Annual Carrier Symposium 2017: Thank You, Carriers and Truck Drivers!
Today, we held our Annual Carrier Symposium in Fayetteville, Arkansas – and it was a great opportunity for us to continue to provide education, recognition and appreciation for carriers who provide capacity in support of our shipper customers. This one-day event hosted more than 200 attendees from Transplace’s core carrier partners, with 120 carriers represented. The collaborative forum allowed these carriers to network and discuss key transportation trends and challenges that are currently impacting the industry.
To kick off the day, Transplace’s Ben Cubitt and Mark McEntire shared insight into our current business strategy and goals and discussed the future of TMS technology and where the industry may be headed. Ben Cubitt noted that, at Transplace, “We go out and get the best tools and really do try to drive supply chain excellence for our customers.”
The University of Arkansas also presented a panel on macro and micro economic trends internationally and in the U.S. that are helpful for carriers to know in the current market. Dr. Brian Fugate told attendees, “Carriers are connectors! And as connectors, carriers have more data than anyone else in the supply chain, and this allows them to be supply chain leaders.”
This year’s symposium also comes at a great time – during Truck Driver Appreciation Week – and this year’s attendees were able to listen to engaging industry speakers discuss current problems and solutions for today’s truck drivers. Siphiwe Baleka, Ironman triathlete and U.S. Master’s Swimming National Champion, as well as trucker, health counselor and fitness instructor, revealed how he was able to take trucking, the unhealthiest profession, and turn it into a model for workplace wellness. 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.
Truckload and less-than-truckload breakout sessions were also part of the day, and through these informative presentations and interactive discussions, attendees were given the chance to learn about and give input on a number of topics of interest. This included some of the top things that carriers want from shippers, such as:
- Accurate shipment count
- Billing accuracy
- Pickup times
- Packaging (package engineering to reduce damage and help improve efficiency)
- Awareness of customer expectations (pickup/must arrive by dates, etc.)
Attendees also learned about some of the key regulations and trends currently affecting the industry, including a very lively discussion on the future of autonomous vehicles and how ELD data is affecting the industry landscape. Two key questions that stood out were “What tech disruptions are out there in the industry right now? And what problems can this technology solve?” Attendees were encouraged to continue an open dialogue to create opportunities to optimize the supply chain. As Transplace’s Steve Mitchell put it, “We’re all sitting here trying to think of better ways to do freight. If you think you see something in our network to drive some cost out or do it a little better, we’re always willing to listen!”
Winners of the 2016 Carrier Awards
Strong carrier relationships are critical to Transplace’s ability to deliver outstanding service to our customers, so it’s important for us to recognize those that consistently provide exemplary service. The Carrier of the Year awards are the capstone of the Carrier Symposium, and recognize transportation service providers that are truly the best of the best.
The awards are based on over 20 million annual shipments across more than 300 customers in Transplace’s TMS and freight network, recognizing those carriers with consistent high performance in shipment execution areas, such as tender acceptance, on-time service, claims and other critical KPIs. Selection for these awards varies slightly by transportation mode, but all selections are objective and based on companywide, quantitative data as well as survey feedback from Transplace account teams.
This year, Transplace recognized 16 service providers in a number of various categories and these stellar companies represent the top one percent of our carrier base across all lines of business.
Congratulations to all of the winners, and thank you to all who attended the Carrier Symposium this year! In particular, a special thank you to all who have contributed to the St. Christopher Fund already this week. Check out the video below and be sure to donate to this special cause if you haven’t already!