Experience Needed

Experience Needed

Copyright 2004, Traffic World, Inc.

In reading both submissions to your Sept. 13 letters column, I find myself nodding in agreement with the writers.

In "Supply Chain Security," many shippers used to take the position that security was about loss prevention. You handled it by hiring a retired policeman who supposedly would solve all your ills by being more or less an ex-cop.

In "Back to Basics," many shippers have pulled their "fast-track logistics professionals" from schools that offer varying degrees of logistics or transportation education.

The common thread that links the two subjects is experience, or lack thereof.

Logistics is one of the few regimens that relies less on book-smarts and more on "been there, seen that."

If you were unlucky, experience was seeing something you did go pear-shaped and you learned not to do it again. If you were lucky, it was seeing someone else mess up and you learned not to do it.

All aspects of the freight industry can be learned only by time served. You cannot come into the freight environment and be an instant expert on freight security unless you know how the freight industry works, and that takes time.

So much of what happens on a day-to-day basis in the freight industry has little or no relevance to "how the book says it should be done."

Is there anyone on this planet who actually uses a TACT rate for air freight? Yet that is the educational standard for teaching air freight rating structures.

Keith Forrest

Logistics manager

F&M Mafco