Taking Your Supply Chain to a New Dimension: Shipper Symposium 2019
Our 17th annual Shipper Symposium in Dallas, Texas wrapped up today — and from the insightful keynote speakers and breakout presenters to the activities and attendees, we’re positive that this year’s event has been one of the best yet. During the three days, industry leaders, executives, partners, sponsors, carriers and shippers had the opportunity to discuss current industry trends such as data management and technology, capacity constraints, and economic and regulatory issues that are impacting the transportation of goods across the globe.
Attendees spent the first evening of Shipper Symposium enjoying fantastic food and activities, including virtual reality, painting with brain waves and a silent auction supporting Feeding America.
On day two, Transplace CEO Frank McGuigan kicked off the educational portion of the event bright and early and also presented the proceeds from our silent auction to Feeding America, the nation’s largest domestic hunger-relief organization. We raised $25,000 for this great cause!
Ken Gronbach, spoke to how the world is changing, and how knowing the facts about demographics can be invaluable when looking at your organization’s key markets. He stated, “You need to understand how many people are in your market and understand if it’s growing or getting smaller. When you look closely, you will find answers.”
Attendees had the opportunity to stop by the Innovation Lab, a new feature at this year’s event, to hear how Transplace can support shippers with optimized logistics planning and design, see advanced technology and real-time visibility execution platforms in action with live demos, and gain a better understanding of Transplace’s business intelligence and reporting capabilities.
Attendees were presented with a host of insightful breakout sessions, including those focused on improving capacity from the viewpoint of LTL and intermodal shippers, enhancing supply chain visibility and “mega trends” impacting transportation and supply chain management. During one session, Steve Banker, Vice President, Supply Chain Management, ARC Advisory said, “When it comes to forecasting data, we’re pulling elements from many various systems. Companies are willing to share data to get a more holistic view, and that’s a game-changer. Artificial intelligence and machine learning is the power behind these applications.”
Other breakout session topics included navigating dynamic rail networks, supply chain digitization and the value of the Transplace network. Transplace’s Mark McEntire shared, “The more you can understand an entire supply chain beyond just trucks and trains, the better you’ll be. The best impact happens when trust and need collide: that’s where the optimal partnership happens, and that’s how we can maximize the impact of the Transplace network.”
Founder and CEO of Extreme Living, Sarah Robb O’Hagan, shared four ways that leaders can take themselves to extreme levels in order to achieve success.
Attendees also saddled-up for a “Texas-sized” experience in the North Texas countryside at Circle R Ranch and enjoyed a night of armadillo racing, country music, a professional rodeo and much more!
On the last morning of the Shipper Symposium, attendees participated in a packed program, including the Transplace State of the Business from Frank McGuigan, a technology update from CTO Jim French and a financial overview from CFO Chris Nester. Frank noted that, at Transplace, “We don’t think bigger is better. Bigger and smarter is better, and it has us continuing to increase our expenditures in engineering and technology. These are necessary investments for our shippers.”
Ben Cubitt, Senior Vice President of Consulting and Strategy Services at Transplace, and Bruce Chan, Vice President and Senior Analyst in Transportation & Logistics at STIFEL, took the stage with Matthew Harding, Transplace’s new Senior Vice President of Data Science, to discuss current transportation trends and industry insights. From autonomous trucks and platooning to machine learning and AI, the panelists discussed the industry in terms of ongoing trends and innovations.
We concluded the event with a discussion with economist Brian Beaulieu of ITR Economics, who shared his near-and-long-term economic forecast. Overall, his outlook was positive and he urged attendees to think about ways they can invest in their businesses now in order to weather the eventual downturn of the cycle. He noted that now is a great time to invest in automation.
A big thanks to all! We appreciate everyone who attended this year’s event, and we hope to see you again next year in Austin, Texas on May 4-6, 2020.
What was your most memorable moment during Shipper Symposium 2019?