Cargo Crimes and Disaster Logistics
Episode Transcript
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In this episode, we’re covering one of the more fascinating topics in all of supply chain – crime, fraud, and disasters. Grace Sharkey also makes her debut in the best of compilation because we cover cargo crime in each one of our monthly episodes. Meanwhile, the other portion of this compilation revolves around Disaster Logistics – where we have some of the best and brightest in logistics trying to optimize recovery efforts during some extremely challenging situations.

These episodes will play in order of how I think they will be the most valuable to you, the listener, but if you want to jump to a specific part, I’ve got each episode time-stamped as well as the link back to the original episode – which has some handy show links and ways to get in touch with the guest or topic from that episode.

Lastly, thank you so much for the support you’ve given this show during our first year of going fully independent. While these “best ofs” are airing, I’ll be finalizing the first part of 2024’s content plan with tons of new content on the way.

Until then, enjoy and I hope you find this episode helpful….




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Show Transcript

See full episode transcriptTranscript is autogenerated by AI

Blythe Brumleve: 0:05

Welcome into another episode of Everything Is Logistics, a podcast for the thinkers in at Freight, and we're on our very last best of compilation for the best shows and episodes that you enjoyed from 2023. And in this particular episode, we're covering one of the more fascinating topics in all of supply chain, and that's crime, fraud and disasters. Now for our cargo crime aspect. We cover that pretty regularly on this show, whether it's dedicated episodes or in the monthly series with Grace Sharkey called Freight Friends. We have a cargo crime segment, so you're going to hear a couple different segments from that particular show. Meanwhile, the other portion of this compilation revolves around disaster logistics, where we have some of the best and brightest in logistics trying to optimize recovery efforts during some extremely challenging situations. Now these episodes are going to play an order of how I think they will be the most valuable to you, the listener. But if you want to jump to a specific part, I've got each episode time stamped as well as a link back to the original episode, which has some handy show links and ways to get in touch with either the guest or a topic from that episode. And lastly, thank you so much to the support you've given the show during our first year, 2023, of going fully independent. While these best ofs are airing, this is the last one of the series. I'm going to be finalizing the first part of 2024's content plan, with tons of new content on the way both to the podcast and YouTube, as well as, of course, our social channels as well, but I don't want to inundate you with too much information. But until then, until about that mid part of January when those new episodes drop I hope you've enjoyed these best of compilations and if you haven't checked out previous ones, feel free to go back and listen to those as well, while we're still sort of getting things ready for the new year and really starting things off with a bang. But until then, I hope you guys enjoy. I hope you had a great holiday and I hope you find this episode helpful. Cargo theft is at an all time high 10 year high as it is, and from talking to, I had an interview that posted earlier this week with Taryn, who works over in accounts payable yeah, accounts payable with SPI logistics, and she said that she has been trained from some of their internal teams that have been around for a while that typically in economic downturns you see rises in cargo theft and so this happened in like 2008, 2009. So it would really sort of you know, pair well or not pair well, but that data tracks with what we're seeing right now, with cargo theft being at a 10 year high. So I thought that this article from Flexport was really interesting that talked about the different stages of train robberies and how they occur. Most of us had heard, you know, about a lot of the trains getting robbed out in Port of Long Beach, the Port of LA. You just sort of saw these sort of like dystopian train tracks with like boxes and packaging materials just thrown everywhere. But it turns out like the spikes in the cargo theft and this is I'm reading from Flexport's article right now says spikes in cargo theft, along with successful efforts to curb the trend, have hit the news cycle several times over the last couple of years, known simply as shopping, that thieves board trains while they're passing through built up populated areas that have yet to pick up speed. So these trains that are moving from the port to different warehouses and facilities, they go very slow. But so, with Flexport, what they've done to try to solve this is, says, by inputting data on recent thefts, rail schedules, police movements, etc. Flexport can now track connections between rail lines, criminal gangs, carriers and more, which I think just leads to just sort of like the overall like what are you doing to combat this? Because from the research that I was in, shout out to commercial carrier carrier journal, who had a two part series on their YouTube channel, is really really good talking about cargo theft. They posted it like a few weeks ago was really really insightful. But they said that there's two kinds of stolen freight. They're strategic, which is like the bad guys sort of trick you into giving you the freight. And then there's there's also straight, just straight theft. So the what's going on at the rail lines is just straight theft because it's the freight, is the it's. They're moving so slow that the freight is just sitting there. The thieves will see the trains coming through. They don't really have an idea of what kind of freight is on those different containers that are moving through, and so they're basically just like hopping on, cut and open the doors and then just going inside and just opening up boxes. That's why you see that material just sort of thrown out everywhere. But there's also where the strategic freight now it's becoming more of like a high impact, like high scale, like just thievery where you know they're, they're trying to. There was one situation that he talked about in particular, that if there is a high value load like, say, you know, electronics that hits a load board, what will happen is that these networks of thieves will essentially flood your location with phone calls. They'll try to get, as they'll try to get as many people within their network, within their crime ring, to just flood your phones so that not one of them has access to that load. And they will sometimes pay a cheaper rate in order to or offer you the cheapest amount possible to move that freight. And a lot of brokers are going to say yes to that because they're trying to, you know, move for as much possible or trying to make their margins as much as possible. So they'll just go ahead and accept it and so what? They'll watch that freight move from place to place and then they will strike when the iron is hot. You know that typically what happens is that you know drivers will, unless you are routing properly. So say, for example, if you're going to be, if you're a driver and you're going to be hauling a load of flat screen TVs, what they're now doing to try to combat. You know, just a truck just sitting or sitting overnight is they want the driver to have their full hours available, they want them fully rested, they want them fully fueled up so as soon as that freight hits their truck they can drive as long as possible because they're getting hit at truck stops. They're getting hit at rest stops. Thieves are just straight up just cutting open the back of the truck, but they're tracking it. So it's really like strategic fevery that the driver is a lot of times unaware of what's going on. So shout out to commercial carrier journal, because I learned a ton about you know just how you can prevent it. They also talked a lot about the golden rule of a stealing freight is that you don't steal what you can't sell. And the cool I guess they I shouldn't say the cool thing, the interesting thing about this kind of freight is that food and beverage has been the top commodity that has been stolen for the last 10 years, up until 2020. It was the top freight that was stolen because once you steal it, it's consumed and there's also no serial number on. You know a bottle of liquor, or you know seafood shipments. You know things like high value, like steaks and seafood, things like that. Like it's consumed, so it's gone. So once food and beverage is taken, it's just considered a loss, Whereas, like a TV, has a serial number on it so you can easily track that back to, you know, a stolen shipment. So I thought that that was really interesting. And food and Bev is the number one commodity stolen, and that was the case from 2009 up until 2020. And then in 2020, while we're all at home, remember that golden rule so that theft evolved into home goods and then it evolved into electronics because everyone is working from home, the, you know kids are learning from home. But now, in this year, it's back to food and Bev as the number one commodity stolen. So he, you know he goes on to talk about different prevention tips. So focus on your. I loved this approach. Focus on your processes. Before you buy any tech or tools. There are these different locks that exist that they're I forget what they're called is like a specific kind of hard locks on the doors and landing locks on the truck itself to prevent the truck from even moving. So it says to focus on your processes. First, have cameras at entry docs, entry points and at the docs don't let anyone in the yard unless they're allowed to be there. Kind of going back to yard management solutions, but that you know thieves will just drive into a yard and just take a look around and just see what kind of freight's being unloaded and just sort of watch things. So if you have those different checkpoints of when thieves arrive and or not thieves arrive, get all of your trucks like no one should be allowed into your yard unless they're supposed to be there. Simple things like focusing on that, that part of the process, before you invest in technology, and like different locking, security cameras, things like that Checking paperwork when drivers leave to make sure it all matches up, because that's another scam that's been going on is that you know they'll get the paperwork and then the driver is unassuming when they get different kinds of paperwork so they don't have any idea. Fast docking is also another high point of where cargo theft can happen as well, and what I love about this is they also preach the power of education. Empower your drivers to be that next line of defense and make them aware, because drivers you know they don't want to. You know they know when they're hauling dangerous freight, but they also don't want to lose that dangerous or that high value freight as well. So empowering them to be rested up, filled up, so when they do leave they can drive as long as they can, securing rear doors while the driver is sleeping, staying overnight only at secure lots because truck stops are also highly targeted. And then there really is an association for everything but TAPA, which is another association I've never heard of until after this. You know video series, tapa, tapa's, and it stands for Transported Asset Protection Association. Apparently they have a record amount of people that are going to be attending their conference in coming up in December in Boca Raton. So I thought that I never knew that there was, but it makes a lot of sense that there is. And then they said also education. So CargoNet is a cargo theft prevention company. So they said to use them as well, but make sure you get your processes in order. And then conferences like TAPA companies like CargoNet also Overhaul all of these companies, help with prevention tips, monitoring things like that. So I thought that that was just a really fun like sort of deep dive into, I guess, the criminal world of moving freight, which unfortunately happens more, you know, as the economy is not seeing. You know such, you know, good times. So thank you for listening to my cargo crime rant and speech.

Grace Sharkey: 11:33

Well, you know it's. I actually said this at TIA too. It's like don't put me in front of an audience. I kind of called out because you know that's a room full of brokers and so, like, this is a perfect opportunity for me to be kind of honest. And you know, when it comes to cargo theft, yes, there's like there's clearly highway. There's a lot of like carrier share programs, carrier 4011 that you can use to kind of like guide you into the direction of like whether or not this carrier is risk for cargo theft, et cetera. Cargonet's a great one too. Right Using and reporting to that over time. My biggest fear, especially when we see that number get so big yes, I do agree, it's like a lot of it has to do with recession. There are people that are struggling right now and are, of course, stealing more, but what percent of those are? I'd love to know what that number looks like if we take out what was almost self-induced by our own industry. So what I mean by that is how much of that is from your carrier rep, knowing that they're incentivized off big rips saying to themselves you know what this guy's known for putting it on a train, fuck it, I want this $500 rip. I'm going to put them on it because I see that stuff happen in these brokers all the time and there are compliance steps and I think there's a lot of digital players that have steps to avoid even a rough making that decision, like they can't even be on this, but like, how often are we overriding that function? How often are our reps using highway, seeing that they're at risk and still giving the load to those carriers? Right? And that's like my biggest fear is, in an environment we've talked about, especially at Freight Waves, where brokers are having a rough time, I can guarantee your sales reps haven't seen the commission checks that they saw two years ago and because you only incentivize them off of their rips, which is dumb to begin with, and people aren't doing that anymore, so consider not doing it either. They're actually doing this on purpose and knowing that the end of the day, it's going to be an insurance claim possibly there's different steps that's going to avoid them truly being in trouble, for I've seen C-level executives just let even some shipments gladly go without insurance coverage. So it's like how worse could it get? So that's my biggest critique is like I hope that our industry is not just like hearing this news and being like, yeah, cargo theft is like at its worst. What steps do you have in compliance, that's making sure this isn't happening? And when Joe Schmo comes up to you and it's a rough day in your brokerage and you're not hitting your goal and Joe Schmo says, hey, listen, this carrier is kind of shady but he's going to do it for a really good price, can I just put him on it? How often are you saying no to that? Are you saying work on it, see what else you can put on it? Are you saying no, that's not how we operate and so that's like a big thing. I just like to challenge. Our industry is like are you being very serious? And how you're implementing ways to stop cargo fraud? And also, I think that this is not going to go away. I think this is going to become just a bigger issue over time. We're not seeing the economy flip anytime soon, and so for me it's like there's going to be a point where a shipper is going to ask you what steps are you taking? And if you aren't taking those steps, I mean the insurance isn't going to pay for it, it's going to come from your company. We just saw, we lost a broker the other day right, clarissa just wrote about it for what they really got hit with, I think it was a $700,000 claim that put them already back in the rear and then they couldn't get out of that situation. So they ended up having to file bankruptcy and I appreciate the way that the owner kind of talked through that situation, but I also want to know more detail about how that happened, because to say, oh, costs are too high in this industry, no one can play and be a part of this. I'd love to know how that insurance claim got put together right. How did that end up falling apart? Because that is a big claim. Someone did something wrong, and the fact that you ate it tells me you did something wrong, because I don't know any broker who I would if a shipper made me eat a $700,000 claim to keep them as a customer in this industry. I'm about buying. Now you can go anywhere else Like, again, bad customers, but I can guarantee if you ate that $700,000 claim, you did something wrong. So that's just kind of where I am when it comes to what are we really doing, and I think that will become a value at some point in time in the next so many months. Maybe it takes a couple of years, but shippers will want to know that it will no longer be. Hey, I've got a cheap truck in the area. It's like great, is your cheap truck going to steal my shit? And what are you doing to avoid that? Because I've been dealing with this left and right and the more that you get into expensive freight especially and you touched on this and I love this expensive freight that can be easily offloaded, like I don't use to move steel, I'd have drivers all the time be like if you don't pay us an extra $50 for detention, we're going to take this off our truck. I'm like, yeah, okay, where are you going to go? Find an overhead crane in New Jersey and pay for that, to take this off your truck. And then where are you sitting? How are you moving? You know what I mean. Like there's some freight that's like, yeah, buddy, it's going to cost you more than the freight itself to steal this load. But when you're dealing with produce and small packages, boxes, a lot of the freight in this industry we talked of, like almonds, right, like pistachios, like those things are expensive, a truckload of pistachios. I will gladly steal that truck if I can. That is like depending on where you, what country you're from, like generational wealth right there. So it's just me smart about it and I hope that that's like part of the training in providers. Out there is like not this, like come to us in situations no we, these are our standards, we stick to them. Everyone else can say goodbye.

Blythe Brumleve: 18:16

Are you in freight sales with a book of business looking for a new home? Or perhaps you're a freight agent in need of a better partnership? These are the kinds of conversations we're exploring in our podcast interview series called the freight agent trenches, sponsored by SPI logistics. Now I can tell you all day that SPI is one of the most successful logistics firms in North America, who helps their agents with back office operations such as admin, finance, it and sales. But I would much rather you hear it directly from SPI's freight agents themselves. And what better way to do that than by listening to the experienced freight agents tell their stories behind the how and the why they joined SPI? Hit the freight agent link in our show notes to listen to these conversations or, if you're ready to make the jump, visit SPI3PLcom. But let's let's move on to the next part of this show, and that is becoming like an increasingly favorite part of my show because I just find it endlessly fascinating. That's cargo crimes. So this is actually a separate part of the show Now. I used to kind of bundle them, you know, with the favorite, like ideas and hustles, but then also like the crime portion of it. But I think cargo crimes, it's growing so much. You sort of alluded to it earlier in the show with the Estes hack and just to give people some background, I'm going to play a clip from what the truck and this comes from Curtis Garrett he is. I think he has the course, and not just a course but like a whole, like learning infrastructure around understanding LTL. Ltl is just so frankly complex, and so I'm going to play this clip now. Hopefully everybody can hear it.

Speaker 3: 19:58

So just over a week and a half ago, the weekend before last, they discovered kind of some you know irregularities in their tech systems. Luckily that was I believe it was midway through Saturday and not a business day for an LTL carrier. But that being said, they decided, after watching it for a little bit of time, to take all systems offline and all of last week, monday through Friday, and then still kind of in the trenches this week with you know, a step at a time, diagnosing, fixing, solution and getting things stood back up. So really unfortunate. I in my you know, in my industry knowledge, it's probably the largest carrier to ever get hit, at least in the LTL space, with a hack of this magnitude. It's sad to see, you know, but it's at the same time our industry, you know, supply chain in general, ltl, with all the yellow news and with Estes being kind of a prime bidder on some of that property. We've all been getting a lot of press and mainstream attention in the past couple of months. So it does make sense to me that you know, maybe they hit somebody's radar that didn't previously know about them or other companies in the space, that's it.

Blythe Brumleve: 21:17

So that was a clip from Curtis Garrett about the current Estes situation that was going on and essentially the way I think for a lot of these cybersecurity issues happens is that you know these hackers can get in either through, I guess, person through you know, trying to find out, like their password and hacking that, or phishing, like what you were talking about earlier, with clicking a you know a link that is going to go for, you know, nefarious reasons. So there's lots of different ways that these people can get in, but the idea is that once they, once they're in, they get a hold of your data and they hold it hostage and they hold your company hostage and a lot of, I would say, like blue collar industries, so like construction, oil and gas, trucking, of course, all of these industries are starting to get hit now because these hackers are realizing that you know, cybersecurity hasn't exactly been taken that seriously in these different blue collar industries as it should, as in would say, like baking or you know even, like you know, banking is probably a perfect example for this but they hold all that information hostage. You pay a large sum of money, so you're not just paying a large sum of money to get your data back and for them to sort of release it back to you. But you're also suffering that, that loss of a business, for all of the days that your systems are down. And so for what I understand that this particular attack with Estes Curtis went on to say that it was a middleware, so they attacked the basically the middleware part of Estes, and so you know a lot of the you know customer sensitive data. That wasn't breached, fortunately, but it was the whole company was put on hold so their systems couldn't talk to each other. And it's not just Estes, the company that is put on hold and has to pay a ransom, but all of these other small mom and pop businesses, small mom and pop trucking companies. They're on hold too. And so for that situation I mean you're talking like over a week, sometimes weeks at a time that you're trying to recover from this and that can be detrimental to the, almost to the point where, like you, could lose your entire business simply from a cybersecurity attack. And so I guess, grace, with with how much you cover freight tech in this industry, what are your sort of initial thoughts on the situation and just sort of the greater cybersecurity threats as a whole that affect freight?

Grace Sharkey: 23:53

First of all, this problem is just going to become exponentially, and truly exponentially over the next couple of years, an issue. I want to go back to the trucks aspect. Our trucks are getting more digital. We can talk autonomous trucking is a whole nother thing. But just even trucks in general, right, like a lot of our even passenger vehicles like these, these OEMs they they know and they understand that their own revenue is going to be hit because these vehicles are going to last longer and what they're looking at is more of these like aftermarket services being able to update the truck from, like, where they're located. So that's a whole other access point. Right, like, if the OEMs ever get hit, that's a big problem because they're getting more and more into the vehicle aftermarket as well. So I think just knowing that the assets of this industry are becoming more and more deceptible to these situations and as we start to add more technology I mean, every time you hear the word integration or API connection like that is just a different avenue that people can access and for maybe those watching us that run like a small to medium sized brokerage, there's some really, really easy ways to attack y'all. I mean, to be honest, if you aren't using two. What is it? Two factor authentication? Right, it's. And here's the thing. It's annoying. Okay, like I'll, I'll put that out there. That's really annoying to like have to log into your email and then like be on your phone, put in a code and like I get that. But like we, we're an industry that's trillions and trillions of dollars, like they understand as you grow that you've got the cash flow to pay for this and that you have the capability to to handle or deal with a hacker situation. So that's like one right there. You should have two factor authentication as much as you possibly can. How often are you requesting that your, your inside office is changing passwords and what do you hold as a standard for passwords? I had a conversation with one of our freight waves guys, one of our the tech side, like the sonar side at the Cleveland event, and I told him I was like you know, I love my password because it's like well, first off, that right, there's a problem. Right, like using the same one on everything which I have change hackers. If you listen, you're listening. Now things have changed, but when I had this conversation a couple of months ago, it's like you know, I use a captcha from when I like first made my Zanga and like to remember Zanga.

Blythe Brumleve: 26:41

Wow, throwback on that.

Grace Sharkey: 26:43

Yeah, and my Zanga like asked me to like make a password. So I just use the like weird words that were letters and stuff that were in my captcha, and so I told him I was like it's a weird password, like there's no way they'd ever get that. And they're like no, that's like not how it works. Like especially if you're using it for multiple things, like they probably already know your dumb captcha, you idiot. So I think people just think like oh, if I make it like a scramble of things, like they'll never figure it out. And that's not true. And honestly, it has to deal with more of like how often you're changing your password and keeping it so that they really have to keep guessing. So that's a whole thing. Like what are the standards that you have when you have a new rep come into your office and you say, go ahead and set up the system. Like are you also giving them guidelines for what their passwords should be? Like right, and it shouldn't be freight 123. And also sharing passwords, right. Like there's a lot of systems in the old business I was in where it was all of it was under my email and the same type of password and of course it was a password that people could easily remember and like okay. Well, that's not safe either. So changing that kind of systems For trucks out there, your telematic devices we have this is a whole nother episode. We should probably get Clare Saha's on for this discussion. We have the worst out of anyone authentication process for ELDs. Like you, it's a third party company can verify that your ELD is meets standards and is secure, whereas, like Canada, they actually have like an actual system, like an actual set process of what you. So a lot of the ELDs we have today are hackable. They're hackable from overseas. They happen all the time. People actually they like it that way because they can change their hours and mess with it. So it's, it's something that should be fixed just in general when it comes to hours of service. But they're hackable. And so your telematic devices, if you're a carrier, like, get with your, your team and get with your internal team and make sure that stuff is solid, because that's an easy way to get into your to your truck. Also, yes, strong passwords. This is actually I'm taking this off of the MFTA, which Curtis does work with as well. Another one in particular is there's a lot of companies that don't use cloud services. Your data is usually inside your local storage device. Back that up every single day.

Blythe Brumleve: 29:21

Part of if you get hacked right Like that's the backwards is another big one that a lot of folks don't pay, and that's how quickly you can just sort of almost like get rid of the files that the hackers have access to and you can re-plen or you can restore from your own data.

Grace Sharkey: 29:37

Backup point is another big one, another really small one, and this is the last one I'll touch on here. That, I think, is very simple. That we just People are lazy about I'm bad at it too. I'm checking right now. I don't have one. When your computer says, update it, update it, because a lot of times it's the malware that it's trying to update. So when you say, ah, tomorrow, ah, tomorrow for 30 days, you've got yourself exposed for an extra 30 days too. So again, think about. For if you're listening today and you're in operations for your company, start putting together plans Like how are you actually building the security of your business? Because, yes, if that takes I mean brokers, I'm sure you all know down to the penny what you make an hour, right? So if you're down for 10 minutes, how bad is that to your business? Same thing here If you're down for days, how bad is that for your business? Weeks, your customers are going to fly away from you.

Blythe Brumleve: 30:35

So fast and your trucks like they're stranded, you can't do nothing, like it's so much money that is lost in these things. I talked to a cybersecurity expert. I had him on the show about a year ago and he said that what his company does is they specialize in coming into a company and doing just basic training, of course, but then they also test the staff. And if they test the staff, they'll send emails, they'll call them on the phone and if that person fails that test, that simulation, then that person has to go into additional training in order to recognize what kind of thing. So it's not just from a sense of keeping backups of all of your different integrations and tech systems, but it's also the prevention, because the biggest entryway to get into these systems is you. And that's where I don't know if a lot of people have heard of the MGM hack that just happened just a few weeks ago. It cost the company $100 million and they were down for weeks at a time. And if you're thinking like MGM resorts, like in Vegas, like oh, what kind of resorts are there? We're talking the Bellagio, aria, the Cosmopolitan, luxor, mandalay Bay, excalibur, like that's just some of the MGM resorts that were all affected. People couldn't. The key cards didn't work, so you couldn't get into your room. If you wanted to get into your room, think of how large those hotel rooms or those resorts are. There's thousands and thousands of rooms there. If you wanted to get into your room, you had to have somebody from the casino escort you up to your room and open the door for you. Like that is how massive these things are and it cost them $100 million, in addition to all of the money that they potentially lost from people not being able to gamble or play slots. Like their security cameras were down, like it's just so massive. And I have a few stats here from the Thedias newsletter. A big fan of theirs shouted them out on the podcast before, but they said that cyber attacks have cost organizations more than the US $540,000 over the last three years. That's just organizations within the US half a million dollars. The frequency of ransom payments is up by 357% and 33% spend less than $100,000 per year on cybersecurity management. So if you think about it from the lens of MGM, which I'm sure that they have a bunch of different security measures I mean, it's a casino, for God's sakes but the way that these hackers got in is they found the person's LinkedIn profile. They found out their name and job title like head of IT security. They called the MGM customer support line, pretended to be that person, just based on their information from LinkedIn, and that's how they were able to get in. They got in through customer support, and personating the person from LinkedIn cost them $100 million. That is just unfathomable, and not to mention all of the negative customer experience that all of these people experienced on all of their different properties over the course of weeks. That is insane to me. So if you are not paying attention to cybersecurity, then I implore you, go listen. I'll link to it in the show notes of that episode with that cybersecurity expert. But this is just a topic I think that we have to cover more in this industry and we're not speaking up enough about it, and I think for a lot of these companies, they try to keep it quiet because they don't want a lot and I mean naturally so they don't want a lot of people to know about it. But there are a lot of lessons that can be learned from these situations that can just create sort of a greater awareness on what you can do to try to prevent these things from happening to you and your company Because, like I said earlier, it could be detrimental. It could put you out of business, like that's how massive these problems are and they know you're going to pay the ransom because there's no other alternative.

Grace Sharkey: 34:48

Yeah, and it's something I think that a lot of times people say could this happen to me? Well, when it does, you'll regret, I think, not planning that right. Check out the NMFTAorg website. They literally have full-on playbooks and handbooks for how to set this stuff up, so you don't have to spend a ton of time doing it. But again, I think it's something that the amount of time you put into it will be worth it if someone tries to get into the system.

Blythe Brumleve: 35:22

Yeah, Well said For sure, and this is something that this is a topic that I love discussing. There is shows on television that talk about cross-border and things getting stopped at the border from cargo crime. I guess perspective. But for folks who may not be familiar with overhaul or even you and your career, can you kind of give us that back story of how you got involved in the world of cargo crime?

Ron Greene: 35:50

Yeah, happy to. I've been in the cargo risk management or supply chain risk management as a term we use for most of my career. I started out working in consulting in a consulting firm building risk models around cargo theft issues for big Fortune 500 companies what they can expect from a cargo theft standpoint if you analyze your global supply chain operations. Did that for many years and moved into more of a supplier or provider role with some companies that were actually deploying solutions to help mitigate cargo theft around the world. Today we work with the who's who of the pharma, high tech, food, alcohol, tobacco and a variety of different industries that have cargo theft problems and do need to put programs in place to mitigate that risk and, primarily, prevent it from happening, but if it does happen, have systems in place to recover it.

Blythe Brumleve: 36:49

That's interesting. You talk about the risk protocols of even just establishing that. How do you establish a risk protocol?

Ron Greene: 36:59

Carglet theft is predictable. It happens in the locations, year after year the same. If you look at maps or risk maps around cargo theft, they haven't changed in 20 years for the most part, really. And in cargo theft tactics, we analyze what criminals are doing, how they're executing thefts, and put in mechanisms and tools and procedures to circumvent their operations. When it boils down to and every region is different there's different tactics in North America versus Mexico, versus Brazil, versus Europe, versus other parts of the world, and you have to adapt your solutions to what's happening on the ground from a real tactical level.

Blythe Brumleve: 37:44

In a cargo theft standpoint, and so when you're looking at what's happening, is it looking at just crime reports or crime logs, or maybe insurance incidences? How do you even know where the heat maps are? To create a heat map.

Ron Greene: 37:59

There is not good cargo theft reporting globally. Some countries do it, Some countries don't. Most of our intel comes from our network law enforcement relationships. There's some reporting by governments, but it's really just being in the industry and being in the know.

Blythe Brumleve: 38:17

Oh, wow, so it really is Like, it's almost like that. A lot of people are talking about first party data, so it sounds like you guys are right there in it where the first party data can really affect the future shipments of your own goods.

Ron Greene: 38:30

Correct, yeah, and we get very granular. We even study criminal crews what are their tactics and where they're operating, and part of that comes from having good relationship with law enforcement. They can share what they can. Part of that comes from just our own operations around the world and thwarting these attempts.

Blythe Brumleve: 38:52

So let's give the listeners, I guess, sort of an overview of overhaul. Is it security software? I have a general idea, but for folks who may not be aware, is it an insurance policy? Is it software? Is it kind of both wrapped up, who is, I guess, the target customer? All that good stuff?

Ron Greene: 39:11

It's really all of the above, but our core service is tracking and monitoring freight, providing visibility and a risk management layer over the movement of freight. We specialize in transit cargo risk management, so things that are moving, whether it's on a truck, a train, plane or over the ocean. If cargo is moving, we have a risk management solution that we can apply to that to mitigate these issues. In most of our cases, in our customers' operations, we insert IoT devices in cargo for real-time tracking and monitoring. We have control centers around the world we call them GSOC operations and Global Security Operations Centers where we track and monitor freight through software. That's our own proprietary software and if something goes awry if there's an event that happens and not supposed to whether the container doors open, trailer doors open, stop was not supposed to, it's off route there's a variety of factors that we look at continuously. Then, if something happens it's not supposed to, our system identifies it and we address it through actions in our operation centers. It could be as simple as getting a driver moving where he's not supposed to be stopped, all the way to calling in law enforcement and private security operations to recover cargo.

Blythe Brumleve: 40:36

And so when is the customer essentially? Is it a carrier or is it a shipper that wants to protect, maybe high-valuable goods? Like who is, I guess, maybe installing the tracking devices and sort of the internet of things?

Ron Greene: 40:50

It's all of the above. We sell directly to shippers, the cargo owners, if you will. We sell to carriers. We sell to freight brokers, intermediaries, who are contracted to move freight for shippers. So whoever is touching the freight is cast control over the freight. We sell into that group of people.

Blythe Brumleve: 41:21

And so, after somebody essentially becomes a customer, what does, I guess, the process look like of monitoring for a potential crime to occur?

Ron Greene: 41:30

Sure. So I'll give you just a couple of use cases. We'll start with an over-the-road movement in North America. So at the point of origin we're placing an IoT device inside that cargo as it's being loaded at the warehouse. We're also clicking a lot of data on who the carrier is, who the driver is. In many cases we take pictures of that truck and trailer for our own internal records. We're also connecting to the telematics or ELD system in that truck through integrations. So we have multiple data points on that truck giving us live, real-time data of what's happening with that vehicle as it moves from origin to destination. So as soon as that shipment is loaded in the truck, we're monitoring it in our control center through our software. It's got to be automated process. Once that data is captured, our control center automatically puts it in their queue for monitoring and monitoring begins. Most of the monitoring activity is software-driven, so we don't really engage with the shipment or even, frankly, look at a shipment activity until something goes wrong.

Blythe Brumleve: 42:46

So how do you I was going to say what are those early signs that it looks like? How do you know if maybe the driver stopped off to use the restroom versus OK, oh, there's something serious that might be happening here.

Ron Greene: 43:00

One of the rules of thumb in North America, specific to the US, is if we can get drivers not to stop for the first 200 miles from origin, four hours of driving, that decreases the risk of theft by 80% to 85%.

Craig Faller: 43:15

Oh, wow.

Ron Greene: 43:16

So that single activity if we can get that driver, just when he departs the origin warehouse to drive for four hours or 200 miles, before he takes it, he or she takes a restroom break or a DOT break or stops for any other reason. So that's step one. Step two we're able to monitor is the shipment making logical progress in tourist destination? Is he on the right road? Is he or she on the right road? Is another alert that we could generate. Meaning if the driver goes right instead of left or north versus south, we can immediately alert that and start to escalate that and investigate what's happening. Do we call the driver? Do we call his dispatch operations? All these different things come into play. In addition, we have the ability to detect if a door has been opened on a trailer or a container. So if something happens where the door gets open, we can immediately escalate that. That'd be a high-risk alert where we're immediately making action to figure out what's happening and if we don't get resolution we can't figure it out. Nobody's answering our phone calls. We'll call on private security to investigate or call on law enforcement to do a wellness check or investigate what's happening with that truck and trailer.

Blythe Brumleve: 44:31

So you're almost acting as like the track and trace department within a typical brokerage operation. Is that a safe assumption?

Ron Greene: 44:39

We're definitely much more granular in our analysis in what we alert to Track and trace in brokerage operations. Typically they're checking as the truck departed, as it arrived. They're not looking at all the intermediary steps on what's transacting as that shipment progresses from worse than destination. And another use case would be an international move from Asia to Europe where the IoT device is placed in the cargo at the point of manufacturing in the container. We're tracking it to give us an air shipment. We're tracking it to the airport. Then we'll track actually the flight through integrations as the cargo transits on an airplane or we'll track through integrations as it transits the sea. Our IoT devices do require cell signals so if it's out to sea, we don't have cell signal. But we can do through integrations, still track that shipment all the way to destination. When it gets to the destination airport or port, we'll continue to pick up signal with our IoT device and continue to track and monitor that shipment all the way to destination. We alert on different security alerts, whether it's off-route, door open, stop where it's not supposed to. There's a variety of those. We also alert on integrity situations, whether it's temperature, humidity, shock. All these different factors can be integrated into the program. So if it's handled rough, it's out of temperature, there's too much humidity in the container or trailer, we can immediately escalate that and notify people and take action accordingly.

Blythe Brumleve: 46:26

Now there was a quote that I was sent over from the pre-show prep for this interview and it was said that cargo theft continues to be a serious issue plaguing global shippers and as thieves adjust their tactics and focus on high value goods, the need for additional security to protect in-transit cargo is paramount. Now you mentioned that there are different ways that North America handles a cargo crime situation versus other countries. How is North America? I guess maybe is the safe answer like is North America handling this well, or are there improvements that should be made relative to what the rest of the world is doing?

Ron Greene: 47:08

Definitely, cargo theft is at a whole time high in North America. People in the industry are saying cargo theft was one thing pre-COVID, post-covid it's a whole different animal.

Blythe Brumleve: 47:22

Oh, wow.

Ron Greene: 47:23

There's a lot of factors for that, both operationally and at the society level, but cargo theft globally is just increasing. As supply chains expand, companies are moving manufacturing around the world as well as a general rule of crime globally post-pandemic for one reason or another. We're seeing that across the board in North America, we're seeing it in Latin America, other parts of Central America it is increasing and parts of the other parts of the world you deal with more aggressive criminals. Armed hijacking is a common tactic in parts of Mexico and Brazil, where you have different response protocols and to respond to that effectively.

Blythe Brumleve: 48:16

Fascinating. And so when you said something to the effect of cargo crime, has relatively the tactics in the United States have been? Am I quoting you correctly that they've been kind of the same for the last 20 years?

Ron Greene: 48:30

The locations where it occurs has been the same for the last 20 years. There are cargo theft hot spots that have been relatively consistent year over year. You may have a flare-up in a different city based on the criminal act, some criminal activity, but as a general rule the hot spots where crime occurs cargo crime occurs has been relatively consistent. Tactics have changed. Criminals are getting more sophisticated, even as in the last 12 months they've kind of increased their level of sophistication. There's cargo criminals that are setting up trucking operations with the primary purpose to steal freight. Oh wow, that's relatively new to the US market where they start a trucking company, they operate legitimately for a period of time, they build relationships across their business and they get working to an operational level where they feel they can start skimming freight off their trucks. One of the more recent activities we're seeing is these criminal companies will book a load through a broker, pick it up, take it to their warehouse, decide if they want it or not. If the truck has, say, 20 pallets on it, they'll take four. They'll scan the BOL into a PDF editor. Edit that PDF Now it says 16 pallets still. Adjust the weight and all the different data points on that BOL, deliver it. The recipient receives the BOL. I have 16 pallets. 16 pallets, all good Market is delivered and the driver drives off. Now that shortage may not get noticed for months. So people even know what's happening for months down the road and they do an inventory check-in. They're realizing they're missing several pallets and they have to do a whole new backtracking to see where something went wrong.

Blythe Brumleve: 50:28


Ron Greene: 50:29

So that's relatively new to the US. You get to places like Brazil where it's the level of sophistication around cargo crime will boggle your mind how organized and sophisticated some of these criminal crews are in that part of the world. San Diego is Mexico, but you get to those parts of the world it does get very violent where there are violence as well, as armed criminals are typically operating in that area.

Blythe Brumleve: 50:59

What is an example, I guess, of a sophisticated cargo crime operation, say in Brazil?

Ron Greene: 51:04

So organized criminal groups will invest in people. They will identify young, bright students who may not be financially well off. They'll pay for their schooling all the way through college education. They'll get a job with the company, work there for many years, up into middle management and they'll come calling Now it's time to pay their dues back. And through that insider information they're able to get details of what's moving when who's moving it and execute thefts with insider information that those cargo criminal crews have up to 10 years invested in that individual before they start using them as part of their network and part of their criminal operation.

Blythe Brumleve: 51:57

I wonder why that's not going on in the US. Any insight into that as to why? Maybe this is a society?

Ron Greene: 52:03

There is a lot of social and economic reasons why part of it is cultural, part of it is just rule of law, part of it is just societies, the more majority of societies but there's a lot of just cultural and socioeconomic factors that play into that.

Blythe Brumleve: 52:26

Interesting. Now you had said there are certain areas of the US that have been impacted by cargo crime, that are sort of the hotspots. What are some of those locations? And then what kind of freight is being targeted in those locations?

Ron Greene: 52:43

So cargo criminals go where the cargo is the most dense it is major port operation, LA Miami. La. Southern California has been the number one cargo theft hotspot for many, many years. Comparing states, california's been number one the last couple of years, but California and Texas would go back and forth. Who has the highest level of cargo theft year over year? Atlanta, memphis, nashville, louisville, chicago, miami, new Jersey area. It's a combination of just really based on where is cargo moving and where is the most dense.

Blythe Brumleve: 53:25

So the more cargo you have, the more problems that this is going to be something that you're going to have to combat.

Ron Greene: 53:31

The more opportunities they have to target specific facilities, target specific operations to steal. If you look back 25 years in the cargo theft trends in the US, cargo theft really started to ramp up in the mid-90s During the high tech boom when everybody started getting personal PCs in their home and all the different electronic components electronics you have in your house today that were, if you go back to the 1990, that really wasn't the case. In the 80s People did not have how many different laptops you have in your house, how many different cell phones you have in your house. That was a completely different scenario. And what criminals realized during the ramp up of some of that high tech boom they call it is that very expensive goods were moving through unsecured supply chains and they were ripe for the picking to be able to capture and steal a multimillion dollar load with very little to no security around it. And there are tactics and have really continued to evolve and increase ever since then.

Blythe Brumleve: 54:40

I think it was. I was working at a freight brokerage about 10 years ago and it was around the holidays and we had a shipment of X boxes that was stolen and it was, we believe at the time, because of the driver, because the truck ended up. I mean, we had to file a police report. We had to go through all this. It was very expensive shipment, obviously that got stolen, but we ended up finding the truck abandoned on the side of the road, got the full shipment, got everything back, but I imagine that that doesn't necessarily happen all too often here in the United States. Is that a safe assumption?

Ron Greene: 55:17

Very safe assumption. Current with these are also they're known to steal a load of freight. If they get the wrong one, they don't want the product, they'll just leave it. They're targeting something of certain value and they get a load of paper products or something that doesn't have any black market appeal to them. A lot of times they'll abandon it. It's not worth their time and energy and go back and get something else. The majority, if you look at the full truck load thefts in North America, the vast majority of them, if they're targeted, the criminal organizations will case facilities, case warehouses maybe have some insider information, buy an informant, pay somebody for some information that actually works in that warehouse, be able to identify when a load that they want is leaving that warehouse through surveillance and other means, follow that truck for several hundred months in some cases and wait for that driver to stop. But a truck stop or a yard, wait till that load is unattended and within minutes they'll break in, hot wire that truck and drive it off. In most cases they'll have a second tractor or truck in the area. They'll swap out that tractor trailer, dispose of the stolen you know tractors down the road somewhere. In many cases, paint over the logos, change license plates on that trailer so when they're driving back to their location it's very inconspicuous to the law enforcement that that's a stolen truck. Stolen trailer.

Blythe Brumleve: 56:54

And you had mentioned earlier that one of the bigger ways to prevent a situation like this from happening is the driver not stopping for the first few hours of the shipment. Why is that?

Ron Greene: 57:08

That comes back to CAC tactics. Cargo criminals were when they target specific loads. Historically they would only follow them for 50, 60 miles and go back for a different one, and if we got the driver to drive 200 miles without stopping, the chances of that being stolen were much less. Today we have a few examples of criminal groups following the load several hundred miles, so they've adapted to that technique. But it's the rule of thumb for the we call the red zone. You know, driving through the red zone without stopping still holds true for the most part today and it's a tactic. We push hard for drivers to follow those rules to help prevent that.

Blythe Brumleve: 57:57

And so with a lot of the, I guess the electronics are probably the first thing that I think of. That are gonna be the highly targeted shipments. But is there maybe some other type of commodity or shipment that is really highly targeted that most folks that would be shocked to find out?

Ron Greene: 58:16

Electronics are definitely, you know, one of the higher targeted commodities. But household goods, you know alcohol, tobacco, cigarettes, pharmaceuticals, anything that can be stolen and resold then there is a market appeal for it. The majority of cargo criminals have fences. So if they steal a load of you know whether it be distilled or you know some kind of food product, as soon as they have control of that product they're calling their fences and say I got a load of this product, how much you want to give for me? And they're shopping it around, who am I gonna sell this to? And they'll find the highest bidder, you know. Deliver that load to the highest bidder and then in many cases they'll have that load unloaded in their fences warehouse. They'll take that trailer and just dump it somewhere and they don't even want to mess with the trailer.

Blythe Brumleve: 59:16

That's crazy. So for, I guess, for a lot of these cargo thieves, it almost sounds like you know. So there's two facets that I'm thinking of as you were talking. Is that all of this technology that's coming into supply chain and logistics, allowing for visibility and additional tracking, and things like that load boards which isn't new but they've been around for forever are either of those two things subject to cybersecurity threats? Almost, and this might be out of I don't know if this is in your wheelhouse or maybe you know overhauls, wheelhouse in general, but it almost like, as you were talking, it seems like you know, maybe putting a load of like electronics up on a public load board. That seems like that could be something that could easily be targeted by criminals 100%. Load board.

Ron Greene: 1:00:02

So I'm not off base Load board activity is a prime target for criminal cargo criminals. You don't see the extreme high value loads on load boards. Because of that reason alone, companies who are shipping sensitive products and you know are knowledgeable of, you know cargo criminal activity will try to, through their brokerage operations, not have their loads posted on load boards. For that specific reason.

Blythe Brumleve: 1:00:28

And so that's more of a private thing that they're gonna reach out to their private carriers, people that they trust.

Ron Greene: 1:00:32

Or only have a dedicated group of carriers that has approved to call their load. That makes sense. They've been agreed to security protocol and stop open to the mass market of carriers to a little move that load.

Blythe Brumleve: 1:00:45

Do you have like a favorite crazy story that's happened in sort of the cargo crime world?

Ron Greene: 1:00:51

I have a lot of them.

Blythe Brumleve: 1:00:53

Give us a couple.

Ron Greene: 1:00:55

We had. I'll give you one from last week. We had a load picked up by a carrier. The load didn't follow the security protocol. It stopped within the first 10 miles, went to a yard. We also had a light alert, that I mean the door was opened. We had proof that the door had been opened, which it should not have been opened. It should have been sealed and shut and remained that way all the way through. Destination. It was a full truck, a contracted full truck load shipment. So we immediately tried calling the driver, tried calling the dispatch operations, contacted the broker let them know what's happening. We weren't getting any communication with either the driver or the dispatch operations. We investigated this carrier online, just through standard online data tools, figured out that the owner of this load sorry, the owner of this carrier is a name we recognize that's tied to a different criminal group Just the same name. You can figure out who owns that trucking company by online researchers and the name matched to a criminal group that we were aware of, contacted the shipper. So this is what's happening and we agreed to go get that load back. So we hired another driver and picked up that load from that yard and took it back.

Blythe Brumleve: 1:02:22

Nice. So what kind of security has to be involved in something like that? Because you're for, I guess, for the yard owner, who may be oblivious to what's going on. How do you, I guess, sort of navigate the intricacies of that kind of operation?

Ron Greene: 1:02:39

Yeah, we're not calling the shots, we give recommendations. The cargo owner is calling the shots and it's their product and they gave the instructions to go pull that load. At the same time, they were communicating to that or trying to communicate to that carrier saying you're no longer in charge of this load, we're pulling it back to origin and that was the end of it the drama?

Blythe Brumleve: 1:03:06

I imagine it's probably such a rush when something like that is going on, but not like in a rush but also kind of panicky. Is there also a level of like trying to calm down the customer that they're we're gonna do everything we can?

Ron Greene: 1:03:20

The customers are. They've been through the ringer, true, you know they trust us to do our job. We kept them informed of what's happening and we provide them recommendations what they should do and give them ideas for how we should respond. There's another cases where a load was stolen. The entire tractor trailer was stolen. This is Chicago and it was stolen at night. We had the load. It was declared stolen by the trucking company. We got it pulled over by law enforcement. But the trucking company, when they filed that police report, the officer went on duty and did not enter that police report into the police system. So when the law enforcement you know, a couple of counties away, pulled that truck over, there was no formal record of that trucker trailer being stolen, so they had to let it go. They had no right to, you know, retain that driver. We were scrambling to get the officer who actually took the police report have I forget who it was, but have he or she go back, enter in that information into their the law enforcement database and declare that truck stolen, which allowed us to then have that truck pulled over down the road further, and that's when we were able to make a recovery because it was formally reported stolen in the police databases.

Blythe Brumleve: 1:04:51

How often are the I guess the drivers complicit in what's going on? Are they just kind of oblivious to the situation? Or maybe it's case by case?

Ron Greene: 1:04:59

Case by case, but the vast majority of drivers are not involved. You know, the kind of the onset of kind of criminal career groups operating in certain parts of the country is relatively a new phenomenon. But in my experience, yeah, most, the vast majority of drivers are trying to do a good job and do their job efficiently, but many of them are oblivious to the risks of the load they're pulling.

Blythe Brumleve: 1:05:25

And then, of course, they get caught up.

Ron Greene: 1:05:27

Yeah, another factor is that most cargo criminals, specifically in North America, you know, will not confront drivers. They're not violent criminal crews. They know that if they don't threaten assault or even speak to a driver that the crime will be classified as a property theft. But if they do assault or threaten the driver it'll be classified more as an assault, which gets increased police awareness and response. Property crimes are in many cases not high priority for law enforcement compared to assault or somebody being injured, you know, through that activity. So that raises the level of crime, that raises the level of police response. So cargo criminals know that. They know that if they don't commit assault, they don't threaten the driver, the likelihood of a quick and police response is less likely.

Blythe Brumleve: 1:06:27

It sounds almost like a lower risk, higher reward payoff for a lot of these groups.

Ron Greene: 1:06:31

It is.

Blythe Brumleve: 1:06:32

It is Crazy. So earlier this year, overhaul had made an acquisition and it becomes the. With that acquisition, overhaul becomes the largest in transit supply chain cargo security provider, offering shippers a comprehensive, real time solution for mitigating the risk associated with theft, damage, chain of custody and other cargo security threats, no matter where the load may be throughout the globe. Now, with this acquisition, can you kind of give us a little bit of a background on why this acquisition was important for overhaul to make?

Ron Greene: 1:07:05

Well, we acquired a company that was called Sensor Guard. They were a direct competitor of ours in the global market. You know we many of the founders of overhaul worked for that same company years ago, so we knew the company, knew the team, knew the operations and it solidified our position as a leader in this space In terms of market share and revenue. They gave us that boost and ability to position ourselves stronger in the market. Now we're one of the only global companies that do what we do. We do have competitors around the world, but providing a global solution, we're one of the few that can provide this service globally.

Blythe Brumleve: 1:07:49

And so with being able to, I guess, provide you know sort of the world security, I guess, how are you, I guess, monitoring how cargo crime is I'm sure you guys are of monitoring how it's evolving, unique to the country itself, because you mentioned earlier about how different it is, you know, saved from Brazil to Mexico, to the United States. But what about relative to like I don't know, european countries, or even you know, like India, or you know Japan, like do they experience a lot of the same cargo crime, I guess storylines, or are they all vastly different, like Brazil, mexico and the United States?

Ron Greene: 1:08:29

All vastly different and we have a whole intelligence group designed to to keep track of that and provide our customers the latest intelligence and what's happening relative to their global supply chain operations. You know, countries like Japan have very little to no cargo theft. India's China has very little to no cargo theft, as are parts of Asia that have high rates of cargo theft. Europe has a relatively high level of cargo theft, but it does vary by country and the tactics are much different in Europe than they are around the rest of the world. In Europe, if companies can, most cargo theft in Europe happens at unsecured parking areas rest stops, lay buys, areas where drivers stop to rest, you know, as they're transiting, and our mode of operating in Europe is, if we can get drivers to, when they do stop for long period of time, you know, for rest or more than an hour, we require them to stop in a secured parking area, you know, with access controls, hopefully some guards and just you know, some level of security, and that is a very effective tool for mitigating cargo theft in Europe, because drivers are not parking on the side of the road or just a simple rest stop, you know for their hours of service rest, and that's where the majority of cargo theft happens in Europe is at these unsecured parking locations.

Blythe Brumleve: 1:09:55

And so with the US, with truck parking being such a massive issue for a lot of drivers, are we seeing that happening to a lot of drivers who stop for a break or you know, they can't find anywhere to park, so they're just forced to pull over on the side of the road?

Ron Greene: 1:10:10

It varies by area of the country. There's definitely bottlenecks around the country just from a parking standpoint. There's also areas of the country where parking is wide open. But you know there is some people in the industry thinking that the market will demand secured parking in the US at some point in the future. Today the market is not there. There's very few participants in that space. But there are some companies looking at it and putting up some secured parking, additional truck parking around the country.

Blythe Brumleve: 1:10:43

And so we've talked a lot about sort of the theft of you know, electronics like these very costly goods. But there's also protection measures that you guys offer that protects against non-delivery and spoilage. Can you tell us a little bit more about that?

Ron Greene: 1:10:59

Yeah, so you know some of the challenges we in risk, we mitigate against, are, as I mentioned, temperature. We do monitor for temperature real time. So if the temperature of a specific shipment, whether it be a food or some other you know temperature sensitive product, goes above a certain level, you know those thresholds are set by product type and by shipment. So we will get no alert and can notify the appropriate people. Okay, the shipment is increasing its temperature. Let's figure out what action can be taken. You know, is it getting the truck into a reefer? You know repair shop? Is it simply telling the driver to turn down the reefer? Things like that can go along ways to mitigate that exposure from to temperature sensitive products. Non-delivery that does happen often, many times, you know, ship and sarge is misdirected, especially at the parcel or LTL level and being able to quickly identify a shipment is not routing where it's supposed to or not meeting its waypoints, you know, through the parcel or LTL networks and be able to alert to that. Have plans in place to escalate that to the appropriate person? Figure out what's happening. You know it could be as simple as a pallet was forgotten at a warehouse and that may not be noticed for many, many days, and that many, many days it could expose that pallet to theft. But if we can understand it as you know, respond to that, fix it before it becomes a costly problem. That's our goal.

Blythe Brumleve: 1:12:36

Absolutely so. I kind of wanted to start it with a very base level knowledge because on you know a couple other, the Rageant videos that I was watching. It says Rageant Kinetic Mesh extends network range and offers built-in redundancy for ultra reliable wireless underground communications with no fiber required. So, from the very basic of level, explain it to me like I'm five how do you build a wireless network?

Todd Rigby: 1:13:05

So basically what we do is we use wireless communication nodes and we call those breadcrumbs and we basically build a breadcrumb trail. So we put these nodes out. Typically, these nodes have two to four radios in them. More radios give you more bandwidth and we're able to make multiple connections, multiple active connections, on every radio in a node. Now that's that in and of itself is a major departure from 99% of the wireless networks in the world. Most wireless networks things that you're probably more familiar with, like a cellular network or a wifi network they let you have one active connection at a time, and if you've ever, it's really good, and other times it's not so good, it's because of signal degradation, interference or obstruction to that single connection. If you have a network with multiple active connections and that network is dynamic and can continuously select the optimal connection, then you have a higher probability that your network is going to perform at top performance levels all the time. So imagine if your network was intelligent enough to self optimize. That's what a RAGENT network does.

Blythe Brumleve: 1:14:45

And then from now that we kind of have that basic understanding, because with RAGENT in particular, from what I understand that it's connecting those different nodes like you talked about and it's, but it's doing it in some of the more extreme environments, so construction sites, underground mining operations, so things like that. So how do you even begin? I guess what does the equipment look like in order to go to the middle of nowhere, almost, let's say a mine, for example, and establish an internet connection?

Todd Rigby: 1:15:23

So you're absolutely right. People come to RAGENT when they have their most difficult and challenging communication problems. I'm trying to think just briefly where to start. I know this shows mostly about logistics and warehousing. So maybe let's use a warehouse as an example. If you have a traditional LTE or Wi-Fi network where you have one active connection, you're going to have a piece of infrastructure mounted either on the ceiling or on a wall somewhere and then you're going to have a client radio. Let's say you're a forklift operator, you're driving around the warehouse. There'll be a client radio on your machine, right. As you drive around a rack or a large shelf, you're now getting a obstruction between you and the device you're trying to connect with, because wireless networks universally are a line of site communication devices. So when you only have a single active connection and you're dealing in an environment with lots of obstructions whether it's an underground mining tunnel, whether it's an oil refinery with all kinds of metal piping and equipment, or whether it's a warehouse full of racking you have obstructions right. So in Rageant's case we still put up network infrastructure. We still hang those nodes from the ceiling or amount them to the walls. We also put nodes on machines, on robots, on HEVs. They can even be man-worn, and each radio in each breadcrumb makes many active connections, both to fixed or infrastructure nodes but also other mobile nodes. So as you move around a rack, for example, you're continuously looking for new connections and the breadcrumb is continuously evaluating the quality of every one of those connections and can change the path that data is taking to get from your machine back to the database that's recording all the workflow that you're trying to track. So by having this dynamic multi-connection network, you're able to stay connected with extremely low latency and have plenty of bandwidth to do your job efficiently, whereas if you're using other networks that only have a single connection and are not as dynamic, they struggle to maintain that continuous connectivity.

Blythe Brumleve: 1:18:19

So is that? Because I've always just in my home in particular. So we have fiber internet and it worked great for a while. And then all of a sudden it stopped working as great. And then the ISP internet service provider tells me oh, you just need the extra connection points. And I'm thinking, well, isn't that convenient? Because then I have to pay you an extra fee for all of these different devices to connect. But now it kind of sounds like maybe they're not ripping me off and maybe they're just trying to help me. Is that a safe thing?

Todd Rigby: 1:18:49

No, I would say they're being honest with you. So I think what you're describing are specific Wi-Fi issues. So Wi-Fi has a couple of things that are unique and within the Wi-Fi protocol there's a rule that basically says a Wi-Fi access point has to divide its bandwidth equally among all of the clients that are connected to it. So if, when you first got it, the only devices that were connected were maybe your smartphone and your computer, you've got two devices. They each get 50% of the bandwidth. Everything's fine. But then maybe you add a Ring doorbell, you add some Amazon Alexa devices, you add a smart TV. These things are connected all the time and they're now taking portions of the bandwidth out of that access point. Whether they're using the bandwidth or not, what you have available for your smartphone and your computer has now decreased.

Blythe Brumleve: 1:19:57

And so is that a similar situation of what's going on and say warehouses, for example, where it's so many conflicts. I imagine being surrounded by steel or something, depending on what the building is constructed with that. That affects the wireless signals going on throughout the building as well.

Todd Rigby: 1:20:18

Yeah, so you have issues with client density, which is what I was just describing. Wi-fi also has a unique issue where the farther you get away from an access point sorry, my watch is deciding it once to talk to me. Siri's not being very helpful at the moment the farther you get away from an access point, the weaker your signal is. We've all experienced when we get down to one bar of coverage where the data average is slower. But what most people don't realize is even if just one client on an access point has one bar of coverage, they effectively slow down every other client on that access point. So, for example, if you decided to put a satellite ring doorbell alarm in a socket in a bedroom in the back corner of your house and now that's the furthest device away from your access point, that weakest client connection now retards every other client connection on the same access point. So, applying that to a warehouse, if you have a robot, for example, or an AGV that's moving packages around and it drives down an aisle and it's getting further and further from an access point, it's not only affecting its own throughput but it's retarding the throughput of every other device connected to the same access point. In a RAGEIT network where we're using breadcrumb to breadcrumb, we're using a different protocol. We're not relying on the Wi-Fi protocol, we're using a proprietary protocol that's designed around supporting mobility. So, because we have many connections, that same scenario you're driving down the aisle, maybe you are getting farther away from an infrastructure node that's mounted to a wall, but you're getting closer to another AGV that's in the aisle. So now it decides I'm not gonna talk back to the infrastructure behind me, I'm gonna talk to the robot ahead of me, and then it will relay my information to the next robot, to the next robot and then maybe to a piece of infrastructure to get back on a wired network.

Blythe Brumleve: 1:22:54

So the robots are almost in a warehouse environment, like the example you're using. They're almost like the wireless hub and the signal, if I'm understanding you correctly Exactly.

Todd Rigby: 1:23:04

So, oh, what I was just going to say. Like in a Wi-Fi network, your access point is more intelligent and sophisticated than the Wi-Fi client the same. In an LTE network, the cell site has far more intelligence than the cell phone. In a RAGENT network, every breadcrumb has the same intelligence, so every one of these individual dynamic units is able to make its own routing decisions, monitor its own connections, and they all work autonomously and independently, choosing the best routes to self-optimize and dynamically ensure that the network's operating at its highest available performance all the time.

Blythe Brumleve: 1:23:54

So sticking with the warehouse example so are you is RAGENT. You know manufacturing these robots. I think there's another phrase that you guys use is is COBOTS too? Are you guys manufacturing them? Or is this maybe like an integration or component that's added to the robots and the COBOTS?

Todd Rigby: 1:24:14

So we do not manufacture robots, so we are just a communications company. We are application agnostic, we work in all kinds of industrial industries and we work with all sorts of manufacturers as well as end users to help them have better communications. You can think of RAGENT as the tech that makes tech work better.

Blythe Brumleve: 1:24:46

And so is it like an actual device or is it just a, you know, an integration software-wise, maybe API or something like that?

Todd Rigby: 1:24:52

not API, but Well, we do have an API, but it is a device. So it's a box with discrete radios inside. It has a computer inside and that's what makes up a breadcrumb. We also have some other secret sauce components. Nobody else quite builds a device like a RAGENT breadcrumb and it enables that mission critical communications that you can rely on in the harshest of environments, the harshest circumstances. We have breadcrumbs deployed north of the Arctic Circle, where they spend nine months of the year and sconce in ice. We have them deployed in the deserts of Northwest Australia, where they have average daily temperatures above 150 degrees Fahrenheit. These are very rugged, robust pieces of equipment and they're purpose-built to help people working in the harshest environments, in the harshest of circumstances, and even the US military uses them to help protect the lives of American servicemen and women.

Blythe Brumleve: 1:26:19

And you mentioned that mission critical connectivity, because I imagine that there's a large safety component to that as well being in these harsh environments, if something goes wrong, at least you have that connection to the outside world. You can say, hey, we need help, or hey, this issue is going on. Is that a safe assumption?

Todd Rigby: 1:26:36

Absolutely. I mean think of the recent train derailment in Palestine, Ohio. That is a big safety component. Had they been able to remotely stop that train before it derailed, we would have had the disaster that we had. Pretty much every industry has safety elements and components that they're worried about, Even warehouse logistics. If you have an automated warehouse where you've got robots, HGVs, moving cargo around and you also have people interacting with them, well, you have a potential safety hazard and you better have a reliable way for the people to communicate with the robots to say, hey, stop. You're either possibly running over a person or going in an area that we don't want you to right now, or there's all sorts of unforeseen circumstances. Because at this point in time robots are not particularly self-aware. We put sensors on them to try and detect things. We put software safety measures to try to help them think and react If they see something that's unexpected, that they stop. But there's so many circumstances that happen that are unexpected that they don't have code for that. Sometimes you need a person to be able to hit a button and make all the automation stop, just to get everything back under control and back in a predictive environment where the robots can safely operate.

Blythe Brumleve: 1:28:18

Is that what they mean by the phrase cobot? It's almost like a co-worker instead of a I don't know. A cobot is helping you work throughout a warehouse.

Todd Rigby: 1:28:30

I'll be honest, I haven't heard the term cobot.

Blythe Brumleve: 1:28:32

I'm not quite sure what they're referencing when they say cobot that's what I would assume is that it's not like a co-worker, it's like a cobot where it's helping you do your job faster is what I think they meant by that phrase. We talked a little bit about warehousing, especially with how Rageant is powering that sort of the communication aspect of logistics. What about the port infrastructure? I saw this cool video that had almost what looks like drones that are flying around the port and connecting to the trucks and connecting to containers on the ship. Tell us a little bit about how that connectivity works and how that level of communication is being optimized.

Todd Rigby: 1:29:17

Let me first tell you what the communication challenge is in a port. There's lots of different kinds of ports. There's container ports, there's vehicle ports, there's bulk material ports. But let's just talk about a container port for a minute. In a container port, every day you're unloading containers off of cargo ships, you're stacking them up at the terminal and then, at a different point in time, trucks are arriving at the terminal to pick up the containers. All of these containers are serialized. They all have a number that's associated with them. In a perfect world, that number gets recorded every time that container gets moved. But, as we know, the world is not a perfect place. If you have a hiccup in your communications system when you set the container in a particular stack at a certain height, if you don't get that recorded in your database, you effectively lose the container inside your terminal. You know it's not lost but you can't lay your hands on it. And your customer is certainly very frustrated because you can't tell them when it's going to leave the port and start its journey across the country to get to your electronics store so you can sell all your new flat screen TVs. Because you have this dynamic landscape where the piles of containers are rising and then falling, and rising and falling every day, it can be very difficult to plan communications. We build a network in a port much the same way as we would in a warehouse where we typically are mounting fixed nodes that we call infrastructure, on light poles around the port. Then we also put breadcrumbs on the equipment and the machinery that's operating in the port on the cranes, on the strad carriers, on the container lifts that are kind of like big forklifts on light vehicles where you have people jumping in and out of a truck to do a quick inspection or verify something, so that you have this dynamic web of communications over the port that allows the signal to come into the spaces between the containers from multiple different directions to provide more reliable, robust communications. I was talking to the director of a large port in Canada on the western seaboard a couple of months ago where we deployed a region network a couple of years ago and he was telling me it was transformative for their operations. They don't have the issue of lost containers. Before they had a region network. Periodically, maybe once a month, they would have to pause their operations. Get all of the longshoremen that worked in the port to line up maybe six feet apart and walk through the terminal with a list of lost containers, looking for these serial numbers, trying to locate them so that they could then record in the database where they were and then make sure they got taken out of the port, put on a truck and they could go on their way. Because if you don't know where your container is, it's as if you know thieves had taken it. As far as the customer's concerned, now the port operators you know I feel bad for them right, they don't want to lose a container, they don't want to misplace somebody's cargo, they want the container to come in and to go out as quickly and smoothly as possible. But if you don't have mission critical communications, you're going to have an interruption to your process. Imagine, for example, you order something on Amazon. You know Amazon ruined the customer service experience for every other company in the world because now we as consumers expect Amazon response, information and tracking on everything we buy, whether it's an automobile, a TV, a refrigerator, whatever we all expect it to be like. You know what the snack we ordered from Amazon. But the Amazon process only works if you have really good communications and tracking at every step of the process. If you fail to record the receipt or the departure, then suddenly, when you look up the status of your package, it's like well, it was here last Tuesday and we're not sure what happened to it. And it does happen even with Amazon and I'm not bad-mouthing Amazon, they do an amazing job. But we've all probably had the experience where we've ordered something and it gets to a certain point and then we're just not sure what happened. And then maybe a week later it just shows up at our door and we're like well, I guess it finally found its way to me. I'm happy. But it's very discomforting when we don't know where our package is or when it's going to arrive. And it's the same for commercial operations that are shipping things around the globe. If they can't track it and don't know when it's going to arrive, it's hard to plan for.

Blythe Brumleve: 1:35:00

Absolutely, because even a $20 pair of pants or something is a little bit different than $20,000 or $200,000 worth of merchandise in a container. You absolutely want to know where that is at all times. And so, as you were talking and watching the research videos for this interview, with looking at a lot of the different port communications and things like that, I can't help but think of use cases for autonomous vehicles while at the port moving containers to different locations and things like that. Is that a practical use case for rages communications as well?

Todd Rigby: 1:35:37

Absolutely. We do lots of work with autonomous vehicles in many different industries because, as I was mentioning before, robots autonomous vehicles. They're not yet developed to the point where they're self-aware. We can't put them in an environment and give them a job description and expect them to do a job. Instead, what we're doing is we're giving these machines tasks. We're giving them very simple, specific instructions and they're a task, and they go and complete the task and then we give them the next task. Well, to give those tasks to them, we have to be able to communicate with them. If, for some reason, they become disconnected from the network and lose connectivity, well, now we can't give them the next task. They also can't report that they completed the task or report where they set the container down. The operation and the whole promise of autonomy breaks down and has issues. That typically requires human intervention at some point. When you have a port terminal that's fully autonomous and suddenly one of the machines loses connectivity, they have to shut down every autonomous machine. They have to then send a person into the autonomous zone. They call it to get on that machine manually, drive it, reset, whatever to get the communications restored. Then they put it back in standby mode and then they slowly put all the other machines back in standby mode and it can honestly take two to four hours for the operators to get all of the autonomous equipment back online and working again. Don't imagine losing connectivity is a small thing, it's a huge thing, it's the lifeblood of an autonomous operation.

Blythe Brumleve: 1:37:45

With all of these different connection points and how that gets initially established. I imagine there's a large cybersecurity angle to a lot of these different connection points. Can you speak a little bit about what kind of security parameters are established? Is it on the company to provide that? You guys are providing that. How do the cybersecurity parts work between wireless connections with all of these different connection ports?

Todd Rigby: 1:38:15

So there's multiple layers to cybersecurity you have typically wireless networks are connected to wired networks. Wired networks have users. They typically have user accounts. Different users have different rights. Sometimes there's IT security administrators. There's physical firewalls. You still need the firewalls, the user accounts. Since we're a wireless network provider, what we provide is very good encryption of the data, so while it's traveling through the air it can't be intercepted, captured and stolen, so to speak. It's one of the reasons the US military has selected us for some very sensitive programs, because in mission critical operations where people's lives are at stake, they need to make sure that that data gets across the areas that need to be communicated without the chance that somebody can interrupt or intercept and decrypt the information that's being transmitted.

Blythe Brumleve: 1:39:38

And so, outside of the cybersecurity angle, we've talked a lot about from a warehousing point of view, from a port point of view, but I'm curious if you have any outside of logistics, if you have any favorite use cases where RAGENT has been applied, like mining operations, military you mentioned earlier the Arctic Circle do you have any use cases for RAGENT that you particularly think are the most fascinating?

Todd Rigby: 1:40:06

Oh, we've done a lot of really cool events. A month or two before COVID started, I was involved with one of our resellers at a freestyle skiing event in Aspen called the Aspen Open, where they had an issue where they had what they called a split judging panel. So the Aspen Open. There are multiple events that skiers participate in on a single ski run and so they have one set of judges that judge one of the events and then they have another set of judges that judge another event, and it's important for these judges to be able to collaborate in order to come up with the best overall score. And the purpose of that is giving all of the competitors the best credit for everything they did on the run and making the competition more competitive. So we set up a network, basically in a day on a ski run, and we're able to capture video all the way down the run, and the judges were able to sit in a nice comfortable conference room and have coffee and donuts and their hands weren't frozen as they were taking notes on the competitors. They were able to actually see instant replay. That was a fun one. We did another one last year at a mine in the central eastern United States that had what they call a subsidence. This was effectively a failure of the structure supporting this underground mine, and the whole mountain under which it was dug collapsed, and the good news is no one was hurt. So there were no fatalities and no injuries. But MSHA, the Mining Safety and Health Administration, who oversees safety in mines across the United States, told the operator they could not let anyone go back into the mine unless they were able to figure out a way to do an unmaned survey of the mine, and so we equipped several autonomous robots with our breadcrumb nodes and sent a convoy of them into this underground mine where there's no lights, there's no power, there's obstructions because the roof is falling in and they were able to spread out and we got these robots. The lead robot got two kilometers deep into this mine where the subsidence was. They were able to send 4K video back out to the surface. Along with they also had a LiDAR sensor where it takes a point cloud, and I don't know if you've ever seen any of the national geographics where they fly over the jungle in central America and strip off the same technology, but it could work in the dark very effectively. So they took a point cloud, which is a massive amount of data, and we were streaming about 80 megabits per second from robot to robot to robot out of the mine to the surface where they captured it, recompiled the point cloud and within less than an hour they were able to virtually with in front of the M-SHAN specter let him see, as if he were walking through the mine, what the conditions were. And he immediately said wow, this is amazing and we can start formulating a plan to let people back in Now. I had the opportunity to visit this mine during this inspection and talk with the M-SHAN specter, and it was really interesting because he said to me, when we told the mine they could go back in after they did an unmanned exploration, we were just throwing them a bone. We honestly didn't believe there was technology that would enable them to do this, but we didn't have the heart to tell them they were never going to be able to go back in this mine. And he said we're blown away at what your technology accomplished and from now on, if there's ever a cave-in or a subsidence in an underground mine in the US, you can guarantee we will stipulate that they need to get a hold of Rageant and Rageant can help them set up an unmanned inspection of their underground mine so that we don't have to send people into unsafe areas before we verify that the conditions are safe enough for people to go back in.

Blythe Brumleve: 1:45:18

Can I imagine that this would have use cases in several different industries? I mean, archaeology comes to mind, as far as exploring a lot of central and in South America using LiDAR technology, things like that, but to explore these buildings and these structures that haven't been explored in hundreds, sometimes thousands of years, is that a safe assumption, or is maybe that?

Todd Rigby: 1:45:42

in the works.

Blythe Brumleve: 1:45:42


Todd Rigby: 1:45:44

That's absolutely a great example. We've also used these with firemen who are in a hazardous material situation. Let's say there's a building at a chemical plant. They have to go into a metal building and there's a fire. They can take breadcrumbs with them Along. They're wearing their hazmat suits and they can build a network because we can transmit voice, video and data over the same network. So this is a network just like you have in your home or your office. It's based on what's called IP, which stands for Internet Protocol, so it's the exact same network everybody's used to working with in their office. Basically, if it has an ethernet plug, you can connect devices into it and transport the data over our network. So it's very simple to use and it has countless applications in dangerous environments.

Blythe Brumleve: 1:46:50

Any plans to get this technology into conference and events, because the wifi is always terrible at conferences.

Todd Rigby: 1:47:03

Well, to be honest, we use it a lot for ourselves at conferences and events. We quite often have sample networks set up around our booths and people are often amazed because they know how horrible communications are at trade shows. In two weeks we'll be at Promat in Chicago and I'm sure we'll have a demo network set up there. If anybody would like to stop by or booth and check it out, we'd love to show it to them and tell them about it. What a pitch to be.

Blythe Brumleve: 1:47:40

Just tell people don't use the crappy conference wifi, which is a racket anyways. Come over and use Regent instead. So what does the? I don't want to say it sounds complicated because as you're explaining it I'm like, okay, that makes a lot of sense. But I imagine for a lot of folks who may be used to I think of, like my dad, who is the typical blue collar worker If I tried to explain what Regent is to him he would probably be scratching his head 30 seconds into the conversation. His eyes would start glazing over. So how do you like the sales process, the onboarding process? What does that look like for you and your position?

Todd Rigby: 1:48:25

So well, maybe I'll first tell you how I would explain our system to somebody like your dad and then we can talk about the sales onboarding process. So most people have a smartphone today and I would imagine your dad has a smartphone too and most people have used their smartphone to connect to a wireless network, mainly a wifi network, and I usually ask them so walk me through the steps that you do on your smartphone to connect to the wifi. And they'll usually say well, I go into settings and I click wifi, I see the list and I pick one. And I said okay, if you want to imagine what it's like to have a Regent network, imagine, instead of just picking one access point to connect to, what if you could select, pick all? What if you could connect to every single access point at the same time and your phone was smart enough at any moment to decide which of those access points have the best, fastest, most bandwidth, and sent the request that way and maybe it brings the response back a different way because it was even faster. That's how a Regent network functions. It has all these connections and it's dynamically picking the best one. So most people go oh, wow, yeah, that would be cool. So that's kind of the basic how I explain how Regent works differently than other networks they might be familiar with. As far as the sales process, regent has reseller partners around the world. We don't sell through Best Buy or Fries or your favorite electronics store. We're not a retail wireless network. Because of the technology that's inside of breadcrumb it's going to cost more than your basic home wifi that you'd go to the electronics store and buy or that you'd get from your internet provider. So we sell through professional value-added resellers or integrators who work in different industries. Most often they introduce us to their customers that are having communications problems and either they explain the technology and demonstrate it themselves or occasionally they'll invite someone like myself to come with them and we do joint presentations and joint demonstrations to show them how the technology would apply to their environment. And it's really rewarding to see the amazement and the excitement on their faces when we're able to do things they've never seen done before with other competing wireless solutions. And they're just shocked and amazed and they're like, oh my gosh. And then they buy the equipment and they put it in and you go back and see them and they are just such I hate to use the term fanboy, but I mean they're giddy about oh my heck, you just transformed our whole operation. The IT department used to be the laughing stock of the company and now nobody does anything without calling in the IT department and consulting with us first, because now, instead of our solutions not working, they work so well and everybody uses them, everybody relies on them and it makes everything in the operations smooth. And the other funny thing is how many times we see people get promoted after they've put in a Rageant Network. I've seen it countless time after time after time. They buy a Rageant Network and six, nine months later they've got a new job with a bigger title and, I'm sure, a bigger paycheck, because they solved some of the most difficult problems that the companies were having and their stature and their job changes.

Blythe Brumleve: 1:52:45

I'm honored to welcome in Admiral Craig Fowler. He's the board member over at Pay Cargo and one of the most accomplished guests that we've ever had the pleasure of speaking to. And before we bring them on, I just wanna list a few of the career accomplishments. And so, just running off of this list, a graduate of US Naval Academy with the Bachelors in System Engineering, masters in National Security Affairs, strategic Planning. Commanding Officer deployed to the Arabian Gulf and participated in a maritime interception operations in support of the United Nations sanctions against Iraq. Commanding Officer who assisted victims of the devastating tsunami off of Indonesia. And Senior Military Assistant to the Secretary of Defense. And that is just the tip of the iceberg of the topic we're going to be discussing today, and that's regarding the logistics and supply chain challenges around the devastating earthquake that hit Turkey and Syria earlier this month. Actually, again this week they were hit by another earthquake, and there aren't too many more people that are more qualified to talk about this topic. So, admiral, welcome into the show.

Craig Faller: 1:53:49

Thank you. It's an honor to be here and it is an important topic to talk about. People are working around the clock as we speak, saving lives, and it deserves to be discussed and understood. And the successes of the relief operations embrace, but also understanding where things could be improved as we move forward 100%?

Blythe Brumleve: 1:54:10

And before we get into sort of the specifics of Turkey and Syria, can you give us a sense of just the logistical operations in general whenever a disaster like this strikes, so after a crisis occurs, is there a normal quote unquote normal response logistically speaking?

Craig Faller: 1:54:30

Every disaster is unique. The organizations like the United Nations and here in the US US aid Bureau of Humanitarian Assistance work to try to prepare the US military, involved in exercises and tabletop discussions looking at where the disasters have occurred in the past and how to best prepare for the future. So getting supplies and people and assessments there rapidly, to the point of need, is key. And of course, you're coming into an area that's lost, all its infrastructure lost, the ability to communicate. Cell phone towers are going to be down, so just the ability to connect people is very, very problematic. Roads will be washed out of or broken in the case of earthquake, fractured, shattered bridges, and so all these things compound the ability to get in and understand what needs to be done. But a lot of time is being spent by these organizations studying lessons learned in the past so for the next time and the next time after that, they could be more efficient and faster.

Blythe Brumleve: 1:55:43

And so, when we're talking about establishing just on the ground of what happens, is there a general sense of what you established within the first 24 hours or the first week, compared to maybe a month out? Give us a sense of what the immediate concerns are versus the ongoing concerns.

Craig Faller: 1:56:03

The immediate concerns would be the rescue and looking for people. Trying to rescue people account for survivors. In this particular example, 3 million people were impacted by the 7.8 magnitude earthquake and about 1 million people, as of data as early as yesterday, had been impacted in terms of lost homes or damaged homes. So that's an immense amount of people. So getting an accurate accounting of that is key. So the first phase is save lives through a rescue operation and then the second phase is going to be to rebuild and established shelter, food, water, medical hygiene things so that there's not a continued loss of life from a disease or cholera, some kind of impacts of not having adequate sanitation. So those are the couple phases that you would be looking at. So the disaster relief teams and countries involved are gonna come in and establish a coordination center trying to fuse the information and get to ground truth as to what the teams know and what they don't know, and then moving forward, always with the host nation. In this case, turkey would have a very developed organization for this. Turkey's a member of NATO and they'll work with the host nation in the lead to try to look at what needs to be rebuilt and the long-term efforts to recovery.

Blythe Brumleve: 1:57:30

So, with zeroing in on the situation with Turkey and Syria, what does the I guess the logistical landscape look like for them before the disaster? What modes of transportation are they? Is it rail? Is it the big cargo ships? Is it freight trucks? Is it a combination of the three? Give us a sense of what that logistical operation looked like before, and then we can kind of get into the challenges of what they're dealing with now.

Craig Faller: 1:57:56

Looking at the terrain involved. So I mentioned Turkey, but I also have to remind the listeners and everyone that Syria is a big part where this occurred northern Syria, western part of Syria, as the first of all, the terrain is very, very rough. So mountainous terrain, lots of roads, some approved roads, but a lot of roads that you would expect to see in a mountainous region. Turkey, much more developed infrastructure, more modern country. Syria has been really ravaged by a civil war for the past decade plus, so you have a very different set of infrastructure going in A lot of the local to the point of need. Transportation is gonna be grounds, gonna be trucks. It's gonna be the kind of things from small trucks to five ton trucks to bigger trucks, some rail, some air cargo and some by sea. Both countries have seaports. That becomes key for the follow on relief. All that infrastructure is damaged, destroyed, of an unknown condition initially, and that's a big part of the initial assessment and search and rescue efforts to figure out what's intact and what isn't. We mentioned in the introduction about my involvement in the Indonesia tsunami, so we were the first US responders. I was in command of the US warship Shiloh. We were part of the Abraham Lincoln strike group enjoying Christmas in Hong Kong, and we responded and arrived on scene on one January 2005. That was a 9.2 magnitude earthquake. About 200,000 people in Indonesia alone were killed, and the current earthquake about 7.8 magnitude. Today's death toll was tragically too high at 48,000. Any amount of loss of life is just a travesty. But when we arrived in Indonesia at that point, in addition to helping survivors and looking at search and rescue, we were also looking at the infrastructure and what you just found was almost every bridge within a few miles of the coastline and roads were damaged or destroyed in some way. So we're looking for airfields, places, land helicopters Looking at soccer stadiums would be a kind of place and all that improvision is now going on in Syria and Turkey as folks try to rebuild and then respond and get the logistics flowing to the point of need.

Blythe Brumleve: 2:00:26

And so, as you had just mentioned, tragically 48,000 people have perished. There's countless others that have been impacted, loss of homes, loss of family members, and then there's also the actual infrastructure side of things, as you mentioned. So the earthquakes have destroyed roadways, They've caused major power outages and created large-scale damage to major ports in the Mediterranean, making it a logistical challenge to get much needed relief to the area. So when an earthquake happens like that, is it the first set of priorities is to address the infrastructure, so you can get aid to folks more quickly, or is it the humanitarian efforts, or is it a combination of the two?

Craig Faller: 2:01:10

Well, certainly you're looking at everything that you mentioned that comes into play to move forward. The first response is going to be to save lives. So that's the search and rescue response Finding where people are trapped under rubble, where they might be trapped in a remote village. They can't communicate, and that's the first effort. In order to execute that effort, you've got to access these areas, whether it's in a city or in a mountainside, and so, knowing where the roads are intact and where the bridges have to be, maybe have to go through a stream, around the bridge, or maybe the only mode of transport will by helicopter or a rotary wing of some type or some small light air transport. So that's all part of it, because in order to get to all the locations and the United Nations and Turkish authorities I'm sure, have a big chart on the wall with all sorts of markings and electronic charts and sharing data to know have we accessed every house, looked under every rubble? And teams from the US, specialized teams, will be flown in with dogs and search and rescue experts. So that's the first priority is that saving lives. But in order to do that, you've got to really do a rapid assessment of the infrastructure that's involved.

Blythe Brumleve: 2:02:27

And so when something like that happens, say you're shipping humanitarian goods and you know that those goods need to arrive in those areas, those pockets of need what kind of data collection is going on to find out where those pockets of needs are at? Because I imagine it's just it has to be chaotic. Who is the organizer of the chaos in order to figure out where those pockets of needs are?

Craig Faller: 2:02:53

So one thing about a disaster that just brings out the best of people. So a lot of non-governmental organizations, ngos so are going to step up. World Hope is an example of an organization stepping up these organizations. They step up, they come in and they help, and so somebody has to coordinate all that. So the UN steps up their roles of coordination. Usaid, bha will play a coordinating role. People look to the host nation as the lead coordinator. A lot of effort is spent there, but there can be seams with all those organizations and so people will work hard to bridge those seams. While the search and rescue is going on, people will be looking to say does this village have water? Yes, no. How is their shelter? What do they need? Do they for immediate needs to tarps, tents, that kind of thing? Do they have any foodstuffs or do they need that? So there'll be things flowing in for that and then medical supplies flowing in and different nations Over 50 nations have participated in the current relief efforts thus far, and understanding that logistics flow is so key. Because if you need cooking oil and water and maybe rice and some basic substance, but what shows up is a load of clothing, used clothing and that's not what is needed, then that ends up clogging logistics nodes. We saw in Indonesia at times where cargo was being offloaded. It wasn't what would have been needed at that time, and so people are trying to do good. They want to rush supplies. It's really a lot of management effort going into ensuring the right supplies to the right place and you don't end up clogging those very fragile logistics pathways with things that aren't needed, and I know that effort's occurring and people are looking hard at that. In 2021, it was the lead US military element for a 7.2 earthquake in Haiti, so we think about the one they had in 2010,. But in 2021, in August of 2020, big effort there and that was constantly trying to ensure that we didn't surprise ourselves with what was flowing in, and what needed to get to the people was what was out there. The UN is pros at this. They have really good staffs that do great work, but the scope of these tragedies means that a lot of hands are needed in order to get things right.

Blythe Brumleve: 2:05:32

And so when you have sort of that just mass organization, that's going on. What about the port infrastructure within Turkey? I saw that there was a fire at one of the ports that raged on for about five days and they're not exactly sure what has caused the fire within all the containers that have been stacked, and luckily they have put out that fire since then. But are the ports usable? Is it, I guess, still efficient to work through the ports, or do you just kind of back off the ports for a while while they theoretically and figuratively put out that fire and then reroute the goods somewhere else?

Craig Faller: 2:06:11

A lot of the assessments that need to be done to the level of infrastructure and the ports that you cite like a really good example require teamwork. So there's so much that needs to be done. Is this not one agency or entity that can do it? So in a disaster like this, often the civilian agencies, which are always lead, will rely on military expertise, whether it's from NATO countries, the US or other nations, to come in with assessment teams. So the US military in particular has port assessment teams that are trained to come in to look at the bottom topography to make sure there's no change to the charted depth which would be a danger to any cargo ships coming in. They look at the integrity of the piers, the integrity of the mooring cleats and the bollards on the piers. Do the piers have the cargo handling intact, yes or no? Will the ships need to bring that in? All those things are looked at and then after that's done and we check out that this port A, port B and other port is certified good, then that information is then passed off to the coordination centers so that we can begin to schedule cargo ships and freight to come into those seaports. So that effort's ongoing in this particular case Back to my experience in Haiti. We had the same experience in 2021. We had to get relief supplies, so roads going out onto the peninsula they called the Claw, the southern Claw of Haiti very bad. And of course, there's rain, the magnitude, the earthquake, creative slides, and so bringing things in by sea became critical. But we weren't sure whether some of these piers had the integrity needed, so we had to send teams in there and do a quick check to ensure that they were sufficient and safe for handling of all the equipment. It's just so key, so there's a real big safety aspect to this.

Blythe Brumleve: 2:08:08

When I was working at a 3PL years ago, we were the exclusive contract provider for the American Red Cross for all of their water loads. And so when Hurricane Sandy hit New York and this was a while ago, but we were responsible for all of those water loads and it was very much an organizational effort between the private sector and the American Red Cross and a lot of the federal aid, and so it kind of sounds like a lot of that infrastructure exists or that I guess communication exists over in Turkey. Is it safe to say that maybe a lot of that doesn't exist in Syria?

Craig Faller: 2:08:43

I think Syria and Turkey are different situations based on the political leadership and the state of development of the country. To be fair, the epicenter was in Turkey, so there's been more impacted people. The numbers of about 350,000 displaced are out of their homes in Syria, versus a million In Turkey. But there are more challenges in Syria due to the political situation and the ongoing civil war.

Blythe Brumleve: 2:09:14

And so when with there was another video that I was watching in speaking of Haiti and it was a company called Windover Productions, which does a great logistic series, and it was talking about the logistics of disaster relief, and they say the reality is that often, but not always, the more accessible a disaster site is, the more response it gets, and so, because Haiti is relatively close to the US, it was very easy, or easier versus other situations where we could get that aid to Haiti more quickly. Is that a safe assumption for Turkey as well, where we have operations and landing points for to get that humanitarian aid to Turkey more quickly?

Craig Faller: 2:09:58

I think it is a fact. The accessibility and how adjacent is a country or tied into their neighbors makes a big impact. And looking at the case of Turkey, while that area is quite remote and very removed in the far reaches of the Mediterranean, turkey's a NATO member. There are a lot of capable countries that have very well-developed humanitarian assistance, disaster relief organizations and teams that have come to bear and are in the neighborhood, in proximity, and compare and contrast that to Indonesia or the Indian Ocean, where vast differences, distances between the different countries, makes problematic One the assessment. Just knowing how bad it is is delaying days, not hours, and then getting supplies there takes days and weeks and it was a four-day sale for us from Hong Kong to Indonesia. It's just immense, the distances of the Asia Pacific region. So I think the remoteness of the location and the country and then the country's integration into other regional organizations or international organizations does play in.

Blythe Brumleve: 2:11:18

What about, I guess, the role of customs when it comes to these emergency shipments? Is it still sort of the same rules that apply, or are they kind of eased up a little bit in order to expedite these shipments?

Craig Faller: 2:11:31

Well it is. You ask some really great questions. In a disaster, people tend to come together and more rapidly overcome the bureaucratic hurdles that just are just so irritating in day-to-day life. I like to refer to things as blocking your own field goals and things that could take weeks and months to get done in a disaster get done. But you do point at some of the really larger challenges in the logistics business. I love the name of your podcast that everything is logistics in the military, in the 38-year career, we would say over and over again logistics is for professionals because it underpins everything we do. And as I transition from 38 years in military service and love the Navy, love the military it's awesome and looking for opportunities in the private sector to make a difference and translate some of my skills, I was astounded at some of the level of backwardness of the logistics systems and processes that are out there. So still a lot of paper, a lot of faxes, a lot of scan-in PDF files, a lot of wire transfers. It's so many disparate ways of doing things. Very hard to get asset visibility and accuracy of data. Now, in the midst of a response to a disaster, people are overcoming all those hurdles but they do compound the challenges of the response and knowing where goods and services need to flow and go, and I think it underscores the urgency with which a lot of these challenges need to be streamlined, including the customs processes, which is where the question began.

Blythe Brumleve: 2:13:26

And actually that brings up a good segue into my next question because, being a board member over at Pay Cargo, which is a global digital all-in-one payment platform for freight and cargo and the logistics industry, it was mentioned that outdated practices in supply chain are fueling the backlog in Turkey and Syria. For a regular civilian like myself, what's going on in the payment side of things that is contributing or maybe inhibiting the disaster relief efforts over in Turkey and Syria?

Craig Faller: 2:13:57

So a bulk, a large percentage of global payments in all specifically focus on air and sea freight cargo still occur by wire transfer or checks or some mode of payment that most families here in the United States don't even use for their family budget anymore, or maybe they just have one or two pieces of their budget. You kind of flip that around on the global scale, so that leads to delays in payment processing, a lack of transfer of data. Now, in the case of a disaster, most people, organizations come into this saying, look, we're going to respond and then we're going to worry about getting paid, but they still at some point have to get paid, and so reconciling that and overcoming that will be challenges. And then the efficiency of that process, the speed. It just takes too long, and that's what, as I was looking for opportunity to make a difference in a sector that's so important, a logistics sector this opportunity to be an advisor on the advisory board of Pay Cargo came along. It just seemed that Pay Cargo is exactly the type of high speed, high tech, innovative company that's leading the way, cutting edge to modernize and transform systems and processes, and logistics region, an area that will speed things up and allow for more application of the data, more efficiency, people get paid on time and goods move faster.

Blythe Brumleve: 2:15:37

And I would imagine that that is probably one of the more inefficient parts of logistics is the lack of getting paid and the lack of data. Is that a safe assumption?

Craig Faller: 2:15:46

Really very good safe assumption. So many cases you can't get the cargo released till the payment happens, and the payment takes days, weeks, not hours. Pay Cargo offers a solution that takes really, as it's, an instantaneous solution the way they've applied the technology in the payment system.

Blythe Brumleve: 2:16:09

Now you mentioned, everything is a little bit outdated or a lot of companies are a little outdated, still using fax machines, for God's sakes, and a lot of the transactions, bills of ladings and payments, anything that in that regard. But on the data side of things, what does the data collection process look like in Turkey right now? Or in Syria right now? I would imagine that it's very challenging to get the information on what goods are there, what goods are in need. Tell us a little bit about, I guess, the data flow of what's going, in addition to the shipment flow.

Craig Faller: 2:16:45

Well, I do know this. Talented people, hardworking people are working day and night to try to make sure there are no seams and everybody has visibility and the data is exchanged between the UN and the USA, BHA, turkish or so that's happening. I'll just relate it to my experience in Haiti in 2021. So it's very recent. We had set up a US military coordination center and it was about 100 yards from the UN coordination center and is about a half a mile to the USA BHA coordination center. We had to physically shuttle people back and forth between those coordination centers in order to ensure an accurate exchange of data. Now, sure, we can send emails back and forth, but in terms of having a system where our data was entered that interacted seamlessly with another system and database, so you didn't have to repopulate something, add the numbers back up, that didn't exist. This is 2021. This is in Haiti, which is right here in our neighborhood of the Western Hemisphere, and the UN, who we know and work with, and USAID, who is our US partner. We haven't evolved those systems to seamlessly share data. So compound that to a multinational crisis Syria and Turkey, lots of seams in data, people working real hard to shore that up, and it does point to the greater need to modernize the logistics systems and processes and be able to share data more readily and across company, agency, organization or country boundaries.

Blythe Brumleve: 2:18:35

And so after I say after, because they're still experiencing this they just had another earthquake, I think it was 7.5, that hit Turkey yesterday, and so obviously the aftershocks are still in full effect. But what happens next, like how do you go from a disaster response to an ongoing response? What does I guess a quote unquote exit plan look like?

Craig Faller: 2:19:02

Thanks for mentioning the ongoing aftershocks. When I saw that yesterday they had the aftershock, I went and looked how many they had. They had 2,100 aftershocks, so I think the initial one was in neighborhood of 7.8. Yesterday's was about 6.4. And it's horrifying to be on the ground and then continuously feel this. I felt it in Haiti, I felt it in Indonesia and you know, oh, my goodness, this is going to be another one. Here it comes again, and it just causes a wave of anxiety and panic in the people and the population, which is not what they need. They need stability and looking forward, and that's what the relief organizations will try to do. They'll try to set in place longer term rebuilding plans. I saw yesterday the US pledged recently. This week US pledged some more rebuilding money for the kind of development, rebuilding the homes and infrastructure that needs to happen. International community will do that. It is a concern, though, because while you want if you're the military and you're in support of civilian organizations with the unique capabilities and military brinks heavy lift transport, you don't want to remain there longer than you needed. You don't want to develop dependencies of people and you have to help people get back up on their own feet and begin to care and take care of themselves. But if you leave too soon and those plans aren't in place and the funds don't get to the right people, then it becomes problematic. We responded in 2020, november 2020, to two back-to-back major hurricanes in Central America it was on President outside the hurricane season. Both category four hurricanes followed the same track and that was one of the questions we kept asking Okay, we're there. We had a number of helicopters that were forward stationed for exercise and training, and Honduras were all in helping save lives. We're helping assess long-term needs. But okay, we come off the stage. Who's gonna help the people of Honduras with the long-term bridges? And that's where the UN and other organizations do come into play. But often there are gaps and you do hear about it years later. Hey, we never quite fully recovered in this country, in that country, and we needed help, and the focus moved on to the next crisis. So I know a lot of people are thinking about that, but it is a concern, particularly if you're in Syria or Turkey.

Blythe Brumleve: 2:21:48

And probably no real right answer for anyone of these locations on when to exit and when. That, I guess, yes, is appropriate to make, or estimation is appropriate to make. Now, as we learn more about these disasters and we respond to them, I imagine that we get a little bit better at responding to them after each time. What do you think will be some of the lessons that will come away with, or is it still too early to tell, from the Turkey and Syria situation?

Craig Faller: 2:22:21

I think it's too early to tell. In this particular situation, folks are focused on the immediate needs of the day and building that long-term rebuilding plan that's gonna be essential for the future. So people have hope. They need to see that progress. But I know that my own experience in Haiti and Central America from the day the disaster struck we have folks assigned to do lessons learned, what worked, what didn't work, what would we do differently. So does USA Bureau of Humanitarian Affairs. They really focus on that and then we collate those lessons learned and we try to roll them into a training program, maybe through tabletop exercises, seminars, discussion. So we do a lot of work in that area so that next time we're more prepared, better and not caught unaware, not ready. So things are pre-staged, ready to go.

Blythe Brumleve: 2:23:27

From a civilian aspect, and I'm not sure if you have the answer to this question, but I was just thinking of what could a regular person like me or maybe a regular person that's listening to this episode if they could offer any kind of help? Is it charitable donations? Is it volunteering time? What would you recommend to folks who see something like this and want to help but don't know where to go?

Craig Faller: 2:23:53

The UN website has a place to go for donations. I would start there. I would look at some of the really good non-government organizations World Hope is one I've mentioned previously that do work in this the international Red Cross. I think that a donation, of a financial donation can then be directed by the professionals that are out there that best know where the resources need to go. If you do have the time, volunteering with one of these organizations that focuses on disaster relief is important.

Blythe Brumleve: 2:24:34

I am happy to welcome in Emily Martichenko. She is the communications coordinator for the American Logistics Aid Network, otherwise known as Allen. I feel it's weird to say I'm really excited to talk about disaster recovery because of the nature of it. I am just endlessly fascinated what happens before, during and after a disaster takes place, all of the people that come together to make sure that other folks are taken care of. That's really the root of the conversation that I wanted to have today, because that's exactly what Allen provides Real quick. Before we get into the discussion, give us a little bit of sense of your career back story Were you involved in logistics? Is this your first logistics company? Give us a scoop.

Emilee Martichenko: 2:25:26

Yeah, to be fairly brief, this is my first professional position in the logistics industry. I guess it runs in the family. My father had a logistics and supply chain business that he built up from the ground up oh nice. Eventually sold in 2020. He is a longtime industry professional. I went to college, did not study logistics. I studied Latin American studies in comparative literature, then just made my way to Allen in 2020. First part-time as a contract worker and then full-time back in May of this year.

Blythe Brumleve: 2:26:08

Wow, you grew up with supply chain knowledge. I know my friends know that I work in supply chain and logistics, but they have no idea what that entails. Was that a similar experience for you, that you had no idea what your dad did?

Emilee Martichenko: 2:26:23

Yes, admittedly for many, many years. It really wasn't until I started my work with Allen that I started to get pretty educated in what it all meant, and entailed.

Blythe Brumleve: 2:26:37

I'm sure he's so proud now to be able to have somebody else in the family to talk logistics too. He's having a lot of fun with it. Awesome. Give us the back story of Allen. From. What I understand is that it was started after the questionable relief efforts after Hurricane Katrina hit. I think it was back in 2005, I think, when Hurricane Katrina hit that's what I have in my notes Allen was started right after that, is that?

Emilee Martichenko: 2:27:03

correct. Yes, hurricane Katrina hits in 2005 and it's devastating. Allen was formed by industry associations coming together and saying, hey, this hurricane was so unprecedented and so devastating, so much of the relief that people that was pouring in and that people wanted to provide could not get to where it needed to be in the right quantities at the right time in order to be as effective as possible during the first response phase and then recovery phase. These industry associations came together and they said there is an opportunity here to improve disaster response. Allen was born out of that.

Blythe Brumleve: 2:27:54

What were some of those, I guess, moments that were like, wow, that this is completely not working and we need to create a solution for it. Were there anything that you could pinpoint?

Emilee Martichenko: 2:28:07

Unfortunately, that one will be a little bit tough for me because I wasn't around in 2005,. So it was a very, very long time ago, so I would have to admittedly, on this one, I would have to touch base with either our executive director or, truly, one of our founding network, one of our founding partners.

Blythe Brumleve: 2:28:28

Who are some of those, I guess, founding partners that you mentioned trade associations. So it's awesome to hear that some of these trade associations are working together, because usually they're independent operations or where they work pretty independently.

Emilee Martichenko: 2:28:42

So our founding president, who's unfortunately no longer with us. His name was Jock Menzies and he passed tragically a couple years ago. He was the kind of uniting figure in all of this who really got Allen off the ground. At this point there's too many for me to name, but what I would encourage your audiences to do is go to our website, because we have an industry association page where you can actually see all of the associations who were with us from our founding and who are with us to this day.

Blythe Brumleve: 2:29:13

Oh, wow. So it's good that it was so. All those groups came together and they stayed together, which is I guess a testament to the mission that's at hand. And so I guess, to segue into I guess sort of the description which I love, the description of Allen. It says on a mission to save lives and reduce suffering for two disaster survivors in the United States by engaging industry to supplement nonprofit organizations logistics capabilities. They serve by coordinating logistics, providing education and building cross sector relationships before, during and after disasters. Can you kind of walk us through I guess those different steps of you know? Maybe like a hurricane is probably the only one that maybe you can pre-plan for what kind of I guess pre-planning goes into disaster relief.

Emilee Martichenko: 2:30:03

Yeah, absolutely so. Allen functions at all stages of the disaster life cycle, the first one being, if you look at it as kind of like a loop. The first one being that preparation stage and preparation isn't just hurricane specific you can prepare in various ways for all kinds of disasters From the Allen side. A lot of that preparation involves us interfacing with our industry partners and our nonprofit partners. To understand, you know, if it is hurricane specific and we have an idea of where this hurricane is making landfall, who is mobilized and is staging relief supplies? What are the anticipated needs for after the hurricane makes landfall? Is there, are there the resources and the logistics, services and infrastructure in place to move these supplies to where they need to be after the hurricane makes landfall? You know we another important component of this preparation is amplifying and getting as much visibility on important information as possible. So going to going to social media accounts like the National Hurricane Center and resharing those and trying to just get that information out there so people can be as prepared themselves as possible, so they can plan evacuation routes. We always encourage people to register for our supply chain intelligence center, which is a free to use GIS tool which we developed in tandem with our one of our partners, everstream Analytics. We love them. Thank you, everstream. But it's a free to use GIS tool that brings updates on the charted path of hurricanes and tropical storms and will also give updates on supply chain impacts before, during, in and after disasters. So it's kind of your one stop shop tool if you're government, nonprofit industry and looking to understand how these disasters are impacting critical infrastructure and supply chains.

Blythe Brumleve: 2:32:03

That's interesting. I just signed up for it this morning, so I'm I'm waiting on access for it, but I watched a couple of the demo videos and it was great. It was one of those things that I'm like how has this not been thought of before? So it really sounds like it's almost with you being the communications manager. So are you in charge of managing these communications? Is it a bunch of people coming together, I guess? Well, what does it look like during the process, during a disaster? So we kind of covered what happens before, but what about like during it? Cause it's it feels so chaotic, I think, for folks who, you know, I'm a Florida resident and at times it does feel like, okay, where can I get the most the latest information? And that feels like a bottleneck. But you're you're saying that there are resources out there that we could be checking in order to get those up to take communications of what's going on. Yes, absolutely.

Emilee Martichenko: 2:32:57

Uh. So you know when a disaster hits and Alan mobilizes and we go into our immediate response phase. Um uh, the Allen team were um we kind of mobilize in our specific sectors. So I'm communications. I'm here to make sure that the Allen website is up to date and that we are um talking with um talking with the media and getting critical information about what Allen is doing and how Allen is responding Um getting as many eyes on that as possible so people are informed Uh. The best place to check um for this updated information is our disaster micro site uh, which is housed on our website. So you go to alanadeorg slash operations uh, and after a disaster hits, that is your point page for where um for where to find out what activities were engaged in Um. From an operations side, we are coordinating efforts with our nonprofit partners and engaging industry to help relief supplies get to where they need to be um to help survivors as efficiently and as cost effectively as possible. Uh. So we have an operations coordinator, lexi, who's um who came on full time uh to Allen the same time I did. She's absolutely wonderful Uh. So you have her doing operations, you have me doing communications, you have our wonderful executive director, kathy Fulton, uh uniting us in these efforts and um helping to guide the Allen team to you know, engage in these response activities and unite these networks you know, the nonprofit partners with the industry partners um and streamline that communication to avoid any de-duplication of response efforts.

Blythe Brumleve: 2:34:35

What are some of those, I guess, immediate needs. Uh, when a disaster strikes, is it as simple as food and water, a shelter? What kind of needs I guess are immediate versus, um, maybe some of the longer term needs?

Emilee Martichenko: 2:34:51

Yeah, um, so disasters are unpredictable, uh, and no matter you know how many hurricanes we have or how many wildfires we have, and unfortunately it looks like um, it's, it's sadly, I hate to say this been a busy year or a busy summer for disasters, but um, so they're unique um, and no one is the same. So it's it's impossible to say, in the event of this or in the event of that, you always need this or you always need that, but you can kind of get um, uh, you can kind of get a sense uh, especially during the preparation phase, when we're liaisoning and trying to understand what's being staged um, what you might need Uh. So in the case of let's take Maui, for example, um, because that was um a very, very devastating and very tragic disaster that were still immersed in trying to provide response and recovery for Um, maui happens and uh, what made it extra tricky was that it's an island, Uh, so suddenly getting relief supplies from point A to point B um becomes, you know, potentially trickier. Uh, you have to understand um, you have to understand the transportation and the freight will, the freight requirements. You have uh, federal and state efforts overlapping and there's this huge, huge influx of donations, uh, because people, um, while their hearts are in the right place, they want to be helpful, but they just send stuff over without an idea of what the immediate need is or, you know, even if there's a plan for distribution in place. So where Alan comes in is we engage the um, is we engage nonprofits in the U S um, in the U S mainland uh and over in uh Maui and on neighboring uh Hawaiian islands, and we say, hey, what are the most immediate needs? Uh, and we get a sense for that, and can we match these needs with a partner who has the capacity to make them happen? Uh, and so one case that being that was a result of this uh that we ended up fulfilling, was we helped move a lot of telecommunications equipment uh from mainland USA over to Maui. Uh, because these fires knocked out a lot of um, they hindered a lot of uh ability to uh even understand and facilitate communication throughout the island. Uh. So we learned quickly that telecommunication and getting Wi-Fi working and even getting communication flowing to understand what other relief supplies are needed became an imperative Uh. So then um, one of our nonprofit partners, the information technology disaster resource center, reached out to us and they said, hey, we have point to point gear. Um, and we have um, we have point to point gear sitting in the mainland USA and we need help moving it. Can you help us move it? And then we go out into our partner base and we say, hey, this is an immediate need. Um, can someone donate the transportation and help us move it to Maui? Uh, and that's an example of an Allen case that we got filled Wow. That's kind of a long winded answer.

Blythe Brumleve: 2:37:51

No, I love it.

Emilee Martichenko: 2:37:53

It's a good example of you know, in the case of a disaster, yes, you need water, yes, you need food, yes, you need medical supplies, um, but you might not realize, hey, telecommunications absolutely critical, uh, but because of the um, because of the tricky nature, the obstacle of moving supplies um that distance and across water or across air, um, it becomes just as important.

Blythe Brumleve: 2:38:19

I've had a previous guest on the podcast, um Admiral Craig Foller, and he has led um disaster relief efforts in uh Haiti and also in Indonesia, and then also um what was speaking about the disaster recovery relief efforts in uh Syria and Turkey after they had those just devastating sort of back to back um really bad earthquakes over in that region, and he said that you know, while he sort of echoed you know, some of what you were saying is that you know, while people's hearts are in the right place, he's like we need to, from a port supply perspective, we need to prioritize the freight that is going to directly help people versus something like a teddy bear, for example, where that's the you know an emotional thing that somebody is sending and it's great, but at the same time, they need communication devices, and you had mentioned a couple of times about different phases. Is is, I guess, communications. I would imagine, as part of maybe that initial response phase, or or there are different kind of phases, that that that you guys approach different disasters with.

Emilee Martichenko: 2:39:20

Yeah, um. So you know, my job as um communications coordinators to really help our um is to really help our networks understand um what needs we're servicing at different phases of the disaster life cycle. Uh, so in this response phase, the Allen team is getting together and we are hard at work trying to figure out what the most immediate needs are Uh. But then you know, as time goes by, maybe the media cycles drop um stop reporting on certain disasters because unfortunately, as we've seen, hurricanes and tropical storms are uh they're not in short supply this year, uh, we're in past years. Um. That's when we transition to our recovery phase and we um start looking at what are the long-term needs that these communities need to A rebuild and B? Um install in order to become more resilient in the face of future disasters Um. So what our communications try and articulate as we transition from response to recovery uh is we try to keep focus um within our networks and um and also um with our audiences. Um on the, despite the fact that the media may have stopped reporting on it and moved on to other things, or maybe even though you hear about it less, this community is still rebuilding Um and they're still in dire need of help, um and so, um, what we see, uh, we see kind of a transition of needs and we try and articulate that and we try and engage industry to say, hey, we know this disaster has passed out of the immediate public consciousness, but there is still a need to move. Um, there's still a need for material handling equipment, let's say, um, to help warehouse operations move more efficiently, um, as rebuilding materials are distributed.

Blythe Brumleve: 2:41:05

And so when you, I guess you know, sticking with the, the, the Maui example, you know that it's, it's a good time to sort of, I guess, not revisit it, but it feels like you're revisiting it because it was just dominating the news for a couple of weeks and, like you said, it just falls out of the news cycle and falls out of the, you know, I guess, just general consciousness for folks who are outside of of, you know, be those impacted. And so when you, I, I, I, what is, I guess, the? Do you know the right time to stop disaster relief or disaster recovery, or does it move into sort of like a different phase where different organizations and nonprofits are handling those long, those issues that are going to be around for a long time?

Emilee Martichenko: 2:41:52

Yeah, so you know. So for Allen, we're engaged 365 days of the year on what we can do to prepare people in communities, to help them with short and long-term recovery. And we are taking in and you know a huge part of this involves taking in cases as they come. So we work with a network of nonprofit partners and they come to us and they say, hey, this is a need that we have, and they register that as a case and that's posted, as I mentioned before on the disaster, on our disaster microsite Very, very important section of our website. So that kind of I would say that's kind of one element that drives our work is because we're always trying to focus on, you know, what is the immediate need and or what capacity needs to be built. So you know, that being said, sometimes disasters it takes years or even decades to rebuild from them. So we could get we just got a recent case a transportation case for a COVID-19 outbreak, which I know everybody is sick and tired of hearing about. But so things come and go, but it serves as an important reminder that you might be doing you might be heavily engaged in response for a little bit and then you might be heavily engaged in response for something else and they might overlap on that response timeline. And then you, as these communities rebuild and they start reassessing what else is important for the long-term recovery, then they might have to circle back to Alan.

Blythe Brumleve: 2:43:36

And so you had mentioned a couple times about the case numbers on the site, or the cases that are on the site, and you have them listed out by numbers, which is and it's very specific needs, you know warehouse requests, equipment requests, expertise requests, transportation requests, all of these different things. That I think is incredible. So what does that process look like? I would imagine that you're listing these cases on your website and then going. It almost sounds like you're a broker, like you're the broker, like coordinating between the needs and the customer who actually needs, you know, those supplies or those relief efforts is. Is that a conscious I imagine it's a conscious effort with the case numbers on there? But what happens after? I guess that you list the case requests on the website? Are organizations reaching out to you? Are you coordinating them kind of like a broker does, like how does that process work?

Emilee Martichenko: 2:44:31

Yeah, brokers. Actually it's an interesting word that when I always default to his facilitator but I like that too.

Blythe Brumleve: 2:44:38

Yeah, same, although. I will.

Emilee Martichenko: 2:44:39

And I'll say, one of the absolutely fabulous things about Alan is we can do all of this and provide these services for our nonprofit partners absolutely free of charge, which you know makes as we're a nonprofit ourselves, so it makes our work extra special. But a nonprofit has a need that they register with us and it gets put on our website. In some cases and other cases we do direct outreach, but you know, for let's use the website as an example. It gets posted on our website and we, a lot of the times you know are including with our direct outreach, our non, our industry partners will come to us and say, hey, we either saw this case on your website or we heard from you directly and we believe that our capacity matches this need and we would like to donate the service. And then our operations coordinator, lexi, who I mentioned earlier, works to essentially facilitate that, the execution of that donation. So you know, alan, Alan puts the donor in touch with the nonprofit and they work to gather all of the important information. If it's transportation, you know you need origin, destination, you need pallet count, you need weight dimensions, all of that, and we essentially just kind of act as that guide to make sure that whatever needs to be moved gets from point A to point B.

Blythe Brumleve: 2:46:07

Are there, I guess, different modes, like obviously with Maui you needed cargo ships or air freight or you know planes to haul the freight over. Are there different? I guess a typical and you said no, no disaster is the same, but I guess maybe for a fire versus a hurricane, versus maybe a tornado, are there usually, you know transportation or logistics needs based on the type of disaster, if that makes sense.

Emilee Martichenko: 2:46:37

Yeah, that um are there. So are there overlapping or common logistics needs per disaster? Yeah, so I would say that um, I would say, out of all the logistics needs, the one that we get the most requests for is transportation, because you know, if there is a hurricane um or a wildfire or a flood, um, there are. That means there's relief supplies, usually staged nearby, or not nearby in some cases. You know we've helped transport supplies across the country in a lot of cases, but anyway, point being is that it needs to get moved to the, to the disaster site in order to be distributed. So we get a lot of transportation requests would be our most common. But, um, material handling equipment um, you, one of our we mentioned association partners at the beginning of this call. We receive a lot of support from the from Mejita. We love Mejita, they're wonderful to us Um, they they've been, they've been heavily involved in helping us fill cases by putting material handling equipment requests out to their network and that's another form of outreach that um, our network helps us with. And then, a lot of the times, their members come back and they say hey, we see there's a need for a forklift or a pallet jack, um which even one pallet jack or one forklift can just spell a world of difference, because it means that the relief supplies that have been staged um in a warehouse, uh maybe not too far from the disaster site, um suddenly their operations uh can move um and be executed much more efficient, efficiently.

Blythe Brumleve: 2:48:18

And so I guess, when you, you have these partners, what about from the, I guess, the lens of you know, working in logistics? Over the last couple of years we've heard, you know, these excess inventory and all of these different retailers are, you know, having to buy up warehouse space all over the country because they have too much inventory. So what happens, I guess, during a disaster, if there's not any space to store the goods? Uh, what happens in that case?

Emilee Martichenko: 2:48:44

Yeah, um, and you know, this is where this is where I give my spiel, uh, on behalf of Alan, about not donating to product collection drives. Uh, because you know that had happened with Maui. They received an influx of donations and there was not enough. In the case of Maui, there wasn't enough container space or warehouse space on the island, um to store everything. Uh, because people are generous and people's hearts are always in the right place because they want to help Um, and that's amazing, um, but a lot of the times, what people do is they donate to product collection drives, um, and then these donations pile up and pile up, and pile up, and they clog ports and they clog supply chains, and then they're all of a sudden, um, and then they're all of a sudden. Art, isn't the infrastructure in place to help distribute what's piled up? And then you know, the response efforts becomes a case of not only trying to get critical materials to disaster site, but also trying to deal with what's arrived. That isn't critical Um. So at Alan, we say in um, as a solution to that, in the event of a disaster, instead of donating to a product collection drive, make a financial donation Um, which I know it doesn't um, it doesn't give that kind of like rush of um of doing good that we all want when we give a physical donation, uh, but it means that the it means that the nonprofits who are, um, who've been doing this for years and know what they're doing, uh in order to get these supplies, uh to disaster sites, it means that you're helping fortify their operations with your financial donation. Yeah, and that's huge and it spells a world of difference. Uh, especially because Alan we're um. We have an amazing network of very generous partners and very generous donors. Um, but we are, in terms of full time staff, we're a team of three. Wow. So you're doing a lot of work, a lot of coordination.

Blythe Brumleve: 2:50:34

Yeah, a lot of communications. Yeah, um, speaking of communications, I was looking at the the Alan uh Twitter feed this morning and noticed that, um, there's some organizational efforts going on for the earthquake victims in Morocco. How, I guess, global is, alan, as it, you know, maybe starting to get more global, or how does it? Maybe disaster relief work in the U? S versus outside of the U S?

Emilee Martichenko: 2:51:00

Yeah, uh. So how global is Alan? Alan does a lot of first mile transportation when it comes to global relief efforts. Uh so we have helped a lot um in Haiti over the past few years with the earthquake and also with cholera outbreaks at various times, but, uh so a lot of our work just involves um when it comes to international deployment of relief materials. We're doing that first mile move, uh just to various ports throughout the U S, uh, in tandem with our nonprofit and industry partners. And so, oh, go ahead, I don't know.

Blythe Brumleve: 2:51:33

No, no, go ahead, I'm uh, I'm wondering too does intermodal does um rail lines? Do do those play a role in disaster recovery as well?

Emilee Martichenko: 2:51:45

Uh, so Alan actually doesn't. Um, uh, we are not heavily involved with the rail, um, with the rail community, in our work. Uh so I, I am not yet, uh as well versus I would like to um be to speak about that. Not yet, not yet. So there's any intermodal companies?

Blythe Brumleve: 2:52:01

out there with a generous heart than you guys need to to get linked up, um. So I guess, um with your, your time on the job. You've been there since 2020. You've I mean, obviously you saw everything that happened with COVID, you know sort of first line defense, um, or offense, I guess, depending on um the time of the year. But I wonder, has there been any moments during this role for you that have really been impactful? I'm sure there's been a ton, but do any of them sort of stick out to you of, uh, this is, this is why I do this job.

Emilee Martichenko: 2:52:35

Yeah, um, uh, you know this has been 2023 has been a big year for Alan Um, in part because, at the beginning of the year, we received a grant from the Walmart foundation in order to um, in order to kickstart a long-term project that aims to help build capacity logistics capacity, specifically, uh, for small and medium size nonprofits specializing in disaster relief and uh, so we started. It has, you know, different work streams and we're currently in a work stream that involves planning and executing what we call logistics coordination calls, uh, which are aimed at gathering this nonprofit community that we've been working with and building over the years together, um, both during disasters and in what we call blue skies, um, which is a non-disaster time, uh, and essentially trying to facilitate the flow of information, uh, through collaborative discussion, through seminars, through guest speakers, um, and just through um, just yet, through this joint collaboration, in order to build capacity and also equip nonprofits um with the knowledge and experience, um and further experience of supply chains, uh, so that they can help improve their disaster relief efforts in a more cost effective manner because, um, you know, a lot of the times, nonprofits they can have so much information and so much experience when it comes to um, and be in the business for years and years and years. But because, um, uh, there, uh, given the you know strained budgets, um, that nonprofits operate off of these, particularly at least the small and medium sized ones, um, they, um, they're still, no matter how much knowledge they have, stretching their budgets um thin. So, that being said, um, because I'm circling back to your point, I tend to go off on these long long, long days.

Blythe Brumleve: 2:54:25

Oh no worries, I love hearing it.

Emilee Martichenko: 2:54:26

Um. So we've we've gathered um, we've started this year gathering these nonprofits together in these logistics coordination calls in order to facilitate this capacity building and um, we had our first one in August and then our um, and then the Maui wildfires hit and we pivoted to hosting them twice a week and making them Maui specific Um, and that was just a really, really remarkable um. It was a remarkable time to be a part of Allen, because not only were we engaged in this new work stream, in this long-term project that we have to, you know, really try and systemically improve disaster relief efforts from a logistics standpoint, um, but suddenly we were doing it in a very, very important and high stakes environment and we found that it was helping make a difference um from the feedback that we received.

Blythe Brumleve: 2:55:16

So it's got a. I was going to say it's got to definitely be, maybe not in the exact moment of when everything is going on, but after the fact being like wow, we, you know, maybe we really learned a lot of really good things from a collaboration standpoint to be able to help you know the next disaster a little bit better, even if it's just a you know, a microcosm.

Emilee Martichenko: 2:55:38

Exactly, Exactly and you know, and engaging the community together to understand what worked and what didn't. So, you know, next time we unite everybody in one of these calls um how can we coordinate better and how can we be a better facilitator? Uh, those are huge takeaways.

Blythe Brumleve: 2:55:52

I am curious. So with Maui in particular, you know native like Hawaiians are very protective of you, know their land and you know, for a while there was even like Jason Momoa and uh the rock telling people don't come, don't send anything, don't visit our island. Um, we want to handle this. Is that common, I guess, among disaster, that the community wants to handle it and that they don't want the outsider help? Or is it more of just allowing them to trust you and to build that relationship internally first?

Emilee Martichenko: 2:56:27

Uh, so I think, uh, this is the kind of answer. This is kind of two fold, um. So something that's important to know about, alan, is that we do not send any relief supplies, uh, to a disaster site unless there is a very specific plan for distribution. Um so a nonprofit comes to us and they say, hey, we have um all these pallets of water and we just want to get it there, but nobody at the disaster site has told us we want this water. Um. We say, hey, uh, you need to wait until, um, you know the state um until a state agency or a local agency is saying we need this water. Um. So that's something that Alan always takes a lot of smart. Do Um the second part of this and apologize for the sirens in the background.

Blythe Brumleve: 2:57:15

No worries. Um kind of, I guess, conducive to the conversation.

Emilee Martichenko: 2:57:18

Exactly Um, but the the second part of this being is that um when it comes to disaster response and recovery, rebuilding local economies is key? Um to long-term recovery efforts. So we want to get in the immediate, immediate aftermath, we want to get critical relief supplies there and we want to meet these immediate needs. But we also want to make sure that local businesses have what they need to reopen as soon as possible so people can get back into grocery stores Um and grocery stores can start distributing, can start distributing again and because that way, local currency is pouring back into the economy Um. So part of Alan's work is getting um helping get supplies that need to get there in order to get people back on their feet, so that local um, local business and local enterprise can get back on its feet as fast as possible.

Blythe Brumleve: 2:58:16

I love that approach because it really like I didn't even think about it from that lens. Like you, you want the, the buildings and the established folks that are in the area to get up to speed the fastest because then they're going to help. It's almost like you know being on an airplane when they tell you like to put your own oxygen mask on first before you start helping out other people. Let's help these key locations first, and it's interesting that you identify like a grocery store, for example, to keep the money flowing within the community, and so then that way it's the community building each other up, which is probably where it should start, and and and I would imagine, with help, of course, you know, from from outsiders, when they wanted um, which I think was super interesting to watch. You know, just given the history of, you know Hawaii and the I guess the I'll call it complications there, you know, with wanting outside help and and outsider help. So I love that that you guys do that and you prioritize. You know what they need first to sort of. You know, hold back the people who want to help, but you might be hurting the entire process, um, with your help. So it's almost like you're you're creating a distribution system for for help Um almost you definitely are. Now, now with um as a, you know, I close out sort of this, this round of questions, before we get into the last round of questions, which is a little bit more like a beat and more fun. Is there anything else with it or anything more? I guess, within disaster relief, recovery, that you feel like we're not strong enough yet, I guess, as a nation, to provide, or what, what kind of areas of improvements? Um, how could people help? You know all that good stuff, help in a good way.

Emilee Martichenko: 2:59:53

Yeah, um. So you know just, the overarching theme of this conversation is logistics, um, and I will say that, um, that improving, uh, and knowledge and execution of logistics, uh, during disaster relief, that's our Alan is on a mission, um to just improve and improve and improve and improve and make logistics so much more of a focal point when it comes to disaster relief efforts. Uh, you know, a metric that we like to share with people, that a lot of people don't realize, that I didn't realize when I started it, alan is that, um, as much as 80% of humanitarian spending on disaster relief is directed towards logistics and of that 80%, as much as 40% of that spending ends up being waste. So logistics, um, yeah, and you know logistics and supply chain, we're so familiar with it, but it's something that, because of COVID, has really come into the public consciousness in the past few years. So so many people don't even know what it means when we say that, um, when we use that terminology. And so Alan would um, and, like I said, we're on a mission to center logistics as not just a periphery element that helps disaster relief, it is a driving force for, um, better disaster relief efforts.

Blythe Brumleve: 3:01:12

And so for. For companies who maybe want to get involved. They want to volunteer their, their services within the logistics realm. How do they get set up? What does that set up process look like?

Emilee Martichenko: 3:01:22

Yeah, absolutely Um, so you know you can um, if you you can donate to Alan, you can make a financial donation via our website, Um, or we talked to uh directly to us at info at alanaidorg, and I'm happy to talk about our various sponsorship levels. Uh, if a logistics organization wants to donate logistics services or equipment, uh, once again, you can reach out directly to us. Uh, and we also always encourage organizations to pre-register on our website, um, or make a pre-offer Um. And so what you do is you go onto our website and you fill out our pre-offer form, uh, just giving a little bit information about who you are and what kind of services that you would potentially want to provide. It's not obligatory. You are in no way, you know, signing on as um. You um, you're in no way obligated to donate to us. Pardon me, Uh, but what it does is it puts you in our database, um, so that in the event of a disaster, when we start getting that influx of cases in the response phase, uh, we can go back into our uh database and we say, hey, this company pre-registered with us and they said we are potentially interested in offering a forklift or donated warehouse space.

Blythe Brumleve: 3:02:34

And we know um, we know to reach out to you, um, because when we have a case that we believe might match your capacity, I hope you enjoyed this episode of everything is logistics, a podcast for the thinkers in freight, telling the stories behind how your favorite stuff and people get from point A to B. Subscribe to the show, sign up for our newsletter and follow our socials over at everything is logisticscom. And in addition to the podcast, I also wanted to let y'all know about another company I operate, and that's digital dispatch, where we help you build a better website. Now, a lot of the times, we hand this task of building a new website or refreshing a current one off to a co-worker's child, a neighbor down the street or a stranger around the world, where you probably spend more time explaining the freight industry than it takes to actually build the dang website. Well, that doesn't happen at digital dispatch. We've been building online since 2009, but we're also early adopters of AI, automation and other website tactics that help your company to be a central place to pull in all of your social media posts, recruit new employees and get potential customers a glimpse into how you operate your business. Our new website builds start as low as $1,500, along with ongoing website management, maintenance and updates starting at $90 a month, plus some bonus, freight marketing and sales content similar to what you hear on the podcast. You can watch a quick explainer video over on digitaldispatchio. Just check out the pricing page once you arrive and you can see how we can build your digital ecosystem on a strong foundation. Until then, I hope you enjoyed this episode. I'll see you all real soon and go Jags.

About the Author

Blythe Brumleve
Blythe Brumleve
Creative entrepreneur in freight. Founder of Digital Dispatch and host of Everything is Logistics. Co-Founder at Jax Podcasters Unite. Board member of Transportation Marketing and Sales Association. Freightwaves on-air personality. Annoying Jaguars fan. test

To read more about Blythe, check out her full bio here.