Carrier Logistics hosts technology conference

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Top executives from the world’s leading LTL and parcel delivery companies learned how to navigate the financial landscape and improve profitability at the Carrier Logistics Inc. (CLI) Transportation Forum in Tarrytown, N.Y., in October.

The conference, produced and underwritten by CLI with the support of Progress Software and other strategic partners, helped transportation company executives plan for achieving their goals now and in coming years.

“Attendees found out why it doesn’t work to use the same old approaches to creating profits,” said Ken Weinberg, CLI vice president. “Our speakers showed us why, with change accelerating, there is only one way to win – think outside the box.”

“Networking among the trucking company executives at the meeting was an important part of the conference,” he said.

Keynoter James L. Welch, newly appointed CEO of JHT Holdings, Inc., Kenosha, Wis., a transporter of newly built trucks, provided insights on how to improve profits. Welch, a 30-year industry veteran best known as former president and CEO of Yellow Transportation, told industry leaders technology is the critical path to the future, along with service and price. Niche players can have an edge over the largest carriers, he said, in an industry that has changed more in the last five years than in the preceding 20.

Other featured speakers included:

  • Joe Guimond, vice president and general manager, Purolator Freight, and Ken Manning, president, TCG, discussed how doing such socially responsible things as reducing fuel use and excess idling can help manage costs
  • Steve Fox, principal, Norbridge Inc., talked about how to offset the unintended consequences of past regulation by implementing new pricing ideas. For example, a backhaul may not be worth it if the pickup and drop-off costs are too high.
  • Jeff Keller, principal of Keller Services, LLC, discussed why 40 percent of all new IT projects fail and how carriers can determine true ROI in advance
  • Satish Jindel, principal, SJ Consulting Group, and Sarah C. Copp, vice president, corporate transportation and logistics, Time Warner, examined innovative ways to boost revenue. Ms. Copp explained what factors determined whether her company would work with six carriers, seven, or a dozen.
  • Ken Hoexter, senior airfreight & surface transportation analyst for Merrill Lynch, discussed the effects of economic trends on the LTL trucking industry – for example, increasing use of holiday gift cards instead of merchandise gifts, reducing the accustomed seasonal peak for freight transportation.
  • Patrick C. Penfield, asst. professor and Director of Supply Chain Management Programs, Syracuse University, told attendees how developing a sustainable supply chain can augment profitability and what the future may hold for ethanol, coal, wind, and biomass energy sources.
  • Joe Conoscenti, Nice-Pak Products, told carrier executives how to sell value to increase sales and that good business relationships are crucial in the shipper/carrier dealings.
  • In addition, a just-completed U.S./Canadian study, presented for the first time to the meeting attendees, identified how customers choose a carrier using 20 attributes most important to customer satisfaction, loyalty and other value factors. Carriers receiving high or improved evaluations included FedEx Freight, A. Duie Pyle, Dohrn, Daylite, and Con-way, said presenter Bart Thedinger, president, Mastio & Company.

    “Roundtable discussions, in which carrier representatives and expert speaker/panelists participated, examined some hot topics,” said Weinberg. “These included international and Canadian transportation issues, outsourcing, and retaining productive employees.”

    Carrier Logistics Inc., a leading transportation systems consultant and technology developer, has provided software solutions to truckers for more than 30 years.