Supply Chain Challenges and Solutions Addressed During Transplace’s 13th Annual Shipper Symposium

Supply Chain Challenges and Solutions Addressed During Transplace’s 13th Annual Shipper Symposium

May 12, 2015

Transplace, a leading provider of transportation management services and logistics technology, wrapped up its 13th annual Shipper Symposium in Dallas last week. General Motors Chairman Tim Solso and other leading supply chain and business visionaries addressed current transportation and economic issues, including the impact of regulatory changes on truckload capacity, and the role of emerging technologies, such as 3-D printing, drones and driverless trucks, in the supply chain.

“The Shipper Symposium brings together leading industry experts to address the latest trends and issues impacting the global supply chain, and share strategies for successfully navigating challenges and driving operational excellence,” said George Abernathy, president and chief commercial officer, Transplace. “This year’s event featured an accomplished group of speakers who shared deep insights with our customers and partners to help them gain a greater understanding of the ever-changing industrial and economic landscape and apply new knowledge to their businesses.”

Event Highlights

  • Capacity Crunch, Shape-Shifting Modes: What’s Going on with the World? – Transplace CEO Tom Sanderson and BB&T Capital Markets Managing Director Thom Albrecht examined the state of truckload capacity and the impact of recent regulatory changes. According to Sanderson, “In the first part of 2015 there have been some isolated capacity issues, but we see capacity demand in far greater balance.” He went on to discuss how capacity challenges were exacerbated by the reduction in driver productivity resulting from changes to the hours-of-service regulation. “The general rule of the thumb was that the changes to the hours-of service would cost the industry between three percent and five percent, but different segments of the industry were impacted differently.” Thom Albrecht explained that many carriers – from the largest fleets in the country to small operations – experienced a five percent to eight percent impact to their miles per truck per week, but were too embarrassed to report that figure.
  • 3-D Printing, Drones & Driverless Trucks – Creating a Futuristic Supply Chain – A panel of experts examined how 3-D printing, drones and driverless trucks will change the future of the supply chain industry. During the session, Brent Hankins, lead electrical engineer for the Advanced Concepts group at Peterbilt Motors, addressed the development of autonomous vehicles and their impact on the trucking industry. He noted that, “Drivers are already becoming comfortable with the adaptive cruise systems and advanced safety systems we’re putting in trucks, so it will be a natural progression. Once we get more to [a level] where the driver can start disengaging from the steering wheel and move his attention to something else, he may handle more of the logistics and be in charge of finding his next load or contacting the people he’s delivering to. There’s certainly always going to be someone in the driver’s seat, but it just probably won’t look like it does today.”
  • Effective Business Leadership: General Motors Chairman Tim Solso discussed leadership principles and how the best leaders influence and inspire a successful business culture that allows team members to think innovatively and become peak performers. Solso shared his belief that the single biggest cost reduction opportunity for companies is the cost of material and how it's moved through the supply chain. He also asserted that leadership is what makes a company great over the long term, and shared his Five Rules of Leadership:
  1. People in your organization are a reflection of you
  2. People problems get worse over time not better
  3. People will not commit unless they trust their leader and know where they are going and why they are going there
  4. People development requires two elements: A good boss and meaningful work
  5. Managed diversity is a competitive advantage

The next Transplace Shipper Symposium will be held in San Antonio, May 9-11, 2016.

About Transplace
Transplace is a non-asset, North America-based third party logistics (3PL) provider offering manufacturers, retailers, chemical and consumer packaged goods companies the optimal blend of logistics technology and transportation management services. The company’s services and capabilities include Transportation Management Services, Intermodal, Brokerage and SaaS transportation management (TMS) solutions supplemented by supply chain network planning and design, transportation procurement and consulting services. The company is recognized among the elite 3PLs for its proven ability to deliver both rapid return on investment and consistent value to a customer base that includes many of the largest shippers in the world.