Freight Friends: Surviving Conference Season, Cybersecurity, plus Logistics of Whales
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This fun and engaging Freight Friends podcast episode covers conference survival tips, favorite business ideas in freight, cargo crime trends, and fascinating logistics stories. Hosts Blythe Brumleve and Grace Sharkey also discuss ELD hacks, Drake’s merch model, shipping whale sharks cross-country, and more. Listeners will enjoy the hosts’ passion for the industry and learn something new throughout this entertaining discussion.




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Show Transcript

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Blythe Brumleve: 0:01

Live. I'll do a little countdown three, two, one. Welcome into another episode of Everything Is Logistics, a podcast for the thinkers in freight. I am your host, Blythe Brumleve. Even we are presented by SPI Logistics. We got another edition of Freight Friends with Grace Sharkey ready for you today. We are just going straight live. Typically we record these on Thursday and then I schedule them as if they're live to go on Friday. You can interact in the comments and interact with people on YouTube and on LinkedIn, but today we're just going to be shooting from the hip right, straight from the hip. With all that said, welcome in, Grace. How are you doing, hey?

Grace Sharkey: 0:38

doing well, happy to be here. Who doesn't love going live at 11 o'clock in the morning? Let's go, let's roll.

Blythe Brumleve: 0:47

All right. Well, we got a bunch of topics to get into. Because we typically these shows have been lasting now for close to two hours, we wanted to make sure that we can hit on all of these different topics. We finally, as just a housekeeping note, we have all of these shows now uploaded to YouTube, if you're interested. We do these episodes once a month. I go on Grace's serious show once a month. We do this show once a month as well. All of those are now uploaded over on YouTube. So in case you're wondering or in case you want to watch some previous episodes, that will be a good place for you to start. And I guess, with this show it's a little bit of a challenging, I guess, entry point because there's so much going on in the world right now. I mean, obviously, Israel/ Palestine is a huge topic of interest that I have found myself consumed with, but for the sake of the show, we're not going to dive into the details of that. But I did want to highlight a really, really important talk that happened on X slash Twitter the other night. I believe it happened on Wednesday night. It was with Reed from Lost Fr8. Please advise, you know hat fame. He invited on Ross from Map Human Intent, Sal Mercogliano from what's Going On with Shipping and John Konrad from gCaptain on to discuss how the war between Israel and Palestine is affecting shipping routes. I mean, for a lot of folks you may not be aware that country is located in a situation right next to the Suez Canal. You know, a couple of years ago we all saw, you know, any kind of disruption that happened in the Suez Canal, where even a ship just gets, you know, stuck in there for and it causes chaos throughout all of the entire supply chain. So, Grace, I know you tuned into this show and we're not going to go too deep into it. We're going to link to it in the comments on where you can listen to it. But highly, highly recommend everyone going to listen to that discussion because it really was just such a. It shines a light on how I think connected our global supply chain is just from the source, of the source perspective. Grace, any thoughts, just you know, quickly on that recording. I know you were a part of it too.

Grace Sharkey: 3:03

Yeah, I think just the biggest thing to really understand and we'll dive into details of it when you listen to it but it's we're much more connected economy-wise than people I think assume. And when we look at I mean even to just even push the war side like weather in particular, right, how it affects different areas of the country, like right now we're seeing huge increases in anything that has to deal with sugar, chocolate, cocoa fields in particular, and sugar fields have dealt with some massive drought and a lot of speak of the war, fertilizer shortage issues as well, which can stem back to the Russian-Ukraine war itself. So it's really interesting, if you're, if you want to learn more about historically, I think global trade, in particular sales, like incredibly good at talking about that and especially in this chat. But really to kind of listen and hear how so many aspects of our supply chains are connected to just these geopolitical decisions that happen is huge and it's I think I'm a tech writer. It fascinates me and I think I'm more excited to see how technology can start to really showcase these areas that could potentially see problems within your supply chain, right when these situations happen. And I think we're getting closer and closer to that and when we talk about resilient supply chains, that's the kind of stuff that we need to really invest in in order to avoid the repercussions of some of these wars, and I truly think I think we're going to see a lot of unrest in that area for quite some time, and I think that's another takeaway too. That I caught is like this isn't going to end tomorrow, just like the Russian-Ukraine situation as well, so it's unfortunate. I know there's a lot of opinions on it and everything like that and how we, of course, should be a part of it as a nation, but just in general, really watch the supply chains as an end consumer, where you see things starting to spike or shortages starting to happen, and it's likely linked to some of these factors.

Blythe Brumleve: 5:17

Yeah, I think you hit the nail on the head, especially when it comes to it's not just geopolitical issues but it's weather issues. Like you said, I did an interview with E2Open recently that talked about how their software really helps to identify those problem areas so you can better prepare your shipments. And there was an example and I'll link to that episode in the show notes just in case people want to check that out because we talked about the global rice supply chain and how a ban on exporting of a certain kind of rice from India has people in North America really stocking up on a specific kind of rice in order to feed their families, and so that situation is one sort of caveat. And then there was another caveat from that discussion on Wednesday that was super interesting that you just don't think about, but Ross from Map Human Intent. He mentioned that our entire agriculture livestock is cows, chickens, things like that. The way that it's set up is that these animals are reliant on a specific set of vitamins and supplements, and all of those supplements over 90% of those supplements all come from China, and so if you don't have that particular supplement to feed the livestock in the United States, then our livestock conditions could collapse in a matter of weeks. And so it really just sort of highlights how, even though you think that this situation, this war, is going on across the world, it still affects you from just sitting in your own home and the things you have to deal with I mean obviously not just livestock, but any kind of situation with Taiwan and semiconductor chips we wouldn't be able to use our iPhones, we wouldn't be able to buy a new computer or a lot of this stuff that I'm even saying out loud even just sounds arbitrary to or it sounds meaningless to think about, considering what's going on in the rest of the world. But it's just a further point of how connected our global supply chain is and how these things have ripple effects throughout the entire global economy. And so if you want to hear just sort of a masterclass on geopolitical issues and how that affects shipping and trade lanes and trade routes all throughout the world, go listen to that conversation. We'll link to it in the comments just in case anybody wants to take a look. But it brought me back to our discussion that we had last time when we were talking about the container that had fallen overboard with all the rubber duckies, that, the trade routes and how it helped us discover new ocean currents all across the world. I thought how are we teaching kids about shipping and just sort of the global economy just as a whole? And you had sent out a great book, sort of kind of pioneering like a freight book club among the community, and it was called Moby Duck and that was just one of the books. Have you gotten a chance to like see more about it or read more about that book?

Grace Sharkey: 8:25

I read a number of pieces from it because I actually ended up using the book as a part of the radio episode, I think that week I posted it too, and what's fascinating about it is just the fact that a lot of what we learn from that situation and those ducks being released actually teaches a lot about overall ocean movements, currents, et cetera. And it's like I find that fascinating the fact that we really can't learn, or that someone in a different industry is like taking a problem in our industry and using it to learn more about just our planet in particular and how all of our oceans move and, at the end of the day, how different currents move, and I just thought that was fascinating. It's like over here, there's no imagine in that situation there's like a target or like some kind of retailer who's just like panicking because this container is gone and lost at sea. Right, we're over here learning more about just our planet in general from the book itself. So, yeah, I think that's. There's other different. He's written a couple of other books too that looked pretty interesting. So he definitely checked that one out because I think it's just for someone people who are into supply chains, that's logistics girlies right, this will teach you a little bit more about just how other industries and other I mean science in particular can learn from the mistakes of what we're doing here.

Blythe Brumleve: 10:08

Yeah, absolutely. So that was one really good book recommendation. One that we mentioned too was the Ducky book, which is more for kids, and if you're watching on screen right now, you can kind of see a photo of my niece reading it and this book is meant for kids but not toddlers. The pages are a little too weak for a toddler, because I'm sure that this book is ripped to shreds now. So if you want to, I guess, get your kids interested and freight and kind of teach them about it, you got to kind of get a book that is meant for kids. This book is meant for kids, but the paper was not meant for kids.

Grace Sharkey: 10:43

So that was one option that I wanted to show, and then there was another option if the I do have another kids book too that if you go on, if you Google 10 for Good, buggy B-U-G-G-Y, there is a. There's two books to the series and, oh, this is a good one too Peterson, called the Adventures of Trip Wheeler, and it's a story about just a kid, or trip, who he's not really a kid, he's, I'd say, like a young adult who decides he wants to be a truck driver and it gets like. It's very fascinating because it's written by Debbie Sparks, who used to be the vice president of Women in Trucking. Now she is the executive director of the NMFTA, which we'll talk about a little bit later. But the first book is about delivering ice cream to yeah, the red wine blue party down there. That's the first one. He's delivering ice cream in DC and is like reefer breaks down and there's a dispatcher character, there's an angry owner operator character. It's very true to this industry. I think if you write it you'd be like oh my goodness, this is hilarious. So go check those out too. They are just wrapping the illustrations to the third book. She told me that last night, so we should have seen copies. I've been promised 25 copies in December, so maybe I'll do like a Twitter or something like a giveaway, but they're really. If you have young kids and you're in the industry especially if you're a driver and they're like what do you do for a living this is the perfect book to read them.

Blythe Brumleve: 12:29

Yeah, I'd love it. I never really thought about how many books are out there and how we're teaching kids about freight until Ryan Peterson wrote that book, the Suez Canal. The Evergrande got stuck in the Suez Canal and there was that infamous picture of the little digger that was right next to this giant cargo ship. And it was just such a cute little. It was such a, I guess, a realistic look at how massive these cargo ships are and how much. And this is If you're looking at the screen. Right now we've been showing previews of these different books, but it's the big ship and the little digger. That's from the CEO of Flexport, ryan Peterson, who is that could be an old mother episode. Yeah, we'll just skip over that, just gloss over it real quick, because that's a whole. I'm still a fan of all of their marketing with Flexport and just Ryan Peterson in general, but that's a whole other set of can of words that we're not going to get into on this show. So, with that said, I think that that isI'll link to all of these books in the show notes so that that way, if people are interested, they can go get these books and be able to teach kids about the importance of supply chain and how all of these issues and all of these things are interconnected. But that really, oh, and I guess for adults too, I should probably bring up the fact of this book called the Box, and the Box is incredible and that's a book aboutit's from Mark Levinson and it's how the shipping container made the world smaller and the world economy bigger. And essentially, containerization is a concept of taking the products and standardizing it so that you can ship them from one place to another, and it can also be as streamlined as possible. So the Box is another very, very great book if you're interested in reading more about shipping and the history of shipping and just gaining a larger perspective on the industry that we work in. So, with all that said, let's move into a couple of different topics that we wanted to get into today, because typically we pick like one or two big stories and we dive into those. But we've had so much going on in the last few weeks that I thought it would be fun to sort of just jump into a bunch of different topics. So we're going to talk conference survival tips. We just recently went to Epcot together, also CSCMP together, and we're going to talk a little bit about that. And then we're going to talk about our favorite ideas and hustles in freight, some cargo crimes and then, of course, the favorite logistics of story for the month. So, first up, conference survival tips. We both just went to CSCMP. You can probably hear it in my voice. I decided that I was going to do Epcot and then a conference and then a bachelorette party, all in one week. I'm pushing 40. And so I'm sick. I've been trying to recover four days since getting home from all of that. So if you hear a little, I guess, difference in my voice, that is why we are pulling. We are struggling here on our third cup of coffee at 11 am in the morning. So, with all that said, cscmp initial thoughts takeaways. What did you think of it? It was the first time for you at this conference, right?

Grace Sharkey: 15:52

Yeah, it was the first time for me. I will start with maybe the negatives of it, where I think they could improve, and it's funny because I was talking to some of the event planners, but people are part of the CSCMP about this. What I loved is there was a lot of different panels and a lot of sessions that you could attend, with really great topics and really great speakers. To be honest with you, I was very surprised at the number of executives that ended up showing that CEOs of that nature but the unfortunate part is that they put all of them within only a certain timeframe, right. Yeah, it was like 11 and two was all of the talks, all of the talks, and for most of them, and so that was frustrating because you really had to choose and I was talking to someone about what would be great is that they could label them. Like you know, this is, if you're probably automotive supply chain, this is the one you want. So, like, maybe give you a little bit more description of what they're going to talk about and a little bit more focus of where people should go, if that's the nature that they're going to continue to go or that's the schedule that they're going to continue to go with. So that's the only complaint I guess I'd have about it. Besides that, incredible panels, incredible guests that were a part of it. I really I did two panels myself. They both went extremely well. The one I was maybe most nervous about how well it would go, I thought what the best? So that was a lot of fun and I just I think for this one it was definitely like a different group of individuals that I haven't been able to really speak with, like a couple. A couple of carriers, like large carriers, were represented there, but it was nice. There's a lot of, I'd say, like industry associations there that I got to speak one on one with and meet directly, so it was definitely a different audience. I think, dependent on what you, of course, want out of certain types of conferences, this one was probably a good one, for if you wanted to like meet people face to face, I mean, and honestly, a lot of, like I said, surprised by how many like decision makers that's probably the best way to explain it just true decision makers that were there, and especially when it comes to like the shippers in particular, ranging from, like even someone like UPS to, I mean, pepsi rights and some of these big brands were represented there. So, yeah, it was definitely interesting and I think that's the only thing. I wish they would change it to like maybe a couple of panels per hour so that you could go and see more. But overall, for the first time, I definitely enjoyed it and left there with some knowledge as well.

Blythe Brumleve: 18:54

Yeah, I think this one was on, has been on my radar because their CSCMP is very much so they have like local chapters all over the country and I know there's one here in Jacksonville and I, just for you know, I started up my business and podcast during COVID, so I just haven't done much networking at the local level and so, with this conference being in Orlando, it's a very short drive for me to make, and they gave me a speaking opportunity to be along the. You know a stage with, like Nicole Glenn and Charlie Safro and Kristi Knitschel, sharon Starr and Liz Wayne Like that group of women is just a rockstar lineup that I couldn't say no to. And so, trying to kind of go to more conferences not, I've gone to so many damn Freight Waves conferences that I feel like I'm seeing, you know, some of the same people there. So I really wanted to make a conscious effort to try out these different conferences, to kind of spread my wings a little bit and see if I could meet different people. And this conference definitely accomplished that, where I could see some of the same people that go to Freight Waves conferences, of course, because you know there obviously a lot of leaders and executives go there too, but for this one it was a lot of new people and, like you said, it was a lot of people that I think work in supply chain at these greater like shipping companies, and so it's almost, like you know, we're kind of like in our little like Freight logistics bubble, but then you think about the overall supply chain and there's so many more people that work in the overall supply chain. So, CSCMP Council for Supply Chain Management Professionals I think I got that acronym right, but yeah it was. They had a giant expo floor with a lot of companies demoing at a puppy lounge, of course, which is my favorite new conference trend, it really is such a great way to decompress from talking to so many people. Then you just go hang out with some puppies for a minute and then you're good and you're refreshed and you can go have more conversations. I also think, too, that the positioning of your booth is so important at these events where you know, I don't sorry, but I don't remember the sponsor of the puppy lounge, but I remember the booth that were around the puppy lounge and so being able to pick, like your primo position of like foot traffic, especially on an expo floor, like that, I thought was really interesting. And then also, just you know, the networking opportunities, and that, to me, is my favorite part of it. All of the talks that I went to were fantastic. One of yours in particular was the one on like AI and like customs and border trade, and I said on this, on the series you know lots of times I am such an obsessed fan of to catch a smuggler. That's a show that comes on National Geographic. So I'm obsessed with like customs and border policies and, like you know, just the flow of goods through country to country. And you had a woman on your panel Janet I'm blanking on her last name, but I she was like 70 years old talking about like adopting AI, talking about trade compliance. She stole the show, like she was so brilliant during that talk. Do you have a little bit, I guess, maybe background or insight on her?

Grace Sharkey: 22:04

Yeah, so she, janet Labuda, and for everyone out there, actually I just my latest article on freight waves is about this panel, so you can get some of the stories off of that from that place talking about she works as a consultant for customs policy for Marist and she had spent most of her career I think 25 years of it working for the customs border protection. So she the best way to explain it is like you know, I think some people hear customs border, cbp, and they just think, oh, the people like checking our, check us out when we cross the border. She made it like I think they deserve a TV show. I mean, she like made it very like NCISC, where it was like wow, like you've seen some things in your life, you know. And one of my favorite stories and I talked about this in articles she talks about I don't know you might have came in right after Operation Mirage, where they took this was when she was working in textiles for CBP and they took like 150 of the top textile importers and they wanted to prove that they were who they said they were like see how, how legit some of these importers were. So they, they went to China, they went and visited all of the physical addresses on the paperwork for these imports and only 55% of those 150, I believe, importers were legit. The other half were like, just like a woman in a house. And then they're like how does this work? Like, how are you doing all this paperwork? And she's like I Don't do any of it. I provide them my address. I get a penny per transaction, and this woman had made like ten thousand dollars a month from like allowing the Chinese government to like use her Location, or the Chinese importer to use the location for fraud. So it's that is like, and that's just like, choosing a hundred fifty like imagine All the importers that they see on a daily, a daily basis. Right, and here's the problem. And she brought I actually brought it up because I knew exact, I knew she knew what I was talking about, but I, a couple of years ago, right, I think 2018, e-commerce started to be a big deal and the CBP was like we need to address this. So they you can Google it, I actually have a link to it in the article they came up with a plan to start figuring out how to get their control of, of all these imports and All these e-commerce and all these small packages right, like we can't open up every single one, that there's no way and there's no way to prove that a lot of this is right. So there's a number of tech companies. I'll Tana technologies, this one. Box C is another one that I've talked to in the past that works with customs, border and the Department of Defense as well, to Help them figure out. Okay, if this is the limited number of resources we have to watch for fraud, watch for drugs, watch for Even like good yeah counterfeit goods, right. Then here's this is who you should target, or these boxes is what you should be looking at and and help some at least pinpoint where to start. And it's just kind of funny to like you don't really think about it, but all of the packages that are coming in, right, like they don't check every single one of them, so they don't even check it. They don't have time to check all the trucks that come through the border. So it's. There's one I talked about in the article, but like there's one time they caught like five pound, like over Five pounds, of fentanyl, and I know it doesn't sound like a lot, but a drop of fentanyl will like kill you. It's two milligrams, I think, is lethal dose, so that comes out to potentially when killing close to a half a million people. So, yeah, it's, it's pretty interesting and, like I said, she really like she's fascinating. She started writing a book, like on the plane to the event, like she was reading us, like her first like paragraph, and so I can't wait for this book to come out, because I think it's gonna be full of stories, that's for sure and I think she too.

Blythe Brumleve: 26:39

She had a mind-blowing stat of like something like 30% of Ecommerce shipments that are coming from China to the West Coast are all from the, the company Timu. Yes, timu, like the at the gamified like shopping e-commerce app. It's kind of adjacent to Xi'an, kind of not really maybe a lot of the same. Everything.

Grace Sharkey: 27:04

And everything on it's like Groupon, right where. It's like what's not on this site, right.

Blythe Brumleve: 27:09

And it's one of those. It's one of those experiences that I've never felt Like I was duped like online shopping, yeah, but Timu duped me. Yeah, I did the thing I they had you know, that Super Bowl commercial and I was like, oh you know, let me, let me try it out, let me download the app. And I downloaded the app and I started up a cart of just some, you know, obviously, some knockoff things that looked interesting, like the Dyson hair dryer that has like the five Tools in one. Like I got that thing, I got you know a bunch of other things and it's crap. It's crap products you really have to like look for the good products and really just be willing to roll the dice on it. But anyways, I started up a cart of the things that I wanted. And then, you know, you do what you do, you leave the app and you you don't buy anything yet. So I went to social media and I was browsing on there and I got an ad on Instagram for a few products that looked interesting from Timu, and so I click on the ad. It opens up the app. What happened is that it opened up a separate cart from the one I already had. So I thought that I was adding things to my current cart and when I saw the total price I was like, oh my gosh, like that includes everything. That includes everything that I had just already added and the new stuff that it was targeted to me in the social media post and I clicked order purchase. And then I go back and find out that they don't know, they just created a separate cart for me Altogether. So I thought that that was a little bit shady and I didn't like that because it was definitely like misleading. Have you bought anything from them?

Grace Sharkey: 28:47

I, I've been on the app and I've, but that's kind of like. My thing is like I'm like I know this is just gonna be like destroyed once I get this. So no, unfortunately I haven't followed through with a purchase for it yet, but I've gotten awfully close and I I will say I love watching Timu unboxings like that's my. They do those on Instagram as well, but it's no by the Dyson dupe.

Blythe Brumleve: 29:15

It's not good. No not good, it's already getting returned, and you know how much of a hassle some of these companies are with with their returns anyways. So that was a really good stat From from Janet, and her talk was incredible. I hope you have her on the show soon. Yeah, she was just filled with like a wealth of knowledge and what was so refreshing is that she's like I'm a 70 year old woman and I think that AI is like the next big thing, like she's already using it and her processes, and I was like, oh, thank God, you know, we don't have some kind of you know doomer speech on on AI and it, you know, helping her do her job more efficiently. And the other two women on the panel were fantastic too, but Janet just sort of stood out to me, as you know, panel wise, from all the panels that I saw, she was the most entertaining, so so kudos to you on moderating that panel. So what about? You know? I guess CSCMP is at the first Conference for you in the sort of the false slate. Do you have any more planned that you're going to? Obviously F3?

Grace Sharkey: 30:12

Yes, yes, yes so definitely F3, and so, if you get well, I do, I'm going to go to the next panel. I do. I'm going next week to TIA Technovation. So I'm on a panel on AI and my articles all this week have been AI too. So life is fun, it's, but I'm excited because actually it's gonna be myself Don ever heart from Freybana, ryan Shriver from metaphora and, I believe, someone from arrive logistics. Um, but yeah, it's, it's. I mean, three or two out of the three people are people that I talk about this stuff with all the time, so I'm excited to see how Candid maybe we get in the chat.

Blythe Brumleve: 30:59

I want with Ryan on the panel. You are absolutely getting candid.

Grace Sharkey: 31:03

My goal is to outshine him, so it's just gonna be. It could get really crazy, but um, there's also a shark tank like event there, so there's Ben Gordon. I know, as a part of it, a number of like investors.

Blythe Brumleve: 31:17

Lyle's. He has CRM platform. I just just had him on the podcast. He was great, so he's participating in that. I'm not sure. I think there's three total businesses that that are participating in in sort of a shark tank environment there, which sounds super cool.

Grace Sharkey: 31:32

Yeah, I'm excited for that. So that's in San Diego, so if you're gonna be there like find me, I'll definitely be there too, for for the whole event. And then, yeah, f3 there's potential.

Blythe Brumleve: 31:46

There's a couple other ones potentially I might go to women and trucking, I think is is one that's kind of on the radar, that one is like the two days before F3, so that's tough.

Grace Sharkey: 31:58

Yeah, it's that one I don't think I'm gonna make this year, but definitely go to that. I've been to that the last two years and it is really good. So the one that it's not really a conference, but the one I'm possibly trying to get to, a Reese's Across America, is coming up in December. Debbie sparks. Actually, I have another one you can talk about too. She is the she heads that Reese's Across America and, for anyone who doesn't know what it is, it takes a lot of trucks. So it's a big trucking, participating, non-profit, but they work with local communities to make sure that each veteran has a Reath on their grave during the holiday season. But what we do in December is we head out to Arlington and we lay Reese's on every single one of their graves as well, and but there's like 40 or 50 trucks that literally are hauling Reese from the place I want to say in Massachusetts Maybe it's Connecticut all the way down to DC and Debbie puts on this wonder it's. It's a really great event if you, if you're, if you want to learn more about the veterans that are part of our industry there. I had a couple of really tearful moments. The last time that I went, because I don't think we give them as much support as we should in this industry is, and it's a perfect job for many People coming from war to to transition to as well, and there's a lot of really great people in the space. So if you've never been to One of their events, I would highly suggest Trying to get to that in DC as well. But another event that I think is really interesting and I'm trying to think if I should hold off on it. Well, I'll tell, I can talk about it again later, but I cyber security wise. The Mfta is having a cyber security conference in Houston October 22nd to the 25th. I want to say I have heard that they're gonna like live on site Cyber hack into a truck and like stop on the road to like show you like how simple it could be. Yeah, but you know, I just had Debbie on the radio show last night and she was talking about we're talking about estus and that's kind of. We'll dive into that a little bit later, but I Think this is gonna be a big issue that people are not prepared for. I mean, we laugh for it's even here in freightways like a Everyone's. Well, we'll get, like we laugh about it because everyone will get them on the same day. But like, hey, I'm, hey, it's Craig Texting you, can you send me some gift cards? And it's like Craig, no. So it's like we all get these like fishing emails and scams and I think that's like the laughable, funny part of it. But it can. I mean, our industry is a perfect target. You want to destroy an economy? Stop all the trucks on the road, and I think people don't understand how Easily that could happen. I mean, shutting down someone like estus isn't that hard to do. So, if you're interested, or even if you're an IT department of anything related to supply chain had had to this one, it's free, you just have to get there, yeah. And so there's scholarships that they're working on giving out to, so To teach people more about this stuff. But, yeah, go check that one out on their website as well.

Blythe Brumleve: 35:27

Yeah, talk about a career that's going to be in high demand, not just now but in the near future. It's, it's one of those just fascinating topics and, to to your point, we're gonna dive into more of that with it, with the SD situation, a little bit later on in the show. But what about, I guess, the your survival tips for surviving all of these different conferences? What do you do, like pre-during, like post conference, in order to just make sure that you know you get your money's worth of go and your time's worth of going to these events, but then also so that you can still keep up with your work that you're still responsible for, even though you're having fun at and it looks like we're all and we are having fun at a lot of these different events. What is sort of your go-to strategy to prep for a conference?

Grace Sharkey: 36:18

Well, here's the first thing I'm gonna say to with F3 coming up. My favorite thing about F3 is that we get so many wonderful tech companies and a lot of times they use their time on stage to introduce a new piece of infirm new piece of tech that they they have going on, and then their favorite thing to do as soon as they get off the stage is give me the press release and I Wish to God I had enough time to get. So this is like kind of my warning. Shout out that everyone who is going to F3 who plans on unveiling some type of new technology, I would love to cover it. So get with me today, as soon as possible, and let's get the embargoes and all that stuff going. Get me the information. Let me do some. That's like the next couple weeks for me is literally a lot of this prep work. There's already two things I'm working on for announcements at F3 like get that to me now, so we're ready to go and the same thing happened at CSCMP as well and shout out to the scheduling consortium like they were on it with they had, of course, a release of their standards the morning of, and I Got invited to an area, said hey, what you know, I'm gonna be. Well, I was doing their panel like exactly immediately afterwards Sorry hiccups. So I was like listen, that's like. As a journalist, I try to get in touch with people prior so I can have an idea of like what needs to be done and what needs to be scheduled early up on the site so that we're breaking the news still, but also I can enjoy watching them present and learn more about it. So anyone watching who's like oh, I have something, shoot me emails now, get that rolling. So that's I like to go into it, figuring out what I'm going to have to write where I need to be. And I will say this I really did enjoy about CSCMP is I always like try to find a safe place to work, and when I say safe I don't mean like I'm going to get attacked, I mean like somewhere that's quiet, that I know I can kind of hide away, because the fun part about these events is that, especially in the first like couple hours and you I'm like I know we lose each other quickly because of it Like people want to say hi and introduce themselves and like I remember prepping for one of the panels to like I just needed to write like four questions on a card, on like a notebook card, and it took like two and a half hours. And I want and that's the thing is, I want to take this time to see people and I want to be able to go away for 20 minutes, get some real work done for 20 minutes and then come back and talk and enjoy our industry. Where is what they're doing? So whenever I try to find like, okay, where's the press room? Where's it? Do you have a meeting room? Do you have a space that people can go to work at? And CSCMP had just so many tables and areas that you could sit down and actually get work done and have like meetings and stuff. So that's a big one. That's actually really hard to find in a lot of conferences as well. So prep positive to them. I loved the fact and there's cords outlets everywhere, so that was helpful and I'm sure guests they're trying to work as well. I mean I can't tell you how many people I heard like booking loads throughout the thing. Right, Like yeah. So that's a big one for me. I always like to arrive early on the first day too. Like I don't know if life completely agrees with me on that one, I'm just I'm gonna get lost. I wanna know where everything is, and there's times where, like in conferences, right, things are in different halls or in different parts of the venue. So I like to, I like to just get in early, figure out where everything is, then get work done if I need to, and then enjoy it as a whole. So those are my big tips.

Blythe Brumleve: 40:17

Oh, and also bring a water bottle, because or you can just get one on the expo floor because yeah or yeah.

Grace Sharkey: 40:24

But get water, get ice. Ice is a big one, right, I mean, I mean so. Like every time I leave for a conference, I stop by the ice machine, I fill up my water bottle full of it and I keep it moving. But keep yourself hydrated. I would say, wear comfortable shoes, but that is this one I don't live by, so it never makes fun of me. But listen, I'm a five, three short queen and I dance and I have better posture when I have a heel. So usually I just go into it like my life's gonna be a nightmare. On the two days from now Day one I'll wear a heel, day two I will not, because I completely regret it. So I would tell you wear comfortable shoe. But I've never done it and I never will.

Blythe Brumleve: 41:12

Oh, I see I am. So ever since COVID, I got rid of all of my heels. I was like this is just a different era of my life now, and so I donated all of my heels and now I'm just a sneakers girlie, and so sneakers or boots that is my go-to. Or I'm a flirty, and so sandals and flip flops as well, as long as they have good arc support. But one thing that is surprising is when we're talking about shoes, crocs makes incredible, not just like their typical crocs that everybody has, but they make really, really good wedges and heels and sandals as well. So don't sleep on crocs, because those shoes I have walked miles in and those are, I guess, would technically be qualified as heels too. So, between crocs or sneakers, that's like my go-to, and I have crocs now I have them in black and I also have them in brown so they can pair with different outfits. So that's my number one to bring a backpack. Backpacks have saved my life and I started getting business cards again. So I started bringing business cards and I put my picture on the business card because I figured I have such a problem like remembering who I talk to and when. So if I can visualize that I'm much better with faces than names. So I thought, well, maybe other people are like me. So I put all my general contact information on a business card, just so I can quickly hand it to someone with my photo on it, so they kind of remember if we had a conversation. But then also the backpack is huge because I can just throw everything in there. And with this particular conference I waited too long to book a hotel so I didn't stay on site and I hate not staying on site of the conference. So you need a backpack with survival gear that you can be able to manage, because you're going from 8 am to, a lot of times, 8 pm, even later than that at times, without going back to your room. So just keep that in mind as you're planning out. These days it's like the backpack has saved my life. And then also the Notes app. The Notes app on my phone is undefeated. I go through and I check out the sponsor page on the event because I wanna see what companies are there and what companies are spending money, because if they're spending money there, then maybe they'll spend money on a podcast, maybe they'll sponsor a podcast or sponsor someone within the logistics industry. So I check that out what companies would make sense to meet with, and just introduce myself. And then I also keep a list of daily things that I have to do and it's all in one, just sort of in the Notes app. It's all in one thing and then at the very bottom of the Notes app I just have it as a place to just take notes on things that I've learned, and so that was where I got the T-MOOS stat for from Janet's talk, your panel. There was also some other stats that I took while we were walking around Epcot. And then some of the swag, of course. Like I think you can't go to a conference and not talk about the swag that people offer. But I've gotten so much better about not taking everything. Yeah, I used to take everything. My first big conference after COVID was manifest I think it was the 2021, their first event. I literally took so much swag that I had to ship a box separately back to my house. It cost over $100 to ship this box, but there was no way it was fitting in my luggage and I didn't want to give up on it, and so half of that stuff happened.

Grace Sharkey: 44:55

And if it's just the swag- people show up for the swag there, so that one makes sense.

Blythe Brumleve: 45:01

And there's so many. And now that I'm so much better at realizing what I have too much of, I have too many damn water bottles Like Arc Best. I love you, but please stop making me take your water bottles. They're so good and they're new each time that it just forces me to take a new one. And now I have five Arc Best water bottles in my house that I'm never gonna use all of five of these, but I can't get rid of them because they're so nice, so good.

Grace Sharkey: 45:28

They're so good. Well, it's like I think we got manifest last year right In the women's talk section. It was like that whole room full of the best DHL. Yes, there it is. Yes, the yellow bottle, sorry, dhl. I put my sticker over it. Well, shout out DHL. Because those are like, and I thought they're just people are just leaving them on the table. I took three of them, like because they're the best water bottle, and so, yeah, no, to be honest with you, I don't think I took, except for, like, everything machine state had. I didn't take that much swag this time around. I was good on that, but for me now I just get very precise on it, like I'll go around and say I need that, how do I? And it kind of sucks as, honestly, a journalist though, because oh yes, the pallet trader coaster.

Blythe Brumleve: 46:26

That was a must take. Sorry, I took a couple of these, which was great, and so now I have my little droid sitting on top of the coaster. So shout out to pallet trader for making some swag that I wanted to take. And now sits in the back, my little Lola droid sits on top of it. But that was really good swag. There was another, timothy Pajek I'm probably not pronouncing your last name correctly, so apologies in advance for that but he gave me a really cool CSCMP pin. Y'all know I love my pins the, not a writing pin, a clip on pin, like pin trading. If you listen to the podcast, if you listen to the show, tell me you do and I'll give you a pin. Like, that's my rule. Like, if someone tells me they like the podcast, I immediately hand them a pin at conferences. They're so easy to take, they bring with you and they're so easy for people to take with them home. I'm a pin fanatic. There you go. She's showing the everything is logistics pin right there on the lanyard.

Grace Sharkey: 47:24

So yeah, oh, oh, oh, oh, oh, oh oh so.

Blythe Brumleve: 47:28

Oh, there's another one, a digital dispatch one. Okay, this is a brand. Yeah, pins I am such a huge proponent because they're collectible. They're not one of these things that like a notebook or a Cousie or something like that that people are just going to probably toss in the donation pile as soon as they get home. T-shirts are another one. I'm sorry, I very, very selective with the T-shirts that I will take. It's convoy, I think, is the only T-shirts that I have taken and like, kept and worn regularly. I just know that I'm not gonna wear them, I'm not gonna use them. So if someone gives me a T-shirt like, I'll be appreciative, of course, but it's likely going in the donation pile. So that is one thing that it's like don't waste your money on a lot of these promo items that are difficult for people to take back home, that people probably have a lot of. Unless somebody is just legitimately a really big fan of your brand, it's probably going to be a waste, unless it's really really good merch. I say skip it, otherwise I just don't know the shelf life of a lot of these products. But, like, I think these are no-brainers, like the palette, post-it notes, like, because it sits in front of you. So shout out to Roadrunner. It sits in front of you. You see the logo all the time. You become familiar with the brand, you know. Ask yourself before you buy conference swag, what's something that people are going to want to get and are going to be proud to keep. I think that that's very important with conference swag. Do you have like favorite conference swag that you've gotten? I guess maybe the water bottles are probably the top one for you.

Grace Sharkey: 49:09

They are. But I'm also like you where basically, if I bring one home I throw, I have to throw one away, like yeah, well, like again short queen stuff. I can only reach so high in my covers, you know, and it's like. So now there's like they're on the top cover, they're just getting dusty. I really like and I think this goes back to like the jobs and depending on who you're like getting the swag to love pens, because I just lose so many pens Writing pens. But like good pens, yes.

Blythe Brumleve: 49:41

Oh, okay, I think this one's from the good click.

Grace Sharkey: 49:44

Yeah, this one's from Convoy, oh yeah.

Blythe Brumleve: 49:47

Palette Trader, shout out to them too. They had a really good one.

Grace Sharkey: 49:50

But like, who doesn't love this? That's from Office Max. Oh yeah, well, actually it's a showcase. I did get one of these from Convoy little Hall Stars.

Speaker 5: 50:05

Oh, that's cute Right.

Grace Sharkey: 50:10

But no, I like really good pens. Like, who are we talking? Oh, palette Trader. Yes, right, they had a good click on their pen, good click, solid pen. Just because I lose them so much that it's like you know, I got this cat and she just like if I drop a pen on the ground, consider it under a couch somewhere. So any of that stuff I do like. Also and it's funny because this is kind of from the industry, like these, like coffee cups, more like give me a coffee cup instead of a huge, like big Yeti, but like this is actually from Stoneloads, which is a company that teamed with Loadsmart to give dynamic pricing to their consumers or their customers. But, yeah, like, just, I don't know, I like weird stuff too. I think at conferences, though, to be honest with you, like, if you're gonna spend your money on something that people like, remember, do you like what Triumph Pay did? Right, triumph Pay was the one that had the like margaritas and stuff, right?

Blythe Brumleve: 51:15

Yeah, so that was one that you had to go to their booth in order to get.

Speaker 3: 51:20


Blythe Brumleve: 51:21

That's a good one, like what's going to bring people to your booth that makes them want to go. You know, pamphlets like sitting out on the table, that's fine, but I literally have, like it just sits on my desk. I have this entire stack of pamphlets that I still have to go through just to figure out. You know what's gonna make for a good story in the future. Or you know, I guess, from like a you know, a general audience member, that's just that's not media related that's going to show up to these things. You know, what kind of interactive elements are you going to have at your booth that are going to make people stop by? Yard management systems was another one that I stopped by because I'm I don't know. They had these giant TVs, touchscreen displays and you could literally move the different trucks around to different spots depending on you know availability, like unloading, unloading capabilities, and that was really cool. For someone like me who has you know, I'm sort of like planning obsessed and I love like project management and things like that, like being able to look at something like that, to be able to manage your fleet and warehousing operations. I thought was really really cool to just be able to visualize it and be able to play around with the system. So that was really cool experience. So, whether it's like tech or alcohol or swag, like think of some creative ways to get people to come to your booths. Another part that I had briefly mentioned just now was that we did the mistake of going to a Disney park and walking 20,000 steps before you wear yourself out at a conference. So we got a chance to go to Epcot and it was the first time you had been to Epcot, or really just Disney in general, in quite some time. So your thoughts of the park experience, besides the rain it did rain all day, but besides the rain, what was your thoughts?

Grace Sharkey: 53:17

I loved it. I mean, yeah, I haven't been to, honestly, like a theme park, like even we're talking about like roller coasters, like I haven't been to a roller coaster park since like 2000, and someone would like 14 or 15, like 2005. I like we have like a kind of a park here in Michigan called Michigan's Adventure, but it's not worth really bringing up, but like going to something. I haven't been to Epcot since I was like 14. So 2004-ish and I loved it. So I mean that's like I the happiest place on earth and you know to talk about. Oh, yeah, yeah, I mean.

Blythe Brumleve: 54:06

If you're watching on the screen, right now I'm showing this demonstration. This was. The first place we went to was France, which, for folks who don't know, epcot is. They have the World Showcase area, they have the Giant Ball, which most people are familiar with, the new Guardians of the Galaxy coaster, but in World Showcase they have nine different countries and they are able to. The people who work in those countries have to be on a work visa from that country. So you know all of the food and the drinks are from that specific country and so they talk about, you know, the concept of like drinking around the world at Epcot, and that's what we attempted successfully, I might add.

Grace Sharkey: 54:46

But we started the day with a flight, a champagne flight, from France, and the answer is we each got our own three glasses of champagne at nine o'clock in the morning, so there's six glasses of champagne right there. That's why I'm so excited.

Blythe Brumleve: 55:03

And then we immediately bring it out to a trash can right outside and have drinks on top of a trash can, which is just sort of Epcot tradition. At this point you're eating and drinking on top of trash cans, but that's just what you got to do in the happiest place on earth when you're trying to multitask and get a lot of things done. So great trip overall is also through Wine Festival. So they have, in addition to the nine countries, they have like adjacent countries, that they also add, you know, different booths and so you can try different flavors from all around the world. Just, you know, really like a fantastic time. And then the queen, of course, herself Belle, one of the best Disney princesses of all time. We got a chance to see her.

Grace Sharkey: 55:44

Just see to look at her, only to look at her. Because here's the thing when you're an adult, disney likes to treat you like you're not a child. And when you want to get in line to go see Belle because she's your favorite, I mean, look at the queen herself, just so happy and so read up to Miss Likes to Read Books. They're like lines cut off and happen multiple times. I'll just say that happened multiple times. I think, if we had a little child with us it would have been a little bit different. But I guess a couple of girlies on their fifth drink of the day can't go see Belle.

Blythe Brumleve: 56:24

Yeah, it's not exactly enticing, I think, bob.

Grace Sharkey: 56:26

Iger, I think the cast members Shout out to Bob Iger this is the showcase of your leadership.

Blythe Brumleve: 56:33

No, no, Bob Iger slander on this show. I have a Bob Iger stand even now, even in this moment.

Grace Sharkey: 56:41

We love Bob Iger. Yes, so we friends would get Bob yeah, we get Bob Iger on this show.

Blythe Brumleve: 56:48

Listen, I would cry It'd probably faint if I forgot Bob Iger. A chance to just even have a conversation with Bob Iger, yeah, future, hopefully. Future president. Hopefully I don't make anybody mad with that statement For Florida.

Grace Sharkey: 57:02

Let's start with governor at this point. Geez, that was a whole other issue.

Blythe Brumleve: 57:06

I had T Iger in that boat. As soon as DeSanta said something about putting a prison next to Disney, it was very clear on what side I was going to call.

Grace Sharkey: 57:17

It's the happiest prison on earth thing, oh my just blasphemous.

Blythe Brumleve: 57:22

I get heated just thinking about it. Okay, let's go. Oh, champagne, fact was the guy in France. We just showed that video the worker, who is actually from France. He said there's a bottle of Moet. Is that how you say it? The Champagne Moet, sure Moet, mo-et, with a little dash is above.

Grace Sharkey: 57:41

There's some investor guys right now are like oh, look at these noobs.

Blythe Brumleve: 57:47

I had in the notes app at the very bottom says guy in France says there's a bottle of Moet opened every minute of every day. And then I have a little quotation marks. What are they celebrating? Grace's reaction yeah, yeah, yeah, that's right. What art? Yeah, A bottle opened every minute of every day of Champagne. What was the stat?

Grace Sharkey: 58:11

They could possibly be so happy about. It's just the morning, just orange juice.

Blythe Brumleve: 58:16

Turn on the news. What are you celebrating?

Grace Sharkey: 58:20

Oh my god, so good.

Blythe Brumleve: 58:22

Okay. Okay, let's get into the next segment, and that is favorite ideals, and hustles in freight the ideas that we each pick one. I'm not sure if you actually picked one, though. Do you have one? Oh, you did Awesome. Let's see what you got.

Grace Sharkey: 58:40

I didn't do idea. I did hustle, awesome, and this isn't at anyone, but if you think it could be you, then it could be you. Who's not a consultant in this industry at this point in time? So my hustle of freight this week is there's a lot of consultants out here in this space. That, and listen, let me just say I just want to put this out here, like the shade is in the way. I just want people to do their due diligence. I think that's like that's what I want to get to here is there because people, there's a lot of people that know very niche things that allow them to be consultants. It's something I would love to do one day. I still don't feel like I have the full knowledge in order to fully do that and attack that appropriately in my career at this point in time. But I just say you know, there's a lot of people out there in this space that I see have quit their jobs or leave places and quickly become consultants and and again, this isn't at any one person, this is actually at like a lot of just a theme that I keep noticing out there, and I just want people to do their due diligence with these people. Like call the same thing, like resumes, like call the people that they've, that they've consulted, and look into this stuff. Because I honestly say this, because I had a conversation with someone in this industry and I won't put their name out there but there's a lot of consultants out there that I think actually really, really hurting the industry right now and the way that they're like attacking the space and maybe critiquing it. There's always room for critiques. That's not my point here at all, but I just, you know, in this day and age, in social media, you know, you see it, even like, and sometimes when people are like expo, like YouTubers are exposed and stuff like that, like we don't, we don't really know what everyone is doing out there on a daily basis. And so my hot take of today and the hustle, I think, of the centuries, just like, really reach out to people, see how how well these services are and what they're doing and and how they're contributing and and the knowledge that they have behind them in order to consult, because one I think that I think there's people that might be getting services that actually don't need them, that have the same tenure and experience and and thought process that that maybe some of these individuals could be giving in. Also, this industry is just so fragmented and the problems are so unique a lot of times where I think if you're hiring a consultant who's never been a part of that, they're not really going to be able to help you that much than you can help your own self. It's always good to get other opinions, but I just think I find it very fascinating how quickly people become consultants in this industry or people that I know their background and see them, of course, bringing up this capability to help out. Trust me, people have asked me before to help with things and I'll greatly push them to someone I think is maybe even better than myself. So, yeah, just something to watch. I'm starting to notice a lot of consulting popping up, a lot of people that I've seen at conferences who, quick Googles, will tell you maybe not the best person to get that opinion from. Just do your due diligence, check your references.

Blythe Brumleve: 1:02:24

Yeah, just make a phone call. References can save you a lot of time and money. Exactly yeah.

Grace Sharkey: 1:02:34

Again, not talking about one individual or anything in this situation. It's something I'm starting to learn about this industry. It's fascinating to me just the amount of due diligence people don't do on individuals.

Blythe Brumleve: 1:02:50

Yeah, treat consultants just like employees at the moment and I think that with this industry, historically, we've seen obviously a lot of mom and pop shops, of course, but with the growth of entrepreneurialism and the gig economy and going out on your own, it's happening in freight too Just being able to do your due diligence, make sure that these people have the experience that they're talking about, find out what their perspective is and check references. References can save you so much time and so much money, especially if you make any kind of investment decision based on their advice and turns out maybe they're full of shit and they have no idea what they're talking about. So checking references can save you a lot. Don't just be fooled by the glitz and glamour of someone coming in or, I think, the concept of someone sort of being like a white knight and coming in and saving the day for you and providing that secret sauce of what's going to work. Consultants can save you time and money too, but they can also cost you a lot as well. So checking references, I think, is just the easiest. For whatever reason, companies don't do it.

Grace Sharkey: 1:04:06

Yeah, and here's a perfect example involving myself. People have come to me asking I want to start a podcast. How do I go about that? Please understand. I have an extremely talented tenured team of professionals that help me put on a podcast for F-Rateway. We have a production team. The only reason I know StreamYard exists is because I'm on it right now with Black. But when people ask me, I point them to Blythe, understand maybe, know what you're good at, know what you actually can help with and support people in the industry who know how to do it better than you. That's what I kind of bring it. I'm sure I could run with that and sure I'll help you, I guess. But why would I do that when I could point you to someone else who could do it better? Well, my friend helped Blythe out, or helped out someone who I support in what they're doing. For me it's just kind of like I'm a big karma person and that's positive and negative, right. If I feel like I'm doing something I don't feel like I truly represent, that's going to come back at me. If I put in the positive energy and supporting the people around you who do know what they're doing, it can work too. Just consider what people are doing as well, because I always find that funny and people are like what software should I use? I think it was on 3PL Live and he was like and I'm like, listen, I have a, I show up, I bring the content, but in terms of the cameras working, that's Isaiah Call, isaiah call Todd, I don't know. So, yeah, that's my hot take today. I had to call something right.

Blythe Brumleve: 1:05:59

Yeah, that's a really good one and that's the mantra behind this segment. Is that an idea that you've heard? And freight, is there software that's kind of emerging on the scene? Is there a new business concept that's emerging on the scene that you should be on the lookout for? You should be on the lookout for in good and bad ways, so that's a great one that you bring to the table. One of the ones I wanted to bring up was the and I'm sorry this because I know you're a Coca-Cola girly but there was at CSCMP. There was a talk given by a Pepsi executive they're smart packaging initiative and I thought that it was really, really interesting because since COVID, we have seen the comeback story of the QR code and how the QR code is really just revolutionizing multiple different industries and it's also affecting consumer goods, consumer package goods. So this Pepsi executive and I'm sorry I don't have his name, but I have a couple of pictures that I took of the slides during the presentation but basically Pepsi and a lot of their sister companies are reorganizing the way that they do their labeling on all of their different packaging, from the traditional bar code to these new not new, but the QR codes of what's going on in the industry. And so, basically, with the UPC today, it has a current data standard, that it has a manufacturer code, it has a product code and a scan check digit. So every UPC that you see on a label very traditional. So by 2027, they estimate that all of their packaging is going to move from the traditional bar code over to the QR code and they're calling it the GS1 digital link, and it allows you to have all of this different information that you can attach to this specific label. And so, when you think about all of the different information that you can attach to a label, so if you're looking at the photo on the screen right now, ignore that man taking a photo with his iPad, my God.

Grace Sharkey: 1:08:11

Ignore Starry too. The sprite knockoff no Siermist, it's just Siermist.

Blythe Brumleve: 1:08:20

Well, they're trying to compete with Sprite, and that Sprite is just. You know, they are who they are, they are them, they are him. You know, whatever they are him.

Grace Sharkey: 1:08:31

No, this stuff is really cool. I came back into the room during this slide.

Blythe Brumleve: 1:08:37

But it shows, like all of the information that you can go from, like you know, three little pieces of information on a traditional barcode to the QR code, where it can show certifications, recycling and sustainability goals, it can show recalls, it can show regulatory discourse, nutritional labeling, multi-packs Like it shows, like all of this different information that is now in the same space on a label that a barcode takes up. You can now use it with a QR perspective and show all of these different capabilities with using a QR code. It's a simple change on the packaging that are being done at you know a very sorry Grace, you know PTSD, right there with the star label on it, but it basically it's showing all of these different, not just, you know, from a safety perspective, from you know, a regulatory perspective, but also from you know, just an interaction from the consumer standpoint. Like, imagine being in the store and you know, scanning this and seeing if this is something that you should add to your recipe list, to your diet, to your kitchen, and it's not just you know, the items in a grocery store, but this can obviously be, you know, replicated throughout all of different packaged goods and all of just goods that we buy in general. So I thought that that was a really cool initiative. And so, again, they estimate that QR codes are going to replace the barcode by 2027. So if you start seeing those on different labels, that is why is because the amount of information that you can fit in a QR code is so much more vast than what you can fit in a traditional barcode.

Grace Sharkey: 1:10:12

I think that this is like where I think we're really going to see CPG companies, retailers, get so creative when it comes to the digital fingerprint, really, of what a consumer is doing inside a store, and I mean even something like that. Like, let's say, they're watch. I mean, as you use those codes, they're going to be able to see what you're opening up, what you're scanning, like that. That information is going to help them figure out exactly how to pinpoint and market to customers as well. So not only is it advantageous to consumers who want to know more information about the goods that they're, you know, consuming and, yes, help with recalls and all but that's extraordinary data that's going to help bring more products. We talked about shells being stocked. It's going to be, they're going to be stocked with what we want. And it also helped better with like placement of where we're putting items, like where we're putting different. I mean, I wouldn't be surprised if we start seeing grocery stores like aisle changes, starting to like creep up right, like being putting I don't know something like the salsa closer to chips, right, stuff like that, where it's like okay, we know where consumers are looking at things and how they're maneuvering around stores. So how can we better work with our customers as well, plus something like that, right, and I know, to target ads on social media for these products too. So I think this stuff's really cool. A quick story it's like I was at we're I'm not starting Kroger. Kroger is my favorite store out of everything up here. We have Meyer, which is like very niche if you're from Michigan. But I was checking out and I forgot that I had put toilet paper like underneath my cart, right. So I was like forgot to scan it and I went to go press pay now and the machine like wouldn't let me and it was like like a administrator or something's going to come help you and I was like I don't know what it wants and it's a camera and they could see that I still had items in my cart. Oh wow, so it like it knew it prevented me from stealing it, I guess is the best way to put it. But I also was like, oh yeah, that's right, like that's there. So like they're watching like every step and people could be freaked out about that kind of stuff. But like right, there, that's. We talk about waste in this industry or lost profits. I mean fraud just makes prices go up anyway. So I think it's just I'm very excited to see how stores change like over the next decade and how we're interacting and I mean something like that right, like we could theoretically like wouldn't need to even scan out there's, I think. What is it like? Whole foods?

Blythe Brumleve: 1:13:09

or something like that. Yeah, amazon, that you just put items in your in your bag and you walk out like you don't pay. Anybody it like charges you yeah.

Grace Sharkey: 1:13:18

Yeah, like how great is that? I have to wait in this like stupid line and like go through everything. So, yeah, I think that stuff is really cool and people, we cover a lot of this kind of stuff on the stock out, which is the new show that I'm on on FreightWave, so go check that out too, because, yeah, this, I, that's like stuff I really find fascinating is like how we like on social media, like how easy it is now to be like wow, that's a cool dress on her and like buy it in like two seconds, right In like two clicks.

Blythe Brumleve: 1:13:52

And there's like this whole like to. I guess maybe the other side of that is like the trend on social media of like de-influencing and like telling people like what not to buy is also really interesting because I've heard of other women who have just like quit social media altogether and they found that their impulse purchases, their impulse buys, have gone down dramatically because they're not seeing those targeted ads and they're not constantly being shown products and things that you know they desire and that they want, and so their purchasing habits go down just simply by deleting social media. So it's like all of this like in-person versus digital real estate. I think I'm right there with you. It's really fascinating because I used to be a vendor for Walmart stores where it was a company called like God I care Probably shouldn't even say the name, but they were like a CD company and it was my job to like make sure that like the CDs looked well, looked really good and were organized in the music section. I was not a Walmart employee. Yeah, it was my job to go in and like make sure that there wasn't like dust or you know on the products, make sure that they're in their proper place and their ABC order so that when people are coming and looking for that product, that they find it as quickly as possible. So we're moving those different like frustration points of the checkout process, of the purchasing process are just like these micro improvements that are happening behind the scenes that you don't even realize it, that it takes, it's going to take four years to get the damn labels changed on all of our goods, from a barcode to a QR code. So these things are always in motion. So I thought that that was interesting. I'd be happy to send you those photos if you want to use it, for you know, stock out episode, please do. But let's let's move on to the next part of this show and that is becoming like an increasingly favorite part of my show because I just find it endlessly fascinating. That's cargo crimes. So this is actually a separate part of the show. Now I used to kind of bundle them, you know, with the favorite, like ideas and hustles, but then also like the crime portion of it. But I think cargo crimes it's growing so much. You sort of alluded to it earlier in the show with the Estes hack and just to give people some background, I'm going to play a clip from what the truck, and this comes from Curtis Garrett. He is. I think he has the course, and not just a course, but like a whole, like learning infrastructure around understanding LTL. Ltl is just so frankly complex, and so I'm going to play this clip now. Hopefully everybody can hear it.

Speaker 3: 1:16:36

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

Blythe Brumleve: 1:17:55

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

Grace Sharkey: 1:20:30

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

Blythe Brumleve: 1:23:18

Wow yeah, throwback on that.

Grace Sharkey: 1:23:20

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

Blythe Brumleve: 1:26:01

Like that's the other big one. That a lot of folks don't pay, and that's how quickly you can just sort of almost like get rid of the files that the hackers have access to and you can re-plant or you can restore from your own data. Backup point is another big one.

Grace Sharkey: 1:26:18

Another really small one, and this is the last one I'll touch on here. That, I think, is very simple, that we, just people, are lazy about I'm bad at it too. I'm checking right now. I don't have one. When your computer says, update it, update it, because a lot of times it's the malware that it's trying to update. So when you say, ah, tomorrow, ah, tomorrow, for 30 days, you've got yourself exposed for an extra 30 days too. So again, think about. For if you're listening today and you're in operations for your company, start putting together plans, how are you actually building the security of your business? Because, yes, if that takes I mean brokers, I'm sure you all know down to the penny what you make an hour, right. So if you're down for 10 minutes, how bad is that to your business? Same thing here If you're down for days, how bad is that for your business? Weeks, weeks, your customers are going to fly away from you so fast and your trucks like they're stranded, you can't do nothing.

Blythe Brumleve: 1:27:17

It's so much money that is lost in these things. I talked to a cybersecurity expert. I had him on the show about a year ago and he said that what his company does is they specialize in coming into a company and doing just basic training, of course, but then they also test the staff. And if they test the staff, they'll send emails, they'll call them on the phone and if that person fails that test, that simulation, then that person has to go into additional training in order to recognize what kind of thing. So it's not just from a sense of keeping backups of all of your different integrations and tech systems, but it's also the prevention, because the biggest entryway to get into these systems is you. And that's where I don't know. If a lot of people have heard of the MGM hack that just happened just a few weeks ago. It cost the company $100 million and they were down for weeks at a time. And if you're thinking like MGM resorts, like in Vegas, like oh, what kind of resorts are there? Like the Cosmopolitan Luxor, mandalay Bay, excalibur, like these? That's just some of the MGM resorts that were all affected. People couldn't, the key cards didn't work so you couldn't get into your room. If you wanted to get into your room, think of how large those hotel rooms are, those resorts are. There's thousands and thousands of rooms there. If you wanted to get into your room, you had to have somebody from the casino escort you up to your room and open the door for you. Like that is how massive these things are and it costs them $100 million, in addition to all of the money that they potentially lost from people not being able to gamble or play slots, like their security cameras were down. It's just so massive. And I have a few stats here from the Thedias newsletter. A big fan of theirs shouted them out on the podcast before, but they said that cyber attacks have cost organizations more than the US $540,000 over the last three years. That's just organizations within the US half a million dollars. The frequency of ransom payments is up by 357% and 33% spend less than $100,000 per year on cybersecurity management. So if you think about it from the lens of like MGM, which I'm sure that they have a bunch of different security measures I mean, it's a casino, for God's sakes. But the way that these hackers got in is they found the person's LinkedIn profile. They found out their name and job title like head of IT security. They called the MGM customer support line, pretended to be that person, just based on their information from LinkedIn, and that's how they were able to get in. They got in through customer support, and personating the person from LinkedIn cost them $100 million. That is just unfathomable, and not to mention like all of the negative sort of customer experience that all of these people experienced on all of their different properties over the course of weeks. That is insane to me. So if you're not paying attention to cybersecurity, then I implore you, go listen. I'll link to it in the show notes of that episode with that cybersecurity expert. But this is just a topic I think that we have to cover more in this industry and we're not speaking up enough about it, and I think for a lot of these companies they try to keep it quiet because they don't want a lot, and I mean naturally they don't want a lot of people to know about it. But there are a lot of lessons that can be learned from these situations that can just create sort of a greater awareness on what you can do to try to prevent these things from happening to you and your company Because, like I said earlier, it could be detrimental. It could put you out of business, like that's how massive these problems are and they know you're going to pay the ransom because there's no other alternative.

Grace Sharkey: 1:31:26

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

Blythe Brumleve: 1:32:00

Yeah, well said let's. Let's move on to the final segment of the show. Oh crap, yeah, we only have a few minutes left, so yeah, okay, we're good yeah. All right, the final segment, our source to porch, favorite logistics of a story. Do you want to go first, or you want me to go first? Oh, you can go first, yeah, okay. So what I'm going to talk about is, with this podcast, I've also I've oh, I've kind of like turned Sorry, I'm trying to do three things at once while being sick. So I'm toyed around with the idea of having a merch store for the podcast. I think you know a lot of podcasters out there have thought about this, even from like a company level, like having a merch store. I've ordered some like one-off things and say, you know, everything is logistics on it, just for myself. And I've had Surprisingly, I've had other people be like where can I get that? Can I, you know, support you in any way? And I'm so thankful for it. But then I started running into issues where it's like I Need different sizes or hey, can I return this item, and it's like shit, I don't have time to manage this. I know that I just want to be able to offer people the goods, but I don't want to have to deal with like Everything that's involved with e-commerce. So I learned very quickly like this is something that is not just a fly-by-night thing. We have to sort of think this through a little bit more. But I was really interested in a new concept that comes from Drake of all people. It's called Drake Related comm. It's essentially an e-commerce shop that he partners with Shopify and then Shopify sellers. So he doesn't have to physically or, you know, his team doesn't, because he's not doing this. He's not shipping t-shirt boxes to people across the country, but his team doesn't have to manage the the shipping aspect of it, the returns aspect of it, of having an e-commerce store, and I think that this is going to be a really cool use case for the future. So let me I'm gonna share my screen and let's play this clip.

Speaker 5: 1:34:04

Drake's merch store is doing something I've never seen before. This blew me away. I think this is the future of e-commerce. What you're seeing is called Drake related comm. It's kind of like a hub for all things Drake, but it's cool because it's built as a map of his compound. He calls it the embassy. You can see the g-wagon in the front, the lounge, the plane, all these different rooms, but if you look closer, you can see a bunch of these items. Have these white little dots. If you click them, they actually link back to products in his Shopify stores. Now some of the original, like clothing or posters that is team Manufactures in Toronto. But they took it one step further in 2023. Drake wanted to support smaller brands and design Custom products, but he didn't want to deal with the logistical hassle and managing the back and forth of the inventory. That's where this new feature comes in Shopify collective collective. Let Drake's team search through hundreds of other brands on Shopify To find ones he thought were cool and could collab with. Take this hotline bling pool floaty from funboy, a small company in California. Drake calls them up. They designed the piece together. But then the magic happens. Drake puts the floaty on his site and generates demand, but then when they sell, funboy gets a notification and sends it directly to the customer. Drake's team never has to touch a thing.

Blythe Brumleve: 1:35:14

Drake isn't that crazy, so so smart. I Thought that that was so. When I saw it, I was like that's what I need. I need the Drake solution to be able to handle, like e-commerce solutions for, you know, maybe your company or a media brand. I thought that it was. It was awesome. So kudos to Drake, for, you know, I guess, pioneering, you know, just a different way to partner Um with different smaller shops, which I love. So it's not just, you know, him worried about the margins, unlike the sweatshirts and things that he's selling, but it's also he's thinking about the logistical challenges of managing all of these different products in a store, trying to give fans what they want but at the same time, you know, showing a little bit of love to, you know, some of these smaller creators that have, you know, sort of a you know and not an affinity, but Just sort of a, I guess it's very like parallel to his brand, and so being able to partner with them I thought was just such a really cool concept.

Grace Sharkey: 1:36:12

Um, it's like a little almost like licensing yourself, in a way, but still being able to have that, that merch aspect that I think so many artists make so much money off of to begin with. Right so right, it's very interesting. Plus, I just love that like like looking around and like Clicking on the certain items so cool, yeah. So if you wanted to check out the site.

Blythe Brumleve: 1:36:35

It's called drakerelatedcom. Um, you can actually just click through it's a tab and like the bottom left hand corner that says explore, and you can explore different parts of, like the embassy and like all of the items that are on sale. So I just I thought that that was just such a unique experience, um, especially from an e-commerce perspective and from an influencer perspective, um, that he's able to just really create another line of revenue, not just for himself, but also promote these other smaller shops that could, you know, you know, just be an additional revenue stream for them as well, probably their largest revenue stream.

Grace Sharkey: 1:37:10

Yeah, that's what I'm gonna say. Probably their biggest yeah all right, so that was mine, um, with yours.

Blythe Brumleve: 1:37:18

I know that I I got to pull up a video for this one, so I'm gonna, while I'm doing that, kind of set it up for us.

Grace Sharkey: 1:37:24

Yes, yes so, uh, we do have a video to showcase this, but I'm gonna a little bit of background. So we're talking about uh. To take us back to 2005 and the Atlanta. So lana was looking to well, actually, no, not in Atlanta itself. Home depots founder at the time, uh, bernard marcus. He was living in Atlanta, but he missed the ocean, as any very expensive or a rich person does, right Uh now, but he's nowhere near, he's over what 270 miles away from the ocean. So he says I want to bring the ocean to me. So he gets with, uh, I believe, the zoo or some Atlanta as a city and says let's, let's build the georgia aquarium. So he goes ahead and he does that and now, at the time, home depots like, uh sorry, uh, ups is like anything that we can do to help with, we'd love to be a part of right, since they're that same hometown situation. So he starts building this aquarium and he realizes that he wants uh, whales, whale sharks to Um be a part of the aquarium, which is great. But guess what they're? They're nowhere to be found in the middle of Atlanta or anywhere near our oceans in particular. So here's the funny part when ups is like hey, we'll help out with this. They said we'll help out with anything you want free of charge. So Marcus says, let's, let's swipe that card, baby. And he says we need to figure out how to get these whales From thailand back to this aquarium. And so this is going to be. Mind you ups had to do all this for free. That's what I think is hilarious about this, and this is the first time that they anyone's ever moved whales across the globe, really. So this video is going to showcase to you exactly how they did that and, uh, the first time Ever that someone had pulled this off.

Blythe Brumleve: 1:39:20

Yeah, this is. This clip is about, um, you know, a few minutes long, so, uh, bear with us, but, um, it's worth it and I'll link to it in the show notes In case you want to watch it. But, uh, listening to it is still going to be a good experience too, so uh, here we go.

Speaker 6: 1:39:34

We held an ocean pen on the coast near a small regional airport in the south of taiwan and when the ups logistics team showed up to survey it, they realized that the runway nearby just wasn't gonna work. It was too weak to support the weight of a 747 loaded with a couple of big fish. So here's what they did instead. They began by using some cranes with a sling to capture the two whale sharks out of their pen and place them in two Individual custom-made shipping containers. The containers were 24 feet long by eight feet wide and filled with the 2000 pound whale shark Plus water and life support systems, which made the total weight of each container approximately 25 000 pounds. The two tanks were then loaded onto a turboprop locky c-130 and flown up to the international airport at taipei for the transfer aboard the bigger 747. As the c-130 pulled up to the gate adjacent to the 747, the 747 was already fueled up and ready for takeoff, but they had to figure out where to place the big tanks inside of it. After multiple calculations, the ups logistics team decided upon a method of bringing one tank into the plane's nose, the second tank into the back, and then simultaneously slowly moved the two tanks together Towards the plane's natural point of balance over the main landing gear, before bolting them both down to the floor. The crew were instructed to take off and land slow and shallow so as not to stress out their special passengers too greatly. But by this point time was the biggest enemy of the operation. They couldn't afford any delays with the whale sharks because they were constantly pooping and pissing inside of their small tanks and fouling up their limited water. It's not like you can replace 20 000 plus pounds of water when you're flying in a jet Up in the air. Even a short delay could have resulted in one of their deaths, and the journey from taipei to Atlanta was over 17 Hours long, so UBS brought aboard an entire team of skilled veterinarians or free and marine biologists. To ensure that the trip went smoothly. The 747 took off from taipei and had to land in anchorage first for efficient wildlife inspection, because you know you can't just fly a whale from one side of the world to the other without the property.

Blythe Brumleve: 1:41:39

Janits on the case.

Speaker 6: 1:41:40

They had a crew change and continued on from there to Atlanta safely, where the whale shark containers were unloaded, placed onto flatbed trucks and driven from the airport to their new home in the aquarium, all alive and in one piece. Ups achieved something that nobody had ever done before. The mad men actually shipped live gigantic whales in a plane from one side of the world to the other, and all overnight, and it only took six weeks of planning and came with a shipping cost of 1.4 million dollars Not all that bad of a price at all when you consider that UPS did all of it for the aquarium for free. Of course, if you want to figure out a way to ship your own gigantic marine animal to your house, you'll not only need a pretty big tank that's probably gonna have to be bigger than your entire houses but you'll also need a solid understanding of multiple mathematical concepts for your logistics calculations, and there's no better place to.

Blythe Brumleve: 1:42:33

Oh yeah, here comes the ad isn't that?

Grace Sharkey: 1:42:35

isn't that crazy, though, like four, the best part is like for free, like this hey, if anyone takes anything from the story, never say we'll do anything you want for free. I will say sad update About three years ago One of those whale sharks did pass away Her name was. Trixie, but the other one, I think, is still there today. So and I also did just think it's interesting, right, they're like the home depot. So a guy just was like I want an aquarium closer to me. So, um, yeah, it's uh, I thought it's just very interesting, right, that all of that work to go into Moving them and overnight, right, like thinking about how often you like are like, yeah, I wanted to my doorstep tomorrow, like imagine I'd like to wales here tomorrow. Thank you so much.

Blythe Brumleve: 1:43:24

This crazy turn around time to make that happen. That that is that that's frankly shocking. That they were able to do that In six weeks and that they survived.

Grace Sharkey: 1:43:35

I just imagine the ups, like a CEO at the time just being like Give me enough to get on the shark situation. What's the price tag? What's it at? And they're like well clear, here just got over a million. That sounds awesome. Um, tell home depot, their prices just went up like the amount of budgeting changes, that Budgeting approval.

Blythe Brumleve: 1:43:56

That had to happen.

Grace Sharkey: 1:43:56

But you can't back out of it Like what's your, what's your in there, like you got a hey boss hey boss, remember when we just said, oh, told home depot we give them anything they want, and we assumed it was like supplies for the aquarium. Well, like they really cashed in on this one.

Blythe Brumleve: 1:44:13

Yeah, that's a. That's a super interesting one. I think uh dooner did a story the other day on shipping manatees too. Yes, and these. That's that's what I love about this segment Is that there there's so many stories that we can tell inside of our companies when it comes to freight Because freight is the movement of goods it's. It sort of goes back to what we talked about earlier in this show how, in, how connected we are from a global economy perspective and how all of these things Is just get somewhere and you don't really realize how they get there until they're there. And so being able to recognize these types of stories, like shipping a whale, shipping a manatee, it's just endlessly fascinating to me. So I encourage and I implore everyone you know to look for these types of stories you know, within your own company. And while you know I still have you have one more video that I wanted to play, um, because it was just so interesting. It is spooky season, it's over. I want to this creator that's on tiktok. I know you're not on tiktok, but she's one of my favorites, but she is so great at telling stories and Geodosaurus is her name, but she uh has a spooky lake month and she talked and she lives up in michigan, so I know you're already gonna be a fan of her, um, but she talks and she has a series that she posts um, a video a day of like a different spooky lake month story, and this one talks about the skeleton coast in Namibia, and Namibia as a country in africa it has these just amazing coastlines where it's like these sand dunes that are so massively tall and then it just Drops off and then it's the ocean, and so what happens is a lot of these ships get caught in the fog Next to the coast and they crash into this area. It's called skeleton coast for a reason. So, uh, let me switch. Since it is spooky season, I wanted to, you know, be able to give a shout out to this creator, because this video is about, you know, two and a half minutes long, but the visuals are incredible, so I'll link to it. You know, drink every time. I say link to it in the show notes, um, but it is in the show notes in case you want to watch it. So let's, uh, let's hit play.

Speaker 4: 1:46:22

Um, yes, hello. It's spooky lake month, where we're doing 31 days of haunted hydrology. Today, I want to talk about the skeleton coast in Namibia. This haunting coastline is part of the Namib desert, which extends from angola through Namibia to South africa. It's estimated to be one of the oldest deserts in the world, between 55 and 80 million years old. The skeleton coast, specifically, is located on the northern part of this enormous desert. This morbid name came from when the shoreline was covered in whale and seal bones, remnants from the whaling industry. However, today it's also known for its infamous ship graveyard. Over the centuries, thousands of ships have ended up stranded here thousands. There's a specific reason. It's notoriously deadly, having to do with the geography of this region. Hot dry air from the interior of the continent combines with the cold wet air from Antarctica via the benguela current. The hot dry air acts as a cap, preventing the cold wet air from forming ring clouds. Instead, this desert has a seemingly endless supply of fog. For 180 days out of the year, there's a dense fog that covers the skeleton coast. This is why so many ships end up running aground here, the oldest of which is from the 1500s, after getting lost in dense fog. The intense surf would have prevented any of these ships from returning to the sea. The sailors that were inevitably stranded on the skeleton coast would only have one option Making their way into the surrounding desert, virtually a death sentence. Harched and starving, surrounded by sand, sailors would have to make their way over dunes that were almost a thousand feet high. Even if they made it over the crest of the first dune, they'd be faced with over 63 000 miles of desert. Rescues were unlikely in this hospitable environment, so the dunes are probably full of bones. Today, the skeleton coast national park is guarded by this haunting gate, which is topped by two towering whale bones, so I wouldn't want to be a castaway on the skeleton coast. Seven out of ten spookies Spoo.

Grace Sharkey: 1:48:47

Spooky season. No, that's. That's really creepy. I love a good old break, broken down ship. But I'll tell you what the stories it could tell yeah, well, just like we we get a lot of them here like, so you can like. There's one up um near traverse city, closer to like Sleeping bear dunes, where you can like swim up to it and like. Yeah, it's really cool.

Blythe Brumleve: 1:49:11

So and are Correct me if I'm wrong, but the ships that, uh, maybe capsize or sink in, like the great lakes, like michigan area, are they, like, really well preserved? Yeah, because they're in fresh water and not, you know, salt water.

Grace Sharkey: 1:49:26

It's so cold, like uh, uh, there's uh, the lake superior. They say like, uh, well, there's actually a Two, um, the admin fits jerald. You actually can't go and technically dive near it anymore because it's uh, it's protected by canada as a underground cemetery or underwater cemetery, because it's so cold. The bodies don't don't break, they're like, they're still preserved. There's actually an emerald isle Um, it's an island way up, and we're talking lakes. The period warmest throughout the year gets to 50 degrees. Oh, wow, like right now it's probably 40 degree. It's always cold. Uh, emerald isle, there's a, a small ship that's saying that like there is a body that and you can still dive, like it's fully preserved, like it's just in there, like so, yeah, it's so cold that like even the dead bodies, they like don't even Do rot, they're just like frozen insane.

Blythe Brumleve: 1:50:29

I figured that that would be, um, you know, I, obviously it is october, so I wanted to to play that one, uh, just a sort of like an in-cap to the show, because it's just so, shipping is so cool, like it's just so. There's, there's, there's so many stories to be told in this industry, and it's just I you should see my library of things that I store because I want to talk about it someday, but I know I'll probably never get to it. So I, I, I thoroughly appreciate, um, this show to be able to, you know, allow, you know, the the two of us to be able to explore these different Types of just, you know, interesting, fascinating, sometimes heartbreaking stories. That encompasses, you know, shipping and supply chain. I, I, I feel really blessed to be able to cover this industry and be able to talk about these things that that really impacts and tells the story Of human civilization. So that about does it for this episode of freight friends.

Grace Sharkey: 1:51:26

Grace, you got anything you're working on things you, you want to give a shout out to I have some cool stuff that I'm working on that we will definitely talk about the next episode, which will probably be at f3, so we'll touch on that here in a second. But if anyone's going to ti a technicians, reach out to me now. As I said earlier in the episode, if you're Releasing anything at f3. Tell me about it now. Let's get working on it so we can get you some nice coverage while you're at the event and Busy until f3. Listen, go to f3, get your tickets now. Live at freightwayscom. If you've been to the event before, it's a blast. This year it's. It's just going to be out of this world like I I think it wasn't until like the last couple weeks, where I'm starting to see everything Come together for it that I'm like oh, my god, people are like they're not. No, you're not ready. You're not ready for this. So superfoam, oh, if you miss it. Yes and go get their tickets. I don't want to hear complaints about pricing. You guys pay for the craziest things in your office. We all know it. So, just like, don't get the golf simulator and send like seven people to f3, uh, that they'll appreciate it more. Trust me, ti's headlining, oh, come on. Like what's a private ti concert? That's a priceless. What's the lifetime right there? So, yeah, ti tip, depending on when you became a fan. Come on, rubber band man. Come on.

Blythe Brumleve: 1:52:50

Oh, we're so good, yeah, uh again link to that in the show notes. I just booked up all of my travel for that event. Um, can't, can't wait. Ti has been on my list of folks to see for a long time. His music has gotten me through some dark periods of my life. It's sort of like a motivational Um, you know, rubber band man, all that good stuff, um. And there's like one line I can't run blinking on the song. But he says from miami up to duval yes, duval county, that's where I, you know, born and raised. So if he says that, if he, if he wraps that song at f3, I'll lose my mind.

Grace Sharkey: 1:53:27

You know, if little duval shows up? That would be crazy too.

Blythe Brumleve: 1:53:30

Is he, is he rumored to show up.

Grace Sharkey: 1:53:31

I don't know. They're just like best friends you never know.

Blythe Brumleve: 1:53:33

Oh hey, we'll see, We'll see.

Grace Sharkey: 1:53:37

All right.

Blythe Brumleve: 1:53:37

Well, that about does it for for this week show to catch more episodes of everything is logistics. Just sit up, everything is logisticscom. Make it super easy for you. I got all the links right there for you to socials, to Uh podcast, to email, all that good stuff. Uh, thank you guys again for tuning into another fabulous episode and thank you, grace for for your time and perspective on this edition of freight friends. We will see you all real soon and we'll definitely see you in person at f3. Come say hi, come say hello and uh, we'll, we'll see you soon.

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.