other than 53 foot. So, of ocean containers, you know, the 20 and 40 foot to use from LA to Chicago. And then, another carrier, railroad, ceasing also – I cannot remember their name. I just saw it.

John Janson (00:41:43):

BNSF.

Greg White (00:41:45):

Who was it?

John Janson (00:41:45):

The BNSF.

Greg White (00:41:47):

It was them. Okay. So, they are so jammed that they have to relieve even ground transportation so that these ports can get those goods through. So, to me, that feels like that it will definitely carry the same issue into this quarter and through this quarter in at least the Midwest.

Scott Luton (00:42:11):

Excellent commentary. But back to the heavy hitting stuff, Koray says, “Hey, switch to drumsticks. More meat and cheaper.” We’re getting chicken advice right here on Supply Chain Now.

Greg White (00:42:22):

Well, okay. I mean, as long as we’re going there, you know, boneless wings, which – not chicken tenders – they’re chicken nuggets. That has become quite the craze because they are roughly a third of the price of wings. Not nearly as satisfying, Bobby Holland, so you’re not missing anything, let me tell you.

Bobby Holland (00:42:43):

There you go.

Scott Luton (00:42:43):

All right. So, let’s move to the – let’s see here. I think we’re on the Southwest now. Is that correct? We just covered the Southwest.

Greg White (00:42:54):

You’re the one running the agenda, you tell us. We’ll do whatever you say.

Scott Luton (00:42:59):

So, Bobby, I think we were just talking about the Southwest. So, we’re moving to the west, according to my notes. Is that right?

Bobby Holland (00:43:04):

I thought we just did the Midwest

Scott Luton (00:43:06):

Midwest. Okay. That’s right. I give you all one last point to make on the Midwest.

Greg White (00:43:10):

Too many wests.

Scott Luton (00:43:11):

Too many wests. So, when it comes to the Southwest, Bobby, it’s the fourth of these five different regions, what are we seeing there?

Bobby Holland (00:43:19):

The shipment index was up six-and-a-half percent. And the regional spend index was up almost 10 percent from Q1. According to the Bureau of Transportation Statistics, trade with Mexico was up almost 85 percent from a year earlier. In the middle of the pandemic, that was one of the things that we reported was that, you know, the truck trade across the border was really impacting the Southwest. And it sounds like that’s turned around from a year earlier, 85 percent, according to the Bureau of Transportation Statistics. And spend is outpacing yet again. Shipments, again, during the higher freight rates, increased fuel surcharges as diesel prices rose, and then the shipment volumes have increased as well. So, all of those are still putting pressure. As they say, it’s a nice problem to have, but it’s still a problem.

Scott Luton (00:44:17):

Yes. The perfect storm.

Greg White (00:44:17):

Well said.

Scott Luton (00:44:17):

The everything bubble, as Greg had mentioned. And by the way, I got to give credit where it’s credit due. And thank you, Peter Bolle. That was Donald Born giving us drumstick advice there. So, thank you very much. But speaking of the Southwest and speaking to what Bobby just shared, some of the things you’re seeing, John, what else are you seeing there?

John Janson (00:44:34):

We have a facility in Avondale, Arizona, Phoenix area, and we’ve been, probably, less impacted there than other regions. But I’ll save my comments for the next one you’re going to go to, because it’s definitely number one on our list.

Scott Luton (00:44:50):

I love that. And, Greg?

Greg White (00:44:52):

This is the first time we’ve said this, Bobby, but I think the issues that we’re seeing in the Southwest are very similar to what we’re seeing in the other parts of the country, saving the fact that cross border transportation is at nearly twice the level it was before. So, that’s a shocker. I got to say, I mean, I think that our audience probably understands why I was so shocked by the numbers in this thing. Because, Bobby, I think we saw something like this coming. I’m not sure the order of magnitude in which it is hit. I know you couldn’t have done a forward-looking statement anyway. But I don’t think the order of magnitude in which it is hit was something we were expecting at all.

Bobby Holland (00:45:41):

I think it when the main issue with capacity was mainly the driver shortage, that was one thing the market was rapidly working to deal with that as everything emerged from the pandemic. But then, when you throw the energy prices into that rising dramatically, and then when you throw in the chip shortage, which not only has it affected industries, but it’s also affected the ability to actually get new trucks. And then, you know, if you got the new trucks, could you put drivers in them? There’s other things that were not highly indicated at that point earlier in the pandemic that would indicate that there would be this different kind of pressure on capacity. Because even if you got all the truck drivers, you may not have enough trucks.

Scott Luton (00:46:31):

Okay. So, let’s move out to John’s, maybe, favorite category next, the fifth –

Greg White (00:46:40):

Maybe not favorite. But most impactful.

Scott Luton (00:46:43):

We’re excited to get these insights here. Let’s talk about what’s going on out west, Bobby.

Bobby Holland (00:46:48):

West regional shipments index was up 7.1 percent. And the spend index was up almost 14 percent, but it was up over 51 percent from a year earlier. This region was buoyed up by solid retails, retail sales, robust home construction, and strong port shipments, which, as we talked about in the last two quarters’ index, was due to depleted retail inventories. And so, we see retailers are scrambling to get more goods from overseas. And the downstream impact is to generate a lot of truck port activity, as John had talked about earlier as well. And then, there’s also strong freight in the west associated with housing activity as home construction was up almost 50 percent from a year earlier, which was surprising, especially given high lumber prices and dampening building –

Greg White (00:47:46):

Flooding out of California. I mean, was this building going on in states other than California?

Bobby Holland (00:47:53):

Building?

Greg White (00:47:54):

The home building. I mean —

Bobby Holland (00:47:57):

Yeah. I think the Southeast has a lot going on as well in the home area.

Scott Luton (00:48:03):

Definitely. I drove across the Gauntlet last weekend as Greg and I reconnected. We’re on opposite sides of the Metro Atlanta area. And I can’t tell you, I didn’t have enough fingers and toes to count the massive condo and apartment communities and kind of pre-manufactured home communities. Construction is everywhere, Greg. And then, the other thing we noticed passing by all these empty car lots, man, inventory all time lows. It’s remarkable to see even the super dealerships and mega dealerships turning all that volume, not have nearly as much to sell. But I digress. All right.

Scott Luton (00:48:42):

So, Bob touched on some things there about what the data is showing across the west. John, what else?

John Janson (00:48:49):

No. I mean, the West is leading to several of the problems that we’re seeing in the Midwest, the Southeast, and the other regions, because of the sheer amount of cargo that comes through Port of Long Beach, LA, and the Northwest Seaport Alliance. And the premium on being able to transload your product and put it into a truck or intermodal and move it is very high right now. And one of the challenges that everybody’s starting to see is equipment. Because we have less labor that we could put into a warehouse, it’s taking us longer to unload containers, it’s taking us longer to unload trailers, which shrinks that trailer pool out there. And the carriers are absolutely coming out and saying, “Not only is your base rate going up, but we’re going to shorten the detention time. We’re going to increase the cost for doing that.” And all of those are starting to see the cost of freight from the west to the east going up significantly. And I know that Bobby cannot give a forward statement, but if you’re looking toward Q4 and peak season, it’s only going to get worse. Capacity is going to continue to be constrained. And the volume moving is only going to continue to go up. And I think we’re going to see it across all modes of domestic transportation.

Scott Luton (00:50:09):

Yeah. Great point. Greg, I want to pass it back over to you for the sake of time. I know we want to kind of talk about some of our biggest takeaways here.

Greg White (00:50:16):

Yeah. Well, I mean, I think I would love to hear John. What are the biggest issues you all are seeing? I mean, you had mentioned people are staying home in droves because they’re being paid by the government to do so. And I hadn’t thought about the possibility that that is enough money to provide a driver salary. But if you aren’t also extracting the cost of driving, then it is very, very close to what a driver could make by actually doing the work. So, do you feel like that’s having as big an impact as anything because that’s not uncommon?

John Janson (00:50:54):

No. We see it in the warehouse level in eight distribution centers across the United States. We have raised the wage of an entry-level person and our core people to come to work in the warehouses. Those jobs are very difficult to find. And if we’re not a full staff, then we can’t unload and load at full capabilities, and that’s core business. And I think if you’re a shipper, not only do you have to look at the budget aspects, but you have to work really hard to make sure you’re an attractive customer to the freight industry. I mean, you need to be a good steward of their equipment and their drivers, and you need to pay your bills on time. And if you can do all three of those things, you might be able to have a shot.

Greg White (00:51:40):

So, you’re saying there’s a chance, John.

John Janson (00:51:41);

There’s a chance.

Greg White (00:51:43):

Is there anything else that jumps out at you as a big takeaway? Look, you’re facing this every single day. With as many facilities as you have off shore and as much as you have to move on the ground in the states, what else are you seeing that just stands out?

John Janson (00:51:59):

I think the key focus is, America is trying to rebalance its inventory. And, you know, we’ve come through the pandemic where we burned through lots of inventory. And, now all of a sudden, everybody’s rushing to restock inventory so that it can be on the shelf. And I think everybody’s holding their breath to see what’s the dot com market is going to be. What’s the home delivery, the internet retail business. Are people going to stay home and shop? Or are they go out and start hitting the stores again? All those things, I think, have us sitting on the edge of the seat to see what it’s going to do to the network.

Greg White (00:52:32):

Bobby, what jumps out at you? I mean, you are looking at this from deep inside, so I’m really curious what takeaways this brings to your mind.

Bobby Holland (00:52:45):

I think the thing that’s most fascinating to me is, you know, we look at the data, we see the transactions being processed, we can derive certain information from what we see in that data. But it’s always fascinating, to me, all of the decisions. You know, obviously, we can’t talk to every single customer and find out at a detailed level what they’re all going through, that’s why I find this fascinating. But to just see all of the decisions that are being made and trying to adjust to the changes in the marketplace and the pressures in the marketplace, and then seeing almost, like, how does that shake out in the next quarter, that’s one of the fascinating aspects of this job is just seeing what guys like John and his company have to do in order to stay on top of their business.

Bobby Holland (00:53:37):

And those decisions change, you know, at least quarterly. It can change quarterly. The marketplace is changing that rapidly in some ways as we dig out. So, I think that’s one of the fascinating things, is, just seeing all of those decisions and how they shake out. And then, you know, it may reverse the next quarter or two quarters down. And then, you’ve got to make different decisions. And then, where does that go? And then, just trying to stay half-a-step ahead of everything is sort of the cool things about this job.

Greg White (00:54:06):

Can I share some points, Scott? Actually, I would love to hear from you, too. I mean, you always facilitate these things, but you’re as knowledgeable about supply chain or more, particularly as regards manufacturing, than most of us. So, I want to understand what you’re seeing and what all of this says to you.

Scott Luton (00:54:27):

Gosh. Put someone on the spot. I think a couple of things. This driver supply issue has persisted and will continue to persist. Greg, we’ve talked ad nauseam with a wide variety of folks about it. But it’s kind of like the weather, we talk about it, but no one ever does anything about it. Between technology, between compensation changes, I think, in the nature of maybe having the profession evolve a bit and finding ways to innovate that. But most importantly, I got to take this opportunity to talk about how we treat our drivers. And I think John mentioned that. We’ve seen countless leaders talk about it. They are incredible resources that drive the backbone – no pun intended – of global supply chain, certainly of supply chain across the country. So, never miss an opportunity to kind of kick the tires on that.

Scott Luton (00:55:14):

In this perfect storm the last couple of years has been, the spend index highest on record, highest on record. I mean, that’s just one more element that business leaders, organization leaders, and supply chain leaders have to kind of feel their way through. And undoubtedly, as Bobby and John, y’all speaking, the ripple effects are massive down to each port, each mile driven, each facility.

Scott Luton (00:55:39):

So, anyway, Greg, I appreciate that question. But to wrap here, because I want to make sure, folks, there’s so many other key takeaways we could get to as we dissect this Freight Payment Index. But here at almost the top of hour, I want to make sure we have Bobby tell us how can folks sign up for this massive quarterly report? Of course, they can find the livestream breakdown here on Supply Chain Now each quarter. But, Bobby, how can folks sign up for all this information?

Bobby Holland (00:56:09):

If you go to the link at freight.usbank.com, there’s a landing page that will explain about the Freight Payment Index enough for you, the ability to subscribe to it, and you’ll receive it in your email inbox quarterly.

Scott Luton (00:56:25):

It’s just that easy. Everything should work that easy. But, Bobby, I really enjoy your breakdown each quarter. I love the folks you bring with you. John Janson, your great commentary to kind of marry with the data. And, of course, Greg, I love your insights and key takeaways and making it fun and colorful. Hey, who would have thought that freight can be as fun and colorful as it has been over the last hour? John, let’s make sure folks know how to connect with you. And the SanMar team is doing a bunch of great work. How can folks connect with you?

John Janson (00:56:58):

Sure. LinkedIn is probably the best avenue. You just go to LinkedIn and put in John Janson or put in SanMar, it should come up. And would welcome the chance to connect with people in the industry. And from your Freight Index report, you mentioned earlier how easy it is to read, it is in a form that you could literally forward to a C-level executive and not have to try to dummy it down. It’s straight forward from a good aspect of what’s going on in the industry.

Greg White (00:57:28):

It’s really true. That’s a really good point. It’s not jargon-y. It’s not super detailed. It is high enough level for someone to look at it and be as shocked as I was. Or to realize that some sort of action is required. And that’s just the quarterly one. I mean, if you want really timely information, if you think about some of these custom offerings, or the BI tool that U.S. Bank has, I mean, you can really be on top of things.

Bobby Holland (00:57:58):

Correct. Thank you.

Scott Luton (00:57:58):

Agreed. And you don’t have to be a freight technician or a freight analyst. I mean, it does a great job level setting because we’re all impacted by freight regardless of what you do. freight.usbank.com, I think the link is also in the comments. But Bobby, hey, same question for you. How can folks connect with Bobby Holland?

Bobby Holland (00:58:19):

Again, LinkedIn as well for me, Bobby Holland and U.S. Bank, and you’ll be able to find me.

Scott Luton (00:58:26):

Wonderful.

Bobby Holland (00:58:27):

Who is not already connected with Bobby?

Scott Luton (00:58:30):

Hey, if you’re not, you’re missing out. You’re missing out. So, huge thanks, Bobby Holland, Director Freight Data Solutions with U.S. Bank. We really appreciate your quarterly updates and your kindred spirits here. And John Janson, great to meet you. We’ve enjoyed [inaudible] and chat wit you.

Greg White (00:58:46):

Yeah. Nice to meet you.

Bobby Holland (00:58:47):

It’s night to meet you, John.

John Janson (00:58:49):

Thank you.

Bobby Holland (00:58:49):

I took a lot of notes. I took a lot of notes.

Greg White (00:58:49):

Bobby got 17 pages of notes.

Scott Luton (00:58:55):

That is right.

Greg White (00:58:56):

Thanks guys.

Scott Luton (00:58:58):

I should add, John Janson, Senior Director Global Logistics with SanMar. So, big thanks, John and Bobby. We’ll see you both very soon.

Greg White (00:59:04):

All right.

John Janson (00:59:05):

Sound good.

Bobby Holland (00:59:05):

Thank you very much.

Greg White (00:59:06):

The only time I want to hear somebody say “Go Broncos” is when they’re talking about Boise State, by the way.

Scott Luton (00:59:13):

For John, who may be still be in the in green room, Greg’s a big Kansas City Chiefs fan. So, naturally the rivalry with the Denver Broncos. But we’re all big Boise State fans around here. Okay. So, Greg, man, what a great conversation. That’s been one of my favorite ones thus far. Very radical takeaways.

Greg White (00:59:32):

That was as good as the wrestling discussion, right?

Scott Luton (00:59:35):

That was good. That was good. I got to go back to something, you know, you were talking about your daughter’s car that’s worth so much. Peter’s talking about doubling his money on his 2012 Convertible Mustang.

Greg White (00:59:48):

No. You just got the roof working. Peter – well, wait a minute. He’s in Quebec, so summer is almost over. We’re 90 degrees, he’s looking at snow showers in, like, a couple of weeks.

Scott Luton (01:00:04):

That is right. And I want to add, hey, Rhonda, I appreciate this comment. This is something that we’re passionate about. In fact, Greg, I don’t think I’ve shared this with you yet. With our friend, Ward Richmond, we’re actually setting up a series of interviews with truck drivers and getting their perspective and experiences firsthand. I think that’s something that is long overdue.

Greg White (01:00:27):

Yes. Finally, somebody who swears more than I do on this show.

Scott Luton (01:00:30):

Maybe so. I don’t know. You’re usually very well-behaved. I tell you, you just tell it like it is, which we love and we needed more of. Okay. So, Greg, great conversation here today. We’re a couple of minutes over. But I want to grab – before I sign off – your favorite element of today’s conversation as we’ve been spending the last hour with Bobby Holland with U.S. Bank and John Janson with SanMar. What was your favorite most important aspect of the discussion?

Greg White (01:00:58):

Well, John only got to brush past it, but it was very striking. And it enunciated, yet again, the fact that this is all very circular. The spending that is causing and everything bubble. The travel, which has gotten the term revenge travel. The housing boom, and other things that consumers are spending money on, and the fact that people are staying away from work in droves, all driven by government subsidy. If we want to get some stability into this economy, we have to start pulling that government subsidy back. So, people are motivated to get to work. They start spending like it’s their own money, because it will be their own money. I mean, in truth, it is their own money. And get some stability back in the marketplace because this will continue to haunt us as long as we pay people to stay away from work and pay them as much or more than they were making before. So, that they make all of these discretionary spends that, I admit, have boosted the economy when it needed it. But I think the time is well past now.

Greg White (01:02:07):

And there are plenty of open jobs out there, not just in the trucking industry, but in every industry. And those are the supply chain industries. Those are the retail, the restaurant, the hospitality industry. So many industries out there that need people to work. I think, you know, hearing both the impact on John’s company and of transportation because of that, but also on their own ability to produce and distribute and deliver their own goods really drives that point home. We got to get back to work.

Scott Luton (01:02:41):

Yeah. Agreed. We got to keep our finger on the pulse of diesel fuel prices as well. There’s no shortage of observations and a lot of pain on the pump across the country. And, of course, the diesel fuel price is a big part of the uplift and spend.

Scott Luton (01:02:56):

John Janson, who was just with us – I love this – “We need to support the driver industry.” Reach out to him if you want to be a shipper of choice. That’s the conversations I’m talking about. Maybe we have to have John on a subsequent episode and dive in deep on just how to really become a shipper of choice and change a culture that, for way too long, has not changed around these brave professionals moving industry forward. Kim, 116 degrees Fahrenheit.

Greg White (01:03:24):

You must be in a different part of the UAE.

Scott Luton (01:03:28):

He must be.

Greg White (01:03:28):

He’s in Dubai. [Inaudible].

Scott Luton (01:03:32):

We’ll have to do a double check-in. But great to have you Kim, Peter, and Rhonda, and everyone that joined us here today. Big thanks to Bobby Holland, of course, with U.S. Bank, and John Janson with SanMar. Folks, come out and join us for next quarter. Gosh, it’ll be just around the corner. We have Bobby back with a fellow supply chain executive practitioner diving into the massive report resource that is the Freight Payment Index. Sign up for it at freight.usbank.com. And most importantly, Greg, if you do anything at all, do good, give forward, be the change that’s needed. And on that note, we’ll see you next time right here at Supply Chain Now. Thanks everybody.

Intro/Outro (01:04:15):

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

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Featured Guests

John Janson has 20+ years of experience piloting global logistics for industry leading companies including, MWI Animal Health/AmerisourceBergen, Bodybuilding.com, Micron and Micron PC. He is known to be a results driven executive, who invests in his team with strong relationship and team building skills. John’s ability to operate both strategically & tactically across multiple facets of company operations has made a difference with customers domestically & internationally. His career has given him quality, experienced knowledge of all aspects of global transportation, distribution & logistics. He is a graduate of Boise State University and has been married to his wife, Susan, for 39 years with 2 daughters & 5 grandchildren. Connect with John on LinkedIn.

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

Hosts

Scott W. Luton

Founder, CEO, & Host

Greg White

Principal & Host

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Adrian Purtill

Host, Logistics with Purpose

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

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Joshua Miranda

Marketing Specialist

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

Patch Reilly

Data Analytics and Metrics Intern

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

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Vicki White

Controller

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

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Scott W. Luton

Founder, CEO, & Host

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

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

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Greg White

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

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

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

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Chris Barnes

Principal, Supply Chain Now
Host of Supply Chain is Boring

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

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

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Karin Bursa

Host of TEKTOK

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

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

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Kevin L. Jackson

Host of Digital Transformers

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

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Enrique Alvarez

Host of Logistics with Purpose and Supply Chain Now en Español

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

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

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Kelly Barner

Host of Dial P for Procurement

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

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Jamin Alvidrez

Founder & CEO, Supply Chain Now
Host of Supply Chain Now, Veteran Voices, This Week in Business History

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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Jeff Miller

Host

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

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Amanda Luton

Chief Marketing Officer

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

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Clay Phillips

Business Development Manager

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

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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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Allie Krasinski

Marketing Coordinator

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

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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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Jada Carson

Marketing Coordinator

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

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Ben Harris

Host

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

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Page Siplon

Host, The Freight Insider

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

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Kristi Porter

Host, Logistics with Purpose

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

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Kevin Brown

Host, Logistics with Purpose

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

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Sofia Rivas Herrera

Host, Supply Chain Now en Espanol

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

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Jose Miguel Irarrazaval

Host, Logistics with Purpose

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

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Demo Perez

Host, Supply Chain Now en Espanol

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

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Kim Winter

Host, Supply Chain Now

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

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

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

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Nick Roemer

Host, Logistics with Purpose

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

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Alex Bramley

Sales Support Intern

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

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