Freight Tech Landscape, Elon vs. Iger, and Being a Woman in Freight
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Grace Sharkey and Blythe Brumleve are back with another episode of Freight Friends! This time the duo dish on freight tech innovations, the top 25 freight tech companies, Elon Musk telling off Disney’s CEO, and being a woman in the male-dominated freight industry. They also discuss unsanitary makeup return practices at retailers like TJ Maxx and how global shipping mishaps have scattered toys and phones across beaches for decades. Their candid debates and insights on pressing industry topics make this a lively, informative listen.




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Show Transcript

See full episode transcriptTranscript is autogenerated by AI

Blythe Brumleve: 0:05

Welcome into another episode of Everything Is Logistics, a podcast for the thinkers in Freight. I'm your host, blight. We're probably presented by SPI Logistics. We're back with another episode of Freight Friends. I feel like it's been a little while since, grace, since we've had you on the show before.

Grace Sharkey: 0:22

Freight Waves yeah, it has been a while. I think, yeah, about a little over a month for sure we.

Blythe Brumleve: 0:30

You know, last week, the week after Thanksgiving, it was a little tough to record on those weeks. I know that the brain power is slowly coming back. I almost I was waiting for an email this morning for you to see. If you know, maybe we would push it back another week.

Grace Sharkey: 0:46

I thought about it, I did too but here we are. We did it. We're doing the hard work. We love this show. We love doing this yeah.

Blythe Brumleve: 0:55

And the people actually love it too. Because I'm in the middle of going through, like, all of my analytics. I think I told you this on your, your serious show when I was just on that I'm going through all of my analytics right now to see which shows are like the most popular, the which ones that the resonate with the most people, which is really cool to see, like in Spotify versus Apple, versus the website, which episodes, and you can also tell, like when people fall off. So that's giving me like an indication of like where I need to place ads and where I need to remove them or maybe shift some things around. But I say all that because probably the overwhelming majority of our episodes together, like people love it. So that's really cool to see that you know these longer episodes. You don't really know if people are going to be tuning in for a while, but our episodes are typically at least an hour and a half, closer to two hours, and so it's cool to see that you know a lot of folks are resonating with those episodes, along with, like you know, the singular focus topic or you know a high profile guest or or something like that. So, yeah, been cool 11 months of doing this show so far.

Grace Sharkey: 2:04

Thanks for your friends. Family Appreciate it. That's a lot of apps right there.

Blythe Brumleve: 2:11

Yeah, that's a lot. So, speaking of you know more Fs, the freight text, the biggest question, the first topic, go, or maybe I should give a little see, it's been a while since I need to give like the roadmap of the show. So we're going to talk about some of the freight tech questions after the freight waves top 25 list was released at F3. There was a bunch of newcomers on that list so that'll be super interesting to hear your feedback on that. Then we're going to get into a little bit of Elon Musk versus daddy Iger. That daddy Iger comes from grace. I think I would echo that statement as well, but, just to you know, sort of foreshadow that topic. Then the next one we're going to talk about is being a woman in freight. That story came from a freight caviar and a recent newsletter episode. Then we're going to get into our usual of cargo crimes and source to porch with our favorite logistics of story. I'm really excited about mine and I know you have a really good one for cargo crimes that leads into a source to porch. So we'll get into those a little bit later on. But first let's talk about some of freight tech's biggest questions and predictions as we head into 2024, because that list that I just referred to, the freight waves, announced their top 100, but who made the top 25 was a really interesting thing to watch live at F3. And when I say live, you were actually in the crowd. I was just watching on my iPad in my hotel room, so I use the term live here loosely. So I guess, grace, just maybe like early thoughts about this list. Were there any shocking things to you that you saw?

Grace Sharkey: 3:51

Well, you know, it's funny like you bring up watching it live and I had heard it was going to be a switch up, which makes a lot of sense. We had a switch up over a year in freight, so I had a feeling there's going to be some people we wouldn't see on the list. That I don't want to say their technology wasn't as important, but solve different problems than what we saw this past year. I kind of hope this person's watching. But you know that. You know, I kind of got harassed to tell the list earlier in the evening, the prior evening, so even I was like anticipating who would be on it, just off of that conversation alone. So I was happy to see that they dig it out. That was nice to see. But I'll tell you what I really enjoy about this and Craig even brought this up, I think, on stage. You see a lot of players on here and I'm going to, of course, name a few that are my favorite One. You see companies like JB Hunt Transport. That's probably one of my absolute favorites. That's on this list and I want to point out when I say well, they excite me for and this actually this announcement came out at F3 as well is, I think this into next year, we're going to see intermodal as more of a attractive offering when it comes to logistics. So I guess what I mean by that is one kind of a big bet for me, and what we will be focused on next year as an industry is emissions reporting and what you're doing to actually bring that down, and California's got a number of initiatives that need to start. I mean December 31st of this year. You're seeing, of course, like we have the Biden administration's 2030 net zero goals. We have the SEC who's pondering whether or not to make those a public company, start opening up their scope, emissions and things of that nature, and when you hear, like these 2030 2025 goal achievement years, it's like, okay, that's not that far away. And so I'm, I think JB Hunt and its intermodal services, what it's doing with BNSF logistics. There's also a go check out Joanna Marsh's work on freightwayscom or check out our show PSR. It goes into rail as well. There's a lot of interesting work being done between the lot of the class one road, roads, and of course, we add on our Mexico relationship right now and the there are number one trading partner to I think. I think we're going to see a lot in the intermodal space. So JB Hunt is, of course, a part of that. So that's why I'm happy to see them there. That was one I was. I think showcases what we'll see a little bit more next year and on the emissions note. My second one is ChargePoint, because what's the pushback? We hear about electric vehicles all day long. Well, what's the charging infrastructure? Look like ChargePoint's doing that. They're trying to figure that out. They're working with utility companies. I was just talking with someone about this the other day. It's like you know, everyone wants to hear from from Buddha judge and more of our governmental leaders and like what's being done? But like are you should be knocking on the walls of a for me Board of Water and Light or your, your local utility companies? What can the grid handle? What are we doing to make sure that we're? We have the infrastructure set to actually charge a whole fleet of electric vehicles in your town Like that's? There's a lot more that goes into it than just what our federal leaders are doing. I go check out what your state and local leaders are doing. If anything, it's election season soon, so consider that. So ChargePoint's another one. I was. I was happy to see there too.

Blythe Brumleve: 7:58

I was counting through it. If I counted right, 17 new companies in the top 25. Why do you think there's so many new companies that are that have reached the top?

Grace Sharkey: 8:11

I, you know, especially looking at these companies in particular, I think that you're looking at groups that are bringing some. If you can hear my cat wanting in the background, by the way, I'm sorry for that. She's going to. She's doing too much. She's going to pop up on the screen at some point. I think I'm trying to. How do I say this in the most polite way to maybe those not on this list? Most of the people on this list have been doing great work for the past couple of years and I know that their customers are very happy with that output. This isn't a top. What investors are looking at list? Right, I mean, a lot of these companies do have some great investors behind them, but a lot of these are doing great work for their actual customers as well. Those ships are great one ATI, worldwide Logistics that just screams a cross border freight right there. Amazon freight that's my other one. I was going to choose happy. It's number one. Don't know why I fought against Amazon for so long. Right, I just know Bezos, you know you just want to like fight against this dude, but I mean even shopping for Christmas, like different capabilities, like you might have noticed now, like when you, if you buy more than one thing, it'll tell you hey, do you want to like help out the planet or something and wait one more day for this one item to ship with everything else? Like just small stuff like that where it's like, okay, you guys are getting really advanced in the way that you're engineering a lot of this. This I'd say like more automated work in logistics and everyone I'm looking at this list like Blue Yonder, customers love them, green screens love them. My carrier I could talk about for a thousand days Like thank God, finally, someone's fixing LTL and highway Highway day cards. I mean, day cards isn't a new company but they've been doing some really great acquisitions over the last few years that have benefited their customers really well. Gaddick, gaddick they've been around for a while about they're actually getting stuff done. You know, just like kind of what we've seen in the investment space. Here she is yeah, because you're just so cute, aren't you? Just like we've seen in the investment space, I think, gaddick, let it go. People want to see an outcome and see things actually change and these, these companies for sure, have been doing great work and the outcome is showing.

Blythe Brumleve: 10:46

Yeah, I, you are the expert when it comes to a lot of these different companies, so I really rely on, on your take, because you're you're literally in the trenches like covering for a lot of these companies, both on your shows and in the written word. I was just astounded at how many new companies made this list. I, I, I. My first thought was OK, is this sustainable? Like, is this? You know an outlier that a lot of these companies have made the list? Like, do you, do you see a lot? Are there any, like, I guess, overarching trends when you see a list like this? Or is it just companies that are doing all of the right things? They're building slowly. They're, I'm sure they want to build you know a lot faster than that but do you see any maybe overarching trends? That that leads to the idea that these companies are going to be on this list for a while?

Grace Sharkey: 11:41

Yeah, I think I would expect JB is. Technically they're following on the list. They've been on there before, but I expect them to continue on that path, especially with their leadership and just things that they've already announced in the last month since three Ark best, I would say. A big part of that, likely just because of the services I've heard from, and actually some friends that I know, that work against their, work for their competitors, that MOLO acquisition and the ability to set up that third party logistics aspect as well really helped their offerings and so I think they'll be on there some more. We'll see. I think they'll have some action to be honest with you in 2024 in terms of acquisitions and things of that nature. We can dive into that at another point. Amazon, I mean, moved up to number one. I don't see them falling off the 25 anytime soon. For logic, that's a lot to do with more, like I'd say, on the retail side of things, right. So for them, I look at that and just kind of screams e-commerce and fulfillment capabilities and how you're setting up your inventory, which was a big problem for a while, and I think I don't see that problem going anywhere anytime soon. Let me look at the other new ones highway right, we're talking about fraud. I think we'll see more of companies like highway on this in the future. If anything else, charge point right, enride Gattick, some of these different ways to autonomize or electrify our vehicles Again, don't see that going anywhere soon, especially since regulatory bodies are screaming about it now as well. So the new ones I see. Sticking. To be honest with you, if I had a look at this and say, okay, maybe this one should watch out, I would say boom.

Blythe Brumleve: 13:44

I have a metric we talked about, obviously, on an episode which is essentially a credit score for freight brokers. So we've talked about them a bunch. What's surprising to me is to see a lot of the autonomous AI trucking fleet companies, so Gattick Plus. It was surprising to see them hit this list when so many other companies are that space, are facing layoffs or just turning off the lights all together and going out of business. So they must be doing something right if they're actually appearing on this list. So Gattick Plus is a new addition to that. Gattick is down one spot, but that's not much at all. But those two companies really, to go back to your charge point which ah, charge point, go back to your charge point point which the autonomous technology just in general has kind of taken a hit over the last year, but I think that's more or less having to do with the economic conditions of what's going on in the country and a lot of VC funding drying up and wanting to see some quicker. But maybe Plus and Gattick are doing some things that are making investors feel more confident. Any other takeaways that you want to talk?

Grace Sharkey: 15:03

about. Yeah, if I had to choose like one that I would be nervous about. I think it is kind of Enride, because of what you just said they seem to be. So I think it's more about like the play of autonomous and electric right. Like Enride is focused a little bit more on building the network for two support electric vehicles. So that's why I think we see them on here compared to others. If I remember right plus as well is they're building more of the technology instead of like the actual trucks, like Tesla is trying to build a full-on vehicle. Where it's like some of these autonomous players in particular are like no, we don't want to be the OEM, we don't want to be the actual vehicle manufacturer. Like we, just we want to provide you like their exit would be likely something where like PACCAR or someone like buys them right. So you see a little bit more success when they're less focused on like building the actual vehicle and more focused on building the technology to propel that vehicle into the space.

Blythe Brumleve: 16:23

Oh, that's a good point. Yeah, and I know with Gaddick they're more middle-mile, so they're more like specific use cases, like a Walmart distribution center going from distribution center to distribution center, versus trying to have, like this wide net of you know, just autonomous technology there or autonomous market that you're trying to capture. They have a very specific use case which I think is a smart play on their part. I agree with that. Are you in freight sales with a book of business looking for a new home? Or perhaps you're a freight agent in need of a better partnership? These are the kinds of conversations we're exploring in our podcast interview series called the Freight Agent Trenches, sponsored by SPI Logistics. Now I can tell you all day that SPI is one of the most successful logistics firms in North America, who helps their agents with back office operations such as admin, finance, IT and sales. But I would much rather you hear it directly from SPI's freight agents themselves. And what better way to do that than by listening to the experienced freight agents tell their stories behind the how and the why they joined SPI? Hit the freight agent link in our show notes to listen to these conversations or, if you're ready to make the jump, visit SPI3PLcom. Well, all right, so that's about does it for the Freight Tech's biggest questions and predictions heading into 2024. I think that that was a good you know sort of round out of really what has staying power and what doesn't. Obviously, the economic conditions of the country are going to have a lot to do with how, that's how these power players are either going to stay or they're going to go off the list. Any big questions that you have going into 2024, do you think there's any you know sort of big areas that are there's, there's gaps missing as far as tech freight tech technology is concerned.

Grace Sharkey: 18:16

Again the emissions aspect of things and and it's not just when I say that, like more of the vehicles or anything along those lines for me I'm concerned more with the reporting aspect of it and being able to showcase that your you know are as, like a carrier, your these emissions are correct. There's actually an article I'm working on will come out soon that you guys will see that kind of touches on this. So I think I'd be interested in what type of maybe reporting systems we see or we want to talk about like buzzwords, like maybe next year, how many different TMSes come out with like new emissions reporting, you know, like that's. I think we'll start to see a little bit of those headlines, probably for myself, right, I might be honest. I think another area is going to be a compliance for the carrier side. This this year has felt very hey, carrier, prove to us that you are you and you're doing what you're supposed to be doing. And I'm hoping to see the carriers kind of take hold of that and kind of turn that around. And I say that I mean one like kind of, for instance, actually and I'm working on something with them as well, but there's a company called verify carrier. I get to meet them at F3. I actually met them at the TIA conference prior to and did a demo of their, of their technology and Wow, it's what was really cool about. It's like, basically, you, you put in every driver, it learns to drive drivers, like biometrics, it does like a full background check. It gets their, it confirms their insurance records, it confirms their billing addresses, processes. It almost creates like a it's kind of like a credit score, right like you would put in all that same information and it would come back and say like, yes, this is the person that that is saying who they are and can be utilized right by by brokers or carriers to say, hey, through the onboarding process. Like yes, here's our verified carrier link. You'll see the driver's name on there and we're doing what we're doing in the right way. It's not an algorithm that's built off of just FMCSA data. I kind of jokingly, like talking with them, was like are you guys going to like pitch this to the FMCSA because they kind of need this? Like to be honest with you? But I was like not kidding, to be serious, but it's, you see, kind of like the I'm not going to throw names out there, but there's providers out there that are almost more of like a. They're taking in FMCSA data, data from invoices and I don't want to say guessing, but making an educated assumption based off of you know, machine learning etc. That this is how this carrier acts and works, etc. Where, like a verified carrier in particular, they they get that directly from the carrier themselves, all their carrier partners and they get their ELDs, they know where they're running. The system does showcase to you like if this is probably a bad actor because they've got one truck but they're running all over the place, you know like it'll showcase that and it just seems to give, it seemed to democratize the process more for carriers and themselves. And and I think that's what I'd like to see like even Adam Wingfield has talked about this like you might need to start getting more inspections as a carrier and like going out of your way and doing that to be able to prove to yourself or prove to your, your partners, that you are doing work the right way. And I just hope to see carriers maybe find technology that supports that and gives them the power in that conversation, compared to calling and finding out that you have a low rating because you only have one inspection last year. So much more that goes into that and there's so many drivers that get pissed when they hear that stuff because I mean there's taxes like that. There's so many different ways that you can kind of find how a carrier is leaving. So I think that I think we'll see a little bit more of the carrier stuff who's trying to think what's best passes in their right the top 25,. I'd like to see more compliance software becoming a hot topic and just a little bit more of the carriers and how they're valuing their businesses. Oh, trailer pooling right. Like being able to be a part of a trailer pool and use your assets that might not have a driver behind it at a certain point of time. Like just seeing carriers be a little bit more strategic about how they're using their equipment to.

Blythe Brumleve: 23:31

Yeah, because I think that the you know, as you were talking, you know you mentioned, like ELD data and biometrics and emissions and things like that, and I'm sure, like the drivers that would listen to this are probably cringing up and, just you know, immediately mad about. You know all of these requirements that are, you know, fairly or unfairly. You know that's a debate for another show that you know these requirements that are being put on them. The way I would see it is these are looking at some of the bigger picture items of where just the industry and trends are heading, especially when it comes to emissions. Bigger companies, bigger investment companies, you know, say what you want about, you know the sort of the black rocks of the world and things like that, but they're the ones that essentially own you know, all you know own a large portion of a lot of companies just globally, and if they set down a certain amount of standards, you can bitch about it or you can actually, you know, do the things that you need to do in order to be, maybe, a proved carrier, you know is submit your data, you know, as far as you know, to cover certain emissions data and requirements and things like that is like you know, versus scope one, versus scope two versus scope three, being able to submit that kind of data, and then that gives you access to the businesses that are connected to those regulations. And so when you see some of this stuff, like you can get mad or you can take action. And I think if you take action and you do the due diligence of you know getting the inspections, like you said, but also maybe we're starting to report on your own emissions, because then that can give you access to additional contracts, because those companies, that middleman, you know they might not like it either, but they have to do what they have to do in order to please the companies that are giving them money in order to operate. And so it's almost like a form of like government contracting, but in the private sector, where you got to play by a certain set of rules. But if you play by those certain set of rules, then you get access to a significant amount of contracts that aren't available to your competitors. And so, thinking about it from that lens, that could be your survival technique, especially for small carriers, in the coming years, and it could set you up for success to be able to, you know, charge an additional fee or, you know, higher rates for your services because you've been compliant in all of these different aspects that the overlords are telling us that we need to, you know, pay attention to. So I think that that is a good way to think about how you could shape your business moving forward and, you know, take advantage of these things, even if you know it might annoy you to do so. I mean, I think it's a little annoying all of the things that you know from a biometric standpoint cameras that are being, you know, turned on inside of the truck and, you know, watching the entire time. No one wants that, yeah, but at the same time, if it can give you, if it can keep you in business, like you got to weigh those pros and cons, so I think that that's probably an individual decision too.

Grace Sharkey: 26:30

Well, and I didn't get to watch the full episode yet but like, even even taking a lot of this technology, I think that was originally built for maybe the logistics providers in this space and leveraging it as a carrier you had Mike on recently from Kodiff, right like that stuff could be great for you know, brokerage and things like that but as a carrier, like connect that into your TMS system or your management system, which is probably also connected to all of your ELDs, and you can do a lot of great stuff like answer the calls in request of where your driver is without actually having to be connected to it. So it's like that's where I'm, like I really want to see drivers and I think we're at that point where trucking companies and why we see more of that right on the top 25, where these entities are, like you know what, if you're going to use this stuff on us, if you're going to use the bot, like we'll figure out how to use the bots on you and good, that's kind of what we need.

Blythe Brumleve: 27:31

And I know that there's, so I mean especially in a lot of the content creators within Freight. You know, especially a lot of the drivers like I feel for them when they're talking about these issues. But some of the bigger annoyances that I have is like the AI algorithm when it and I'm I look at this as the great equalizer. Like a small team like me can now use these tools to be at the power of five to 10 person teams without a giant like enterprise level corporations going to have like nice Every time every time I'm doing this show.

Grace Sharkey: 28:08

Shout out to read. We're going to give a shout out to read.

Blythe Brumleve: 28:12

You're interrupting my. He must have heard me say you know AI.

Grace Sharkey: 28:17

I was just about to literally bring him up. That's what that's. But yeah, you know, sometimes the some of the truckers right like, oh my God, these you guys know how to make some memes off of these, like really great meme. It's like use that same power right into your own business.

Blythe Brumleve: 28:33

Like, exactly like, use it as you're a tool to your advantage. You know, these big enterprises are not going to be as agile as you can be, and now you can use some of these tools to help you, along with your own workflows and your own processes, and help even the playing field in a bunch of different ways. So I see AI in a completely different lens and I hope that there's other folks and I know that there's other, you know, carriers and brokers and things like that that are listening, that that that think the same way. But you know, maybe if you're, if it's all doom and gloom when it comes to AI, like maybe just stop scrolling Twitter, slash X and maybe just try some of these tools yourself and see where it could fit in to different processes and different works. But as we talk about do more ism, I think that's a good segue to bring up our next topic, and that's Elon versus daddy Iger. Grace, you said Dover this story last week and I'm gonna. I'm gonna just admit right now I love Elon and I love Iger. I love both of them now.

Grace Sharkey: 29:32

And they all just go bad. I like, I'm like trying to answer it right now.

Blythe Brumleve: 29:36

But Bob Iger, what are you going?

Grace Sharkey: 29:40

to say I'm gonna hold you to everything you're about to say right now.

Blythe Brumleve: 29:43

I really have. I think that okay, god, I don't even know how to say this without sounding like a complete tool, but I have been a big fan girl of Bob Iger for a long time. He's Disney CEO chairman. He really like was at the height. He was the leader of the company, very, very presidential. And especially when it got into the whole like debate between I live in Florida, so Ron DeSantis versus Bob Iger, the day that Ron DeSantis died for me because I really loved the way that he handled COVID and that sort of response and I know I'm getting into some sticky territory here but the day that DeSantis said that he would be putting a jail outside of Magic Kingdom is the day that he lost my support and that is when I became a Bob Iger super fan and started watching all of his press conferences. I really liked the way that he handles. You know every report that you hear about Bob Iger is very much like. He respects the employees, from the janitors to the movie stars. He knows how to talk to all of them. He is very presidential and I know I've said that a while. I said that a lot already.

Grace Sharkey: 30:49

He knows his audience, he knows who he's working for.

Blythe Brumleve: 30:53

I mean different than most part. He knows most of the audience and then he started slipping up a little. You know he has you know the writer strike is one that really came to mind where you know he's talking about writers that need to be more realistic as far as the pay that they're demanding. Meanwhile, he's at this super high end exclusive resort, I think, in Boulder, colorado, one of the most affluent rich neighborhoods in the entire country, probably the entire world, and it was the first time I ever saw him like look disheveled, so you could tell that he's really like going through it where you go with the highest of highs. As far as Disney is concerned, he steps down in February or early March, I believe, of 2020. So he misses all of the COVID drama and you could make the argument that he maybe got a little bit of a heads up that now is the time to leave, so you don't have to deal with all of this bullshit. He appoints Bob Chapic. He, bob Chapic, is responsible for making a lot of over investment in Disney Plus, which has also led to a bunch of financial issues. It's also led to a bunch of financial strife for the company, but then you can also point to Bob Iger. You know making these overpaying for Fox and you know billions of investment that had to go into that company was probably a very poor investment. Also, the messaging from a lot of their movies as of late is just not resonating with families. People are turning away from a lot of these franchises and arguably because the content just frankly sucks that they're. You know, bob Iger even pointed to this recently at I'm blanking on the name now of what this the deal book summit. So New York Times held this event called the deal book summit, which is like 100 of the top CEOs across the world come to this conference and they essentially are networking and they're talking in front of, you know, these other, in front of a crowd of other like minded individuals just like them. So other CEOs, ad buyers, things like that, and so that's the Iger side of the story. Elon I feel like most people already know his story. You know co-founder, you know CEO Tesla, spacex, starlink, obviously now Twitter, of course. But where Elon comes into play is that there is a concerted effort among, from what I understand, a media group, and that media group has is in charge of a lot of ad buying and that ad buying has decided that for all of their clients, they're no longer going to advertise on X, and so that has led to, you know, a lot of people who think of Elon is like their new, like Hitler of the month, just frankly, hate him and hate every move. I happen to love Elon. I think he's eccentric. I think that, you know, there are some times that I wish he would spend more time on on building rockets instead of like shitposting on Twitter, because I think that he devotes a lot more brainpower to Twitter than he should and I wonder what he could be doing if he didn't do those things. But in the essence of the platform itself, he is the perfect CEO for that platform because he gets it, and I truly, truly admire someone being able to stand up to some of these other, you know, very powerful companies, very powerful people and being able to tell them go f yourself. And I really like that. And I think you need I think you need the type of Iger and I think you need the type of Elon and I think you need them to be, you know, kind of debating it out. Maybe not in the sense of what the clip I'm about to play, but that's my whole synopsis of the background information of Elon versus Iger before I play the clip. Grace, I guess you know did I did I do good on that recap, or is there anything that you would add?

Grace Sharkey: 34:38

Oh, as a recap, I definitely have opinions, but I know it's recap that was. That was probably perfect. Yeah, 100%, okay, yeah, all right.

Blythe Brumleve: 34:46

So I'm going to bring up this clip, and this comes from the deal book summit. This, for context. That happened last week. You probably saw a lot of the memes that took place, especially around the go f yourself when Elon took the stage. Now, when I saw these memes, I you know, I thought it was hilarious. I thought it was funny at first, but I did not know until watching one of my Disney channels, mickey views, which is great content, by the way. I'm going to link to them in the show notes in case you want to check out the full video. But Bob Iger was on this stage right before Elon got up there. And so just as like a conference like you know, we both go to a lot of conferences it would be the equivalent of having, like, I guess like dat on stage at f three, followed quickly by trust.

Grace Sharkey: 35:34

Like you're, Johnson giving a speech and then Craig coming out.

Blythe Brumleve: 35:39

Right, it's just it's electric. It's great content for all of us. So let me play this a really short clip of this little snippet from, by the way, biggest Andrew fan of all time.

Grace Sharkey: 35:52

He's my favorite, oh yeah, the guy who's interviewing him.

Speaker 3: 35:57

Oh, okay, I wake up every morning and see that beautiful face.

Blythe Brumleve: 36:01

Which I you'll hear it in just a minute. I was surprised that the CEOs, especially someone like Iger, actually is answering a question like this, and I would have thought I'm happy that he did it. But I would have thought that there would be a little bit more like pre-screening, Like no, we're not going to touch on that, we're not going to comment on that. So all right with all. Without further ado, let's play the next.

Speaker 6: 36:22

We're going to see Elon Musk a little bit. You stopped advertising on X.

Speaker 4: 36:27

We did Tell us about that decision.

Speaker 3: 36:35

I have a lot of respect for Elon and what he's accomplished, and not just, you know, one business, but a few businesses. And we know Elon is larger than life in many respects and that his name is very much tied to the companies he either has founded or he owns, whether it's Tesla, you know, or SpaceX, spacex, spacex or now X. And by him taking the position that he took in quite a public manner, we just felt that the association with that position and Elon Musk and X was not necessarily a positive one for us and we decided we would pull our advertising.

Speaker 4: 37:17

So that concluded Iger's comments on the Musk situation, which, by the way, the controversy underlying that is beyond the purview of a Disney News channel. But Elon's response here, specifically to Iger singling out Iger is definitely something that qualifies as Disney News, so we definitely have to cover that here. So what happens is that Elon takes the stage and he talks about the controversy that he's currently embroiled in, which resulted in Disney pulling their advertising, along with many other companies. And here's the thing is that Disney is a huge advertiser on social media, so this is, at a minimum, a single digit hit to X's income, which might not sound crazy, but for a company the size of X, a single digit hit. You know, one company pulling their ads and then a bunch of companies are doing the same alongside Disney. This is a big hit to X's income. And it takes a ton of money to operate X because basically everything happens on this platform. There's lots of people using the service, it requires tons of money to operate and now the money they have coming in has been greatly reduced by companies like Disney. In response to Elon's recent behavior which Elon takes very personal as he feels that the reason they pulled their ads off was not warranted and you'll see here why I say that. He takes it very personally. You've probably already seen this and, by the way, this is a family friendly show, so we aren't entertaining any foul language or anything like that. So there are going to be parts of what he says here which are omitted, but I think you will get the gist. I think you'll get the tone of it and what his message to Iger is. But there's a public perception that that was part of a apology tour, if you will. This had been said online. There was all of the criticism. There was advertisers leaving. We talked to Bob Iger today.

Grace Sharkey: 38:54

I hope they stop you hope Don't advertise.

Speaker 4: 38:59

You don't want them to advertise. No, what do you mean?

Speaker 6: 39:04

If somebody's going to try to blackmail me with advertising, blackmail me with money. No.

Grace Sharkey: 39:10

I hope it is. Hey Bob, you're in the audience. Isn't he doing the exact same thing with our blue checks?

Blythe Brumleve: 39:30

Oh wait, I'm sorry I took you off this. I meant to take the video off this page. What do you mean? Oh, paying Well? Yeah, well, it's, it's all right, ad tech is. So the reason I guess I have to back it up a little, because Disney is part of this media group that does a lot of the ad buying and the reason that they took ads off of Twitter slash X is because they said that advertisers were showing up next to Nazi content, anti-submitic content, things like that. Now, the question of how they arrived this media group, how they arrived at that conclusion of your ads are being shown next to this content, is suspicious at best. Basically, you can't replicate that. Your algorithm is personal to you and so in those types of feeds, you can't replicate having a Nazi style ad next to your or having your ad next, to quote unquote, nazi style content. Yeah, it's just, ad tech just doesn't work like that. Like your, your served up ads based on your third party tracking cookies, your web browsing history, what you interact with on these different social media platforms. So it is very intricate. But also Twitter slash X, they're they're algorithm and their source code is open source. So anybody can, you know, look at that. So long story short, those results from that media group are not. It's not a conclusive thing, it's not something that could be replicable in an independent study and a third party study, and so it's basically like a shakedown. That's essentially what these companies are doing. However, twitter's ad tech is not the best. I think you can realize that as you're scrolling through your feed, that you get a lot of low value ads. It's not to the level of like a local news channel where you scroll down to the bottom of the local news articles and you're seeing, like you know, fat loss pills and you know ripped guys that are on steroids and things like that. Those are shitty ads. Those types of ads are not on X yet I don't know if there will be that. That's a, I guess, a topic for another day, but I think, in the sense of it's dissent, I think we need to put it in the context of it's December marketing budgets are getting slashed. Next year is an election year. So if you have a bad ad tech which I think that Twitter does need to do an overhaul of their ads because it's by comparison let's say, instagram, for example is very good. They show me a lot of things that I want to buy and I should not be buying it as much as I do, but that is. I think that that is an important caveat in the decisions that are being made at this time of the year, knowing an election year is next year. These companies just don't want the drama and Iger is right where X is very closely tied to the personal brand of Elon and he has to be cognizant of that to where he knows that his actions are going to affect whether or not these big groups are advertising on the platform or not. With all of that said, I think it's a very easy decision for in tough economic times, with an election year coming up with shitty ad tech, that these businesses. It's very easy for them to say we're not going to advertise on Twitter anymore because we don't know that the ROI is there and a couple that with the drama that is the CEO. I think that that's what's going on here. In a larger scope of things, if Disney can make money off of advertising off of Twitter, they're going to do it. They have an obligation to their shareholders in order to do this, so they're not going to pull it for any old reason. I think they're pulling it for a variety of reasons and that they're broke right now. They're having trouble making money, election year and just the ad tech in general. So that's. I think it's tough to have a nuanced take on things like that, especially when I'm a fan of both of these, but it's like I get the decisions by Disney to cut their advertising and I get the decision by Elon to say if you're going to use this as an indication of a shakedown, then yeah, go f yourself, I don't need your money, because I really admire someone being able to tell one of the most powerful men in the world to go f themselves. I think it's and especially with everybody in that room just being able to listen to somebody not caring and having f you money and actually saying it. I think that that's fascinating, and I just talked for a lot, so I'll let you go.

Grace Sharkey: 44:14

Yeah, I'm going to have a slight different take on it. This is the big part I do want to say. I think I agree with you on the fact that I think there's a lot more that's going into it than just like let's be powerful corporate America and back out of this and just because of Elon alone, I think, just as a consumer, I buy many more things off of the ads from Instagram, honestly, even Facebook. To be honest with you, then, I ever have bought or thought about buying off of Twitter, and I think you know this too, but I actually have Elon muted on my Twitter account too, so he actually doesn't bother me. But on that note, it's funny because I was just saying I love Andrew, the guy who interviewed him. My reaction to it all is very much, I think, his reaction, which is like cool, but like now what you know and the thing that interests and I love Elon, I mean I'm all about going to Mars, like I'm all about Starlink and like what that could do for especially those who can't access good internet and don't have the ability to purchase some of the crazy intense rates that we see in some areas for internet. I think at the end of his lifetime, if he's not an alien from another kind of color cut or another planet or maybe universe at the end of his lifetime we'll look back and remember those things. Compared to others, I have like a big personal problem with people who like to say fuck off but also get upset by the reaction that people take from that. So I think that's like kind of what Andrew is saying is like okay, like great, so you told these guys to fuck off, but like what's next for your business? Are you going to improve the way that your ads work? What's your ad strategy? Right, like what's your? And I think he's saying that because he is wealthy and he doesn't give a shit. And there's also a part of me who thinks if he wasn't and he's open about this if he wasn't as autistic on the scales he has talked about in the past, like when he had even said that in a public space, you know it was very reactionary. So I just I think that for me you're running a business and people have jobs behind it to want to go to work every day and make something better. I know that you've I mean you fired a lot of them, but you have people there who really love what Twitter has done for the world. I mean it's funny. I was kind of like doing some research before this and Twitter, at the end of the day, is going to like actually, people say holds human history it's. It's where we go to get news, it's how we communicate about large, you know, human events. It's for up. Actually, fun fact for up to eight years, the US Library of Congress was actually watching every single tweet, trying because they understood like it's value towards history, and so I think that's like what's frustrating to me is like watching this, it's like okay, but we're like what's next? You know, like you can, I could come up here and and say like screw you. To like people before. What's like okay. Well, like what? What value does that truly have? What's next Answer? Answer some of the questions that you just proposed, right, and how we can make this product better and make sure it's around forever, because I think that's lightly. My fear is that sometimes you'll have energy is like you'd rather see the boat sink than than twist. That's a good point. You know what I mean. And it's like that's. There's so many people that love Twitter. It acts. I'm going to call it Twitter. Several knows for what it is. And when we talk about Daddy Agar, it's he's a professional. He understands that. He understands he can't go out there and say fuck you, elon, because he's. He's built a magical community that brings the whole world together and makes people happy and also has the thumbprint and data of every single person that's under the bar. So it's like I think for me it's the professional aspect of it like cool, you can say it, you did say it but like what's next? And realize that people love the platform and you can. As cool as it is and as cool as the memes were for like a week or so, like people want to know how that it's going to get better because people will put money towards it. I think you're right. If we fix the way that ads were generated on there, like hey, that could be a big thing. And obviously, elon, you know how to make some really powerful tools that change mankind. So take that energy and put that into Twitter and then let's see what happens. And I think that's my. My critique of it is it's like okay, yeah, like cool. What do we all love to tell some other business man to? Like fuck off, oh, you got, fuck you. This is what it's like to have fuck you money. But with great power comes great responsibility. Different comic books, I think right, and so use that and see what comes out of that too.

Blythe Brumleve: 49:41

Yeah, cause you're definitely right where it's, and it just it kind of goes back to like my earlier complaint about like I wish he would put this energy into other things instead of just like shitposting at times. Like he is such a true user of the platform that sometimes it just blinds him and misguides him into saying things, tweeting things, that he would never say publicly. But then he does get on stage and he does say some things publicly and it's like, yeah, what is next? What are you doing to to solve these issues within the platform and I'm not talking about from the lens of you know, can I get to? You know, can I manipulate the algorithm in order to show me, you know, bad content next to my ad? That's not how that works.

Grace Sharkey: 50:27

No exactly, I agree.

Blythe Brumleve: 50:29

That's not how ad-tech works, and so for you know, for so I've seen two arguments, especially from the advertiser standpoint is that they're just going to, they're just going to sit on the sidelines for a while and just wait for this thing to sort itself out. Yeah, I cannot overstate enough how much the election year will really impact a lot of these social media channels and who they accept, why they accept it. I like the kind of sort of pseudo, like blanket approach, like we're going to accept everybody on this platform as far, as, like, free speech is concerned, but then with that comes a whole myriad of issues, and so you have one side of it that's probably just going to sit it out Like they don't necessarily care. That Elon, you know, said a bit of FU to Bob Iger on stage. I don't give it like what's my, what's my role, as like what's my return on ad spend, like is it going to be positive? Because if it's going to be positive, I don't give a shit.

Grace Sharkey: 51:20

What you know, elon is tweeting what he's saying on stage. I hear it probably feels the same way Like yes, absolutely. I wasn't like and this is like shows, like succession right. I can guarantee you wasn't like how do we eat this man alive?

Blythe Brumleve: 51:35

Like, yeah, that's not. But then I've also seen the other side of it, where you know a bunch of like Sean Perry of my first million podcast, love that podcast. But he made the point the other day. He said with Twitter, ads right now very cheap and they're very frequent on the platform. So if you are looking to spend some money, why not give it a shot on Twitter, because they're going to be. I mean, the ad spend right now is significantly less than other channels. Linkedin, for example, is very, very expensive, but the ROAS on that platform is historically low. Instagram is, I think, is more built for B2C, more, you know, e-commerce driven, so maybe Twitter can be that sort of thought leadership that you're pointing people to your content or you're pointing people to you know, something that requires a little bit of a longer sell, especially if the ads are cheap. So that was his point. It's like why not? You know, throw some money at Twitter and just to see if it works, especially if the attention is already there and the ads are cheap. Like, why not? So I see it from like. I see it from a very like nuanced perspective. I think just the most annoying people are the ones that just are so anti Elon that it just rages. I don't want to get into like personal family drama, but my brother is one of those people who just absolutely cannot stand Elon. But he's on the platform all day, every day, and I'm like so what is it?

Grace Sharkey: 52:59

Like. So what's the taste here? I can't hate Elon because he like paid for a large amount of my vacations back in 2020 and 21, when Tesla stock was just soaring through the mirror. Like you know, it's like I can't, I would and I would go to Mars with him, like the same thing and it's. But you know what, like I probably would have respected him more if he came out and said exactly what you said. You know what. We don't need their ad money because I want I want to democratize the ad infrastructure and make it so people like Blythe can afford an ad to promote her own content over someone like Iger. That is like that's leadership. That's going to drive me to be like maybe. I should boost this tweet today and that's part of me just wonders sometimes, like again the autistic side of Elon, if he walks off that stage and says you know what, maybe that was a little in the now, I'm sure Linda the CEO Linda Yaccarino was like okay, all right, how are we going to do? this. Today. I met a girl on a plane during COVID who worked at Tesla and I was like, oh, like, what do you do there? And she was like HR, and I go, yikes, she goes, yeah, but she loved it, you know, and it's so, it's like he can get the people. You know what we need? We need a superstar Iger Elon Musk robot, and that would be they need to hang out, I think.

Blythe Brumleve: 54:30

I think that Iger he is so personable with and he knows how to deal with big personalities, that that was one of the downfalls or the down, I guess, or side effects, of Bob Chappick is that. So there was a Black Widow movie, so Scarlett Johansson. That movie was originally scheduled to release in theaters and so, based on her contract, she was going to get significantly more money for a theatrical release. We all know what happened over 2020. All of the movies that were scheduled to release in theaters were then put on streaming, and so she doesn't get that large payday. And so she ends up going to Disney and being like, hey, can we negotiate this? Because, you know, I originally signed for this and now you're doing this, I'm going to miss out on a huge chunk of money because of that. And Bob Chappick decided to go to the press and basically, you know, shun her during COVID and saying like, oh, this multi-millionaires worried about, you know, not being able to get millions more and things like that, whereas Bob Iger, in a situation like that, would be able to, you know, massage the situation, massage the egos of all of those folks involved in order to come to a really good you know agreement, and so I wouldn't put it past Iger to be able to work out some of these conditions or some of these you know, I guess, extracurricular details with Elon, and I wouldn't be surprised if we see them on a stage together in the future, just because that's the way Elon works. He's very he's very eccentric. You got to take the good with the bad. I think he's an incredibly fascinating person and I think, when all is said and done, the work that he's doing for the world is ultimately for the good and for the betterment of society. And I think that free speech, especially from the tech platform standpoint, and is so incredibly important, especially during an election year and especially, as you know, we're trying to dissect what's going on in the world and what's going on with news. Being able to hear multiple points of view is essential for a democratic society, is essential for debate, and I think that when those other points of view are stifled, I think that you get to a point where we kind of are nowadays, where you're only used to living in your own bubble, you're only used to seeing the same things that you agree with, and if you see things you need to actually push yourself to see other points of view, to see it from other perspectives, and it's really, really challenging, but it needs to happen in order for a democratic society to flourish. So there's a lot of moving parts with this discussion. I'm still a fan of both of them. I hope both of them are sort of leading their companies to the promised land. I want to see the comeback of great Disney stories and I want to see them advertised on Twitter. I want to be able to see more points of view and more coverage of news-type programs on the platform. So that's my politically correct answer in all of this Is that I'm a fan of both and I hope everybody does great. I agree with you there, 100%, all right. Well, let's move on to our next topic, because we're doing pretty good on time, but this one I'll make it well. I don't know if I'll make it quick or not, because it is talking about being a woman in freight. Yeah, let's wrap it up. We don't need to talk about this. It's not important at all. So, being a woman in freight, this was a story that was dropped in the freight caveat newsletter, which, if you're not subscribed to that newsletter, I highly advise to do so. It really is a fantastic way to keep up with news that you need to know, but also news that you didn't know that you need to know. If that's it, hopefully I said that right, but I want to share this story because essentially what happened is a DM or a text message exchange was sent to a freight caveat follower and it was basically this woman who's like a sales rep, goes into an office and she's trying to get business. I'm assuming it's a shipper. So one person at the office essentially got her phone number after she visited not from the woman somehow got her phone number and sent her a text and let me see if I can bring it up on the screen right now, but basically got this text and it says Miss, I'm really sorry to bother you at work, I just really needed to get this off my chest. You came to my job looking for the shipping manager and I just want to say you're the most beautiful lady I've ever seen. I hope you have an amazing day. Sorry, I just had to say it. And she's like who is this? Because she did not give her number out to this person. And basically he goes on to say I was the guy you talked with with the beard. I'm not trying to bother you, you just had I'm not trying to bother you, you just had something to say and didn't know how to do it in a respectful way. Would it be okay if I got your Instagram, which is just such a shade here would be Snapchat.

Grace Sharkey: 59:30

I didn't want to bother you while bothering you.

Blythe Brumleve: 59:33

Right and it's like you got there. I would imagine that this guy would have had a better success rate if he just looked the chick up on Instagram and just followed her. That way it almost feels more invasive that he got her phone number and then chose to text her and then ask for her Instagram. I'm not exactly sure of like the thought process that worked there or why he thought that that was a good idea.

Grace Sharkey: 59:59

Yeah, yeah, yeah, no, I, and I'm sitting here trying to think myself how could I tell someone? Tell someone to do it better, and it's. I'd say, maybe the next time she shows up, maybe not start with her, looks like maybe?

Blythe Brumleve: 1:00:20

Yeah Well, I think it's. It's funny to think about, like, if you're her, are you? Are you thinking about it from the lens of I really want that business, so maybe use this guy. If he's going to violate your privacy, are you taking that freight? Are you taking that business opportunity with the C suite, knowing that a guy like that exists in the office? He doesn't sound like a decision maker, he sounds like somebody who was maybe just like walking by as she was there, trying to, you know, visit the office, but at the same time, like are you going to be able to get the freight? Or like, can you, can you maybe talk to this guy?

Grace Sharkey: 1:01:01

in order to get the freight. It is a tough market and I'm sure commission checks are low. You know it's funny because, like, I've dealt with this a lot with drivers, especially like in, and this is why I like seeing tech that doesn't force employees to do this, but like we would all have a driver that we know would be delivering later something. So it'd be like hey, here's my cell phone, just text me when you get there, so when I know everything's good. And I mean, as a woman, that's like you got a 5050 chance of them randomly hitting you up five months later as well about it. So you know, there's, it's something that you're going to, I think, run into often as like a woman, and fray in particular, it's just, it's so funny because I'm trying, I don't, I don't know. I mean there's so many follow up questions I would have. I would, I think, for men, men watching, realize that you've now put this person in this like awkward situation where if they say no to you, they might not feel like they can go back to your business. You know, like right, I think that's like, if it just it's, it's not that like cause you know you see stuff like this a lot of times that I'd say the male response is like wow, like we can't even talk to women these days. You know, like it's not about that, it's more of like the position that you now put her in, where it's like, do I have to every time now come and say hi to you? And I also like I won't get the business Like you've done, like, put her in this predicament, okay, think just like any human being, and this is like also, I think, my complaint when it comes to maybe just how we interact with each other nowadays with our cell phones. It's like, wait until the next time she comes to the office, like and then and say hi, I'm so eager to jump down her throat like it's. It's one of those like Take it easy Like you have her text, like what do you need?

Blythe Brumleve: 1:03:00

her Instagram for you know right, you have her name, you have her phone number.

Grace Sharkey: 1:03:05

She's just said who is this Like? If it was like you guys chatted back and forth for a while, then you're like do you have Instagram? You know, like I don't even do that with like regular people, I mean, it's like I was like hey, life Like day two of knowing you. What's your Instagram, you know? Yeah?

Blythe Brumleve: 1:03:20

that's. That's super weirdo behavior. Yeah, so you're right, I, you know, thinking about it from the lens of, like you're gonna have to talk to this company more than ideally, if you get the business, you're gonna have to talk to them more than once. So maybe this is a situation where, like you know, as that relationship evolves with the person You're actually trying to reach and trying to do business with, you know, maybe that's a conversation you approach later on down the line, like, hey, you might want to look out for for this guy here, yeah, cuz he's kind of giving off creeper vibes. But I'd say, like, guys, just don't, don't do this. Yeah, like, maybe email her If there's a business opportunity and just keep everything else in check unless she shows interest, which Someone getting your number and then texting you I think is an incredible violation of privacy. I, I would not. I would immediately like delete and block the text message I would kind of laugh about, but I imagine that it's not. If it's an attractive woman, I'm sure, or just a woman in general, like I'm sure that this has happened to her in freight and I think that's sort of like the overarching story of, you know, this being a woman in freight from freight caviar. Is that you know? Sort of these anecdotal results? Because when he originally sent the article out, it brought me back to a business meeting that I had with a gentlemen, and I don't I Would say that 90% of it was mostly professional but you do get vibes from men, especially in this industry, that it's like oh Are, is this? Are we strictly talking about business here or are you insinuating other things? Like I, there is like that, I don't. It's just a weird thing that you got to figure out the hard way. Yeah, as a woman in this industry, and you don't know if the people that you're doing business with Legitimately like you for your services and who you are as a person, or if they're just doing it to try and get in your pants, like there is that you are asking that question and this one gentleman that I walked in. We had several meetings and this was a project that was going to be very, very, I guess, lucrative for me In order to pursue this project. But I walked into one of the the meetings with them and he's got my personal Instagram open on his laptop Because he goes to like show me something about the company website or the company protocol. The tab is my personal Instagram and I was like and that's before I, you know, was posting a lot of like business stuff to my, and so it was uh. It was such a like oh that's not when I Eventually and it would have, if I would have listened to myself during that meeting I would have saved myself a lot of time because the business didn't actually come to fruition and he didn't spend a big check. And you could make the argument of maybe why he didn't spend a big check is because I wasn't Want to entertain that side of things. But at the same time, like you also, I was also pissed off because you just wasted a lot of my time and were there warning signs that I could have, you know, paid attention to to avoid wasting that time, and that the personal Instagram being open on his laptop was was one of them. I don't know that I would think of it as creepy anymore, because I am. I do post more business stuff now, but back then I had it was very much just a personal Instagram. So has any any stuff like that ever happened to you?

Grace Sharkey: 1:06:53

I think I yes, in various ways. I would say it happens more probably. I mean, I was a lot more of operation side, so it was a lot more on the driver end of things and more of like loads delivered sweetie, like how, how's the rest of your night going? Shit like that, and you know it's. I take this back. I just saw this like clip of Meryl Streep on a Panel and she said you know, the interesting thing is, I think, that women have learned how to, how men commute, how to communicate with men, right, but men haven't learned the opposite, like how how women communicate, hear things, etc. I really like women understand men are from Mars, but men haven't understood. I've figured out Venus, yeah, right, and, and that's kind of like I think what's this? And a lot of things showcase, where it's like Realize that when and I said this before and and this, this stuff has kind of happened to me where there's like weird text messages and and Can we get your snapchat? And just weird stuff like that is like you put women in this spot, that they just start spiraling, spiraling into. That's now like the easiest thing to do is to just say, yeah, here's my Instagram and and I think that's exactly right, yeah. And then men hear that and they think, oh cool, yeah, no, she likes it. Oh cool, yeah, no, she likes me. And it's like no, like you've put her in a spot where she has to, because she Feels like if she says no, it's gonna come. There's more repercussion from saying no than the saying yes, and I mean we could take that down a whole Consent chat, but different time, different place, but I think that's what I just want people to kind of understand. It's like it's Especially just. There's a lot of you know, chat on text and emails and things of that nature where a Lot of times, I just think, as a woman in this space, we feel the need and that life just is easier if we just cave to it and and and Go home and eat a pint of ice cream and call it a fucking day, and so I just I hope that if there's anyone listening and watching this right now, a man who's like oh, because I hear you, and that's the point, we understand it. You have to take a step back, though, and put yourself in a woman's shoes Like you, put me into a corner where I have to, I'll likely make a decision that's not Actually right in my heart and I think that's where I, you know, that's why I like talking about this stuff and I and I like giving women an opportunity to showcase the hard, bad-ass work that they're doing in this industry, because you know how this could have completely changed. Hey, you came in today. You really know what you're doing in this industry. I thought that was awesome. Is there any way that maybe that we can chat about that when you have a free time, like Then being like hey, you, beautiful, a love muffin. Like you, let me have your Instagram. Like you know, it's when women have had to kind of deal with this, for I mean to be honest, since the beginning of humankind, we've quickly learned that sometimes it's easier to just deal with it than to fight it, mm-hmm, and I hope that a man can can listen to that, hear that advice from me now and and just Store it in your back pocket. I don't expect you all meant to change overnight, but just consider, consider that thought process than something else.

Blythe Brumleve: 1:10:44

Yeah it, that's such a good point about you. Now you painted her in a corner of like how, how do you react from that? Like you, you're legitimately just trying to get business and then you have to Navigate this person and you don't even know that probably the significance of that person, their role, do they have like a, you know, a decision-maker role and, mm-hmm, is that, is that something you want to deal with every single time that you are working with that client? Is it worth it? I know some women would say, don't care, like I'll brush him off and I'll get the business regardless. And kudos to you if you can. You know, navigate those waters, because it's going to just be challenging and you're gonna think about that. You know, I, I can only speak for myself. I would personally Feel a little weird visiting that office in the future. Yeah, if I were to get that business exactly. But I also don't know I and I see your point too about you know or not your point. But just, I guess men in general like, oh, you can't even, you know, talk to a woman. This isn't talking, though. Like this is you've got her number Without having to do the hard work of asking her for it. She left her number with the intention of someone else contacting her. Yeah, not you, yeah, and then you text her and then you ask for her. It's like what was going through your mind that you thought that success rate of that would be in your favor. Yeah, and I think Little little questionable about that that sales process there I hope he's not in sales anyways, because that's an interesting way to try to get clients or try to get business or to try to work with different vendors. That's a whole other you know sort of set of topics, but just a few stats that I wanted to also highlight too, because it's not. This is something that women obviously have had to deal with, but at the same time, like the industry is getting a little bit better as far as, like Representation is concerned. About, you know, female leaders and a variety of roles. This women in trucking, or women in trucking association released a 2023 study that was also cited in the freight caviar newsletter. That said, c-suite executive roles are held by women at close to 32%. So it's sitting 31.6%. Company leadership positions is close to 37%. Hr and talent man and talent management predominantly women at 74%. I would also love to see the role of women in freight verse in the accounting roles as well, because the two companies that I worked at it was pretty much all women it was about 98% women, yeah, and the accounting roles definitely in marketing roles. So you know, this is I would love to be able to see and I don't know if women, the women in trucking actually releases that, but, like the C-suite Executive roles held by women at 31.6%, I would love to know if that's growing or if that's shrinking, because I think that I would assume it would be growing slightly, which is interesting to see. And then, also for female female drivers, they did release that where they said it increased it. Their female drivers increased to 12.1% in 2023, up from 7.9%, which was last recorded in 2018. So that's a lot of movement on the driver side of things, which I do want to give a quick shout out to Desiree over at real women in trucking. She really advocates for not just women to join the trucking roles and trucking Trucking roles in general, but she also is a very big proponent on the training systems that go on within Drivers, like a female driver being paired up with a male driver that she's never known, she's never met and you're in close quarters with them for eight hours a day. We're talking about this text message, so imagine being in a truck for eight hours with that dude.

Grace Sharkey: 1:14:44

How many times have we done this show and the can you hear me still, by the way? Okay, cool, I think when my buds died. How many times have you and I been on the show around the same wave page? I actually wanted to quickly talk about something that Desiree posted today, so brought to my attention as of today. This comes from the FMC SA, and this is again something that she's huge on. Reading this right off Using a commercial motor vehicle to commit felony sexual assault now will actually get the drivers Believe. Technically they'll be disqualified From using a commercial motor vehicle based on the rules of 49 CFR. So basically, if you are using your vehicle To sexually assault someone like not clearly using the vehicle, but in your vehicle and you sexually assault someone, you could potentially lose your chance of actually driving as well. So, whether or not that actually goes to to court and you go to jail or something like that, you can actually Lose the chance of even being able to drive in particulars too. So a little bit more on that, and I know it's something that Desiree has been working on with that group as well. So, yeah, you guys can go check that out. I think she posted and I just reposted it today too.

Blythe Brumleve: 1:16:09

Speaking of other accounts too, because this account was also cited in Freight Caviar. But, pardon my French, but her Instagram handle is all just tied so great together. Her Instagram handle that she freely puts out for everybody to contact her is that Freight Bitch, which is with all the growth of the meme accounts. Of course those meme accounts are. I think probably, I would say, 70%, 80% of that content is geared towards everyone within sort of the Freight roles, but that Freight Bitch really highlights the roles from the female perspective and so if you're in, if you like all the meme accounts and things like that, she is a really good follow from that perspective and she puts out some funny stuff about just being a woman in Freight in general and having to deal with you know, it's, she's that bit A lot of times, yeah, yeah, and it's. It's funny to see like the. I attribute like the Freight Broker floor very much to almost like fraternity, college life, like that's what it reminds me of my at least my time, you know, in the environments that I've worked at is very college bro, and you have to have a certain personality in order to, you know, I guess, deal with the nuances of that kind of like workplace culture and I think she nails it with, you know, some of the funny content from the female perspective, at least when it comes to being a female in that kind of culture in this industry.

Grace Sharkey: 1:17:38

Well, gotta support that.

Blythe Brumleve: 1:17:42

Yeah, she is super funny too, so that always plays a good role. All right, let's let's get into a little bit of the cargo crime aspect. This was the story I picked was not necessarily Freight related, but I could see a lot of Freight companies doing this, and that is sports illustrated got caught, yes.

Grace Sharkey: 1:18:05

Call it out. Yes, no, I love, I know exactly, perfect, let's go.

Blythe Brumleve: 1:18:12

Okay For folks who don't really follow like sports media closely, I love following just the media business in general. And so Joe Popliano, who is a creator, very popular creator. He focuses on sports and business, but he recently tweeted out about the sports illustrated story and if you're just listening I'll read it for you, but the TLDR too long didn't read is that sports illustrated bought AI generated headshots and created fake writer profiles so that they could publish AI generated content and make it look real. They were caught. And then what they tried to do they so they were caught with one writer in particular. I'm using writer you know loosely here. So then somebody went into the back end of the site and then attributed all of those articles that that AI writer wrote and attributed it to another author. So then they went back and searched that person, that headshot of the writer that they moved it to, and that person was fake as well. So they got caught like double dipping essentially, with a lot of this different news coverage. So it was fake AI headshots, ai generated articles. For folks who do not know, there are tools now and I've seen them. I haven't personally used them yet and I won't just because it's too much of a gray area as far as, like you know, ai I guess moral code around AI, especially when it comes to online. But you can, essentially, you can create a fake headshot very easily, a lot of times for free. You create a writer profile and then you can set up different automations and integrations where you can have different trending stories. And this goes on a lot in sports, where a good portion of sports media has historically, especially over the last 10 years, been powered by these cheap articles that can be created in like 15 seconds. If you're actually quote unquote writing it, it will take you about five to 10 minutes to quote unquote, write it. It used to actually work for a company that really prioritizes. Our whole role is that we would monitor Twitter on a college football Saturday starting at 8am, we would watch Game Day and if anything new and noteworthy dropped, what we would do is we would have a two person team. One person would be writing the article and when I say writing the article, I mean three or four different sentences and then you post a tweet Like that's it. So you post a link to the tweet, you write a few sentences and that's your article. You go live, you send it out to all of your distribution partners, like Yard Barker and MSN and, you know, microsoft, all of these different news aggregator websites and you just hope that these companies choose your article because you were first to market. That's what I would assume that Sports Illustrated is doing here, where they're trying to gain the system where they find something popular that's popping off on Reddit or on Twitter and then they just write a few sentences and they make the AI you know. Just integrate into where you can realistically have a bot that scans the trending stories on Reddit and Twitter and will automatically create those sentences, create the link, integrate it into your website and boom, you have that free content. You have that, those free articles, and you get that distribution. So I'm fascinated by it. I think it's it's an interesting twist into how sports media is covered and I think that, especially in the media landscape that we work in and in other aspects I don't know that that type of content would fly. You know, a tweet. Typically, media follows what's happening in the sports world because it is live and because reactions are so, I guess, ingrained into the news that's being published, and so being able to be first is still very valuable from an advertising perspective. But it's also very, very cheap because those users, they come in once, they see that article and then they never come back to your site again. So you're where we're talking, especially with the site. I used to work for. Something like 98% of our visitors only came in for one quick article. They got what they needed and they never came back, they never subscribed. So it was a flawed business model and I would imagine sports illustrated, a company that used to really prioritize good writing, is trying to. I think they're VC funded now, so it's not the same editorial board or you know editorial standards that they once had. The VC media group has apparently been caught doing this on other websites as well that they bought and own now. So it's. I mean, it's a sad story when you think about sports illustrated as a whole and how far they've fallen, but I think it's just, it's managed decline at this point for sports illustrated. Sad to see, but also really fascinating to see that they're getting caught on it and not necessarily hiding the fact, because they moved it just to another you know AI writer, and I'm sure they'll do it again in the future.

Grace Sharkey: 1:23:15

Yeah, it's like use this for almost like maybe live tweeting events and things like that, you know, like scrubbing if something happens, being able to, you know, also bring that up too. I think it'd be tough in some of our yeah, our content realms to to do that without being caught or just people wouldn't care, because I think we all have like our own opinion that people come for. But no, that's. And then I heard they're trying to like make people pay for like some of the even more money now for like the other high quality issues and it's just man media. It's. It proves they got to be able to make some good content. And I think we talked about barstool before on here. But like that's the thing with barstool right, it's like it's about the, the people behind the actual human beings that are driving people. Like you could have almost like fake content promoted by the actual personalities and that would do well, but just to like make the content, to make the contents absolute bullshit and not surprised that they got busted for it too.

Blythe Brumleve: 1:24:24

Yeah, I think it's super interesting that they got that, they caught. It's almost like getting the hand caught in the in the cookie jar. And so you're. You're right, I think for a lot of these publications they realized kind of early on or not early on, but within the last few years that your personalities and your talent that you have on your media staff are just as important now as the content that you're creating and that you're putting out. Because these models of just you know, trying to write college football Saturday, for example, we would write 30 to 40 articles in a day, and when I use the term writing very loosely and I remember being hired on to that role to write more editorial content but when bills got to get paid, I was taken off of editorial because it took a long time, it took a lot of research. And then the traffic reward. You know you might get the reward over a long period of time of people coming to that article of like. I remember one that really that took me a very long time to do was like tailgating traditions and the SEC, which is you got to research each of these, each of these schools, find out their tailgating traditions, you write them up, you get, you know, the B roll, you get the video, you get the images. It takes a lot of time to do that, but, longevity wise, that's going to stick, or that's much more stickier than Lee Corso, you know, said this during, you know, college Game Day. And then it's like an embedded tweet. Yeah, it's like the stickiness of that is non-existent, but that's the shift that they made and then they ultimately went out of business. So you can, you could, say that they made the wrong business decisions.

Grace Sharkey: 1:26:01

Congrats to the VCs, though. They always fix everything, don't they? By the way, I've got more time. I just realized my meeting I was thinking is next Thursday, so you're good, oh.

Blythe Brumleve: 1:26:12

God, thank God, because we were about to get to the best part of the show. We got, we got your cargo crime, and then we also got a source to porch, so I think you wanted to go first in this or not go first. But yeah, well, my cargo.

Grace Sharkey: 1:26:24

So, just like your, cargo crime well, actually mine is probably mine is more of a retail crime, and so it also will get into kind of the my source to porch story as well, as it should be a nice little turnaround. So basically, this was brought to my. It's something I've noticed before shopping. So I'm a big makeup stand, I love interesting palettes, I like to collect like weird makeup duos and brands and I spend way too much money on it. Let's just say that, thank God, covid calmed me down working from home calm me down a little. But so there's a YouTube personality that I follow who actually did this series, I want to say about five years ago, and it never came to air. I think he was afraid of getting sued and the clips are about to show. In a second You'll hear, because they don't say the name of the company, I'll say it it's TJ Maxx, and basically I know where this is going. Yeah, so TJ Maxx, if you've ever been into their makeup section, isn't ever the cleanest, and basically what this YouTube video is spending time doing is investigating the returns process of makeup and how different stores do that, and so if we want to pull up the first clip, basically what happens here is they just finished going to TJ Maxx and they bought makeup that they wanted to see what the quality was like if it felt used before. If it. Yeah, this is going to be a weird, this is going to be a gross episode for everyone, and they're kind of going through it in general. So if you want to pull up that first clip, we'll start there.

Speaker 5: 1:28:10

Okay. So here's my plan, because I want to be very sanitary and safe. So which palette should we mess with and then return? So these are the ones that already had something sort of defective, and then these are the ones that were just flat out broken. Do you think this one? I mean that one already has a fingerprint. So if you made another fingerprint, I feel like it'd be pretty obvious. I'm going to make it very obviously used to a point where an employee or somebody there would be like don't put that on the shelf. Okay, maybe try to get like a fingernail divot in it too.

Grace Sharkey: 1:28:48

For everyone who's just listening to that episode wearing gloves.

Speaker 5: 1:28:52

Does that crazy?

Grace Sharkey: 1:28:53

Does purchase this?

Speaker 5: 1:28:55

I mean, that looks like a toddler gone to it. Okay, do you want to like, take a? That's good, that's good, that looks crazy on, okay. So you see how fucked up that is. So this next part is just kind of a mark Double protect himself, so that tomorrow we can go back and see if they put it on the shelf.

Grace Sharkey: 1:29:30

So you're putting a little star inside the box, of course, to kind of showcase Okay, this is we, we yeah, I guess break it down for the folks who are just listening of what just happened. Yeah, so if you're just listening. Basically, they went to TJ max. They bought a ton of makeup to see the quality of it. Probably half of it seemed used before or was damaged, which a lot of times happens in these like kind of resale TJ max type of stores, marshall's stuff, like that, right. And so their theory, though, is is that people are returning this and that they're putting it right back on the shelf to continue making money off of it. And so they say let's, let's kind of mess with it, let's make it obvious that someone used this. Well, let's mark the box, we're going to return it, which they go and return. We don't have that clip. They go and return it, and the next clip is they're going back to the store the next day to see if it's on the shelf, and so they. So Shane, in particular Dawson, goes in, and this is him coming out of the store.

Speaker 5: 1:30:54

Okay. So what happened? Oh my God, I'm so nervous. Okay, so I found the same palette, but I don't know if it's the one Okay, because there's multiple of them. I have like a bunch of overstock of that, so I don't know if this is the one but I bought it anyways, I'm like nervous, okay, I'm dying for this.

Blythe Brumleve: 1:31:19

What do I do?

Speaker 5: 1:31:20

If this is real, if they're doing this, still, this is like a problem, like this is even funny anymore, okay, okay. So here's the palette, okay, and I drew a star inside. Oh, my God, okay.

Grace Sharkey: 1:31:42

You're making me nervous, okay, ready.

Speaker 3: 1:31:51

Okay, ready, I'm just going to rip it. Okay, one, two, three.

Grace Sharkey: 1:32:02

So they ripped it all in and the star is there. So basically what happened is in less than 24 hours they returned the palette, which, by the way, it's kind of crazy that you can return a used palette to begin with and previously in the episode we skipped that part but, like they're even surprised, they get a full refund on it, right. And then within a night, the next morning afternoon he goes and he purchases the same palette. And the last clip is kind of the big part, because I think this wraps into just as a consumer, like how scary this stuff is.

Speaker 5: 1:32:36

About the customers, about the health, about skin. They don't give a fuck. They're like, yeah, returns, put them all back. Put them all back. Put them back before you leave for your shift, because we need to make more money. Who cares? Like they need to be destroying this shit? And the fact that this happened in Colorado and four years ago it happened in California, nevada, like literally five other places. Like this is happening. This is wrong. This is so fucked.

Blythe Brumleve: 1:33:01

I'm like Googling right now what's the actual procedure for a return to makeup.

Speaker 5: 1:33:04

You know like what are they supposed to? do yeah, like, look up specifically this store, which now I guess we'll just say, oh, we're saying it, I don't know. I mean, just don't buy makeup at places like this. If that's what they're going to do, you just bring awareness. Oh no, I think it's fine if they're selling overstock makeup. If they're selling overstock from a company, you know, that's fine. But if they're selling expired which Jeffrey confirmed if they're selling used, if they're letting you take it home, use it for prom, fucking bring it back. Somebody else uses it, gets pink. I like they should not be doing that. They should care. Covid, literally COVID happened and they're still doing this. Yeah, that's like that's insane. How do you still have it?

Grace Sharkey: 1:33:47

I don't know. So that's, it's crazy, it's funny. I went to TJ Maxx a little while back and it's it's not the cleanest, especially in the makeup area, and it's and this is kind of where the return process in general I think people don't understand how difficult reverse logistics is and and exactly how I think brands themselves are still learning on the best way to do it. Clearly here's a perfect example of how not to do it and I will say the reason that Shane is kind of nervous throughout these videos is he got sued by little Ceesers or sorry, noah, chuck E Cheese for kind of the same type of videos. That's why he voids saying the name. But I actually went through and like this is a problem, not just at TJ Maxx but a lot of these kinds of stores that take in a dollar stores too right, like these stores that take all the like leftover makeup and and and put it out there for resale. A lot of it's sometimes a stolen. In a previous episode he found like a bunch of stolen product, expired product. So especially if for those out there looking at place and he says that I think about in the next minute of the video, it's like for the price of it, just go to go to target and get elf. You know, like there's different ways to make sure you protect yourself from from these terrible return processes. And this is, you know, going back to reverse logistics. This is kind of my transition into exactly what I want to talk about in terms of the source to port, which is just returns in general. I mean, this is a huge, huge problem in our industry, not just, of course, like the cleanliness of it, but because of how difficult it can be to, of course, like make sure that product that does come back on the shelf is clean and available to another. A lot of this stuff is just thrown away at the end of the day. Now, what we just watched is like, yeah, throw that shit away. Clearly, 90% I found some interesting stats 90% of most consumers believe that when they do return something that's not makeup, I'll say is usually restocked, and that's actually false. But 25% of returns end up in a landfill and that's, I think, on average, like billions pounds of goods every year. And when we talk about and this kind of wraps up all the way to the beginning of our discussion this episode like our planet emissions in particular, I mean holding returned inventory creates about, let's see, 15 million metric tons of carbon dioxide emissions, which is equivalent to 3 million passenger vehicles emissions a year. Assuming that there are approximately 750 million returns a year, the packaging alone to return things as another 45,000, sorry, 4500 tons of carbon dioxide as well. And clothing is actually the worst, and I think we all know that 36 billion clothing items alone in the US are disposed of every year in return processes, and this is a weird stat to think of too. One truckload of clothing is sent to a landfill or is burned every second. So I mean that's insane. That's like me just saying that was like six truckloads, right. So the best thing and again like this whole like conversation can come full circle is what can save us from. It is technology, I mean especially in the makeup side, right, like having a better system to showcase like yo, this has been hit on our shelves three times. I think was it on this show where we talked about the barcode and like, yeah, what we learned at CSCMP about how we can get more like the barcode now isn't really made for for tracking the lifetime of an item, it's just made for like a single use type of scenario single purchase scan, yeah, where now it's more of a you know intelligent.

Blythe Brumleve: 1:37:48

You can see if it's been you know a product callback or something like that. So there's more intelligence and marketing around. What? That QR code or that was it? Yes, essentially a QR code instead of a barcode, exactly that that retailers are starting to use or will start to use. I think Pepsi is going to have it implemented across all of their products, which are massive company by 2025, I believe I might be off in that it might be like 2026 is you know whatever. But yeah, that's a. That's such an interesting thing to think, because I've bought makeup from TJ Maxx before, but I don't know that I ever even thought to check. I just assumed that it was you know overstocks or things that didn't sell it, like Sephora or Ulta, and you know they send them off to TJ Maxx and TJ Maxx buys them. I didn't even think of the fact of somebody buying it from TJ Maxx and then returning it and it going right back on the shelf, which you think about the worker that works at a TJ Maxx? Of course they're just. They're not the way that they pay. Yeah, about that's a TJ Maxx to set those policy and standards for certain products that they sell and certain you know I imagine, like you know, underwear for example they're not going to hopefully they wouldn't like take a return on that. Like you know, there's different things that you know should probably just be destroyed. But I think it also kind of hints to just the overall like makeup supply chain in general, because there's a lot of like makeup subreddits and skincare subreddits and the shocking amount of people that buy things off of Amazon and their counterfeit, their counterfeit products. The one that comes to mind is you know, this was years ago, but the Kylie lip kit, yeah, there were so many counterfeits being produced and they were being produced in China and they were sending them over to the US and there were reports of women like having in the lip kit is like you know it's, you know eyeliner or not eyeliner, but lip liner and lipstick and you know, just to make your lips look bigger, oh yeah, I've got 30 of them. But we all know that. I guess you know Kylie did more than you know. Just do her own lip kit. But these other women seeing her thinking that if they buy this lip kit that her that their lips are going to look like hers, they did up fusing their lips together because it was counterfeit products that they bought off of Amazon and so you know just the whole makeup supply chain is really interesting to me because a lot of these things are so expensive. So if you see something, I understand why it's enticing. If you go to like a TJ Maxx and you see, you know, an urban decay palette or something like that, it's highly discounted, you're like, yeah, you're going to jump all over that because that's what you've seen in marketing and messaging and not even thinking that it would be infected. It's one of those products too.

Grace Sharkey: 1:40:39

That's like very easy to steal off the back of a truck. Like earlier in that same episode, he's talking with Jeffree Starr who, back in like 2019, had his concealer launched and there was a specific shade that that they ended up not like remaking and actually cut because it just something about the formula wasn't right, but it was stolen as well at some point. And he was at a TJ Maxx and saw it sitting there and he's like how the hell did this happen? And like it had a sue and because you're right, like it's makeup in particular, people's names are on those brands and it's like we don't need that this type of this fraud happening, right, but it just even back to like the return side of it. It's just it shows you how complicated that is and that for some companies it's quite. It's the fastest and easiest way to figure it out is you throw it away or, in some cases, just throw it right back on the shelf, regardless of how it affects the consumer.

Blythe Brumleve: 1:41:49

I mean, yeah, if you're, because I remember working I worked at Costco for as a cashier for a little while and we would always have these what they call go backs. So Costco has a very generous return policy. You can literally like I saw people returning a 10 year old grill that's rusted out and Costco just has that return policy on everything except for computers and phones. We actually changed that while I was working there, because when I was 18, I got my first cell phone and I bought it from Costco and anytime that that cell phone model was upgraded, I just returned my phone at Costco and just got the brand new model. They stopped doing that after a little while. So computers, tvs and like you know, anything like electronic, they stopped doing that. But anything else you can return, like right after Christmas, like pies and you know cakes and things like that. Like I've heard of people returning an entire sheet cake where all of the cake is eaten except for like a tiny slice of it, and Costco just takes it back because it's just you know they'll destroy it. But then there was other goods that you know you just have to like throw in a basket and then you know, find you know we would have to do that every night is to put the go backs back, or one person in general was in charge of, and there wasn't like a stringent policy of you know, and I'm assuming they're not doing that on, like you know, open food and things like that. They're probably just destroying it. But I would imagine that the retail workers at TJ Maxx are seeing that package the package itself looks fine. They're not going, they're not incentivized, pay wise or responsibility wise, to even look into it anymore, so they're just going to do the easiest thing for them and they just put that sucker right, like right back on the shelf. So I think it's up to some of these brain, I think it's up to really, tj Maxx. I would almost like say like, oh well, what about Sephora? Like maybe they shouldn't, you know, be selling off some of this merch. But it's like the example you just said if they're stolen merchandise, tj Maxx is turning a blind eye to it on where those goods are coming from, which I can also, you know, not, I not get. But I understand that maybe you're not going to ask those questions to really find out on where that stuff is coming from. The ignorance is bliss in that regard. But I think it just should be like an automatic, blanket statement that if you return goods like underwear and makeup and I don't know, open food items, containers, things like that, you just immediately destroy it and take the insurance on it, instead of trying to endanger your customers.

Grace Sharkey: 1:44:18

Well, that's some level it's like with especially discount places. Like I know you've written that you know into your your price at some point. Right, true, like I'm sure. I'm sure that's why Costco does it. They like understand, well, we'll get more out of this customer over time by eating this $9 or whatever and throwing this away, then trying to throw that back on the shelf so funny.

Blythe Brumleve: 1:44:43

Yeah, that's. I would be interested to hear how TJ Maxx would respond to a video like that and if they may change this to their makeup return policy because of these things or even, just, you know, asking their employees to even check it. But then you leave it up to the employees, who aren't getting paid a whole ton. They're overworked and underpaid. They're probably, you know, dealing with a lot of retailers are dealing with, with understaffing issues, where you used to have five people in the store and now you're lucky to get two. So I think it needs to come down from from TJ Maxx's standpoint in order to just ban it all together, because that's disgusting. Like I, I, I don't. I mean, I love a good deal. I don't want to say like I would never buy makeup from from TJ Maxx again, but I'm damn sure opening those palettes and I'm checking now I watched that video the next day Literally went to TJ Maxx.

Grace Sharkey: 1:45:35

Like go, go to a TJ Maxx, you're going to be like fuck. I probably just question everything that I just said, and for me it's like it's not even if it's used. There's just so many broken palettes where I'm like get this off the fucking shelf.

Blythe Brumleve: 1:45:50

Like, well, I, I, I do that. You know my makeup palettes. What I've done in the past is I will, especially if they're broken bronzer and foundation in particular like, if I have like powder, foundations and bronzers and blushes, I have no shame in like scraping it out and I actually love doing this. But and I, I know you probably shouldn't, but I scrape out, you know, like the outer edges of the makeup, like palette, that just are it's not enough for a brush. But I will save those, especially bronzer. I'll save that and then I'll put it into, you know, just an empty makeup container that I have and I'll smash it up and use it as loose powder. I love doing that. That's sad, but we just, but you just, I know where it's coming from, I know who's face it's been used on, I know who's touched it. So when I see like TJ Maxx, for example, I just that would make me never want to, you know, buy something like that from them again. I think you know just have your products, have your go-to products that you use, because I'm a big makeup junkie as well. But you know, I like that. You mentioned that too, because COVID really did put a lot of my makeup purchasing habits in perspective, because I was wearing less of it. You know you're wearing masks, so you're not wearing as much lipstick, you're not wearing as much makeup, and I have told myself we are not buying new palettes until we use the ones that we freaking have first, and so the whole makeup supply chain. I think we need to do this in a, you know, maybe a deeper dive segment in the future, because I would be really interested to know what more retailers are doing in order to combat this. What kind of, I guess, insurance is covering things like that, because they are high ticket items? You know we've talked about cargo crimes in the past of like different commodities that are pursued, like pistachios, energy drinks, things like that that are pursued from a cargo crime perspective. I didn't even think about the makeup aspect side of things, skincare side of things.

Grace Sharkey: 1:47:45

We should make it our next episode, because I've done like a lot of interesting research on one companies that, like, for instance, producers of ColourPop, make Kailes as well. So it's like a lot of formulas are the same, that people don't realize the difference between Italy and Korean products and different laws in those areas and different ingredients that they use. So, yeah, well, what we should do is special episode, that's for sure.

Blythe Brumleve: 1:48:11

Yeah, I'm writing it down right now. Nobody steal that idea. We'll know what show you watched. Yeah, exactly, we will call you out on it. Yeah, yeah.

Grace Sharkey: 1:48:20

Reed. Reed just comes out with like a makeup Right he can do like a makeup discord. He and Jay Frank Caviar just a whole makeup product. Motherfuckers, all right.

Blythe Brumleve: 1:48:35

Well, I loved how you you wrapped both of those two together. I thought that that was. That was really well done with that. I'm going to take a slightly different approach with my logistics of you know, source to porch story because I do have to give the caveat of you know. A few episodes back we talked about the I don't even know what, how I even phrased it, but the container that went overboard and they lost all the duckies and the you know, their little ducky floaty friends. They, they taught us a lot about ocean currents, basically for folks. If you didn't listen to that episode, I'll briefly go over it. But basically a container fell overboard at sea during rough waters. In that container was a bunch of rubber duckies and, like you know, kind of, they they call floaty friends, which is, you know, just different animals in the same shape as a rubber ducky. So they all spill out into the ocean. They teach us a bunch about ocean currents, things that we never knew, like these duckies are in there and ending up in England and Australia. So it was. You know. Obviously it's a sad story that a lot of this pollution like ends up in the ocean, but on the positive side of things, it did teach us a lot about that and it led into like a giant rabbit hole of, you know, just containers lost at sea and things like that. And so I think my algorithm now on TikTok is absolutely geared towards that, because I get that all those stories now. And I say all those stories, but I'm going to bring up this next one because it's the mystery of the Garfield cat phones. So I don't know if your cat is still around, so hopefully maybe she'll find this interesting.

Grace Sharkey: 1:50:07

But let me pull up.

Blythe Brumleve: 1:50:10

Oh, you do. Okay, good, okay, We'll hold it and let me, let me play the background of it. Hold on, let's do like a full screen, so you all are seeing what my TikTok algorithm is showcasing here. So, all right, I think I got it, and stitch this with a fact so ridiculous.

Speaker 5: 1:50:31

You didn't believe it until you looked it up yourself.

Speaker 6: 1:50:33

Someone told me this story years ago and I always thought it was a joke until like a couple of weeks ago when I saw a TikTok about it. So I had to look it up and it's real. So essentially since the 1980s in the Britain region of France, collectible Garfield phones have been washing up on shore and nobody knew why. For 35 years these creepy Garfield phones were just washing up on the beach by the dozens. Then, finally, a farmer who lived in the area discovered a container ship that had been hit by a storm and washed up inside of a sea cave. He said the cave was nearby, but you had to know the area really well to find it. So no one had discovered this shipwreck. And in the shipwreck they found an open container that was full of Garfield phone stock and was slowly seeping out to sea and washing up on shore. Is it full information? No, but it's hilarious.

Blythe Brumleve: 1:51:29

So funny. I love that because for 35 years, these people had no idea of where these Garfield phones were coming from, and so I was reading through the comments. There were a bunch of other people that, of course, listed that were talking about the Ducky story, which we've already talked about, but then there were these other people that were talking about there's another story of back in 2015. Let me switch to this tab. So, back in 2015, a container went overboard during rough seas and Cafe Bustello, the coffee brand I love that One of the containers went overseas.

Grace Sharkey: 1:52:10

I love that coffee. It's so good, it's so cheap.

Blythe Brumleve: 1:52:14

Oh well, on a Florida beach or a Florida beach is thousands of cans of tins of Cafe Bustello is washing up on the beach, and so it was just like this massive thing that beach goers, they could go and they could essentially fill up an entire trash can or trash bag of these still sealed. I guess you could tie back to the makeup story. How do you know if it's contaminated or not? But if you have ever had a Cafe Bustello, you know that if you take the yellow lid off, they have that metal tin that you can rip off and then start using the coffee. And so there's literally, if you're watching it right now, if you're just listening to it, there's a man just on the beach with a garbage bag and he's filling it up with Cafe Bustello tins. So that was one that I thought was really interesting and that I did not know about. There was another one which I'm going to I'm probably going to see this on a future. What the truck episode? Because this one is when a container went overboard and millions of Lego pieces were lost at sea 25 years ago. Those pieces are still washing up on the English coast. So the backstory on this is on February, on February 13, 1997, a stormy weather caused Tokyo Express container ship to tilt more than 45 degrees, causing 62 containers to go overboard. One of these containers carried 4.8 million pieces of Lego and, more than 23 years later, lego bricks are still washing up on Cornish coastlines in Southwest England. And goes on to say that, according to Delio Web of the Cornish Plastic Pollution Coalition, it's a alliteration hell, but volunteer beach cleaners are regularly finding Legos to this day, which is a sobering reminder of the enduring nature of plastics in our environment. But basically, yeah, so yeah, 23 years ago a container goes overboard and people are still finding these things on the beach. So coffee, we have Garfield phones, we have rubber duckies and Lego pieces. Now that have all been reported over on TikTok, which I think is just fascinating, that there's random people that are finding these things on the beaches and have no idea how global supply chain works. But maybe, oh my God, I forgot to mention.

Grace Sharkey: 1:54:35

Nike has a container too. It was like in the 90s. There was a container of Nike shoes that fell off and they were special edition or something too.

Blythe Brumleve: 1:54:47

Yeah, so there was if folks remember, from the rubber duckie story, both of us were finding the book. So there was a couple of different books that were created based on that story that taught us about the ocean currents. But with Lego the Lego story in particular as well there was also a book that was created and talking. It's called A Drift the Curious Tale of the Lego Lost at Sea. It's really beautifully illustrated but going through some of the images here, it's basically a story about that entire process of the container going overboard, very similar to the duckies. But one of the pages that really stood out is, if you're watching, it's a bunch of different stats of all of the different Lego pieces that were found. These aren't typical Lego pieces. They're made for Lego but there's sets of flowers, there's 97,000 scuba tanks. There was also dragons as well, like 54,000 pieces of seagrass. So it's not like the traditional, I guess, lego bricks, but all of the different accessories that go along with Lego that was in this particular shipment. So I think it's just interesting that now there are books being written about these different containers, going over what I think that marks two books now, or maybe three books total that talks about people just finding these things on the beaches and collecting them or trying to do away with them as far as pollution is concerned, but I thought that that was another interesting addition to the random objects that are being found on our beaches.

Grace Sharkey: 1:56:26

No, I love that stuff. I knew about the Garfield clocks or the phones and I just I loved Garfields. Going up I was like, oh, clearly they won't work, but it'd be cool just like find one right one day. Yeah exactly.

Blythe Brumleve: 1:56:42

Especially if you knew where the container ended up, I would imagine you could probably find one that's still intact Exactly. For the most part the ones probably on the beach look a little banged up, of course, but if you found that container ship, I'm sure a lot of those phones are worth a pretty penny. Now is what I would assume.

Grace Sharkey: 1:56:59

It's like going down to Venice Beach and finding shark teeth with different Garfield phones.

Blythe Brumleve: 1:57:09

But how about England and the aspect of? They got rubber duckies that are washing up on their shores and also Legos. So at least in Florida we have the occasional cocaine bags, that bricks that end up on our beaches I say occasional, it happens quite frequently, to be honest but also coffee as well.

Grace Sharkey: 1:57:31

So if you're looking for uppers, maybe on the beach, florida, jesus, all right.

Blythe Brumleve: 1:57:38

Well, I think that about does it for this edition of Freight Friends. We got one more that we're going to record before the new year that we'll post in January or early January. So I guess anything else to add, anything you're working on as we close off the end of the year.

Grace Sharkey: 1:57:57

You know we're going to be doing, of course, a lot of really great articles on Freight Waves, kind of reviewing this past year, what to expect this next year. So keep an eye out for those. Of course, you can check out all the great work that we're doing on our YouTube page as well. But it's been a wild year and a hard year for a lot of people within the supply chains and it's funny, looking back like I remember one of the first episodes of radio we said it's going to be a year of labor issues and I think we heard from a lot of the wonderful people in the front line of our supply chains getting raises and the recognition that they deserve. They fought for it, but they got the recognition. So interested to see what themes come out for this next year. But yeah, keep an eye out for a lot of the work we'll be doing over the next couple of weeks, kind of forecasting what that could be.

Blythe Brumleve: 1:58:50

Oh, I hope you all do some like best of episodes, because that's what I'm working on right now and I would love to be able to. You know, for folks, you guys put out so much great content that sometimes it's really intimidating to try to like keep up with it all. So I love this time of year because I'm typically like doing more things around the house. You know cleanup, wrapping, you know things like that that you can have something else playing in your ear. So that was sort of that. That was my, I guess, reasoning for saying that I hope you all do some like best ofs and like retrospectives, and then you know predictions for the next year based on everything that we learned this year, especially with all the data sets that you guys have. So that would be super interesting on my side of things. Definitely working on some best of episodes, because your girl wants to take a little bit of a break from producing content so that I can hit the ground running in January and in fact the only new episodes I'm publishing are ones with you, and then I have a couple more conversations I'm recording next week, but other than that, I'm doing a lot of best of content I think I might release, like a tent just to do a test, like a 10 hour episode on all of the women that are most of the women that have been on the podcast within the year. So I think that that'll be interesting, you know, in case you want to ignore your family or, you know, do some, you know, cleanup during the holidays or whatever. Whatever pick your poison. But if you wanted to listen to a bunch of badass women in freight who hopefully don't get a lot of creepy DMs or text messages, then that will be the episode for you. I guess any last closing remarks I'll be sure to obviously link to, you know, your link tree and the show notes, but outside of that, any closing remarks.

Grace Sharkey: 2:00:30

Just grateful for another wonderful year on this planet and excited for what 2024 will bring and, of course, thankful for you for letting me do these wonderful shows with you, and I'm very excited. I think next year's going to be a lot of fun with just the group of us and everything we're working on. So 2024, we're ready for you.

Blythe Brumleve: 2:00:50

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

About the Author

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

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