Fighting for Freight Brokers with TIA’s CEO Anne Reinke
Episode Transcript
DD Spotify DD Apple Podcast

In this episode of Everything is Logistics, host Blythe Brumleve interviews Ann Reinke, the President and CEO of the Transportation Intermediaries Association (TIA). They discuss their shared love for football and Reinke’s career background, including her 16 years with CSX in government affairs before moving into the brokerage world. The episode focuses on the role of TIA and the importance of logistics in transportation.



The listener will learn about Ann Reinke’s background in rail and government affairs, as well as her transition to the freight brokerage world. The episode discusses various topics related to the freight industry, including trucking industry concerns, TIA’s government affairs division, solutions to avoid scams, benefits of joining TIA, and challenges faced by freight brokerages. The podcast also touches on the importance of in-person networking, LinkedIn, building a strong website, and the potential growth and significance of the freight brokerage industry.


[00:01:12] Career transition from rail to brokerage.
[00:05:01] Trucking industry freight rates.
[00:07:04] Proprietary data and privacy.
[00:10:39] TIA’s impact on policy.
[00:13:25] Educating Varying Company Sizes.
[00:17:44] Solutions to avoid scams.
[00:21:30] TIA Conference in Orlando.
[00:24:03] Sustainability at conferences.
[00:27:03] In-person conferences vs. virtual learning.
[00:30:33] Standing out on LinkedIn.
[00:33:27] LinkedIn Lunatics.
[00:39:57] Freight Tech and relationship building.
[00:40:24] Technology and Human Interaction.
[00:44:48] The Role of Brokers
[00:49:51] Dangers of using AI in freight.
[00:50:45] The Dark Side of AI.



At SPI Logistics they have industry-leading technology, systems, and back-office support to help you succeed. Learn more about SPI’s freight agent program here. Make sure to let them know we sent you!

Digital Dispatch helps you speak confidently about ROI with a website built for your customers, prospects, and employees. With plans starting as low as $90/month, learn how you can take your website from good to great by visiting Digital Dispatch.



Everything is Logistics is a podcast for the thinkers in freight. Subscribe to our newsletter to never miss an episode.

Follow EIL host Blythe Brumleve on social: Twitter | LinkedIn| Instagram| TikTok| YouTube

Show Transcript

See full episode transcriptTranscript is autogenerated by AI

Unknown: 0:00

LinkedIn presents

Blythe Brumleve: 0:10

welcome into another episode of everything is logistics a podcast for the thinkers in freight. I'm your host Blythe Brumleve. And I'm happy to welcome Anne Reinke. She is the president and CEO of Transportation Intermediaries Association, aka the TIA. This guest has been a longtime goal for me. So Anne, welcome to the show.

Anne Reinke: 0:30

Hi, I am so happy to talk to you. Thank you so much. Blythe, everyone loves you. Oh,

Blythe Brumleve: 0:36

that's that's a great thing to hear. And I absolutely did not tell you to say that before the show because we were sitting here talking about football for probably a good 20 minutes your commanders fan of a Jaguars fan. So we lived in a little bit of not a little bit a lot of strife and aggravation from these two godforsaken teams. But it looks like the last year was actually a little bit of improvement for both squads. So hopefully, you know, the trajectory is going up. Because I don't know how much further this could go down. We've hit the bottom. Now, when I when I was doing prep for this interview, I was really fascinated by the fact that you used to work in rail before coming to the brokerage side for it. So for folks who may not be familiar with your career background, can you give us a little bit of insight on on your past career and rail and how it eventually brought you into the freight brokerage world?

Anne Reinke: 1:27

Sure. So I used to work for CSX, which is, you know, is headquartered near you in Jacksonville, Florida. And I did their government affairs for the entire 16 years I was there the last eight of those 16 years, I headed up the federal affairs office. So that means you go up to Capitol Hill, you say congressman, blah, blah, blah, you know, and then you work with a federal regulators and you talk about all the issues that are of importance, as you know, the railroads are heavily regulated. So there's always lots of issues to talk about. I left in 2019, you may have since you were in Jacksonville, you may have seen that there was a whole bunch of stuff happening to CSX. Around that time, which is now fast forward to today, all in the headlines about railroads, generally speaking about changing their model, you know, cutting costs, blah, blah, blah. So I left during the cutting cost period of CSX. And I thought, You know what rail doesn't have to be my identity, I can try other things. So the US Department of Transportation, called me up asked if I wanted to work for them, I'd never worked for the government. I tried it out. It's a it's a great thing to do. It's wonderful people are there, it was not for me, but it broadened my horizon, I got exposed to a lot of different other things, including brokerage motor carriers. And that's when I, I had this Tia opportunity come to me and I thought, well, this is fabulous. Let me try it. Let's see what I can do. And I'm so glad I did. Because having an experience with railroads, and then into an entrepreneurial, very fast moving, very humble, and and you know, really kind of like, no barriers to entry. So they're really just trying to make go and scale up and serve their customers. It was a huge contrast and a welcome one.

Blythe Brumleve: 3:21

And so when you you find yourself coming into the freight brokerage world? Yeah. And one of the interviews, shout out to trucking for millennials, great podcast episode you did with them. Now, you had mentioned that you had spent about six months, you know, just calling different people within the industry. I'm curious as to what you learned, because as a marketer, that's kind of like what you do when you first go into a new company is you just talk to a bunch of different customers in order to get a real good feel, look good lay of the land. It sounds like that's exactly what you did for the TIA. Is that an accurate

Anne Reinke: 3:54

statement? Yeah. And I really let them guide the agenda. So that I just basically said, Tell me your experience. Tell me what your experience is with business with Tia. And so it's interesting, some people focused on here's the issues that I think affect brokers and how we need to change them. And some focus on here's the issues, I see a TIA and how we need to change them. And you know, all valid not all possible necessarily, or not all achievable within, you know, the first three years of starting at Tia, but certainly welcome perspective. And I guess the broadest theme that I felt from those I talked to, and yes, these people were recommended to me to talk to so you know, a little bit of sort of bias there, but it was their genuine love for the industry and for the TIA. And that to me is significant enough important enough that we have to keep that and so when you're you're coming into the TIA, you're talking to a lot of your your your core people and finding out where the struggles are, where the issues are. What was some of those first big things that you tackled that were really important to tackle? Yeah, And one of those things was something that we're seeing crop its ugly head up again, was when I first started was October of 2020. And if you recall, May of 2020, there was a trucker protest on in front of the White House about, you know, bottoming out Depression era level freight rates, that the trucker community seemed to think that that was the brokers fault. You know, the fact that there was a global pandemic notwithstanding, seemed to be kind of not within their focus or their purview. Now, the last two and a half years, we haven't heard much about it, because freight market rates went Bonanza and the carriers because the capacity was so tight, had so much leverage. We're hearing about it now, in my view, because freight markets are, rates are down again. And there's a little bit of a freight slump, not a depression, I'd say if rates slump, it's gotten back to reality. And so we're hearing about it again. And so that to me was an interesting way to start. Because I remember one of the first emails I received was, you better not try to get rid of 370 1.3. C, and I was like, I don't even know where I go to the bathroom. I don't know. I don't know what you're doing.

Blythe Brumleve: 6:17

Well, wait, what was 371? C is that way.

Anne Reinke: 6:22

It's very, very arcane, 80s regulation that really is is the subject of the debate. Well, somehow, it's it's going to be fixed the problems of America, if owner operators see exactly what the inputs are of all our transactions with shippers?

Blythe Brumleve: 6:41

Oh, that's right, that the rate transparency, that that's that's where they were, you know, wanting to know exactly how much brokers are making from their customers. But it's also the customers that are setting the rates. So it's kind of, you know, drivers, you can't really demand and add third party in order to showcase what their profit margins are. And they're, they're, you know, certain, I don't know, the entire financial statement would probably be required in order to do that. And that just creates a nightmare for the manufacturer or the shipper.

Anne Reinke: 7:10

Well, yeah. I mean, I think that our point, which is this is data from the shipper, it's their proprietary data. And so did that get out to the open, you're talking about like, alright, so Coca Cola sees what Pepsi is doing. I don't know if either party wants to see that. Regardless, it's not our data to reveal, right? It is their data. And furthermore, we're not asking for anyone else's data. We're not asking how many owner operators pay dispatch services, which may or may not be brokering freight. Right? We're not asking for that. The fact is that this is sort of it was sort of like a solution in search of a problem. And so

Blythe Brumleve: 7:42

when so you didn't have to, I guess, or maybe you had to tackle that initially. And so then I guess maybe you kind of go into after that initial issue pops up, which is now popping up again. But in the meantime, what does I guess sort of a typical day or a typical week look like for you do have a typical week in this industry?

Anne Reinke: 8:02

No. You don't have a typical week. Right?

Blythe Brumleve: 8:06

There is no such thing. There is no such thing,

Anne Reinke: 8:09

the best laid plans, right? I would say, well, one other thing I started during COVID. Right. So I had to call people I couldn't visit people. We didn't have any events. We didn't have any meetings we just met online. You know, that was the advent of the online meeting, which some have been successful, many have not. Thank goodness, we don't have to rely on that anymore, because we have a big one coming up. But you know, what the typical day at that point was just intake, intake, intake intake. Nowadays, it's really how I can get out and meet the membership, how I can get out, get our messages out how I can help the team, develop strategies to make sure we've got member engagement that we have, you know, the right message is going out from a communications front from a government affairs front. And from a meetings perspective, how do we get people to make sure that they have we have good educational opportunities at the meetings that people attend, that they're happy that we have sponsorships, all of that stuff. So every day is different, I would love to do a pie chart. I don't know if you've ever done this exercise of a pie chart of how I spend my day or how I spend my week. And if I could really document it in real time. I don't know how I would do that. But it would be I think each each week would be one thing would be different, like meetings would be the bulk of it one week, and Government Affairs would be the bulk of it. The other you know what I mean? So it

Blythe Brumleve: 9:29

changes every day. It's like the cell phone report that you get at the end of each week. And it's super depressing. And you just see how much time you spent on your cell phone. Some of those things I don't want to know but that there's nothing like the reality check. That is the screen report that that comes in once a week. This episode is brought to you by SPI logistics the premier freight agent and logistics network in North America. Are you currently building your freight brokerages book a business and feel that your capabilities are being limited due to lack of For an access to adequate technology, at SPI logistics, we have the technology, the systems, and the back office support to help you succeed. If you're looking to take control of your financial future and build your own business with the backing of one of the most successful logistics firms in North America, visit SPI three To learn more. Now, you had mentioned something about the government affairs division. And I've always been fascinated by this, because you spent a lot of time working closely with government, you're located in Washington. So tell me a little bit about how, you know the TIA impacts or influences policy decision making? How does that process work from like, a fifth grade level?

Anne Reinke: 10:42

Sure. So like, remember, I'm just a bill on Capitol Hill. You're too young for that.

Blythe Brumleve: 10:48

Oh, no, it's schoolhouse rocks, or Schoolhouse Rock? Right? Yeah, that's?

Anne Reinke: 10:54

Well, so it's a couple of things. I mean, really, it's about education and relationships. So we have a lobbying team. And that's what they do. They go up on Capitol Hill to develop relationships first. And then secondly, to educate so we develop relationships with people know who you are, what you stand for, and if you're an honest broker broker in the in the conventional sense of the word, and then you start educating them. And the reason is, there are, as you know, 535 members of Congress and House and Senate, and they are supposed to be specialists in almost every issue that you can dream of, and can you imagine, how could they possibly. And so as a consequence, you have all these various stakeholders who go up on Capitol Hill and educate them? God forbid, if we weren't up there. I don't know what would be said about us. So it's sort of incumbent on our lobbying team to go up there and say, here's this issue. And here's how it affects us, both positively and negatively. And, and because we have such a good honest team, they say, Here's Who's in favor of it. Here's who's against it here on your, you know, on your committee would say, No vote here on your committee who would say yes, vote. And here's what we're doing to try to help, you know, help educate the members on the committee?

Blythe Brumleve: 12:05

How I guess, educated is our government on how just transportation in general functions and works? Are they familiar with it loosely? Or is it you know, maybe like a scale of one to 10? Yeah, I

Anne Reinke: 12:19

would say in varying degrees, there are some who get a 10, because they be either been on the committee for years, where they have a transportation background, you know, we have a couple members of Congress who either were brokers or had trucking, you know, shops, and so they, they get it, and they understand it. And that doesn't mean they're always in favor of what we want, but they at least understand kind of what we're talking about. Others, like I met with a member who I've known for a long time. And he and I talked all about what we did what we do as an industry. And he said, I had no idea that you guys even existed. And so it just depends, right, and I would say one of the thing about the pandemic, and you know this, that the pandemic brought into people's sort of public perception, what goes into a supply chain and what a supply chain is. So I think there's a greater recognition of the role of the broker now than there perhaps would have been prior to the pandemic.

Blythe Brumleve: 13:10

So it sounds like you're almost educating for both sides of the business, you're trying to educate these government officials who are responsible for passing these laws, but then also you have a responsibility to the members within the TIA to advise them as well. And there was one of the stats that I think you had said, 80% of your membership has annual revenue less than 10 million. So when you're coming up with like, what even to cover from an educational standpoint, where do you how do you know what to cover for? If it's varying that much? Where you have, you know, 80%, I think it was 80% of the membership has less than 10 million, but then, you know, 20%, probably has significantly more. So I'd imagine that there's two sets of problems and education that needs to happen there. How does that happen? And how does that get prioritized with the TA? Yeah,

Anne Reinke: 13:57

I think you're right, to some extent, because there are the smaller companies maybe have smaller, more basic needs and concerns. And they may not even be focused on advocacy, to be honest, because they're just focused on the day to day and how to make payroll and the bigger companies not that they have the luxury but they have there's more at stake because they have more to lose. Should there be some onerous regulation. So I would say this, there is a commonality on the big ticket items. And so when I say the big ticket items, how double brokering for example, or fraud in the marketplace, as we call it affects the bottom line, and it's sort of this hideous scourge that particularly affects smaller companies, because that means they don't have the wherewithal necessarily to pay twice as a cost of doing business that a larger company does and a larger company doesn't want to so but either way, both of them are very concerned about that both of them are very concerned about rate transparency, because they wonder what that's going to do for their relationships with their customers. And when Are shippers are they going to be sort of taken out of the entire transaction entirely, which, as you know, would be completely impractical. And then finally, the safety of the truck that they select, which is an issue that has not been resolved. That affects everybody equally, too. So sort of the top three things that you hear about they are broadly shared across the, you know, GE AR is a gross annual revenue categories.

Blythe Brumleve: 15:28

And so you mentioned double brokering a couple of times there, it feels like this is one of those things that I wrote on this like back in like 2018. And it feels like this has been a problem that's always been around in the industry. But why has it? Why does it feel like it's so much more, so much worse of a problem now?

Anne Reinke: 15:46

Yeah, I would like to not take credit for this, although I wish I could take credit for this, but one of my members explained it to me this way. And it made a lot of sense. The double brokering has always been around. But typically what double brokering was, was a carrier would double brokerage to another carrier. And we would never know about it unless something really terrible happened. But it would go off and that other driver would get paid. No issue, right? Nowadays, what is happening is it may not even be a carrier that we are talking to it's a fraudulent entity. And that carrier may not even be talking to a broker, it's a completely fraudulent entity, the amount of fraud, spoofing all of the above is really what has changed this dynamic and, and part of that's a natural consequence, I think of the digitization of freight, it just is it's so much easier, like we used to have to fax things, it's really, it's much harder to do commit fraud, but you gotta like fax stuff, you don't like handwriting on things. But now it's just so much easier. And also, there's so many more players in the space because of the massive amount of freight that we've seen over the last two and a half years.

Blythe Brumleve: 16:52

And also the barrier to entry is rather low. If I think for a lot of carriers versus brokers. Is that a safe assumption?

Anne Reinke: 16:59

Yeah, I mean, I think, you know, the vast population of drivers and carriers out there are those that are 10 trucks or fewer. And so yeah, it's it's a lifestyle that is certainly challenging. But it is if you want to work for yourself, if you want to set your own hours. And, you know, you feel like this is the right job for you that there are more and more entrants into that space. You're exactly right.

Blythe Brumleve: 17:24

So with with Tia in general, you're responsible for, you know, educating the, you know, not only finding out what issues are plaguing the industry, but also then educating them on solutions to take that next step. So what are I guess maybe some solutions that the TIA is giving out to brokerages to avoid these kinds of scams that are going on?

Anne Reinke: 17:44

Yeah, so we wrote a white paper. And I know people don't read any more, but I think people want to read this white paper. I apparently people just look at pictures and tick tock. But so in that white paper, it basically listed out like 15 or 20 red flags. And you know, these red flags, like most of us would think about, like, let's say it's supposed to be a carrier they're talking to, but they only have a Gmail address, and you can't talk to the driver, they won't let you talk to the driver. And by the way, you there's no visibility into where that truck is now, or where and where it will end up. And there's no physical address, you don't even have a physical address for this company. So these are the kinds of things which listen, if it's, you know, Wednesday morning, and you got all week, you can definitely look out for bits when you get into trouble when it's Friday afternoon. And that loads got a move that you were like, Oh, crap, I don't know, this broker. I mean, I don't know this carrier, but I gotta get this thing out. And that's when things like that can happen.

Blythe Brumleve: 18:43

So it's almost like they're preying on, I guess the the natural habits of humankind. But you know, it's Friday, you want to get to the weekend, you don't want to have to worry about work over the weekend. So that's when they're they're probably getting taken taken advantage of a lot.

Anne Reinke: 18:56

Yeah. And we have, there are a lot of tools out there electronic tools, you know, you know, freight Tech is a huge burgeoning industry, as you know. But we also have our own tool, Tia watchdog, which allows our members to make reports about various bad experiences that they have had with carriers or brokers who are not our members. And so that provides our membership an opportunity or at let me just check watchdogs, see if there's anything out there to be wary of.

Blythe Brumleve: 19:26

Oh, I love that. And that's actually a great segue into the next sort of discussion topics that I wanted to dive into is, you know, so from the TIA standpoint, whenever you are out, you know, recruiting members, and so a new member comes to the association. What does that onboarding process look like for them? What what can they expect to know and to learn or to engage with after they become a member?

Anne Reinke: 19:50

Well, you know, it's funny you say that because what we try to do is a new member orientation. And so we're actually having one on Thursday and So what that provides is are what what am I paying for? What am I dues going to, and you may have some sort of vague idea, or you may have scanned the website to have sort of an appreciation. But really until you have someone who's worked here and explains all the various kinds of resources you have access to, you don't really know. And so, you know, we're all motivated by different things. Some people are motivated because they are small, and they don't want to hire a lawyer. But they see that we have a model contract with a carrier. And so they'll say, alright, well, I can use this as a basis for a contract that I use with my carriers. And some are sort of mid tier, but they don't have an education team at their brokerage. And so they said, Well, I can get this kind of education for myself for the company, with Tia. And then others joined because of the advocacy that we've talked about. And then I think finally, the last thing is people, people are very aware of the meetings and networking, how to get together with everybody, we say it's the leading three PL conference, really everybody who's in that industry, they all come to that conference. And so we provide these opportunities. And I said at the outset, our membership is very generous. They're very humble and entrepreneurial, and they're, they're willing to share kind of best practices and where they've made mistakes and how they sort of fixed up.

Blythe Brumleve: 21:24

And that would be, you know, a sort of a great you know, segue into the conference that's coming up in the middle of April, mid to late April. It's happening in Orlando, Florida. And so give us a I guess, a sense of what folks can expect to learn or engage with or network, you know, all of the I guess the fun conference, things that go on at the TI because I've never been to a TA conference. But I'm trying to get this one of the one of the fall but I'm trying to come to this,

Anne Reinke: 21:52

you got to do it. Trey Griggs is gonna be bereft if you're not there, your your spirit

Blythe Brumleve: 21:59

shout out Trey Greetings, fellow fellow creator, in the logistics space doing a lot of really cool things I heard he's making it out, you know, he has a pretty good show, that's going to be broadcasting live from down at the TIA. So that kind of it's sort of this not convoluted. But it's a great example of how you can bring together all of these different sectors of logistics and sort of the modern logistics environment in person together. So you got the creators, you got the practitioners, you got the managers got everybody that's in one space. And so is it really geared towards a it's not one of those conferences that are geared towards just executives only? It's really for everyone. Right?

Anne Reinke: 22:39

Yeah. I mean, you are so kind of give me leading questions, which I appreciate. But yes, you're exactly right. This is for everyone. The nice thing about it is that there are any number of different kinds of people who attend the conference are those who I remember talking to this guy last year, who had just started out and he said, I learned how far behind I am. And so that's the fundamentals track is for that person, then there's the legal track for those people very concerned about nuclear verdicts, or cyber liability, or fraud, you know, fraud and the spoofing that we've been seeing, we have this legal track, we also have sessions that we've never had before one on ports. And you recall with a pandemic, everyone was focused on ports. And now we're in the midst of a port negotiation that seems to be interminable, never ending. And that's something that our members are concerned about, because a lot of them have visibility into drainage. They have some some, you know, customers there that rely on drainage or intermodal. And so what what is the future of American ports, which is a separate issue that I can get sidetracked on, but it is concerning considering how on automated we are compared to international ports, and whether or not we choose to do something about that? I don't know. But it's just something of interest. And then we're also having a session on sustainability, which is the first time we've done that. And that is huge, as you know, as people think about Alright, how do we save emission? Some of them have a corporate requirement to think about sustainability, some of them are just doing it out of their own volition. What does that look like? If you're not an asset owner? What does that look like in terms of what your solution set is for sustainability? So we have a sort of a variety of things. And then we have these networking opportunities that give you you know, opportunity to socialize, talk to people meet new people. And then of course, we have the floor, the Expo Hall, which then you can get exposed to all the kinds of new cool stuff that's out there in this space.

Blythe Brumleve: 24:42

Love it. And so for folks who may not go to a lot of different conferences, or maybe haven't been to one in a long time, what I what I kind of see as far as like an evolution within the industry is all of social media that all of you These people are taking part in. And all of these online resources that are available. How do you sell the value of an association of an in person conference when all of these other distractions? Are there? Are you? Is it almost like you have to use them to to promote the association? Or how do you almost like combat against the free illness? I guess freeness of social media versus a membership where you have to actively be? Or is that maybe a selling point of the TIA, where you can be an active member here instead of just a witness over on social media?

Anne Reinke: 25:36

Yeah, I think I'm going to answer your question. I hope I am.

Blythe Brumleve: 25:41

I don't know if I did. I can rephrase it. But

Anne Reinke: 25:44

But here, here's what I noticed is that the members that we had, when we did those terrible online meetings

Blythe Brumleve: 25:57

in the year that shall not be named

Anne Reinke: 25:59

in the year that shall not, you know, it was half hearted, they weren't committed. And they had, and to your point, they got distracted. And it's far easier to get distracted by social media. And to be sort of a passive participant in things when you're just sitting at your desk, it just is. And when you go to an event in person, the difference is palpable. And I, because we just lived it, it's almost like, I don't feel like I have to prove it, we just lived it, it was so it was so terrible. Watching people speak on on a on a you know, all day long, you're not going to pay attention, you're just not, you'll be like, Okay, I'll pay attention for an hour and a half. And then I can't, I gotta do something else. And I'm not being pejorative of online, because a lot of times they meet a need, and you have to do it. And it's easier. You can't put on conferences, you know, 12 months of the year. So I'm not trying to be pejorative about that. But there is a difference in having an in person event, you get to have the X Factor of meeting someone you may never have connected with. And you know, the fact that you have an opportunity to meet people who've been coming to Tia meetings for 45 years, we're in our 45th year, but how well along with people who just started coming last year, it's it's to me, it's just it's sort of like speaks for itself.

Blythe Brumleve: 27:25

And it's, it's interesting, you say that question, because I do agree going to an in person conference, you gather so much more information, because I think it's this it's almost like a different world that you're putting yourself in that when you're in your normal sort of everyday life, you're you're checking your phone, you're passively, you know, watching, so you know, a YouTube video or tick tock or something. But do you really retain that information. And I've actually heard of people who are making themselves, like read a book, because their attention span is just so dramatically affected by all of these different apps, that they that they find it challenging to read a book or to do one thing without picking up the phone or without, you know, having some kind of distraction. So I think you're right, whenever you do go out and just base off, you know, anecdotally my experience, when I do go to these conferences, you learn so much more than networking is so much more powerful. Even the conversations, the podcast, I record, I love these great conversation with you. But in person, if you're talking to somebody for 45 minutes, it goes like that,

Anne Reinke: 28:32

your vibe off of someone for sure,

Blythe Brumleve: 28:35

exactly. And you can see their their body language, you can see we know when someone wants to add, you know, there's someone who's just anxious to add something into the conversation. You don't get that in a virtual environment. So I think that it's important to have both of those factors involved. Because otherwise, you know, I, I don't know how outs you expand your learning. Because if we're just you know, relying on folks to watch, hopefully you listen to podcast, but if you're just relying on only podcast, then your learning is probably going to suffer.

Anne Reinke: 29:06

I need to talk to my son about that. Maybe you need to talk to my son about

Blythe Brumleve: 29:11

the TIA gonna be starting up their own podcast.

Anne Reinke: 29:14

No, I need them to him to not be on a screen. Oh, no. 24 hours a day. That's different story. Yeah, sorry.

Blythe Brumleve: 29:22

It's it's a struggle. It's I have apps now that tell me, you know, they literally block it on it. Opal is the app if anybody is curious on how to not spend so much time on social media, but it will lock you down. If you're on social media during a timeframe. It will lock you out of it immediately. It won't

Anne Reinke: 29:40

take us on this slide though. So you have to use social media for your job, right. And so I imagine it's a bunch of different platforms. It's not just one that you realize there's only one right you wish it was only one. So how do you then how do you save yourself because you know, you have to do it for a living.

Blythe Brumleve: 29:56

I prioritize. I say you should only put Iota ties two platforms at once, but I'm a lying liar. And the platform's that you've just downloaded the new Pinterest, you know, competitor the other day because I, I like tinkering. I like finding out which ones work well, but I would say my top is is LinkedIn for sure. And then after that, I would say Twitter just because that's I can going kind of vent, Instagram is and Facebook have just kind of fallen to the wayside. It's really like friends and family. But yeah, it's it. LinkedIn is the number one driver of my leads. So that's where I put a lot of energy into. And I think a lot of the content sucks on LinkedIn. So I think it's easier to stand out. That's why it's prioritized. Why

Anne Reinke: 30:38

do you think that is? I know, this is not the subject of your Oh, no, I love this. Yeah, but I'm interested. Why do you think the content is not as good? Is it just because we have people who are that's not their main focus that they don't think about marketing in that way.

Blythe Brumleve: 30:52

I think it's LinkedIn, the platform just hasn't done a very good job at combating against some spammy tactics. So one use case, for example, is what's long been a problem on the platform is LinkedIn pods, or it's like these LinkedIn groups that only exist just to promote each other's posts. So what happens is they post something and then they go to their pod, and they say, Hey, go to my and this exists on Instagram as well. I think Instagrams actually cracked down on that a lot. But LinkedIn has not cracked down on that. And I think for until Microsoft bought them, they just kind of had a free for all. And it was really just the platform just to go look for jobs. But now since Microsoft has purchased them, especially during the pandemic, you know, all you have all these career people that are now working from home, they're looking for that, you know, sort of watercooler talk chats where I think a lot of the value of LinkedIn really emerged. And now we're starting to see a lot of the investments into the platform itself, they have a fantastic newsletter platform that I think is better than really any other newsletter platform out there. And then your your videos and your the reach of a post. So say, for example, like Twitter, the shelf life of tweet is around two minutes. If it doesn't do anything, then it's probably just going to be you know, take it out behind the barn and bury it. But with LinkedIn, if your post is halfway decent, it could stick around for a week. And that is a big, you know, as somebody who's always trying to like optimize their time and their energy. That's where I find sort of the most enjoyment, or the most satisfaction is being able to put quality work into something posted to LinkedIn and have it stick around a lot longer than it would say on another platform. Yeah,

Anne Reinke: 32:33

that's interesting. I have seen sometimes people liked a post that I made, like six months ago, like what how did I don't understand your algorithm? I don't get it, I don't

Blythe Brumleve: 32:46

get how it works. It could be them like seeing something maybe you liked a post or something which is also unique to LinkedIn that you could have liked a post and then it ought if they see that, then that's like a signal to the algorithm. And they go look at your profiles in there. They see oh, that person likes that person. Let's show them, you know, a successful post the next time they're on the app or something like that. I don't really know

Anne Reinke: 33:09

all of that. Yeah, we don't I don't know. We don't know. But you have to tell me this find what is your favorite thing on LinkedIn and make fun of?

Blythe Brumleve: 33:20

Oh, my God.

Anne Reinke: 33:22

Like the memes.

Blythe Brumleve: 33:23

So I there's a dark side to LinkedIn. So I'm part of a Reddit I don't know if you go on Reddit at all, but there is a sub sub group called LinkedIn lunatics. I see a lot stuff that goes on and it is, it is absolutely insane. But I will say I think that thing that I so I was given advice about a year ago that said, you know, you have to have like a one through 10 cringe level with LinkedIn, and what your level of cringe that you're going to be okay with, with posting to LinkedIn. And so I try to follow that as far as like my own posting strategy, and then the posts that I interact with, if you're bringing real like education and value to the platform, that's something that I'm going to apply. That's something I'm going to engage with, but if it's just something I don't I think it was one time I It's so crunchy, but his girl she was dressed in like a you know, kind of a suggestive outfit. And she was posing seductively like on a railroad track. And I was like, oh, no, I was like, oh, that's super crunchy. I would never do that. So that's like one ended like one harsh and that's I only saw that one time so that thank God. So that's like one end of the spectrum. But then on the other end of the spectrum, just little things that I would annoy me are like too many. Like if you have like 40 emojis in one post, I'm not reading it. It drives me nuts. But that's more of a personal thing. What about you? What are you like on LinkedIn? What do you what are your pet peeves?

Anne Reinke: 34:49

Yeah, I like it and I love I like it and I hate it. Which is the people who are like, I can't believe I got this award you guys I am so humbled to receive this award. Yeah, that's what you're announcing into the 5000. You are LinkedIn with very humbled, very helpful. So delicious.

Blythe Brumleve: 35:16

That's like the level of that's maybe like a five or six on the LinkedIn lunatics subreddit group, because there, there are some, some worse ones.

Anne Reinke: 35:26

I gotta get on this group. It's really fun

Blythe Brumleve: 35:29

to see. But that's also that that brings up kind of a, you know, I guess the next challenge that maybe like brokers and just spray brokerages in general are dealing with is the sales and the marketing aspect of themselves. You guys also have, you know, a great sort of sales and marketing education system within the TIA, give us a little bit of glimpse into what kind of practices that you know, the the TIA, I guess, believes in enough to put some educational resources behind?

Anne Reinke: 35:57

Sure. So we have these day long sessions before the conference even begins. Called pre cons. So funny, so creative. But we have a couple of them with Dr. Jim Kenney, who was a professor for many years, and now as a consultant to many of our, you know, fabulous brokerages out there. And he really, he makes it an interactive session about how you can achieve what you need to achieve. And it is not just making cold calls. It's really I think, and he hasn't taught me this so much as I've just sort of absorbed it from him is that you've got to figure out what are you going to be good at? And then how are you going to? How are you going to develop the resources that sustains you being good at that some of our best members and our most successful members found their niche, and they develop their relationships on the carrier side and on the shipper side, that sustain that niche, and they have been inordinately successful. And they also are well respected, because they really achieve what they're good at. And so if you're just wildly, you know, making calls, trying to figure out if any of these shippers will will take you, that is the wrong approach. That's not That's what that's not what leads to long term success. It's really trying to be I hate this word, because I think it's overused, but trying to be intentional about it. And trying to be conscientious about it, you know, as we talked about, joked about nobody reads anymore, but it's really that kind of mindset of like, how would I study for a test? It's sort of like, how would I study to do well, in this in this industry, and what I appreciate about that is so thoughtful,

Blythe Brumleve: 37:44

do you wish there was a central place to pull in all of your social media posts, recruit employees, and give potential customers a glimpse into how you operate your business? Well, all of this should already be on your website. But too often, we hand that responsibility of building our online home off to a cousin, a neighbor's kid down the street, or a stranger across the world. Digital dispatch believes in building a better website at a fraction of the costs that those big time marketing agencies would charge. Because we've spent years on those digital front lines, our experienced team focuses on the modern web technologies, to bring in all of the places you're already active online, show off those customer success stories, and measure the ROI of it all in one place. With manage website plans, starting at $90 a month, head on over to digital to see how we can build your digital ecosystem on a strong foundation. We've got explainer videos right on the website and the ability to book a demo immediately find it all over at Digital And so when so you're coming at it from the sales, the thoughtfulness and the you know, being in get not intensive, but being intentful and authentic, you know, for another buzzword to throw in there. But it is true, you know, having those different sets of almost like pillars of your own authenticity of what you're going to follow before you reach out and do business with anyone I think it's important to to declare. But you know, as we start adding in, you know, you had mentioned great tech earlier as we start adding in all of these different technology standpoints, especially with you know, AI coming more and more into the mix. How do we or I guess maybe the brokerage industry in general, how do we maintain that level of connectedness, when we have all of these tools and these social media platforms that are trying to drive our attention away from the end goal, if that makes sense? Like do you see a lot of the freight tech coming into the space as a good thing or a much needed thing or something that could negatively affect that that relationship building that is so crucial to this industry?

Anne Reinke: 39:57

Yeah, I think I think it's a fabric Listen, I think it certainly, you know, we talked back about fraud. It's sort of like that double edged sword in that we have technology to detect fraud. But we also because we're digitizing freight, there's more fraud to be had, I would say this, using technology supplements, the good work that you need to do in building relationships, it certainly doesn't replace it. You know, I'm not going to name any names of companies. But I think the headlines that we've seen from various company ventures and mergers, etc, is a recognition of that, that and I would say this, maybe because I am, you know, Gen X, and I like I don't trust technology. But I do think we're reaching sort of a kind of a capstone point where people are really frustrated when they use an app, and they cannot talk to a human being. And if they're, it's fine if it goes right. But it doesn't always go right. And so when it goes wrong, you think, Dear God, is there literally someone alive that I can talk to and to me, brokerages, by and large, those who are members are smart enough to recognize that those relationships will continue to matter. Now, maybe that doesn't mean they call them every day, maybe they just mean say, you know, instant message them or they email them or, or whatever. But But knowing that there is a person who you know, that you can call if there is an issue that is critical. And I think that will continue to be critical, and maybe more so in in the in light of all this fraud. And in light of all this sort of app fatigue.

Blythe Brumleve: 41:33

Yeah, I think that that's a really good way of putting it because it's especially in like the marketing side of things. I mean, I kind of build myself as like a one person marketing team. And especially with AI and all of these tools coming into the mix, it almost feels so overwhelming. And then I look at the freight side of things. And it feels like that same thing is happening to brokers as well, where they're having to look at all of these different technology solutions, and try to pick the one that fits best within their work processes. But how do you really know, unless you actually go out and use the tool and hope that it, you know, can maintain that relationship with the customer? Is, is I guess our broker sharing that similar frustration?

Anne Reinke: 42:15

Yeah, you know, it's overwhelming, particularly again, we talked about the smaller members, or those who are just starting out, it's incredibly overwhelming, how could you possibly know, you know, you know, there are big names out there in the freight tech space. But is that big name for you? Are you scaled enough to even accept this bring freight in your life? And so you know, not to be a shill, although that's part of my job. But we do have, you know, when one of the conferences we have is really solely focused on technology, best practices, what is out there? And also what's what's up and coming. We don't want to just have that the stuff that's already established. I mean, that's important, too. But there also, there are so many smart tech people who are coming into this space, which kind of makes me feel popular, not me personally, but us. Because the tech people are cool. Yeah. And if they're coming into our space, that goes to show you that the industry is getting bigger and more successful. And so we have a conference dedicated to just those issues. Because to your point, how on earth can you determine what it is you need, particularly, if you're small, and just growing now the the larger guys may have their own, you know, proprietary tech, or have relationships with the larger tech folks that they you know, have this integration that they can work through. But that's not always the case. And there's always a new person you need to know about.

Blythe Brumleve: 43:37

And there's it's so because also, if you make the wrong investment in tech, it could be extremely detrimental not only from a financial standpoint, but also from a time standpoint, you invest a lot of time into learning these platforms. And if it doesn't work out, then it's it's, it's a sunk cost fallacy where you just keep, you know, trying to use that software and you don't necessarily need it anymore is how are you? I mean, how is like the TIA almost like advising folks on how to use different technologies or make those purchasing decisions?

Anne Reinke: 44:09

Yeah, we have. We have a technology committee, and that technology committee has three missions. One is to develop some sort of best practices around cybersecurity. One is to come up with the agenda for our tech innovations conference that I was just speaking of. And the other is to really think through what are the kinds of best practices not as relates to cybersecurity but as the use of technology, but we want to be technology neutral. There are a lot of our associate members who belong to the association. We don't want to make anyone mad or favor one over another. They're all beautiful children, and we love them all equally. But that that is some admission that they take seriously. I don't know I don't think it is our it's in our benefit to provide. You should use this. You should do this. It's more here's what are the resources are available, and we're happy to connect you with someone who can explain it more to me that, you know, just as we talked about developing your niche, developing, what technology you need, can be a very personal thing as to what business you're trying to build.

Blythe Brumleve: 45:15

I love that. Very well said. And as we sort of talked about, you know, the the role of the broker and the role of technology, how do you see the role of the broker evolving in say, the coming months or even the coming years AI? Is, is going to be a better working environment? Or maybe a more streamlined? How do you how do you see it playing out?

Anne Reinke: 45:36

Gosh, well, I was talking to a member of ours last week, who says, Not not world domination, I'm kidding, but really believes that the freight brokerage industry is going to get even more important and more significant. And the reason is this, because we are able to find that sort of magic capacity and pull it out of a hat. And because we have the relationships with the shippers, this has always been the case. But it's become more complicated, the supply chain has become more complicated. And so we are providing a kind of a seamless path to get through that very complicated supply chain. With the amount of freight we've had over the last two and a half years. That obviously was our core function. And I do think even though they're we're in the midst of a freight what do we call it? Trough slump?

Blythe Brumleve: 46:32

Yeah, I like I like trough

Anne Reinke: 46:34

trough. People are always gonna buy things. At me, you're always gonna end they're not going to want to be bothered to leave their homes and a lot of ways so there's going to be so much freight still coming at us. And so I just think that life is going to get more complicated and so we're going to be more and more essential.

Blythe Brumleve: 46:54

100% Now, as we sort of talked about, you know, with we've mentioned a lot of technology throughout this I thought it would be if you would partake in a little chat GPT game with me God. So you are the second person to take part in this. I actually talked to Aaron van Zeeland. overshot? Yes, yes. So she was the first one I kind of tried this on. So I had chat TPT write a bio about her and you and we're going to test the accuracy on this. So I'm going to read the first little little bullet point and you tell me if it's right or wrong, and it says and rinky is a certified yoga instructor, and has taught yoga classes in her spare time for over a decade, she has also served as a mentor to new yoga instructors. So that's a fail. That's amazing. There has to be another and Rinckey out there. That was an F grade from Chet GPT. Now the second one, it says before entering the transportation industry and worked in the environmental policy and served as a policy analyst at the US Environmental Protection Agency.

Anne Reinke: 48:06


Blythe Brumleve: 48:07

false. See, this is why he got back in the game, next one, and is a recipient of the women and trucking Association's influential women and trucking award which recognizes women who have made a significant impact in the transportation industry.

Anne Reinke: 48:22

Not yet. I'm not saying it's not gonna ever happen, but I have

Blythe Brumleve: 48:25

to tell him the future so Oh, for three on chat GPT so far. All right, next one and as a passionate advocate for diversity and inclusion in the logistics industry, and has been actively involved in TAS efforts to promote greater representation and equity for women and underrepresented groups.

Anne Reinke: 48:42

Well, I don't want to make my sound so sound like non heroic, but I don't I don't think I've done enough. Let's just say that. I've done enough in that area. So

Blythe Brumleve: 48:52

so we'll give it a C on that one. And then the last one, it's this is a bold claim. So let's let's hope it says Ann is a native of Maryland and holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science from the University of Maryland and a Master of Science, Master's of Science degree in Environmental Science and Policy from George Mason University. I'm from Maryland. I grew up in Maryland. So F S No, this is I'm calling this Chet GPT factor fo this is definitely a fun one. Not hilarious at all.

Anne Reinke: 49:23

What does it say about you?

Blythe Brumleve: 49:26

I haven't asked it yet.

Anne Reinke: 49:27

I have caps, race caps and you're an acrobat?

Blythe Brumleve: 49:34

There's got to be another Andreen key out there that is that is stealing your yoga thunder a little bit for the EPA

Anne Reinke: 49:41

waxed She sounds environmental. She sounds great.

Blythe Brumleve: 49:47

Now this is a I think this is a great segue into sort of the mind for last couple of questions that I have is the dangers of using maybe AI and freight Have you seen any kind of use cases or cautionary tales of use? In AI, right, besides

Anne Reinke: 50:00

this interview? Wow, I'm terrified of all of that stuff. Because it's like, are we going to be overrun by psychopathic robots. And I do feel that because they don't have a soul that's separate apart from them. Here, here's something to be concerned about, because AI can make it so that a phone number can appear from anywhere, right. And area code can look like it's from Illinois, but actually, it's in Moldova. That is something that is really, really scary. Because if you're doing business with someone who you think is US based or domestic, you know, whether whether it's a domestic carrier, or you know, someone who's saying they're a carrier, but actually a dispatch service, or, or broker who's not really a broker, that to me is a consequence of where of AI and all the kinds of developments that you can, by just creating a such an untraceable entity, I mean, untraceable and subject to no jurisdiction. Right. I mean, do you think Interpol is gonna get involved in some if there's some sort of fraud fraudulent entity based out of a different country? No, I mean, they'll say this commercial dispute. So I, to me that that I think is sort of the the downside, the dark side of where we can go

Blythe Brumleve: 51:18

with AI, I even heard a story the other day of this AI, sort of creator that I follow, and they have a lot of great news coverage. But he said that he's created a safe word with his family, because of all of the spoofing that can go on not just from a phone number or an address, but can go on with your own voice, and videos. So now he has a safe word with his family that if anybody ever calls him or calls their family, and they're in danger, then they have the safe word that they use. So that's sort of another, I guess, AI tip or cautionary tale, that we have

Anne Reinke: 51:51

to add this to my list of worries, I already have enough.

Blythe Brumleve: 51:56

But hopefully, it'll keep you safe. It's almost like a, like vetting the carrier before you put them on a load. We're preventing the double brokering within families here.

Anne Reinke: 52:07

Exactly. Right. All right. Is this your real voice?

Blythe Brumleve: 52:10

What's the safe word? Alright, and last question. Obviously, the two big conferences coming up, you got one in a few weeks. We're recording this in early April. And then also you have one in the fall, give us the lowdown give users sort of a or listeners a chance to register and attend and be take part in the TAA.

Anne Reinke: 52:30

Sure. So go to ti And then you'll see meetings and you'll see our annual conference. And yes, registration for our annual policy forum just went live. And these this is when you go and meet the guys and gals on Capitol Hill, God help us all you need to educate them, please come up and help educate them. They need to hear from you. So that's what we do in September.

Blythe Brumleve: 52:52

Perfect. And then you got the other one coming up in a couple of weeks. That's the big one. That's the big not say that they're not big. But you got the other big one coming up in a couple of weeks is registration still available for that one, as well.

Anne Reinke: 53:03

As registration is available, we really surpass even last year's attendance record. So we're very excited about the energy in the space. April 19. Through the 21st in the magic of Orlando, Florida. Who doesn't want to be in Orlando, Florida is happiest place on earth.

Blythe Brumleve: 53:20

Heck, yeah. I love it. I mean, annual pass holder for now at Disney so probably won't be for very much longer. But that's a story for another show. Alright, and where I know you got to run. So where can folks follow your work? Follow Tia become a member all that good stuff.

Anne Reinke: 53:34

Yeah. So please, you can always contact me ranky at Tia I'm on LinkedIn. Also, if I, I It's like a bunch of backslashes and some initials if you want to find me, but you can just find me on LinkedIn. And then that's really it. I'm not on the social media. That's it.

Blythe Brumleve: 53:53

That's a good thing. You're taking my advice.

Anne Reinke: 53:55

I'm taking your advice. I really I would love to hear from you.

Blythe Brumleve: 54:00

And we will we'll link to your LinkedIn in the show notes just to make it easy for everybody out there. But and thank you so much for coming on the show. We'll have to do this again in the future and hopefully, chat GPT will have a little bit improvement on your bio. Thank you again.

Anne Reinke: 54:18

I appreciate it. I can't wait to hear about your cat

Blythe Brumleve: 54:28

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. If you liked this episode, do me a favor and sign up for our newsletter. I know what you're probably thinking, oh God, another newsletter, but it's the easiest way to stay updated when new episodes are released. Plus, we drop a lot of gems in that email to help the one person marketing team and Looks like yourself who are probably wearing a lot of hats at work in order to help you navigate this digital world a little bit easier. You could find that email signup link along with our socials and past episodes. Over at everything is And until next time, I'm Blake 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.