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5 Top Logistics Expert Takeaways from FreightWaves 3PL Summit

5 Top Logistics Expert Takeaways from FreightWaves 3PL Summit

While it would certainly have been amazing to get together with colleagues and peers to network and learn, FreightWaves did an incredible job with its 3PL Summit as a virtual event. From the live Q&A with keynote speaker Brad Jacobs, CEO of XPO Logistics, through a series of informative and engaging fireside chats, to the entertaining ‘Great Debate,’ the FreightWaves 3PL Summit was a can’t-miss event.

If you did happen to miss it, fear not—you can catch the replays here.

In this post, we share five insightful excerpts from talks by:

  • Keynote speaker Brad Jacobs, CEO of XPO Logistics
  • Eric McGee, Executive Vice-President of Highway Services with J.B. Hunt
  • Craig Fuller, founder and CEO of FreightWaves
  • Robert Candena, CEO of Lean Staffing
  • Author and educator Jordan Belfort, ‘The Real Wolf of Wall Street’

See what logistics industry experts had to share on innovation and automation, predictions for the transportation market, employee engagement and company culture during the pandemic, and more.

Brad Jacobs on Innovation in Logistics and the Warehouse of the Future

“I wouldn’t say it’s a specific ‘light going off’ innovation, but the evolution of innovation in automation inside the warehouse very much impresses me because it improves safety, profit, and employee satisfaction. Customers love it because we can give a better service for a lower price, and it’s a win-win because we can make a higher margin. I believe that the innovation in the warehouse is at the forefront of tangible, concrete innovations going on in the logistics industry.”

FreightWaves 3PL Summit keynote speaker Brad Jacobs on improving the supply chain with innovation and automation in the warehouse.

“We have a partnership with one of our partners in Europe, Nestle, and we’ve developed with them the warehouse of the future. And by that I mean, every single part of automation and technological innovation inside the warehouse, we’ve met with all of those OEMs and they continue to pitch to us and we evaluate all of the different products. We’ve selected the ones that we think are the most advanced and the ones we think have the highest chance of succeeding and continuing to evolve in the future. We’re providing the software that links them all together through the WMx.

That was going to go live in July, here, but due to the pandemic it’s a few months behind schedule. I can’t wait until that opens. It’s going to be a showcase for the whole industry, and I can’t wait to share the proprietary technology that we have there with our other warehouses around the globe and also, to the extent it makes sense, to open source it.”

Brad Jacobs, CEO of XPO Logistics and FreightWaves 3PL Summit Keynote Speaker

Eric McGee Talks Technology-Enhanced Logistics Efficiency

“Creating the most efficient transportation network in North America means having the right shipment for the right carrier. It doesn’t necessarily need to be a shipment that J.B. Hunt found, and it doesn’t necessarily need to be a J.B. Hunt truck.

If you’re a 3PL today, you’re either investing in technology understanding that the industry is changing and you’re disrupting yourself, or you’re doing business in a traditional manner. The traditional way would have about two-thirds of your people calling on trucks. I challenge you to ask yourself, are you executing for your customers in the most efficient manner?

Eric McGee, Executive Vice-President of Highway Services with J.B. Hunt, in WavesTalk: Unlocking Tech-Enabled Efficiencies in 3PL

Craig Fuller on Whether Current Transportation Trends Can Hold

“If you look at normal seasonal patterns, what you would expect this time of year is that the OTVI (Outbound Tender Volume Index) would dip. It did not dip. It’s continued to accelerate, and that acceleration is going to continue.”

An injection of federal stimulus funding will keep OTV higher and the transportation and logistics industry stronger than seasonal norms, according to FreightWaves founder and CEO Craig Fuller.

“The Federal Reserve, combined with Congress, has put so much money into the economy that what we’re seeing is actually $5 trillion of stimulus into our economy, right there.

In terms of the market, we are seeing unprecedented volume. This is not only a black swan effect that we saw back in March, but also what we’re seeing now. It’s unprecedented. This is completely different from anything we’ve seen and it’s not going to revert back to seasonal trends. We’re seeing stimulus dollars and what we’re going to see is other demand return to the market.

Have you tried to buy lawn furniture or BBQs? You can’t get it right now because of all the demand out there. People simply are buying a lot of products and it’s propped up by the federal government.”

Craig Fuller, founder and CEO of FreightWaves, in The Great Debate with Zach Strickland

Robert Cadena on Employee Engagement and Remote Work Culture

“With COVID, there’s been a big focus on making sure our employees stay safe. We have about 1,600 employees working from home and we’ve been able to keep our culture. Our culture is our most amazing feature; it’s what we do together. We used to have volleyball tournaments but a lot of things that we did face-to-face… we’re now doing gaming tournaments and PlayStation tournaments to get everybody engaged. We try to keep it light…

We put our employees ahead of anybody else… Our HR and recruiting team and everyone around that has made sure that mental health supports are there. We have psychologists on standby to make sure we can tend to whatever needs they have.

We’ve been sending gifts and chocolate and things to their houses, just letting them know that look, your part of a bigger thing and even though you’re working from home, you are part of this great organization that we’re growing day-to-day.

So, we want to make sure that they know that all of this will pass, and the hardest part is just keeping ahead of all that is going on.”

Robert Cadena, CEO of Lean Staffing, in Put That Coffee Down Presented by Lean Staffing

Jordan Belfort on Overcoming Uncertainty in Sales Calls

Rather than saying, ‘Hey listen, I don’t know you, buddy… I’m not sure,’ they’ll say, ‘Oh, sounds good. Let me think about it.’ They throw that out there as a smokescreen for uncertainty.

The mistake that most salespeople make—especially in logistics, where it happens all the time—is they’ll try to somehow overcome the objection ‘Let me think about it,’ as if the person really has to think about it.

In fact, what the person is really saying is, ‘I want to think about it because I’m not certain enough yet. I don’t know you.’”

Hesitant prospects just don't know enough about your company yet, says Jordan Belfort, 'The Real Wolf of Wall Street.' It's up to salespeople in logistics to overcome that uncertainty by filling in the blanks.

“So rather than addressing that objection head-on, we deflect it instead. If someone said to me, ‘I want to think about it,’ I’m going to say, ‘You know, I hear what you’re saying. Let me ask you a question: Does the idea make sense to you? Do you like the program?’

They’ll typically say, ‘Yeah, it sounds pretty good.’

And I say, ‘Exactly, it really is a great program! Let me say this: What this program also does is…’ and then I will loop back and re-present and make them more certain. I tell them more about my company. I fill in the blanks. I create an impeccable, airtight, scream-from-the-hilltops logical case about why my company is the best solution. And when I’m done, I’ll ask them, ‘See what I’m saying? Does that make sense to you?’

Now they’ll say, ‘Oh, yeah!’”

Jordan Belfort, ‘The Real Wolf of Wall Street’ in Put That Coffee Down Presented by Lean Staffing

Visit the FreightWaves Virtual Events site to watch recast sessions and find information on upcoming events.