Supply Chain Challenges’ Impact Discussed At Annual Symposium - Global Trade Magazine
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  May 26th, 2015 | Written by

Supply Chain Challenges’ Impact Discussed At Annual Symposium

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  • One of the biggest cost reduction opportunity for companies is the flow of material as it moves through the supply chain
  • The recent driver shortage, resulting in changes to the hours-of-service regulation, has exacerbated capacity challenges

Transplace, a provider of transportation management services and logistics technology, wrapped up its 13th annual Shipper Symposium in Dallas a couple weeks ago. Speakers included General Motors Chairman Tim Solso as well as other leading supply-chain and business visionaries.

Current transportation and economic issues were highlighted as topics of discussion, including the impact of regulatory changes on truckload capacity and the role of emerging technologies in supply chain, such as 3-D printing, drones and driverless trucks.

Changes to hours-of-service regulations have exacerbated the nationwide driver shortage and caused major concern for the state of truckload capacity.

“The general rule of the thumb was that the changes to the hours-of service would cost the industry between 3 percent and 5 percent, but different segments of the industry were impacted differently,” explains Tom Albrecht, BB&T Capital Markets managing director. “Many carriers experienced a 5 to 8 percent impact to their miles per truck per week, but were too embarrassed to report that figure.”



The inventions of 3-D printing, drones and driverless trucks are creating a futuristic supply chain industry. Brent Hankins, lead electrical engineer for the Advanced Concepts group at Peterbilt Motors says, “Once we get more to [a level] where the driver can start disengaging from the steering wheel and move his attention to something else, he may handle more of the logistics and be in charge of finding his next load or contacting the people he’s delivering to. There’s certainly always going to be someone in the driver’s seat, but it just probably won’t look like it does today.”

General Motors Chairman Tim Solso wrapped up the symposium discussing the influence and importance of effective business leadership. Solso believes that “inspiring a successful business culture allows team members to think innovatively and become peak performers.” Solso finished his lecture by sharing his belief that “the single biggest cost reduction opportunity companies is the cost of material and how it is moved through the supply chain.”