The annual FreightWaves Future of Supply Chain conference brought together leaders across the transportation, logistics and supply chain industries on May 9-10, 2022 with dozens of on-stage interviews and demos exploring the ongoing digital evolution of the industry.
Convoy’s CEO Dan Lewis participated in two on-stage discussions, including an insightful interview with FreightWaves CEO Craig Fuller on today’s volatile freight market, and a one-on-one conversation with CHEP’s Director of Supply Chain George Brehovsky about driving greater sustainable outcomes through relationships, collaboration, data and technology.
Navigating Volatility in Today’s Freight Markets
While it’s often said that the only thing predictable about the freight market is its unpredictability, shippers, carriers and brokers alike need to be prepared to manage the ups and downs that will inevitably arrive.
According to Dan, the solution isn’t to solve for the inevitable volatility, but to remain flexible and have a system that can handle and react to market fluctuations. The best solution is a system that’s elastic at its core, with flexible procurement, capacity and drop-and-hook networks that function well with high performance in any market condition. “I want to focus on building our entire business to be reactive and flexible to what’s happening in the market, in that short term, whether it’s weeks or months … and support our customers through that,” said Dan.
Driving Sustainable Innovation Through Relationships and Trust
Following his main stage talk with Craig, Dan took to the FreightWavesTV stage for an engaging discussion with CHEP’s director of supply chain, George Brehovsky, on sustainability and how technology, data and partnerships can drive greater outcomes in the supply chain.
As Dan discussed, sustainability at Convoy means reducing empty miles and the time drivers spend idling at facilities, while also making the truck driving profession more sustainable. To do that, you need to think outside the box.
“How do we build systems that are innovative, whether that’s making the trailer available to the driver that does the Convoy job for the next job, that they might want to do that may be outside the Convoy network, or combining different types of jobs and giving the driver the flexibility to reuse that trailer as a way to efficiently preposition it without having to do an empty run?” said Dan.
George agreed. “Our organization has been innovative to begin with, and always willing to try new things. We were one of the first to partner with Convoy originally. I feel it starts with having the right open-minded culture to really challenge the norms. We, as an organization, are always pushing the boundaries to challenge ourselves to think differently and really try to look at the larger picture.”
George went on to discuss CHEP’s approach to sustainability, which is rooted in partnership. “We have a customer collaboration program called The Zero Waste World where we partner with our customers and the industry to help solve common challenges,” said George. “We have a ton of data, including the origin and destination of every pallet which is core to our program. By using that data, we’re able to unlock a lot of network visibility out there that, as an industry connector, helps us identify opportunities for customers, whether that’s benchmarking their inventory, or connecting transport which allows them to help eradicate empty miles. [For example] we have a customer transport collaboration program, where we’re able to match a shipper with a shipper, to share common capacity on certain lanes, or improve truckload fill rates.”
George also discussed some intriguing new areas CHEP is exploring to reduce waste with pallets.
“How do we repurpose, not just our waste, but potentially our customers’ waste, to put that into things like composite materials that could further help reduce the weight of panels?”
Throughout the discussion, collaboration was recognized as an area of mutual importance between both CHEP and Convoy. As Dan noted at the end of the discussion, trust and relationships are critical for innovation of any kind: “Being a tech company that innovates on the existing model requires stronger relationships than selling the status quo. To innovate, you need to have early adopters willing to take risks and try the ‘new thing’. When you ask any business to change, they have to really trust you and believe in your intentions.”
Sustainability at Convoy
We are focused on reducing the billions of waste in trucking and supporting the communities where we live and work. Learn more about Convoy’s commitment to sustainability.