Executive Briefings

New Tenets of Transportation Revealed in Annual Study

Presidents Tommy Barnes and Joel Clum of Con-way Multimodal and Carrier Direct, corporate partners with the University of Tennessee and Georgia Southern in this year's Study of Trends and Issues in Transportation and Logistics, discuss new transportation tenets distilled from survey responses.

New Tenets of Transportation Revealed in Annual Study

“The transportation market has changed a lot since the great recession,” says Clum, president of Carrier Direct. “It is an increasingly complex and dynamic environment that requires a different playbook than in the past – things that worked previously don’t work as well anymore.”

This year’s study identifies some of these new tenets of transportation. “The first is to choose your partners carefully,” says Barnes, president of Con-way Multimodal. “More so than ever before, partnerships need to be strategic and longer term rather than transactional or commoditized,” he says. “They have to add value to both organizations over a period of time.”

The second tenet is to “play the same game,” says Barnes, since supply chain partners often have conflicting goals. “A shipper or 3PL may want to drive costs down, but the carrier or supplier may need to drive up return on invested capital,” he says. “Partners have to be able to meet in the middle and find a way to bridge those gaps.”

Third is collaboration, says Barnes. “Collaboration is the most overused word in the industry, but it really means sitting down, opening up and being transparent to your partners. This is what enables you to develop the relationship over multiple years and not operate on the basis of a single point in time.”

“Mine and mind the gap,” is tenet four, says Clum. “In today’s market companies are developing a vision and strategy that spans multiple years. It’s important to look at that and figure out where the gaps are between where you are now and that future vision. This goes back to sitting down in a collaborative way and seeing how you can fill those gaps within a strategic partnership.”

The fifth tenet is to “maintain your position,” says Clum. “As important as it is for all stakeholders to be in this together, you also have to understand what is most important to you and your company .This is critical to the internal conversations that shippers and carriers are having about how to thrive as an organization going forward and what they need to do to satisfy all stakeholder commitments.”

Putting these tenets into practice will take time, says Barnes. “People will have to step back and really talk through what these changes mean to their companies, today and also in the future.”

To view the video in its entirety, click here

“The transportation market has changed a lot since the great recession,” says Clum, president of Carrier Direct. “It is an increasingly complex and dynamic environment that requires a different playbook than in the past – things that worked previously don’t work as well anymore.”

This year’s study identifies some of these new tenets of transportation. “The first is to choose your partners carefully,” says Barnes, president of Con-way Multimodal. “More so than ever before, partnerships need to be strategic and longer term rather than transactional or commoditized,” he says. “They have to add value to both organizations over a period of time.”

The second tenet is to “play the same game,” says Barnes, since supply chain partners often have conflicting goals. “A shipper or 3PL may want to drive costs down, but the carrier or supplier may need to drive up return on invested capital,” he says. “Partners have to be able to meet in the middle and find a way to bridge those gaps.”

Third is collaboration, says Barnes. “Collaboration is the most overused word in the industry, but it really means sitting down, opening up and being transparent to your partners. This is what enables you to develop the relationship over multiple years and not operate on the basis of a single point in time.”

“Mine and mind the gap,” is tenet four, says Clum. “In today’s market companies are developing a vision and strategy that spans multiple years. It’s important to look at that and figure out where the gaps are between where you are now and that future vision. This goes back to sitting down in a collaborative way and seeing how you can fill those gaps within a strategic partnership.”

The fifth tenet is to “maintain your position,” says Clum. “As important as it is for all stakeholders to be in this together, you also have to understand what is most important to you and your company .This is critical to the internal conversations that shippers and carriers are having about how to thrive as an organization going forward and what they need to do to satisfy all stakeholder commitments.”

Putting these tenets into practice will take time, says Barnes. “People will have to step back and really talk through what these changes mean to their companies, today and also in the future.”

To view the video in its entirety, click here

New Tenets of Transportation Revealed in Annual Study