Highlights of Shipper Symposium 2016: Part 1
We kicked off the 14th annual Shipper Symposium in sunny San Antonio this week and we couldn’t be more thrilled to bring together industry luminaries, keynote speakers, partners, carriers and customers!
Tom Sanderson, CEO of Transplace, officially welcomed attendees and introduced the evening’s keynote speaker, Jim Morris, a former MLB baseball player and the subject of the movie The Rookie. Focusing on the importance of choices, Morris said: “You make up your own mind about what you want to be and what you want to do. It’s the choices that we make that make us who we are.” Morris shared with the audience how learning to follow his dreams, telling the truth no matter what and “walking the walk” has helped him throughout his life, and drove him to finally realize his dream of pitching in the major leagues. His final takeaway for attendees was simple: “If you don’t chase your own dreams, that’s your fault.”
Day 2 of Shipper Symposium began with Frank McGuigan, President and Chief Operating Officer, welcoming attendees and introducing the first keynote speaker for the day: Siphiwe Baleka, Ironman triathlete and U.S. Master’s Swimming National Champion as well as trucker, health counselor and fitness instructor. How does an avid athlete and truck driving go together? Baleka was here to tell us. “I love truck driving. You’re getting to see America, and it makes you feel free. But truck driving is not a healthy occupation. I want to make one of the unhealthiest occupations in the US, one of the healthiest.” Baleka has made it his mission to transform the health of truck drivers by providing an actionable plan to eat right and exercise while on the road.
The morning breakout sessions had attendees picking from hearing about carrier management strategies to strategic advantages of cross-border intermodal shipping and the evolution of transportation technology. The panel focused on evolving transportation technology had a lively discussion and Glynn Spangenberg SVP and General Manager of MacroPoint summed it up by saying, “Limited technology doesn’t scale, so it’s important to keep abreast of evolving technology. And when you can apply technology correctly and it enhances workflow, everyone’s life becomes easier.”
Attendees regrouped for speaker Carlos Cascos, Texas Secretary of State, who focused on speaking about U.S. – Mexico trade and how we can create resilient bonds along the border. Cascos told attendees about the six million jobs that have been created because of our direct trade with Mexico and that our neighbor to the south makes up a third of our trade. But stressed, “You can’t trade with Mexico without building relationships. We share culture, customs and business with Mexico. Our neighbor to the south is our business partner.”
Following Cascos was another round of breakout sessions that focused on the supply chain of the future, preferred shipper program, and expert-driven forecasting and risk estimations. Brooks Bentz, President of Transplace Consulting Services, talked about the need for supply chains to be more agile and resilient, yet we’ve reached a new era of “permanent volatility”, which is driving an increasingly large number of supply chains challenges and failures. To adapt to this new normal, Bentz says an adaptive supply chain is needed. “We’re looking to technology to be the next driver of productivity.”
What are you looking forward to on Day 3 of the Shipper Symposium?