Highlights of Shipper Symposium 2016 – Part 2

Posted - May 12, 2016

Highlights of Shipper Symposium 2016 – Part 2

The stellar second half of the 14th annual Shipper Symposium in San Antonio was jam-packed with engaging speakers, compelling breakout sessions and some lively social activities! To kick off the second part of Day 2, Lora Cecere, founder of the research and advisory firm Supply Chain Insights, took the stage for “Race for Supply Chain 2020,” where she encouraged attendees to embrace the fact that supply chain is ever-evolving. Lora noted that she’s always looking at the future and thinking: “What does this mean to the supply chain leader?” She also pointed out that those in this industry have to learn from the past to “unlearn” and “relearn” new best practices for the future.




Attendees were then able to choose from three insightful breakout sessions, which topics included network optimization and supply chain transformation. One presentation, “Key Trends Shaping the Future of Business Intelligence,” showcased how the next logical step in logistics technology evolution is advanced data visualization and visual analytics. In particular, data as a service (DaaS) is an area where some really groundbreaking work can be done in the coming years. Those in this session were able to see first-hand some of the upcoming enhancements being made to transportation management analytics.

To perk up attendees in the mid-afternoon, enthusiastic keynote speaker Mike Song shared his “Zip! Tips” for using technology to get more done. He said, “I’m a runner, and I love getting from point A to point B better, smarter and faster. And whether you’re running a road race or getting more done at work, when you’re zipping toward your goals, doesn’t that feel good? When you get more done, you have more fun!” Attendees learned some very helpful shortcuts for using their email and smartphones to condense short tasks and save tons of time.




Later in the evening, a networking cocktail hour allowed the many supply chain, economic and industry professionals to mingle and discuss the day’s insightful sessions. A number of attendees participated in a silent auction to benefit Jim “The Rookie” Morris Foundation, which gives back to impoverished communities across America, and the auction raised over $17,000 for this great cause. A big thanks to all who participated and congratulations to the winners!




The final day of the Symposium certainly didn’t disappoint. Attendees got off to a bright and early start (with the help of some coffee!) as President and COO Frank McGuigan took the stage first to welcome everyone and give a Transplace business update. Frank touched on the growth that Transplace has seen, saying, “What keeps me up at night is: How do we as a company grow and continue to thrill our customers?’” He explained that while we’ve expanded, it’s important to remember that we are still the same Transplace, with the same core values – and that continued growth is a positive because it allows us to better serve our customers. Doug Punzel, Troy Ryley and Mike Dieter also contributed updates about Transplace’s business units and highlighted ongoing growth and innovation moving forward.




Back by popular demand, attendees were then treated to “Thom and Tom in the Morning” with Thom Albrecht, CFA and Managing Director of BB&T Capital Markets and Tom Sanderson, CEO of Transplace, taking the stage to discuss current industry and economic trends. Key takeaways included looking ahead at capacity and the U.S. economy. “The odds overwhelmingly favor an industrial production recovery in 2017, resulting in more freight and tighter capacity,” Albrecht noted. Sanderson added that small carriers are key to dealing with potential capacity constraints, pointing out that they hold the majority of capacity and over half the trucks in the industry.


SS16_Thom and Tom


In “Business Cycle Outlook 2016-2018,” economist Brian Beaulieu, CEO of ITR Economics, shared an enlightening presentation on the current economic conditions and his business predictions for the future. Overall, his view was very optimistic. “I’m upbeat about the future. People in the U.S. have more personal income, and retail sales are growing,” he said. He also noted that the Mexican economy is on the rise – and with a fantastic base of natural resources, Mexico is currently a “great place to do business.” Brian also shared some sage advice for businesses moving into the future: “Retaining millennials is going to be key to maximizing your profitability for the future. Pay for their lunch once or twice a month!”




And that’s a wrap on our 14th Shipper Symposium! A huge thank you to all of the attendees and speakers who have and continue to keep the transportation and logistics industry moving in the right direction. We look forward to seeing y’all next year at our 15th annual Shipper Symposium, taking place May 8th – 10th in Austin, Texas!

What was your favorite part of this year’s Shipper Symposium?