Freight Friends: Space Logistics, Shipping Canals, and Fighting Food Fraud in Our Supply Chain
Episode Transcript
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Grace Sharkey is back with her monthly appearance on EiL, and in this episode, she and Blythe are talking about space logistics, NASA, and food fraud, as well as Grace’s experience attending a recent Samsara conference where asset tracking was the highlight of the event.


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Show Transcript

See full episode transcriptTranscript is autogenerated by AI

Grace Sharkey: 0:05

So okay. So you know, I don't know if I need. Have you ever gone to like a concert before? And maybe, like the opener is someone that you love and you didn't expect them to be there? Like you go to something and like I'm surprised, like, oh, your favorite. So I'm sitting there, right, I'm in this, you know, enjoying myself. This thing's awesome. Blah, blah, blah. And so they start talking about sending these to space, and so you know, chirp, chirp. I'm like, oh, space, what's going on? And they introduce and it's so funny because we talked about this and I never really looked at the other investors in the company but all of a sudden they introduced Hubble Network. If you remember, we talked about Hubble on like the last episode or two, yeah, and so I start fangirling, I'm like, and they're like, here comes Alex, and I'm like, yeah, oh my god. Yeah, you know, I'm like, oh, my god, like this is my favorite company of all time, right now. So I'm like over in the media side, like, yes.

Blythe Brumleve: 1:09

Welcome into another episode of Everything is Logistics, a podcast for the thinkers in freight. We are proudly presented by SPI Logistics and we've got Grace Sharkey back for another episode of Freight Friends. We are recording the day before 4th of July, so July 3rd, grace, welcome back. And two, do you have a movie that you watch for July 4th, a July 4th movie? Yeah, like a go-to movie that you got to watch on July 4th.

Grace Sharkey: 1:39

Honestly. No, I'm usually at the same location and it gets really terrible service. So it's like, and internet too is kind of shitty. So a lot of times it's like whatever's on the TV works, so it's on the lake. So, honestly, if I'm watching anything, it's boats coming in and out all night and I tell people this all the time and I'm biased and I also think like this sounds stupid, but Ludington, michigan, the city of Ludington, puts on the best firework show I've ever seen my whole entire life, like my. So we like ran out.

Grace Sharkey: 2:14

My family rents out these like spots and my mom like make fun of me because I'll be in like. I'm usually on the second floor, a couple rooms down from them, but she makes fun of funny because she can like hear me oohing and aahing from like afar. Like I'll, I'm like in it. I'll be like yes, like, oh, like what you know, like that that's me. I'm like, I'm like, uh, no, they didn't. You know like, and then I'll like come and crash their room afterwards and be like wasn't. I don't know how whoever's like doing the artistry behind this wonderful fireworks show is just like. It gets me every year, and every year they top it off and and so, if anything, I'm watching the artistry of of a middle class upper middle class beach town. Uh uh firework show.

Blythe Brumleve: 3:05

So that's that's mine, but no, not any, not any movies that I can think I think, well, that might be actually kind of better to like not have any service, to not, you know, be distracted Cause we've already kind of talked about in in our house, you know, not um, going on social media, you know, just having like a tech break for the holiday, especially because July is kind of like the last, I think, sort of full beach month for us in Florida that we can go and just hang out and not be consumed by. You know, august is typically like when the busy season starts like you got football season starting up, you got schools about to come back. Starts like you got football season starting up, you got schools about to come back, um, and so july is like the relaxation time.

Grace Sharkey: 3:48

So the beach is like bath water down there by the time it's august.

Blythe Brumleve: 3:51

It feels so nice right now like it's, it's not quite bath water um, at least on like the, the eastern coast, the, the western coast of florida, especially like the gulf I, I don't know how those people do it because, number one, that the riptides are so much worse. Number two, they have just an influx of shark attacks going on right now, and that's because there's like a pod of orcas that are apparently in the Gulf, and so orcas hunt we've talked about it on this show, like I, you know, but orcas are forcing these sharks, aggressive sharks like hammerheads and, um, you know those very like large sharks closer to shore. And there's all these videos of like just people in their like high-rise hotels videoing like sharks coming and going, and it's like they're going up onto the shoreline in order to try to like catch fish, um, because they're being their habitats being pushed closer in. So there's like all these, yeah, so, anyways, I, you know, I don't know what the people do like on the gulf as far as like swimming, but I was in coco beach, uh, last week and the water was just, I mean, beautiful, like you know, the light aqua color, uh, you got the we'll talk about this in a little bit but there's like these like launch pads from NASA, like off in the distance.

Blythe Brumleve: 5:11

We got the Cape Canaveral port, that's right there. I mean, it was just like it's beautiful and like the water is so calm that you could just float out in the ocean and, you know, not necessarily float away in a riptide. I mean, riptides obviously exist on the eastern side of florida, but, um, it's, it's like ample beach, beach time, uh, this time of the year. But I will make an exception as far as movies are concerned for independence day.

Grace Sharkey: 5:38

um, because the the president never seen it what I thought my list of ones to see behind die hard as well, because I I've seen like clips of it and it's one of those. At least independence day is one of those movies where I think I'll love it um I mean you're talking like a will smith, uh that's like where can I stream it? Where's it? Where's it on? What's it on?

Blythe Brumleve: 6:06

Let me find it Independence Day.

Grace Sharkey: 6:08

Maybe I'll download it so I can watch this.

Blythe Brumleve: 6:13

It should be on repeat for a lot of TNT or one of those types of channels I know Will.

Grace Sharkey: 6:21

Smith is in it, right.

Blythe Brumleve: 6:22

Yeah, will Smith is the star in it. You also have Vivica Fox that's in it. Bill Pullman, who is the president, and he gives the most amazing presidential speech. I still, to this day, get goosebumps listening to it. I could probably recite it line by line, but it's like a come together moment when it's an independence day, not just the us, but for the world. Um, so it's, it's great. I do. I feel like I. I dress like an. It looks kind of purple on the screen, so I don't know what maybe like colorblind or something.

Grace Sharkey: 7:00

Oh, it does okay good yeah, it's blending like well with the background and then I have my, my rocket mug from nasa.

Blythe Brumleve: 7:07

So I'm I'm I'm fresh off of a trip to nasa and I'll talk about that. You have the bag back there behind you too that's like my, my merch bag that they gave like all of they gave us so much merch like. So I'm gonna do like a little unboxing video say.

Grace Sharkey: 7:26

I do want to say, speaking of merch, and this is like now the audience has to learn about our lives.

Blythe Brumleve: 7:32

I did get a portion have you written with it yet. Is it not amazing?

Grace Sharkey: 7:40

it's. It's pretty good. I will say I can only get one, so this is gonna go to you at some point why could they only give you one?

Grace Sharkey: 7:48

so that's a great story. So I get to the porsche place. So anyone that went to the atlanta event for freight waves, you went to the porsche event, right, which is awesome and um, I told a couple people. Actually I kind of forgot about it. And I told a couple people and then, like they came up to me while I was there and I was like, oh, thanks for reminding me. So then I started just scavenging every table I could find, like going behind, like I was, like I was like I was looked like an employee looking for something and there was no pens anywhere. And by now I didn't go downstairs to where they were. Like people I think we're signing the paperwork to like say, if I, you know, it's not my fault if I die situation. But then I found the security guard and I was like, hey, what's up? Man? He's like what's up. I was like, hey, man, where are all the pens at?

Grace Sharkey: 8:45

And he gave me this look like he knew exactly what I was talking about. So the word has gotten out. Yeah, and he goes well during events. Now we put them, like, in the back room. They specifically understand the pen situation and I was like, oh man, I'm trying to get my girl a pen, my dude, and he's like I'll tell you what. And then he pulls this sucker right out of his back pocket and I'm like, man, you're the best. Now I left to go get dinner, so I got you. I got one, just to say I did it. So what'd you get me from NASA?

Blythe Brumleve: 9:15

Hold on. 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 Before we get to, because I do want to recap your Sam Sarah event. But since we're already on the topic, I did want to bring up your previous story, because I will say so.

Blythe Brumleve: 10:25

Nasa social I'll just get into it now which is very related to what you were just talking about.

Blythe Brumleve: 10:32

So NASA social is an event, that or not an event, but it's a program within NASA that they try to get civilians in order to come visit and, you know, take part in a launch and go behind the scenes, and it's a really, really cool program that they started years ago and then it went on kind of a little bit of a hiatus.

Blythe Brumleve: 10:51

I first learned about it in 2019. So obviously we all know what happened in 2020. So a lot of these tours got shut down. Well, so I was already on the email list in 2019, because they have an email list that if you sign up for it, then they will send out an email when they a next NASA social event is coming up, and so when you get those emails, like you want to apply, like you're almost like applying for press credentials, but anybody can do it as long as you regularly post to social media and you know, kind of have, I would imagine, a little bit of a professional approach, like you can't just I don't know be like an OnlyFans model or something like that. Yeah for sure.

Blythe Brumleve: 11:29

You didn't invite me to NASA because you post to social, so you have to have some kind of like a professional profile. And so you apply and there's like a little box that says like if you come to one of these events, what kind of stories or what kind of social media do you think you will be creating? And so I tried to do it in 2019. Obviously, it didn't get accepted. Obviously, everything happens with 2020. It takes a couple years from a federal perspective, because this is federal land, even though we're in Florida, and Florida kind of did its own thing during 2020 and beyond. So technically, you could do certain things in the state of Florida, but you couldn't do it on federal property. So it took a while for the NASA social programs to come back. I'm talking years for it to come back. So I started getting the emails again. I think I got two more and I applied and just you don't hear back, so you don't get accepted. Well, they sent another email and I was like, okay, I'm going to apply again, I'm just going to keep doing it, I'm just going to keep being stubborn until they finally like let me in.

Blythe Brumleve: 12:33

But I took a little bit extra care with the type of story that they were asking. You know, in the little box that they were asking like a plan to do, I was like, oh, I have a logistics podcast called everything is logistics. I, you know I've covered a lot of the ground transportation, rail warehousing, that kind of thing. Now I would love to have like space logistics episode, and I think they really liked that because they ultimately approved me. So I go and do all of this and I think I applied like two days before we recorded this episode and so, like, as you were talking about this, I'm thinking in the back of my mind like, oh man, I I really hope that we're able, or I'm able, to see this sometime in person. And so this is a clip from back in our episode. So episode, so hopefully it will play.

Grace Sharkey: 13:22

Let me hit the um, rocket ships, right like the. What we said to space spaceships etc. Is they move them on the like lift off platforms on a giant, what they call crawler now to give you a little bit of so when you were talking about the crawler, now to give you a little bit of.

Blythe Brumleve: 13:44

So when you were talking about the crawler and that pick, I had no idea that it was actually at. I mean, I assumed. Like thinking back on it, I assumed. But now, as far as like giveaways are concerned, because you were talking about the transporter, which is the transporter, is one of two pieces of machinery that it travels. It's hosted every single launch that NASA has ever done. So, whether it's a rocket, whether it's a SpaceX or any of those things, the rocket is put on that transporter and it goes like one mile an hour. It takes eight hours to get from the facility to the launch pad Eight hours because it goes one mile an hour. It takes eight hours to get from the facility to the launch pad Eight hours because it goes one mile an hour. They have this special road that is a gravel road and it runs adjacent to just the regular road that cars go on, and so this gravel road, and so, all that to say, I got you a rock from the gravel road.

Grace Sharkey: 14:43

We're just talking about rocks.

Blythe Brumleve: 14:45

Yay, so you, you now have a transporter rock. Uh, that that I'll give to you. You know, next time I see you it was a massive hold on, I will, actually I'll bring it up next to it and it looked.

Grace Sharkey: 15:00

I mean, I know that you're not the tallest person in the world, but this thing, it is massive and I'm sorry if you're you're not the tallest person in the world, but this thing looks huge.

Blythe Brumleve: 15:05

It is massive and I'm sorry if you're just listening to this, but if you go to my Instagram at Blythe Brum, you can see a couple of these images just to sort of get a glimpse into how massive these things are. So I'm just standing, if you're just listening I'm standing in front of one of the quote unquote, sort of, I guess wheels. It looks almost like a tank as far as, like the wheels are concerned, where it's like these treads that just go over a bunch of smaller wheels. But it is so it's very difficult to explain the scale of these things at NASA. So we were in the vehicle assembly lab or a vehicle assembly building where it's I mean it's it's like 80 stories tall. That's how far it has to fit for a lot of these, um, these different rockets and so this transporter.

Blythe Brumleve: 15:55

If you're looking at it on the screen, it's just, it's so massive that I don't know that I can truly justify it. If you're just listening, you know from um, just listening from a podcast perspective. But they are truly, truly massive, like the biggest pieces of machinery that you've ever seen. So I thought that that was a good tie-in or a full-circle moment, because I remember applying to this NASA social thing a couple of days before you told this story and so I'm listening to you talk about it.

Grace Sharkey: 16:30

I'm like well, that would be really cool to see. Hopefully I'll get accepted, but I'll probably get rejected again.

Blythe Brumleve: 16:32

That's so awesome. But then, uh, you know, as you get accepted to these, this program like it's a whole like two day event and I have one. I have five podcasts scheduled to come out just from this two day trip of like just things I recorded. I wanted to cover one of these topics later on in the show, but it's just, it's so much that it would take up too much time. Um, so I'm just going to save that for like an independent episode, cause it literally is like at least 30 minutes of me going through and discussing and all the sound bites and audio. But I have a deep space logistics episode coming up soon. There's even one about it.

Blythe Brumleve: 17:10

Probably the one of the coolest parts was how they're growing different plants in space or how they're simulating it here on earth in order to help give the astronauts a little bit more variety of food to eat up in space, because it just it they're always concerned about, like the mental well-being, and when you're eating a lot of the same foods over and over again, it can kind of drive you crazy. Um, so they, they're trying to grow all of these different types of plants um here on earth, in those simulated environments, and even like teas and, uh, you know stuff like that that they can send up to them so that they teas, and you know stuff like that that they can send up to them so that they can have, you know, some kind of, you know, semblance of home. So they also will grow food and they grow food for, like holidays or ship food up for holidays. So all of that plus like just the commercialization of space. So, if you think about it from the lens of think of the US and how the US infrastructure started getting built, you have the expansion out West, you have railroads getting built, highways getting built, and you have to develop not only that infrastructure but the maintenance side of, too and the resupply of goods.

Blythe Brumleve: 18:28

And so it's not just about you know, going up into space, where we used to have, you know, two or three launches a year, now there's two or three launches a week, and so it's so much stuff that's going up into space and they have to start building some of these infrastructure in space for like maintenance. And you know all the satellites that are going up there, they want to extend the life of the satellite and uh, how do we do that? Well, we send a maintenance, you know robot up there, or you know different things like that. You know transport emissions, where they're just the goal of sending up supplies. You know no humans on board. It's all of these different components. That's why I have five episodes coming out, but I thought that that was a good moment to show you your rocket.

Grace Sharkey: 19:12

What were they? That rocket, you saw. What was that for? Was that going up to the space station? What exactly were they doing with that?

Blythe Brumleve: 19:23

It's called NASA GOES-U.

Blythe Brumleve: 19:25

So GOES-U is part of a series of satellites from the National Oceanic Aeronautic or National Oceanic Atmospheric Association for so basically weather, so weather satellites.

Blythe Brumleve: 19:47

This particular satellite is going up to give us a better view of the east and the west coast of the United States where it's constantly monitoring the weather patterns. Storm clouds, lightning is another big thing that they're measuring with these satellites, also, with hurricane monitoring, a lot of these hurricanes that hit the east coast or the Gulf, they come off the coast of Western Africa, but then that can also be impacted by the winds and the sand that come off of the western coast of Africa, because if it's a bunch of sand then it cuts the top off of hurricanes and the hurricanes it just lose all steam because the sand is added to the moisture and the weather patterns. So it's basically to monitor those weather activities. In addition, they're going to be monitoring the solar flares that come off of the sun, because right now it's very much delayed on. If we were to know about a solar flare, it's about a 30 minute delay after the solar flare would potentially hit us. So solar flares hits the planet in a certain way.

Blythe Brumleve: 20:46

It takes out communications, it takes out other satellites, but this satellite, then the GOES-U satellite, will be monitoring those within a minute and be able to plan ahead of time. So in our tour there was 28 of us, I believe, in this NASA social group, and I would say probably half of them were all meteorologists. And what was really cool or interesting to see is that you're on like pins and needles for those two days, because the culmination of those two days is supposed to be the launch, and when we went to sleep on day one it was not looking likely that the launch was going to happen. And you have all of these meteorologists that are trying to predict the weather for the next day and they have, frankly, no idea on if the launch is going to happen or not, and so it's kind of like it was kind of that, the launch.

Blythe Brumleve: 21:39

Obviously spoiler alert did happen. Spoiler alert did happen, but from the weather perspective, like the satellite is going to help them make those better, you know, predictions in the future because they have more data to look at and to decipher, through which another cool thing that I didn't know. But like all of this data from the NOAA, they it's open not open source but it's free for anyone to take that data and then to use it in your own satellite and your own. You know data modeling and even here on, you know, in transportation and logistics, obviously weather impacts. You know our livelihood and so from that perspective, it's supposed to. This new GOES-U satellite is supposed to help you know the meteorologist and help with logistics and help with planning and to avoid future disasters. So incredibly, incredibly beneficial trip. I, like I said, I'm still filtering through hundreds of media files because I mean I literally I brought my real my podcast camera, which I never taped down ever, but I brought my real my podcast camera, which I never taped down ever. Um, but I brought my real camera.

Blythe Brumleve: 22:46

I had two cell phones, like I had was another hack to like in all of these, like different meetings that we went to, like I just had um Otter on my phone and it would just go recording of the conversations, uh, that the instructors were telling us about.

Blythe Brumleve: 23:03

So there's a gentleman, um, his name is Jim, I think it's Jim Doyle I don't want to blank on his last name, but I know his first name was Jim. But he has been working on the transporters for decades and so I recorded like the whole conversation with him. And they have like eight drivers for the transporter and one of them is a woman. So I thought that that was cool. There's only eight drivers, like cause, I asked. I was like do you, do you have to have a CDL or what do you? What do you do? Like how did these drivers get qualified? And he said that you have to work on maintenance wise, you have to work on the transporter, um, for a few years and then you're allowed to become a driver. So it's not just like you apply and then you become a driver.

Blythe Brumleve: 23:46

It's like this, a mile an hour like, and it's pretty much like on autopilot too.

Grace Sharkey: 23:52

So it's probably because they want you, because, if I remember correctly doing some, it's like those things cannot break down right, like because then what do you do? You're stuck in the middle of this. You're half a mile into a mile long journey with a rocket ship on your back, like what's taking that off? You know there's so.

Blythe Brumleve: 24:13

So to kind of, I guess, drive home the point of how many launches that are happening now, you know we had our scheduled launch for that Tuesday night, which was on the Falcon Heavy, which is a SpaceX rocket, and so they're sending that GOES-U satellite. So that's the only satellite that's on that particular mission. But there's other missions that are called transporter missions and those are a bunch of like Starlink satellites, for example, or a bunch of private company satellites up to, I think, like 100 different satellite companies can be on one transporter mission. And we were, you know, driving around, you know, going to the different spots on on the tour, and we actually got stopped in traffic, like bumper to bumper traffic, because a Starlink transporter was being being moved from one place to another for a launch the very next day. So it's, it's so many launches that are going on.

Blythe Brumleve: 25:10

If you've never had a chance to to go to one, I, I literally heard a meteorologist say like, if you want to, or um, an astrophotographer, that that was another. Um, there was probably like a half a dozen like astrophotographers that came on this trip just to be able to snap photos of the launch. But he mentioned that if you ever want to see a launch. Just come to Orlando and you'll see three in a week and that's exactly how many I saw when I was there and it was just. It's so incredible. There's so many places like on the beach up and down that you can get a really good glimpse but just even of the launch itself, we were about three miles away, which is about as close as you can get. It still felt like I should maybe be wearing like some safety glasses or like goggles or something, because the the, the flames of it, were so bright that it that's what I was like. Oh, maybe I should have some glasses on or something like feel the heat, you could feel the rumble.

Blythe Brumleve: 26:08

So highly, highly advise you know, anybody who's thinking about you know, going and witnessing a launch, to just go to, like, the Cocoa beach area. It's a really cute little beach town and you can set up shop on a beach and probably kept, you know, a couple of launches and it was, oh, it was, so great. I, you know I have all of these Otter Notes that I have my real camera and then two different cell phones in order to try to capture different parts of it without clogging up my not clogging up, but running out of space on my main cell phone, so I had to bring like a backup cell phone in order to record.

Blythe Brumleve: 26:47

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Grace Sharkey: 27:33

That's a lot Nice, it'll be a good episode then Five episodes I'm coming out with.

Blythe Brumleve: 27:40

So five additional episodes that will, you know, talk about different parts of the trip, and I mean it's, it's so much content to sort through.

Grace Sharkey: 27:50

Um, so I'm excited to like what content are you making? Like what content am I not making?

Blythe Brumleve: 27:55

Right, I even found like extra content to make because I was I was prepping for this show. I was going to talk about sort of the next frontier, or they call, I think, alaska the last frontier as far as, like, exploration is concerned. But space is really that next frontier of how we're establishing just maintenance infrastructure, you know, supplies, like you know just a supply chain to and from space, and you know, i'm'm just I'm fascinated by the whole process. So, yeah, like five episodes, I believe, that are going to be coming out, starting, I think, mid-july is when the earliest one will will come out. So sorry to my podcast editor, to to josh um, but we are going to be working, uh, over the next, the next few weeks, on this episode right yeah, say oh no well I, I was at nasa.

Blythe Brumleve: 28:50

You were at a really cool event.

Grace Sharkey: 28:53

Yeah, sam stara, tell us about it so I will say for all you space nerds out there space talk has not is not stopping, so we'll get into in a second. Um, I'm actually going to send you something right now that you can, so we'll get into it in a second. I'm actually going to send you something right now that you can use when we get to it here. But I do want to say, for anyone that doesn't know who Samsara is, it's basic, easiest way to kind of explain it to those in the space is it's a telematics company. It helps take all the data that your company collects and visualizes it and creates it uh solutions for you to make your uh operations work better and more efficient. So they're not just helping the trucking industry but they help a lot in last mile. They help a lot in construction.

Grace Sharkey: 29:39

Uh, some of their biggest customers are actually like large crane companies and controlling and operating their assets. They're all over, mostly Europe and the United States or North America, big actually in Mexico as well. And I won't lie, actually I've known about Samsara for a while now but I really haven't Actually going through some of our articles. Noise written about them quite frequently, especially with a lot of the mexico work that they're doing on the focus right on nearshoring, uh, but I haven't myself got a chance to really dive into a lot of their technology, so, uh, they actually invited freight waves to host their podcast studio at the event. Yeah, it was really. I mean, they built us a whole like um glass studio, like with I saw your photos from that.

Grace Sharkey: 30:28

It looked awesome yes, yeah, oh, hide these, because we'll get to this in a second. I got a fun story on the space stuff for you, yeah, but yeah, you guys gotta sneak peek of it. But, um, the other thing too is, I don't think, if you don't know, cm star is also a public company, so part of this event was also the fact that it was an investor day. So not only is this a huge event for them to bring together their customers, but they bring together their partnerships with other technology companies that integrate into their tech, that make their systems even more powerful. And, uh, actually it's the first event that I've ever gone to where the press and I think for the investor day aspect was like a big key component of it. Personally, I got to like hang out and ride around and spend a lot of close time with, honestly, some of our competition out there Transport Topics, ccj and a number of different media sources and analysts out there as well, and I'll get to the first day. We'll get to a little bit I want to focus on. Actually, we did a field trip to one of their customers, but I'll get into that in a little bit when we get to more of our source to porch when we get to more of our uh source to porch.

Grace Sharkey: 31:50

But, uh, I will say so, it started off uh day one and with a huge keynote with their ceo and cpo, uh product officer wonderful presentation. I like I'm sitting there and I'm like the best way to explain it is like it was almost like watching like an apple um, like product day. You know, when they have like these huge, like announcements, it's the same thing. It was and it was really great for someone who, myself, I'm about to interview a ton of their partners and customers, and a good refresher for me to like see exactly what the company is doing and how many different ways they're helping uh their customers and just different outlets. Right, like it's not just trucking and transportation. A lot of what they do right is in construction. Is it a number of cities, right? So like tracking like what was that big one Like the city of Denver tracking their assets and their trucks for maintenance and things of that nature, and their trucks for maintenance and things of that nature? And you know, at some point they even like put up on the screen like what, all the assets that they're tracking like in North America, and it just was really incredible to see, like, how many pings they're getting, and et cetera.

Grace Sharkey: 32:58

So a big part of that event as well, though and in that keynote, was an announcement, a new, a new tool that they're they're releasing, which is actually being sent out right now, millions of them to number their customers, and, uh, this was in chicago. So, like I will say, shout out to the team for being creative. At one point, they're like you know, this is, this is the hometown of oprah, so all of you get to leave here with an asset tag, which is the tool. Like you get an asset tag and you get it. I was like, yes, we get fun stuff, so I actually have one. So they came out with this is the asset tag right here, and so it's very small, like, looks like a dark chocolate Milky Way and what's really cool about this Milky Way? Yeah, oh yeah. So like a fun size, and they purposely like built it so that you could attach it easily to like any type of surface flat here, right, that way, you can put in some screws here and and call it a day.

Grace Sharkey: 33:58

It's got the bat for your battery power as well, which a good question came up why four years? Which for them. They're and I would agree, especially the trucking side like a lot of the assets that you're probably tracking right, like do you really are you tracking them more than four years before you replace them? Things of that nature, which is like, if you think about the average, like trailer, you're right, you're probably either swapping those out or buying new ones at some point. Uh, but it's funny because it's like you say you're probably either swapping those out or buying new ones at some point. But it's funny because it's like you say you're going to think, okay, like how cool is this thing? Like what could this really do? But you know they started and I talked to a number of customers there where it's like I was talking to, actually did an interview with a man who's managing his fleet at an oil yard and you know he was saying the ability to put these on every single one of the trucks. But also like, for instance, depending on the hazmat level of whatever they're moving right, they might use a different truck over another one, so knowing exactly where that special truck is compared to others. Now for the crane company, like different extensions, like they might not put this on the physical large crane that you see, but there might be a special extension onto that crane, where they want to know where those assets are at all points in time and how this thing works. Is they any Samsara hardware system acts as a gateway, so, as these are moving throughout the world, when they interact with a gateway they get that ping which is usually like if you're in a yard.

Grace Sharkey: 35:30

It's easily going to be a gateway around you. They are working on an application for the phones which sounded like it would come out in the next year or less. Like, let's say, I personally had the Simsara app on my phone. If a truck with one of these on it passes by me, that's a gateway, so that instantly that data is going to go back to whoever owns this thing and say, hey, we found your thing at this near gray shark. They won't say who I am, but you know in this exact area. So I thought it was really cool. But you know in this exact area. So I thought it was really cool and it was just. It was really interesting to hear all the different use cases from different industries on how something like this would be used. I think it's super practical. Like I said, yeah, it's super small. I mean you could put this again right, like it's small enough that you could clearly put it on a truck.

Grace Sharkey: 36:20

But even if I just put on a pallet or something like I mean, yeah, a hundred percent. Or even just like, um, um, some type of building equipment, right, like, uh, heavy duty power drills, stuff like that. You can easily put that on there and be able to track it too. I was making a joke that they're now they can track all of us. But uh, literally now they know where every single number of the conference is at at every moment in time.

Blythe Brumleve: 36:46

But yeah, is that a working like. Can you use that device to track whatever you want?

Grace Sharkey: 36:52

Technically, if I set up a CM Star account and activated it, that's like I truly believe, like not to throw it out there, but I think they could like literally track me right now. They don't know who it's attached to, right? I know this is sitting in my home right now in Michigan. So, yeah, I think it's just and it's like super lightweight, like it's nothing too crazy, and yeah, so it was cool to to not only write about it but again, like be surrounded by people and and talk to people and you'll see content. Probably by the time this comes out, you'll see a couple of them. We took a lot of videos, a lot of interviews where we talked to people about how this could be used as well. Now, um, I will say so again, event was amazing. They had different companies up on the stage explaining how they've used Samsara. Um, and we'll actually for for the source of porch. We'll get into a little bit more too, um, but so okay.

Grace Sharkey: 37:49

So you know I don't know if any have you ever gone to a, like a concert before and maybe, like the opener is someone that you love? You didn't expect him to be there. Like you go to something and like some surprise, like, oh, your favorite. So I'm sitting there, right, I'm in this keynote, I'm enjoying myself, this thing's awesome, blah, blah. And so they start talking about sending these to space, and so you know, chirp, chirp, um. I'm like, oh, space, what's going on? And they introduce and it's so funny because we talked about this and I never I never really looked at the other investors in the company but all of a sudden they introduced Hubble Network. If you remember, we talked about Hubble on like the last episode or two, and so I started fangirling. I'm like and they're like, here comes Alex, and I'm like, yeah, oh, my God. Yeah, I'm like, oh, my God, like, this is my favorite company of all time right now. So I'm over on the media side like, yes, I'm telling myself from Freightways who's our producer. I love this company.

Grace Sharkey: 38:55

And so they were one of the. They actually helped with Hubble's Series A, their Urge and their Seed round, and so they technically own a part of Hubble as well. So Alex from Hubble got on the stage and if you want to show up those videos, so now what they're doing is they're sending these up into space so that way we can start pinging these as well. It's not happening yet, but this is what they're working on, using Bluetooth, which would make these accessible, this data accessible, in parts of the world where there isn't a gateway right, or they were looking at areas that don't get cell service, and so they've done it already.

Grace Sharkey: 39:38

That first one that went up in March, samsara sent this up there with them too, in March, samsara sent this up there with them too, and those those pictures that you're showing earlier are, you can see the little tag on there, and they did get a signal from space. So, yeah, it's, it's really cool. And again, actually it might come out earlier today or later today, but I will be putting out the interview where, I think, in the second picture I sent you, you can actually see the yeah. So that's the little thing. Yeah, it all makes sense. Yeah, so they got, and it's cool because, at the event too, they right next, right next to my that was the best part right next to my booth. They had that satellite sitting there, and so isn't it so cool to see these things up close like just the amount and that's what I, you know.

Blythe Brumleve: 40:36

Just the space in general just feels like a bunch of different people from all different kinds of backgrounds, from all over the world, have to come together in order to make something like this happen on earth, then just send it out into space and hope and pray to God that it does work. I think it's cool to see that you know, come to fruition and that you can communicate with it like literally out in space.

Grace Sharkey: 41:01


Blythe Brumleve: 41:02

It's just it. That never ceases to amaze me, but that's one if you're just listening. Um, it's basically. Um. So this little like milky way, like fun size shaped device that you can attach to almost like a flat panel, and that flat panel is part of the larger satellite system. Am I explaining that?

Grace Sharkey: 41:20

exactly. Yep, all right, there's the agenda. Uh, exactly. So it's, it's really cool. Again, they already sent it up there and they had like that one that was in space sitting in the booth next to me so, like I was, I was like, oh my god, this thing like went to space dude, like this is so cool and uh, they're actually. So I got to meet alex at at the Hubble Network as well and they had a really great after event dinner event at the Field Museum.

Blythe Brumleve: 41:52

Oh, I saw those photos, it looked so cool and events like at a museum, I think you know something that you know conferences need to do more often.

Grace Sharkey: 42:00

Well, and I ran into this girl there and we should either get on this show or I need to do some type of stuff with her. But she comes up to me and she goes all right, are you the girl in the box? And I was like, I was just like I don't drink, or two, I'm like what? Like? I'm like maybe, like like your tv, I guess, I guess. So like she's like, no, the girl at the event, like in the. I'm like oh, yeah, yeah, that's me, yeah, yeah, I'm, I'm the animal in the zoo, you know. And uh, she, she was actually the um product lead at hubble. So I would go hashtag women in stem, let's go um.

Grace Sharkey: 42:36

But her and I like nerded out about space for the longest and she was talking to me about, uh, even when she first because I think she worked at NASA first and they had heard about Alex working on this and all of them were like kind of like, yeah, that won't ever work. And if it did, they, you know, the biggest thing is like would that tool? How could you even make that tool accessible or cost efficient? Right, like a lot of things are possible. But like can you mass produce it? And she was explaining to me. Like you know, there are Bluetooth that could technically talk in space, but they're just so expensive that there's no. But taking an app more average, like low, I think it's like a BLE, it's like a lower frequency Bluetooth. If if they could do that, but no one ever believed that they could. Um. So for her it was fascinating kind of watching them prove this and and show this exists. And it's funny. We're kind of asking her questions about it. Like you know, could technically our phones like attached to it now, um a jailbroken phone? Technically could, of course, verizon and apple. They realized that would be way too easy and they wouldn't make money off that, so they do like put some blockages on there.

Grace Sharkey: 43:52

I was interested to talk about like the cybersecurity or something like that. Like how do we make sure that that stuff can't be, that data can't be taken from the wrong person or or harmed in some type of way? So I want to try to get her on an episode. But yeah, it was cool. I was like, oh, my god, I'm just literally talking about you guys. She's. She's like shouldn't you be our marketers? Like I probably should, because I was just like fan girl. I was like space, like let's talk in the middle of like dinosaur central.

Blythe Brumleve: 44:22

So um, which is just so. That's such a cool place to have that conversation, right 100, and I just think it's.

Grace Sharkey: 44:31

It's just fascinating, though, to like consider, you know, where we've gone in the last like 10 years as an industry, from like where is this truck at? To soon just being able to like literally put something as simple as this on it. Even other companies, too you think of companies like Tive, et cetera. That's like you know. There's ways that we can start actually tracking these assets and seeing where this stuff is, and also the next step moving forward right Is like making them seen in areas where we don't get service and and don't have an easy connection, as we hope.

Blythe Brumleve: 45:07

Like true visibility, which is the main problem with a lot of visibility platforms yeah is that you don't have.

Blythe Brumleve: 45:14

You have insights into, maybe you know warehousing and you know cargo ships and containers and things like that, but from the truck aspect, it's still very challenging for you know, because what more than 90% of all?

Blythe Brumleve: 45:23

Challenging for you know because what more than 90% of all fleets you know have seven trucks or fewer, or even five trucks or fewer, I think is now the data point on that. And so for a lot of these owner operators or small carriers they're not, they haven't invested in this. It's expensive, probably, yeah, to invest in that kind of like on the ground tracking, but that's, that's when we will achieve, like, true visibility is when the trucks are tracked, and you know to the much a grin of or chagrin Is that the right word, chagrin, I guess much to the annoyance of drivers that care about their privacy, you know things like that. But it is something that is coming because you is coming, because some of these shipments are very expensive and worth a lot of money and so people want to know where they're at and tools like this help and it's just, I don't know, it's so cool that they can do it from space.

Grace Sharkey: 46:18

Well, and what's really cool, too, is like it's not just about, at the end of the day, all this is doing is collecting data right, just about. You know, at the end of the day, all this is doing is collecting data, right. So it's like now, what do we do with it? And that's what. Well, I'll give it a little bit more later, when we get to the source to forge stuff, and I'm also kind of combining it with marketing as well and the samsara aspects, and you'll you'll see it makes sense when you talk about it. But, like now, what do you do once we collect all this data?

Grace Sharkey: 46:42

And and that's what's really that was the second part that I found interesting was like, wow, like these, all these tools, now that they're creating and then including these partnerships. Like, for instance, there's insurance companies there, right, that can plug into SAMSAR and say, oh, okay, well, you want to be insured for going into California, but we noticed that you only go into California like twice a year, so maybe we can change your plan up, right. So that's where it gets a little bit more interesting. It's not just about what does Sam's Heart's system do, just on the user interface, which was incredible. But once you start connecting some of these really cool extra tools right, what can the world look like for your company? So, yeah, it was really. I really truly enjoyed it. And then, at the end of the day too, my good friend from Michigan State University, magic Johnson, was there. And boy, if you're a company that's looking for a credible speaker for an event, that man did and I'm trying not to be biased, but-.

Blythe Brumleve: 47:55

He's a Michigan State grad. You're a Michigan. State grad I saw your video where you did a little what is it Go Green?

Grace Sharkey: 48:01

Yeah, go Green. I had to. But just in terms of him like he understands his fandom, like he talked about his oh my god, talk about his businesses. I had no. Do you know that he, his company, feeds both disneyland and disney world employees? Like he is the main food provider for the employees at both those locations? Yeah, also he's. They're like signing america and airlines now, but all the food in Delta and Delta Sky Club, magic Johnson, oh wow.

Grace Sharkey: 48:34

He was like listen, all this stuff, I'm like what? I had no idea. And it was funny. He was telling a story about how, when he was up playing against I can't remember what year it was, what ring it was he's playing against Michael Jordan and MJ was like hey man, I just want to let you know. It must have been the first ring. He's like I just want to let you know we're going to beat you guys and we're going to take this thing. And he's like you know, michael, at the end of the day, I win both ways. And he's like what are you talking about? And Michael had this shirt on that had Michael's face on the front and back of it, kind of like a cartoon-esque shirt. And he's like well, you go, you go ahead and tell me what's on that tag. And he like pulls his shirt off and it's Magic Johnson tees. He's like worst case, I'll sell a bunch of Michael Jordan shirt. So it's like he's always.

Grace Sharkey: 49:23

And at that point he was the only athlete that had licensing rights from the NBA. So I yeah, the story of like his businesses is thrilling. He was talking oh, he's talking about, uh, he has, he owns like a couple of esports teams. He said it's the most lucrative, like a sports team that he owns, like every player on their team is making at least three million dollars a year. And he was like for all you parents out there whose kids are big gamers, like, do not tell them to get off the video game and, if anything like, find a way for them to market their expertise. So like, get on Twitch or something, because these kids are making tons of money.

Blythe Brumleve: 50:01

And it's big time events Like they're selling out arenas there's a former producer of Freightways, crystal. I think her name is Luglo.

Blythe Brumleve: 50:10

I don't know if you ever worked for her but she now works for a big like e-sports company and she travels around to you know different cities where they host these tournaments and so she's, you know, she's you know, doing production and tv and stuff for Freightways. Now she's doing production and tv um on site for these big like e-sports events. I've been meaning to to get her on the the show to talk about what all goes into that, but it's a big deal. So it's cool to hear that. You know he is, you know he's number one at an event like this. So he's obviously an investor in this kind of you know technology. But then he's also investing in like what do they say? Like you know be the person who sells the shovels during the gold rush? Yes, so he's, you know, providing the shirts and providing the food to infrastructure that already exists, which is pretty cool.

Grace Sharkey: 50:59

He said he like his like construction company or something that he owns, like just did the update to JFK and now he's like working on some. They won the like some billion dollar contract for lax two or something like that. And I'm like I'm like this guy doesn't basketball lane. But in terms of like audience engagement too, like he was just, you know, pulling people up. Like this one guy's cell phone like goes off like someone's calling him.

Grace Sharkey: 51:28

You're like, he's like let me answer it he's like so he's like he knows how to work a crowd and it was just and and knew. You know, people wanted pictures and made sure they got them, and I think I will say a woman did ask him too if he had to choose um a one-on-one game, lebron versus michael's name michael, without a doubt. He didn't even hesitate on that one so yeah, exactly so.

Grace Sharkey: 51:52

I loved it as a state fan. It was great, and I think it was the last thing of the whole event too, so it left you on this kind of like wow, this partnership networking, like what that all can grow into if you work together Interesting.

Blythe Brumleve: 52:05

It's interesting that they had him speak last, because then usually that's quite the opposite when it comes to events or conferences, they can have people there too, right? Right, because they know you want to see him, and so end the conference on a high note. And then you're talking about it to all your colleagues and you don't want a show like this, and hopefully is it open to the public for something like this, or it's probably like invite only.

Grace Sharkey: 52:30

It is. I think it technically was open to the public, like you buy ticket it was. But that's the other thing too, like it wasn't like just a free user conference, like everyone paid to be there and so that was just, I mean, like 2,000 people. It was wow. Yeah, I know that's not. I mean I honestly kind of walked in. It was like you know, it's a crowd of people that I don't often get to see.

Blythe Brumleve: 52:52

I expected maybe a few hundred, for you know, almost like a, like a user conference type level, but God 2000. That's awesome.

Grace Sharkey: 53:01

It was huge. I will say, if I had one regret, it's not about the event. The stones were playing at soldier field Rolling stones. Yeah.

Grace Sharkey: 53:15

Oh, wow, if you know the infrastructure of Chicago, it's literally right across from Field Museum. I'm talking like 800 steps maybe. And we almost almost went to the Stones concert. I kind of wish we would have. But shout out to andrew for sushi for dinner that that uh turned out fine, but um, we almost did. We were very close. It was a beautiful chicago. You know chicago, this is the time of year you go to chicago, it's nice, 70, 80 degrees, beautiful, nice wind off the lake, so it's a perfect time. It sounds like they'll be doing again next year in san diego so we'll see if we get invited again, Heck, yeah.

Blythe Brumleve: 53:54

Well, invite your girl too. I love. I've never been to San Diego, so I would love to to visit. So it's all right. It's just all right.

Grace Sharkey: 54:02

I don't know. I've been living on the West coast twice and San Diego is one of those. It's, it's, it's fine. You know me, I oceans. You know you're a midwest truther. I will say san diego is kind of cool, though, because, um, there's a big naval base there, so, like when you're on the beach, like, uh, you get to just watch the cool planes like come in and out the whole time. Oh, that's cool. Yeah, if you. Yeah, if you like rockets going off, you'd like it too well I.

Blythe Brumleve: 54:29

Apparently russia is uh sending some you know submarines and planes over to cuba. So southern florida is at least getting that all of a sudden the you know, the us government decides they didn't want to do military practices in in south florida. So I have seen some footage of like all of the major jets, b2 bombers like uh, just going up and down the coast of florida um, so there's a little bit of uh, you know, a little bit of bravado, I think first day to a cold war. Let's go great love living here.

Grace Sharkey: 55:01

We're gonna be the first targets yeah, just when you thought florida couldn't get better luckily I'm in the northern part so they kind of forget about us from Orlando down, they're for sure forgetting about the large port in your city.

Blythe Brumleve: 55:19

Right and the large naval base, two naval bases, I think it's moved to.

Grace Sharkey: 55:23

Tallahassee. Tallahassee is who they went and messed with. It's basically Alabama.

Blythe Brumleve: 55:27

at that point I don't even know why I'm going to stop, because I was about to be like I don't even know why. We have, you know, our capital in tallahassee. I have zero clue why, wow, that's where your capital is.

Grace Sharkey: 55:38

Wow, that's, I have no idea why I assume they're like at some point this whole thing will fall off so we'll be, as possible, all right.

Blythe Brumleve: 55:51

Well, let's get into, let's shift gears a little bit, because if you were listening to the previous episode, we talked about tugboats and barges and we also talked about what we would be discussing on future episodes, and so I think we talked about icebreakers that we're going to do in future episodes.

Blythe Brumleve: 56:08

I'm not sure what, maybe the other ones I'm blanking on on what we had mentioned, but one of those topics was also shipping canals, and so we thought that we would shine a little bit of a light on the different and major shipping canals all over the world, and I think for most folks you are used to like the Suez Canal. That's the one that Egypt owns. I'll just go through my notes right now. It was opened in 1869. It's a critical maritime route, or has been a critical maritime route, for over 150 years, and the significance of it is that it reduces the maritime journey between Europe and Asia by about 4,300 miles. I was going to mention kilometers, but I don't know what a kilometer is and you know it's a day before July 4th, so we are going to go with miles.

Blythe Brumleve: 56:57

Yeah for sure what the fuck is a kilometer.

Grace Sharkey: 57:00

What is a kilometer? The world.

Blythe Brumleve: 57:04

But nearly 10% of global trade passes through the Suez Canal, including 12% of the world's total oil shipments. I could also go through the Panama Canal, but I wanted to show this quick video first. So let me bring up Grace's favorite platform, and that's the Suez Canal. Hopefully you didn't hear that volume, but let me go ahead and hit play on this one. Oh, I got to add it to the stage first. So some BTS for you guys. Here's an overview of the Suez Canal from this TikTok user, novasphere2.

Speaker 7: 57:45

Here is the Suez Canal, one of the busiest shipping channels in the world and also one of the most profitable canals. The Suez Canal was initially excavated by the French, but the British later became the major shareholders After Egypt gained independence. They consistently sought control of the canal and eventually succeeded in ousting the British. As one of the busiest shipping channels globally, the Suez Canal witnesses tens of thousands of vessels passing through every year. It brings significant economic benefits to Egypt, serving as a vital financial pillar for the country. Reports estimate that around 23,000 ships transit the canal annually, generating approximately $8 billion in toll revenue. This means an average daily income of around $22 million and an average toll fee of $350,000 per ship passing through the canal. Today, 70% of oil tankers and cargo ships worldwide navigate through the Suez Canal. It has become a crucial trade route between Asia and Europe, given the substantial costs involved in detouring around the southern tip of Africa, the Cape of Good Hope. Egypt seems to be making money hand over fist, lying back and enjoying the benefits.

Blythe Brumleve: 59:03

Which is actually when you think about any fun facts that you got about the Suez Canal.

Grace Sharkey: 59:10

Not about the Suez, but apparently, like we've had canals, we've been using canals. One thing I saw was since Mesopotamia times, which, if you're a history buff, that's yeah, we're talking thousands of years BC, before the guy that a lot of people believe in, you know. So it's, I have to make Bc politically. Uh, correct, uh, but uh, no, it's. Uh, that's crazy. I didn't realize how much money they're making off of that and the toll fees, I think is you know what's?

Blythe Brumleve: 59:45

uh, I'm like, wow, what a, what a great opportunity, um, for just I don't know, just I wish, I wish, I'd like to see that now.

Grace Sharkey: 59:54

I'd like to see that like pnl though, because I I'm assuming the upkeep of a canal isn't the cheapest thing either. So like I again, people who might not understand businesses like just don't think that they're bringing 22 million dollars and that's their profit. I, I just assume there's got to be some cost. Or else like, uh, I mean, egypt is a pretty, but they've also had some instability issues, so but that's great. And so I was going to say the lock aspect of it. So I was going to say you kind of have canals and then there's some right that do have a lock aspect, which we see here a lot. In Michigan we have the Sioux Locks, the Sioux Canal, and Michigan we have the Sioux Locks, the Sioux Canal and the Sioux Locks up in the UP, whereas then there's also like the Erie Canal, which is more closer to Toledo Detroit area, but that doesn't have locks either. But interesting, no, I didn't yeah.

Blythe Brumleve: 1:00:45

I had it on my, so I'll play that video next on the. Well, maybe I could play it now with the Erie Canal, because in my notes it says it opened in 1825.

Blythe Brumleve: 1:00:58

So it was one of the first like shipping canals in the United States. I think it was the first, but it played a pivotal role in economic development of the United States in the 19th century. It reduced transportation costs by about 95%, significantly boosting trade and settlement in the Midwest. And it spans 363 miles, connecting the Hudson River in Albany to Lake Erie in Buffalo.

Grace Sharkey: 1:01:23

So I don't think I'm like at some point that one.

Blythe Brumleve: 1:01:27

Well, here, I'll bring this video up now, since we're talking about it, and then we'll get into the Panama Canal next, which is probably, I think, for United States residents, probably the most famous one. So Suez and Panama. So let me, I'll play this video now too, and this is one is on the Erie Canal and this comes from Legends and Lores over on TikTok. Oh wait, I got to actually share the screen. Beautiful, it's flawless production level here. Can you tell we're ready?

Speaker 10: 1:02:00

for vacation. America's greatest engineering feats was completed in 1825. The Erie Canal, stretching 363 miles from Albany to Buffalo, was a groundbreaking project that transformed the nation. Before the canal, transporting goods from the interior to the port cities was costly and time consuming. The canal drastically reduced transportation costs and time, fueling economic growth and westward expansion. Its construction was an immense challenge, requiring innovative solutions such as the use of hydraulic cement. The success of the Erie Canal led to the boom of cities like Syracuse and Rochester, turning New York City into the nation's principal port. It also spurred a canal building frenzy, with numerous other canals constructed across the country. The Erie Canal wasn't just a marvel of engineering. It was a symbol of American ingenuity and ambition, reshaping the landscape and economy in profound ways. Today, it remains a testament to the transformative power of infrastructure.

Grace Sharkey: 1:03:00

So that's the theory. Yeah, I made TikTok videos so much better, huh.

Blythe Brumleve: 1:03:07

I know, it's about time you get on it.

Grace Sharkey: 1:03:09

All those AI images. I'm like wow, you know, it does make my sort of. The All those AI images.

Blythe Brumleve: 1:03:12

I'm like wow, well, you know it does make my sort of the the wheels turn. To my brain Like, oh, maybe I don't have to go and do hair and makeup every time I go on screen and I can just write these scripts myself and not have to be be a faceless.

Grace Sharkey: 1:03:26

The next episode is like the straight AI us. It's like Maddie, we don't even do it. Oh God, that'll be the dream. That's incredible. Yeah, it's.

Blythe Brumleve: 1:03:40

it's so crazy to think, like the time period that a lot of this stuff was built and how long it's stayed and I think you know, with all of our space discussions too, it's interesting to see how this exact sort of infrastructure not exact, but the same exact, not exact again is being built in space now. So we're developing these different like trade lanes and trade routes to space, very similar to how they were developed in the US and just across human history. So here is the next video on how the Panama Canal works. Well, first let me give you a little bit of an overview with the Panama Canal. I'm sure maybe that well, the video I'm going to show is how the Panama Canal actually works, because it's different from other canals across the globe. But the Panama Canal opened up in 1914. It contributes nearly $2 billion annually to Panama's economy and it shortens the route for shipping, saving around 8,000 nautical miles for ships traveling between the east and the west coast of the Americas. And so, obviously, the Panama Canal is vitally important to shipping goods into the US, so much so that, because the US kind of controls the majority of the Panama Canal, or probably all of it, china was at one point in talks with Nicaragua in order to build a new canal. Those talks have stalled, but they were going to build a new canal in Nicaragua that China was going to control most of it and fund most of it. So that did not happen. So the Panama Canal is still the number one, probably greatest importance for the US.

Blythe Brumleve: 1:05:29

So let me play this video on how the canal actually works, and I'm sorry if you're just listening, but hopefully it still kind of comes through. Okay, but if not, you can go check out this video over on YouTube and this video comes from energysector8 over on TikTok. So if you were just listening, uh, basically what that video is showing is that the ship, once the cargo ship, comes up into the canal I think it's the lock system, is that where you're very similar to the lock system, what you were just talking about? So it goes almost like into a giant pool. They fill up the pool with the water and then they shift them over to the next sort of lock step, um, so they go through like three processes of this to get the into the canal. Then they go through the canal and then they go back through almost the same sort of section, uh, where they they put the ship in a certain section. These walls go up, water is filled up or dropped down and you move section by section. So, uh, you might.

Blythe Brumleve: 1:06:48

People might have heard of, like the, the drought problems that the panama canal had suffered earlier this year and so when they don't have that water they can't have that different fluctuations of pumping water in, draining the water out and doing that series of processes for each ship that goes through. I think that's one of the bigger complaints with the Panama Canal and really I think the Suez Canal is only one ship can really go through at a time. You can't have multiple ships, you know, going north and south or east and west at the same time. So that's the only sort of, I guess sort of downfall or down. I guess con of the Panama Canal is that you can't have two ships going at once. Very similar to the Suez Canal. But any fun facts about the Panama Canal you got.

Grace Sharkey: 1:07:35

Well, the one thing I'm thinking about, too is, I'm pretty sure now that they have expanded it as well because of what they call like a Panamax ship, so it's like cargo ships that are now so wide, and I believe Rachel Premack wrote about it a while ago, right, I think it was during her big trips but they actually had to expand in order to make those work. So that's, I think, an interesting point there. The other thing I was considering, too, is I'm glad you brought up the drought, I think, especially that visual kind of shows you like how important that water is to that system, right. So if there is a fall, you can imagine how much slower it's going to take to get those through. Now, a fun fact for a while up until, I want to say, last year, disney actually Disney cruise ship was paid the highest toll today this is in 2008 to go through the Panama Canal, and that was three hundred and thirty thousand dollars. Wow.

Grace Sharkey: 1:08:39

If you are a freightways fan, then you probably remember, though, in November of last year, because the line was so long, people were paying higher tolls to jump the line. It was a Japanese container ship. If I remember right, had paid $9 million to jump the line as well, so a little bit more, and I can't imagine that price. If I remember correctly, though, with that Japanese ship, it had some type of product that had an expiration date, so it's one of those things where it's like, if we don't get through this line, like everything on this boat or majority of what's on this boat will expire, so it wasn't just like we have the money, let's pay it and just send the tax over.

Grace Sharkey: 1:09:27

Another fun fact and I thought this was interesting is someone who loves the water fun fact and I thought this was interesting as someone who loves the water. In 1928, a man named richard, richard halliburton uh, he's like an adventure or something. Halliburton yeah, no, I don't think related to that. Hell, okay, I swam the full length of the panama canal. Oh, wow, any, yeah, I guess you can now the any boat that goes through it. You have to pay a toll and it's based on your weight. Well, halverton had to do the same thing and uh, so his toll? Uh, again, 1928, so it's probably a little higher now. He ended up having to pay 36 cents to to go through it. Um, so if you are going to swim the pan Canal, make sure you have to go through the different, you know law oh yeah which is scary like to think about that.

Grace Sharkey: 1:10:18

Like you're just like rising with the tide. I mean they go like at least the ones I've been through. They go very slow, so it's not like you're just like like all of a sudden up, it's's like very like a gradual process.

Grace Sharkey: 1:10:31

Yeah, and that was a small one, so I would assume even bigger, it feels even slower. So, yeah, that's I like. I like the panel. There's a lot of interesting history. I mean it's not the most, it's definitely not the safest history if you look back at it, but you know, teddy Roosevelt, I believe, started it and very interesting president in terms of, uh, infrastructure and national parks, yeah 100 so and then to see the back and forth uh aspect.

Grace Sharkey: 1:11:03

So yeah, if you ever get a chance like just look up the history of like ownership of it, because I think, too, there was one like interesting fact about.

Blythe Brumleve: 1:11:11

I mean, obviously this is a terrible part of history, but there were a lot of workers, slavery going on with building the Panama Canal, but for a lot, I think, of the white workers, they were falling sick to malaria and, for whatever reason, the slaves that they had brought over from Africa were surviving it. And so I want to say that that's like a lot of like the locals in the area were falling sick to malaria, but meanwhile they found a cure, or not a cure, but a way to fix malaria and where it was coming from, because of the slaves that came over and were also, you know, constructing obviously not willingly the Panama Canal and they weren't dying, and so it was the locals that were dying from it, if I remember that story correctly, which is, you know, I don't I don't know if it's like a good thing or a bad thing, um, but it was a thing that happened, um, okay, so another one that I wanted to talk about is you know, we, so we've talked about, like the famous canals, but then I also wanted to know, like, well, what other? I would have thought that, like, a lot of canals have already kind of been constructed that, like you know, we don't really like. Is construction really happening on new canals? It turns out they are. So I found a couple videos of like the new canal constructions that are going on across the globe. Because if you think about from the like, none of that is happening in the United States because we have, you know, the inland waterways and we talked about a briefly on on the last episode of just the power have the inland waterways and we talked about it briefly on the last episode of just the power of the inland waterways. It starts at the Mississippi River and it goes up north and then you have all of these different outposts that go into sort of the Midwest but then also into reaching into some of the West Coast. That comes all off the Mississippi River and so when you can go through the Panama Canal and you can ship your freight over to the New Orleans port, then you can put it on a barge and put it up a barge and send it up the Mississippi River. Like that is an extreme competitive advantage and also not just from a military perspective but also just from, you know, just supplies in general. And that's really how the dominance of the United States is that we're. You know, we have oceans on each side of us, but then we also have the Mississippi that allows for that transportation process to take place.

Blythe Brumleve: 1:13:42

Well, china is actually building that same thing because if you look at a map of China, especially population maps, the overwhelming majority of the population, I want to say like 80% of the population all lives on. The overwhelming majority of the population I want to say like 80% of the population all lives on the Eastern coast of China. So they have rural areas that are, you know, obviously in the central and Western parts of China, but most of the population all lives on the East coast. So now they're trying to change that by building a new canal that will hopefully alleviate some of that shipping stress and almost make like a little bit of like a model of like our inland waterways, just doing it for the Chinese population and also, you know, countries like Vietnam. So I'm going to play this video from Futurology Shorts that's going to talk about that new canal that's being built.

Speaker 11: 1:14:33

China has begun construction on a $10.5 billion canal called the Pinglu Canal. Located in southern China, it will stretch 135 kilometers, linking the Xi River with ports in the Beiyu Gold, providing a faster route for any goods to reach this. This will provide major economic benefits, while also opening up a new waterway for trade with Asian countries. The project, which is China's first new canal in over 70 years, is planned to finish in 2027. Do you think the Pengaloo Canal is a good idea? Let us know in the comments.

Blythe Brumleve: 1:15:09

So that's the Pengaloo Canal that is going on, or the construction that is going on. Like the video said, it's opening up in uh 2027. Another country that is building a new canal or planning to build a new canal is, uh, turkey, and so, over in turkey they're kind of trying to do the same thing. Where there's one, they already have a, a canal, um, that is within the country, but there's, I think they have a lot of, you know, similar problems where it's, you know, you can't fit two ships and, um, you know, there there's a lot of like, obviously, any kind of canal, especially, like Egypt knows this with the Suez canal. There's also geopolitical tensions who controls, uh, you know, theals, who gets to collect the tolls? So there's that aspect of things too. So let me play this video from the same company, futurology Shorts, where it talks about the construction of the new canal in Turkey.

Speaker 11: 1:16:06

Turkey is planning to build a 45 kilometer long canal across Istanbul, uniting the Mediterranean and Black Seas. The project, which would divert traffic away from the highly congested Bosphorus Strait, would cost $20 billion, generating massive revenues while establishing new ports and transforming western Istanbul into an island. In addition, it would bypass the Montreux Convention, allowing NATO naval vessels access into the Black Sea, infuriating Russia.

Blythe Brumleve: 1:16:37

Yikes. So I mean, obviously there's some geopolitical tensions from that aspect, but I thought that that was really interesting to know about the new canals that are being built. And then you know, obviously China had plans to build a canal in Nicaragua. That is not happening, but it it? There was a lot of environmental concerns around that happening, because you think about all the animals that are going to be displaced, the massive. I mean, it took what like a hundred years for the Panama canal to be constructed, and so for a lot of these construction projects, it's like and so for a lot of these construction projects, it's like, especially for a lot of different governments like, yeah, how long are these governments gonna?

Grace Sharkey: 1:17:17

you know quickly trying to get stairs up and running.

Blythe Brumleve: 1:17:20

Yeah exactly now. There is another canal that may happen in thailand, so it is. I don't want to even try to pronounce this, so I'm just going to spell it KRA. Isthmus Canal Proposal. It's a potential route that would cut through the Kira. God, I'm not going to pronounce this right, but K-R-A-I-S-T-H-M-U-S in Thailand. Yeah, you're right, isthmus, kira, isthmus, creating a direct link between the Atancy and the gulf of thailand, um, so that one could potentially reduce shipping times and costs by bypassing the congested malacca strait, one of the world's busiest maritime routes. So thought that was, um, that that was I. I just, I don't know. You kind of think of canals that, like they, they've just always been there, like the Suez and the Panama, like I had no idea that new canals were were being built.

Grace Sharkey: 1:18:17

Yeah, I uh especially like that large of like trade routes, right, Like that's. It's interesting. It's like you just assume, I don't know, I just assume that they we had to figure out all the places to put one.

Grace Sharkey: 1:18:40

You know what else I guess, yeah, 100 that's interesting, all right cool well, that, um, I think that does it, unless you have anything else. For, for the canal part, I do have a canal that I think kicked off this and I sent to. I sent a video to you you might see in an email I sent over earlier. But there's an interesting canal. This is more of a technology of the canal in particular, not so much it's light trade, it's mostly, I think, tourism trade in particular. But there's a canal called the Falkirk Wheel.

Grace Sharkey: 1:19:07

It's in Scotland. It actually replaced a series of 11 locks that connected two canals together and it can facilitate movement of boats between two canals that are actually very different heights, about 24. So, like if it were a lock, we're looking at it going 24 meters up. You know a year up meters, so we got to deal with that meters up and you know that you're up meters, so we got to deal with that. Um, but it's. It's really interesting because it's it in the video that I said uh, you might see it right before we started the video or this. I think it's on 9, 32 or something like that, is it?

Grace Sharkey: 1:19:44

this video let's see the foul quick wheel. Yes, yes, yes, so he's going to explain kind of the technology behind it and how it self-powers itself basically in a way. But yeah, if you want to play that, it's kind of interesting.

Blythe Brumleve: 1:20:00

Okay, this video comes from Tom Scott over on YouTube, so I'm going to hit play on this.

Speaker 2: 1:20:06

This is the Falkirk wheel, and it's one of the greatest bits of modern industrial design in the world. On the top of that hill is the Union Canal and down here is the Forth and Clyde Canal, and the traditional way to get boats between them was a flight of locks which would take about a day to get through, and besides they were dismantled here in the 1930s. The solution the world's only rotating boat lift. Now, boat lifts aren't a new thing. They've been around for centuries. Most of them, like this, have two caissons, which is the technical term for the tubs that the boat's sitting in, although usually they're next to each other rather than rotating around a central point. And the reason for two is this To lift 500 tonnes of water 24 metres up, you need a minimum of 32 kilowatt hours of power.

Speaker 2: 1:20:53

That's about what an average British house uses in three days, or an average American house in one day, and that's before friction. That's just the potential energy you need to put into the system to raise it up that far. But if you're also having the same weight of water descend at the same rate at the same time, then you're not adding any potential energy at all. On average, nothing is going up or down. You're just getting a really heavy thing moving and then stopping it again. Because of that, this wheel only needs 1.5kWh for one lift less than a twentieth of what it'd need otherwise. There are even some boat lifts in the world powered entirely by gravity. Where local conditions and the architecture permit it, you just fill the top one with a bit more water, let it go and then apply the brakes when you need to.

Speaker 2: 1:21:43

Bit tricky with something that's as fancy as this, though, it has to be massively reinforced and there is an incredible amount of momentum involved. And here's the really clever bit. Remember Archimedes' principle the Greek bloke with the bathtub A floating object displaces an amount of water equal to its weight. An object that sinks, sure that displaces equal to volume, but a floating object like a boat displaces water equal to its weight. When they're full of water, those caissons weigh about 500 tons. You add 10 tons of floating boat to one of them, then 10 tons of water flows out into the canal, which means this is balanced, no matter how much is actually floating in it.

Blythe Brumleve: 1:22:26

So it's basically like a Ferris wheel for boats in a canal.

Grace Sharkey: 1:22:31

Yeah, it is interesting, the science behind it, right like, uh, it's the way that that flowing object displaces itself. It's like it'll always be balanced, no matter what. So it's like it doesn't matter if there's a heavier boat on one side than the other, it'll displace the amount of water, so it always will weigh the same amount, which is, I think, really interesting. So, yeah, that one is actually, if I remember correctly, yeah, we got, I think, a good old Queen Elizabeth II, our past queen, former queen, rip, rip.

Blythe Brumleve: 1:23:02

We lost a real one.

Grace Sharkey: 1:23:04

Yeah, we lost a real one, even though it's the day before July 4th, so mad respect for the late queen I was by the way, at the CMC event there's a group of British guys that I was diving into and they just think it's so crazy that we are so obsessed with them here. They could care less. I'm like it's, you know, we're having it's just like guilt issues from when we left, you guys. But you know, so, yeah, the Queen Elizabeth opened that in 2002, I believe, and it is actually more known for a tourist attraction than it is for more of the supply chain aspect of it. But yeah, I think it's kind of cool. Yeah, that's really cool.

Blythe Brumleve: 1:23:47

I imagine the maintenance on that thing has got to be intense from just an ongoing perspective, because I mean, it's just an incredible amount of weight that you're. But if you're doing it from that engineering perspective where they're balancing and they're counterbalancing each other out, and you're not losing any power or very minuscule amount of power relative to the kinds of things you're doing, you know levers, pulleys.

Grace Sharkey: 1:24:13

We all remember that stuff right. That was like my favorite part of science. That was like the only thing that made sense to me. I'm like yeah, totally.

Blythe Brumleve: 1:24:23

Man, yeah, it's, it's pretty cool to to see this. You know just, I guess, construction of it that we can almost like play god to an extent of. You know, if there isn't a way through, we can just either blow it up and, you know, construct it in a way.

Grace Sharkey: 1:24:40

That was, that was the first thing I thought when I saw, it was like okay, this one, this one probably uses way less dynamite you know, like that's what I was, like that was my first thought was like, oh, okay, we don't need I think what does it say on here how much dynamite? I think it was so yeah, we don't need 60 million pounds of dynamite, like we needed the panoramic thing to say we don't need weapons.

Blythe Brumleve: 1:25:06

Yeah, we need to bomb anything.

Grace Sharkey: 1:25:08

Yeah, exactly, we'll just build these, really cool yeah, colonize the world, that's all instead no one remembers right, always remember all right.

Blythe Brumleve: 1:25:23

Well, let's, um, let's, let's shift gears a little bit, because we got about 30 minutes left before we both have to hit the road. Um, july 4th festivities here we are working for you, guys and gals, the day before a holiday, when most people have their out of office already on. So we're going to get into a little bit of freight marketing, favorite freight business and also sourced porch, which I think we're going to combine both of us into one Um. So I would say, um, maybe you wait, I'll do my freight marketing, then you do yours, and it'll go right into um, yeah, I think that that's probably a good thing, so I I'll just do mine real quick.

Blythe Brumleve: 1:26:05

Um, so, favorite freight marketing if you're new to this segment, we'd like to pay attention to, you know the, the things that are going on in the logistic space and who's doing a good job of it and maybe who's not. This is mostly like a positive segment. So we I don't think we've focused on any you know, negative freight marketing stories, although we could. That might be fun in the future, especially if you're using European trucks in your American marketing. But for the positive side of things, um, I want to uh, talk about green screens? Um, because green screens they do a really good job of marketing their company to the point where it's really like their internal subject matter experts are, you know, pumping out regular content that they make themselves. That looks really good and it also is a lot of valuable data and insight. And so what maybe a lot of people don't know what they do is? They also have a media newsletter that goes out regularly that they send to different podcasters, creators, subject matter experts, things like that, where they include their data as sort of like a wrap up report. So I just got added to this list and I saw it for the first time and it was one of those things where it was like, oh, that's great, I can't wait to read this and you bookmark it to come back for later. But I just, you know, I hadn't gotten around to an email hell right now after going to the TMSA conference and then I got the NASA trip. I feel like I'm still playing catch up.

Blythe Brumleve: 1:27:34

But one of the things and to, I guess, sort of bring it full circle is, while I was at TMSA I was talking to Kara Brown she's the CEO of lead coverage and she was mentioning like all of this sort of like intent data and how to help marketers sort of learn the math behind marketing. And she mentioned the stat that it takes 35 touch points now we used to say seven touch points for someone to see your ad or see your company in order to make a conversion. That number has now drastically increased to 35 touch points. And so she's measuring these things, like her team is measuring these things for different clients, and it's different touch points, as in. It's different touch points, as in. It's not just an ad, it's not just an email newsletter, but it's also social media and all of these other different touch points that you can have with your potential customer.

Blythe Brumleve: 1:28:24

And so I got that green screens email. I bookmarked it. I said I'm going to come back and read this, can't wait to, um. But then I'm on scrolling on LinkedIn, cause you kind of forget, you know, when you bookmark things like and you just go to the distraction places. And so to LinkedIn, and I'm looking at LinkedIn and I'm seeing a couple of like their internal, like executives also tweeting out or sending, posting out not tweeting, posting out to LinkedIn, um, a lot of this same information, but, in their own voice, posting out to LinkedIn. A lot of this same information, but in their own voice. And so I thought that it was like a full circle moment where, you know, I had already previously signed up for this email from green screens.

Blythe Brumleve: 1:28:59

I already think that they do great marketing, and then to hear Kara Brown talking about those 35 different touch points of what you have to have with your customer, and then seeing it happen in real life, I think was kind of like a, you know, a full circle moment for me. But their executive team started using this same market intelligence, the same market insight, and using it for their social media posts. And so just to share, just if you want to take sort of like a visual of like their market trends, because I believe that you can just go right on to the main green screens website in order to see yeah, you can, so it's greenscreensai backslash market trends and they do this for every month. I think it's very, very akin and very similar to like what Freightwaves does with their quarterly market updates. I think they also do monthly as well, but just to be able to see like this in a visual format. So they have a landing page on the website. They have the email that goes out to subject matter experts, whether you're inside of green screens or outside of green screens, and then they have their executive team talking about it on social media. So I'll link to that Kara Brown episode in the show notes in case you want to hear more about that.

Blythe Brumleve: 1:30:07

35 touch points but if you thought seven was enough historically, um, it's no longer enough. You, you have to do this in a variety of different platforms, a variety of different distribution methods. Um, so seeing that sort of hearing that phrase the 35 touch points and then seeing it in action, whether consciously or unconsciously, with the 35 touch points coming from green screens, I thought that that was really cool to see in the wild. And then also think about well, how can I take, you know, sort of a long form interview or a long form conversation like this and turn it into multiple different touch points that you can get more longevity out of your content? Because obviously you know, what I just showed is a lot of market intelligence, a lot of graphics, and that takes a little while to put that kind of stuff together, and so you don't want to put it together and then forget about it or tweet it out once or post it once you want to do it a lot you want to do it 30 times.

Blythe Brumleve: 1:31:07

So that's my freight marketing segment.

Grace Sharkey: 1:31:10

So yeah, no, that's a good one. Mine is actually going to be a mix of both marketing and a little play on marketing and source to porch as well. So, going back to the Samsara event day one, the event was technically Thursday and Friday. The event was technically Thursday and Friday, but on day one they invited all of the reporters and analysts to actually go on a fun field trip to one of their local customers in Chicago, which is Farmer's Fridge. Have you ever heard of this company before? You know, when you're at the airport and you see those salads pre-made salads, like in the uh vending machines yeah, yeah that's.

Grace Sharkey: 1:31:58

That's the company we're talking about. I wanted to say I'm saying the right farmer's fridge, right, yes, um. And so not only do they have the um, they're also in like hud's, a lot of airports in particular, and there's like some other type of buildings that they're in. But we got to go to see them directly because they're actually a customer of Samsara. They use Samsara for their final mile deliveries with their drivers, with their drivers, and the reason I bring this up as marketing, because it was a really great way, I think, for the press to actually see a company in action. Yeah, see those, you probably see those vending machines at like local airports, yeah, so it's like a jar.

Blythe Brumleve: 1:32:43

I have seen these, so it's like a jar with all of the salad toppings in it and put in a way that's very like obviously like Instagram aesthetic yeah, but the. And put in a way that's very like obviously like instagram aesthetic, yeah, but the. So your salad doesn't get soggy either.

Grace Sharkey: 1:32:57

Exactly whenever you get this, it is all fresh, like, apparently, uh, for, like their headquarters in chicago, uh, and they get a lot of the foods and everything sourced near their like packaging. We went to their physical office, not their packaging warehouse or anything, but they have 32 hours from the moment that's packaged to get them to at the very latest to, for instance, la's airport, right, wow, yeah, so not only do they use samsara tools and hardware for, of course, the refrigerated aspect, the temperature aspect, but they use it to actually track all their drivers and the and any issues that might arise on their transit. Like, uh, for instance, if there is a hard braking incident, they can quickly they'll get. Actually, they've connected samsara to their slack account so, like, individuals who are in charge of watching over the driver's habits and things of that nature will get a slack notification that so-and-so's had a hard break so they can immediately go in watch the footage.

Grace Sharkey: 1:34:02

And it was really cool, because the guys are talking about like they're not just there to like watch the drivers, like make sure they're doing good, but like a lot of times in those situations they'll call the driver like hey, we just saw this guy cut you off, is everything okay? And the driver's like, wow, like no one ever calls me to make sure I'm okay, and like, has them, go ahead, pull over, you have enough time to still make your delivery. Pull over, take a breather and and feel free to get back on the road. But they, um, like sam stars, cameras will catch, like if they are falling asleep at all the they're looking at their phones. All this different type of behavior. So it's not only just you know, are we hiring the best drivers and they can see them, like in an instance on a map. So the reason I bring this up is because, again for marketing purposes, this did a really incredible job.

Grace Sharkey: 1:34:50

Oh yeah, see, so they have to deliver to all these locations there's so many yeah, within 30 hours of everything being packaged right, and I just thought, as a journalist, it was really cool to get there and hear from a customer directly. And this goes back to I don't know why we don't see more of this or sometimes it's hidden. You're afraid to showcase your customer. But for tech companies out there, get your customers involved. They had built a really incredible partnership. I think they were on way over five years of working together and throughout that, had built like custom tools together as well, which was really cool to hear about. I mean, even that Slack feature was something that they worked together to make sure worked appropriately. And that's what I thought was interesting is like you're not only going to get a view of like how this company works as a partner, but like how their systems are actually being used in real time and real, actual use cases.

Grace Sharkey: 1:35:49

So I enjoyed the trip. It was fun to get out to Chicago and like see a local company as well, and we also got free food. So that was awesome and the team there was really cool, was awesome, uh, uh. And the team there was really cool and of course, you know chicago said that that one of those cool like downtown hip like uh, big tall ceilings, brick type of like headquarters and stuff, uh. But it was just really cool to see I mean the, the technology behind it too and making sure that I mean see that tablet right there, like I'm guaranteed that's probably sam sar. If you scroll up a little bit, that guy like refilling and I'm guaranteed that's probably Samsara. If you scroll up a little bit, that guy like refilling and using like I guarantee that's probably Samsara's technology that he's using there to make sure it's stocked appropriately and has everything in there.

Grace Sharkey: 1:36:33

But yeah, they have daily deliveries and allows them to better track their drivers and make sure that, of course, everything is delivering fresh to those locations.

Grace Sharkey: 1:36:46

And so, yeah, for like, for instance, to throw something out there, like if you are a local Chattanooga company or you work with companies in Chattanooga and you're going to F3, like, consider an event where, like after our daily stuff, before we do the fun, like concerts, like doing a quick field trip with individuals to a local customer and showcasing, like what your tech is actually doing, because it just it hit for me much better, um, like how well it was working in different ways that you can use your technology than just like here's a, a white paper, right, like visual concept, the hearing from the owner of farmer's fridge and and how this is how their tech has helped them scale was just much more powerful than like any blog that anyone could put together.

Grace Sharkey: 1:37:38

So that that's the creative part to me. And then source support you know it was incredible to hear about how something like salad like I'm such a I just had dinner with my parents like last my mom was trying to send me home with leftover Caesar salad I'm like this is going to be disgusting by the time I get to my house. We all know salads have like crispiness. You know what they promise has a expiration time. So to hear like how quickly this moves and how important those drivers are to that product being worth anything at the end of the day, I thought was really impressive. And it sounds like you might be into food as well, but this is fresh, good food.

Blythe Brumleve: 1:38:21

So I'll end it with that, especially at an airport which it's tough to find fresh, good food. So I'll end it with that, especially at an airport which it's tough to find fresh, good food at an airport, that just isn't going to make you feel like you're just bogged down. So I love this and I love that they're so transparent about the whole process, because I think that a lot of companies could learn a thing or two about being this transparent, um with with where their food comes from, like how it works and you know, allowing your audience and your customers be smarter about your product. I think is is always a bonus.

Grace Sharkey: 1:38:53

So a quick a quick bonus too, I want to add to it. That made me laugh. Um, so on the side of the machines is where you can grab silverware. So on the side of the machines is where you can grab silverware. They've been experimenting with so many different ways to bend the silverware Because a reporter brought up he's like do people just steal all this? All the time he said 100% yeah, they do.

Grace Sharkey: 1:39:24

And he's like, but it's not worth bending silverware because the harder, the more weird shape in something is it. It gets stuck in there. So I can't remember the loss. They said like it's. He said it was like a 0.02 on their pnls like it. But it just it's funny to me that like it's something to consider if you're ever going to start a company like how are you vending the silverware? And to just know it's, it's uh, better, it's more cost efficient to just know it's going, it's a better, it's more cost efficient to just know it's going to get stolen than to find a way to have no one steal the silverware that they're giving out.

Blythe Brumleve: 1:39:50

It's cool, though, that you can actually like reach out to them if you want to request a fridge. Yeah, um, which I think is awesome from like a vending machine perspective, is that you can have more options, um than like Dr Pepper and Reese's cups, which is, you know, I think, a struggle for a lot of folks who are trying to eat healthy on the road.

Grace Sharkey: 1:40:10

Their pasta salad was so good and like the spinach in it was like so fresh, I was honestly slightly surprised. So and you would think to the pasta like maybe after time would get like sometimes too soggy or too wet. No, it was delicious, so it's awesome. Yeah.

Blythe Brumleve: 1:40:25

Heck, yeah, well, I mean that's. I feel like it's a great sort of jumping off point to get into what my favorite freight business and also source to porch Cause it's. I'm going to combine those into two because I, you know, every time I get on social media, it's one of those things where it's like everything is trying to kill us. You know whether it's the food system and you know ultra processed foods, and you know trying to navigate that to like sunscreens, and you know American sunscreen is, you know, technically like bad for you or not bad for you, but just the, the lack of innovation that's happened within sunscreens. It's something like the. We haven't had a new sunscreen that's been approved since the nineties, and so what I've been doing is I've been just importing it. Uh, importing sunscreen from um, korea or or Japan. Uh, cause those sunscreens are so much better Like Korea or Japan, because those sunscreens are so much better like and they also double as skincare and double as makeup, and so I'm actually wearing like one now, like a BB cream that is has skincare benefits and then it also has SPF, and so, using those different ingredients.

Blythe Brumleve: 1:41:37

Anyways, lots of things are trying to kill us, especially if you live in the United States. Food is one of those things and this actually I will say that this affects the entire globe because it's fighting against food fraud and business insider, which is an insider, like I think they're kind of a scummy organization, a scummy news company, but they do make some cool videos at times. I disagree with how they kind of go after people and try to cancel people in line. However, some of their documentary style videos I think are very good, and I just recently watched one on 11 of the most commonly faked foods and they're faked and you have no idea that they're being faked, and so it's things like olive oil, wagyu beef, honey, olive oil, seafood is another big one.

Blythe Brumleve: 1:42:31

All these foods can be faked and so it's basically like the way that they fake them is that they're like olive oil, for example. They're cutting it with other like seed oils, or sometimes they're cutting it with like a peanut oil. So think about if you have like a peanut allergy and you are buying something that says olive oil on it but they're cutting it with a cheaper olive oil or cheaper oil such as peanuts. Like that's very dangerous, like it could obviously have some very negative reactions to that. So there's, there's, frankly, there's not much that we can do, especially from, like, the FDA perspective, because in our imports and customs we're really only looking at a less than 1% of all food shipments that are coming into the United States. That's all the FDA has budget for, and so it's a really, really challenging situation. So really the onus unfortunately falls on the consumer to become more educated, and so let me pull up this video and we'll play Share this tab, and so this video obviously comes from Business Insider and I'm going to play it on.

: 1:43:47

Why this problem has become so widespread Is this problem so widespread and why is it hard to catch the criminals? Some criminal groups are so well-structured, they operate like companies with multiple departments. They even have teams researching consumer trends to decide what to counterfeit next. In one Italian olive oil ring, the culprits hired food scientists to create recipes. The counterfeiters will then secure suppliers and set up sophisticated factories in abandoned warehouses. They operate in areas where real products are made, so their movements don't arouse suspicion. Customers will bottle up the fraudulent product to look like real ones, down to a fake batch number. To sell their counterfeits, they often knock on restaurant doors or set up fake websites or postings.

: 1:44:35

Operating virtually and shipping products through multiple countries makes it much harder to trace. Makes it much harder to trace. Europol helped break up 40 organized crime rings committing food fraud in 2022, including an Italian gang exporting fake olive oil, a network passing off gardenia saffron in Spain and a fake spice operation in South Africa. But with massive international supply chains, it's really hard to catch all the counterfeits. While the USDA inspects imported meat and eggs, the Food and Drug Administration is responsible for the rest, and it's estimated the FDA inspects just 1 to 2 percent of imported foods.

Speaker 8: 1:45:14

And they have made very clear that they consider the drug side of their equation a higher priority and they always had, and probably always will have, finite resources. I disagree with that logic because I look at the food we eat as the only drug that everybody takes every day.

: 1:45:34

Even if they're caught, the punishment isn't usually as harsh as drug trafficking. This is big crime and why not? Huge money?

Speaker 8: 1:45:42

It's better than dealing drugs for them, because no one's going to break your door down at four in the morning and arrest you for selling rubbish honey.

: 1:45:50

Larry says two things could deter counterfeiting before it starts Tougher sentencing and the use of blockchain to track the supply chain through labels.

Speaker 8: 1:46:00

So I think the situation is improving, just not enough. I think we need clearer laws, real penalties and real enforcement, not just a slap on the wrist. You can't legislate crime away, but you can certainly, you know, make it, make it tougher.

: 1:46:16

But some of it comes down to the consumer, because I think if we stop buying the really cheap horrible product, actually in the end this food will become far less of an issue.

Speaker 8: 1:46:28

Buy things in their whole form. You know what a lobster looks like, but you buy like lobster ravioli. Sometimes there's no lobster in it.

: 1:46:37

And always look at the ingredient list, because if you know how to differentiate the real stuff from the fake stuff, the decision of what you put in your body becomes yours. The consumer does have power. Though we appear to be utterly disempowered in this debate, we're not.

Speaker 8: 1:46:54

People should not live their lives in fear of going to the supermarket. Make it your mission as a consumer to try to buy things that are better.

Blythe Brumleve: 1:47:05

Yeah, so unfortunately it does come down to the consumer. I thought that they it was really right, figure it out for yourself sort of fend for yourself mentality. Now I will say that learning how to read a food label on the back of every product is is, if you haven't learned that, please take the time to learn that. Because looking at the sugar count, looking at the serving size which is probably the most important thing, because you'll you'll have like a bag of Doritos, for example, and the serving size they'll give you like a sample serving size and it's like three chips is like a serving size, and so the you know the amount of serving sizes per container, um. Looking at the carbohydrates versus the protein versus the fiber, um being able to differentiate what is healthy and what isn't and then balancing that to your overall diet and your overall fitness goals just overall health goals. Also, on the ingredient list this actually really helped me recently with some time of the month woman type ingredients that I've been buying that we talked about in the pre-show wild yam cream is one of them and so if you're looking at the ingredient list, if the product that you're buying, if that ingredient is not first on the list, then that is cause for alarm and so typically on the ingredient list they list it in descending order. So the first ingredient that's going to be listed is going to be the most amount of that product, that's in whatever products you're buying, so that particular ingredient, and then they list them in descending order. So for the wild yam cream, for example, I had purchased one where wild yams were like the sixth listed ingredient, and that's a no-go for me. So I went and actually purchased a product that I could see the ingredient label online and see that wild yam was the first listed item, and so I switched products, returned the other one got the real one that has the majority of the product that I'm looking for instead of all the other stuff that might be in it. But then it got me wondering okay, so if you know how to read food labels, if you know how to read the ingredient label, well, what, I guess? What is the standardization here? Like, how determined? How do we know what, like the baseline level is for different products, and not just different products, but like steel or cement? Or you know just the basics of if you want to make XYZ product, what kind of ingredients are in it, what is the chemical composition of those and who gets to determine that? Enter the NIST, so National Institute of Standards and Technology, which is essentially like a government warehouse that keeps our entire society up to standard. So it's not just, you know, the steel and the medicines and the food products and things like that, but it's also cybersecurity. So they list, like cybersecurity, you know, known vulnerabilities and different types of software and things like that.

Blythe Brumleve: 1:50:17

So I want to play this quick video from this YouTuber Hold on just a second, let me pull this up. But this YouTuber, it's called Veritasium, so V-E-R-I-T-A-S-I-U-M. I want to make sure that I give them credit because this is actually a really cool video. But the goal is to set a standard for, set these baselines for these different products. Then you can have folks that can buy that particular item. So it essentially they're the only government organization, or one of the few government organizations that you can buy from them. So they're not just like an organization that exists to tell you what to do, but you can buy products from them in their e-store in order to and I'll quickly show like what actually, like their e-store kind of looks like or what you know, things like that.

Blythe Brumleve: 1:51:09

Well, let me play this video first, because it goes into that baseline. So they use the example of peanut butter. So if you want to make a better peanut butter, you have to get the baseline level of peanut butter, like the composition from the NISP or from NIST in order to make a better version of peanut butter. They even do this for, like how they determine, like the American diet, where they take a suggested diet and then they emulsify it, basically just throw all of like a daily diet for, uh, a typical american or ideal diet for a typical american, throw it into a giant blender, blend it all together and then they take the ingredient compositions of everything that's in that in order to come up with the american diet. And so basically you have that baseline support to work through. So hold on, let me bring right in this video. Okay, so this is the food triangle and this comes from the NIST. The video is actually for the Vertecium channel, so I want to make sure that I give some credit.

Speaker 9: 1:52:36

For a reference material to be useful, it doesn't have to be the exact material a manufacturer wants to characterize. It just has to be close enough. Nist sells around 30 different food items that are spread around their food triangle. The corners of the triangle are 100% carbohydrate, 100% fat and 100% protein. So, based on their mix of these three macro ingredients, all foods fall somewhere on this triangle and to characterize each one you would want to use the closest standard reference material.

Speaker 5: 1:53:07

If you're trying to do your measurements and tell a regulatory authority that I'm making a food, that's a kibble, but I'm measuring it against peanut butter, they're going to be saying, well, that peanut butter has a wildly different fat content. So what we want to give them is something, a matrix, that looks as much as possible as what they're used to dealing with. They even have a standard diet mix.

Speaker 4: 1:53:28

This is called typical diet. Through surveys they identified what the average American eats and they purchased it all and they blended it all up and then they freeze-dried it into a nice fine powder. It's like a light gray powder and this represents all the nutritional components that an average American would consume. So it represents the sugar content, it represents the proteins that you might have, any vitamins you might have, any fats you might have. It's all in a little jar that we puree up. In total, NIST has nearly 1,300 standard reference materials.

Blythe Brumleve: 1:54:03

So that is that, and you can go onto their website and buy any of these products. Now, they are slightly expensive, but they use it as a calibration method. So, like peanut butter, for example, if you wanted to make a better version of peanut butter, then you would buy that thousand dollars, literally a,000, in this e-commerce store from NIST that you could buy that jar. Then you can use it to calibrate your machinery and then add in your own you know sort of extra flavoring. You know like, maybe it's, maybe it's Jif the brand wants to add their own sort of custom blend, which obviously they do, and so they use that as a baseline to calibrate their machinery. That's going to be making the goods, and this goes for steel, this goes for cement, this goes for basically any product. It sets that baseline level of those ingredients that you can buy from the government, which is, you know, kind of, you know, I guess, bringing it full circle with, you know, the our food system, fighting against food fraud, trying as much as possible.

Blythe Brumleve: 1:55:07

But there are government organizations that, um, I frankly don't want to burn to the ground, and this is one of them. Um, so, as far as like having like faith in humanity, things like that. I think this is one of those programs that is is really cool, um, from from that perspective, that perspective, um. So, yeah, that that's uh kind of bringing it full circle with, um, trying to be smarter about our food system and trying to be a little bit better and then knowing where the food is coming from and how we can better, you know, just try to fight against this food fraud that happens everywhere. I mean, the seafood one was was the most glaring one to me where they're trying to pass off like this. It's estimated that over 40% of seafood that is sold inside restaurants is being faked, so while you're buying tilapia or you think you're buying tilapia.

Blythe Brumleve: 1:55:56

You are buying like a much cheaper version of that fish and it's really hard to tell. And so their advice is, you know, try to buy it in full. Like, don't get the lobster stuffed. You know ravioli. Instead you want to probably just eat the lobster whole or buy the lobster whole, because then you know, in that whole form you're not getting bamboozled well, like somebody like tilapia, it's already lab made right anyway, so yeah, part of that video and I'll link to it in the show notes, in case you want to check it out, but it's already lab made, right, anyways.

Blythe Brumleve: 1:56:24

So yeah, I'm a real fish Part of that video and I'll link to it in the show notes in case you want to check it out. But the 11 foods that are that are being faked like they literally took like almost like a cookie cutter and they put it in the middle of a fish and if you and they're passing it off as scallops like these big, like really tasty looking scallops are expensive and so they're taking like this cheap fish that they could put a cookie cutter into it and they never know, you would never know it eating at a restaurant. And so if, if you know you're you're in situations like this, you know, know your own source to porch, know your own, you know sort of. You know health goals, dietary regulations, things like that that you want to, or dietary goals, I guess I should say, but knowing how to read a food label, knowing how to read the ingredient list and just trying to be a little bit smarter, because everybody is trying to kill us.

Grace Sharkey: 1:57:11

Yeah, a hundred percent Yikes. Now I'm starving.

Blythe Brumleve: 1:57:16

Yeah, me too. I actually got to go to. I'm going to lunch with the, with the bestie, and I know you got to go. You know, enjoy the lake. Hopefully you'll collect some sea glass for me. Yes, but yeah, I guess you know this is a good point to sort of close out the show. Any last words. You want to leave the audience with when to find your work. All that good stuff.

Grace Sharkey: 1:57:34

Yeah, go, especially with the Sam Starr stuff. We're going to be releasing videos on that over the next couple of weeks to go check out our YouTube page. And then, of course, go check out Freightwayscom for some wonderful articles as well. There's an article I'm working on right now that I'll probably talk about in the next episode, on a conveyor highway system for just freight. That's being worked on in Japan. So it's a little highlight of an article I'll probably be out by the time you see this. So, yeah, go check that out and, yeah, appreciate it, as always.

Blythe Brumleve: 1:58:08

Yeah, likewise go watch Independence Day, and the only president that I respect is Bill Pullman in Independence Day.

Grace Sharkey: 1:58:16

Jed Bartlett.

Blythe Brumleve: 1:58:16

West Wing. I didn't watch West Wing sorry, what?

Grace Sharkey: 1:58:23

Oh, and I have to watch Independence Day.

Blythe Brumleve: 1:58:25

Yeah, it's very fitting you have to watch it tomorrow.

Grace Sharkey: 1:58:28

Deal deal.

Blythe Brumleve: 1:58:29

All right, Thank you guys, everyone. This has been another great episode. Look in the show notes if you want to watch any further videos on everything we talked about here or anything that we mentioned. But until then, we'll see you next time and have a good fourth everyone, which by the time you're listening to this, it's already going to be the fourth, so hopefully you enjoyed yourself.

Blythe Brumleve: 1:58:50

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 everythingislogisticscom. 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 coworker'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.

Blythe Brumleve: 1:59:32

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 give 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.