The Most Interesting Things We Saw at Manifest
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Grace Sharkey is back for a special live edition of Freight Friends recorded during Manifest: The Future of Supply Chain and Logistics in Las Vegas. Discussed on the show are the latest visibility technology and the problems that still need to be solved to achieve true end-to-end solutions, along with some of our favorite booths and trade show marketing on the 500-square-foot expo floor.

Also, shout out to Zehl Logistics for hosting us at their podcast booth, which was a genius way of getting foot traffic, social media content, and making genuine connections.




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Show Transcript

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Blythe Brumleve: 0:05

Welcome into another episode of Everything is Logistics, a podcast for the thinkers and freight. I am your host, Blythe Brumleve, and we are presented by SPI Logistics and we're live at Manifest the Future of Supply Chain and Logistics. And I'm here with a very special live episode of Freight Friends, Grace Sharkey. You know we're all too well from our regular episodes, but we're here together, we're back in person together. How are you feeling?

Grace Sharkey: 0:28

Listen, we're in a room full of all of our Freight Friends, literally bangs here looking at all the whole crew, the Zehl crew. Thank you so much for hosting us. I think this is a perfect, perfect Freight Friends scenario for all of us. It's like a reunion. It's a Freight Friend reunion. That's what these things are Absolutely.

Blythe Brumleve: 0:47

I think it's impressive to see that we've been coming to Manifest since 2021, and it's doubled in size every year.

Grace Sharkey: 0:55

It's all easily doubled from last year. I'd say minimum 5,000. Hi, kendra, nice to you, over to you, hello, what should we do? Just shout out?

Blythe Brumleve: 1:04

No, that's a terrible listening experience, you're right.

Grace Sharkey: 1:08

Yeah, no, it's at least 5,000 people, I'd say.

Blythe Brumleve: 1:12

They officially told us that they hit the mark for over 5,000 tickets sold. They doubled the expo floor space and that's just this year. So next year they should double it even more because they're going to be over at the Venetian. So you'll look for those official messaging coming out later on. But we'll be at the Venetian next year for Manifest. But let's talk about this year. What are some? We're both participating in a few different panels. I already did my panels If you're listening to this, this is Tuesday of the conference and I did my panels on Monday of the conference, which was great because the expo floor wasn't open yet.

Grace Sharkey: 1:47

I know Perfect planning on your end.

Blythe Brumleve: 1:50

I'm going to want it done, but it was a good thing because the expo floor wasn't open yet, so it fed a lot of traffic back over to the panel itself. Talking about visibility has been the. I did two panels on visibility actually, one for vision and then one for Manifest officially so, and I know you're doing a panel on visibility as well on Wednesday.

Grace Sharkey: 2:08

Yeah, today actually. Well, so yesterday you and I both did some vision work, which was great, I saw a small class Shout out to them. Yeah, Shout out to vision. And then another work they did yesterday multiple panels, really great stuff, and it was funny because mine came a little bit after yours and it took kind of a step forward from visibility to supply chain resilience, right. So I think it was perfect because those topics just blend together so well. Yeah, that's interesting.

Blythe Brumleve: 2:36

Yeah, so for the crowd, I guess, or for folks who are listening, visibility is obviously going. You know, drink. I made a joke that like drink every time you hear the word visibility. Exactly this conference, because there's so many players, dozens and dozens of them, that have entered into the market just trying to solve this one problem, and I think that that was a bigger. I had always heard you know visibility almost sounded like a buzzword to me that, but it really from having those different conversations. It really depends on where you're getting your data sources the garbage in, garbage out, sort of golden role of data collection and then what you do with that data, not to just, you know, be able to send an email and say sorry, your shipment is late, but how can you get ahead of it and let your customers know ahead of time that there's an issue? And so I think that that ties into your talk about you know that resiliency and how that's evolving. Can you talk a little bit about?

Grace Sharkey: 3:31

that, yeah, and you know it's. I do want to touch on the fact that I think it's pretty obvious to everyone that over the last couple of years, this area of visibility is leading to resilience is kind of in question. There was a ton of investment that went into it a couple of years ago and now people are really saying, okay, what's the action now? Like, cool, I know where, we all know where our stuff's located, but something could and will go wrong. So what do I do from there? And I think, when it comes to resilience part, that's like the proactive planning, the proactiveness of having all these visibility tools, having all this data. Now, well, how do we put that? How do we use that data to predict what our supply chains could eventually be affected by? How do we actually now take that information and do something with it? And I think there's a number of players out there that especially a lot that we're seeing around here right now that are focused on that aspect right, like their customers no longer just care about where it is, but it's what if something goes wrong? We have a commitment to our consumers to make sure it happens, our delivery happens at this rate, two days, one day, et cetera. If we don't make that, these, these customers won't return. So the resilience part, I think is is important, because, especially right now I mean just listening to news this morning too, we got an election that could swing it a different way we have geopolitical issues in the Red Sea that are unavoidable, the Panamocanel the Panamocanel we'll talk about unavoidable that's Mother Nature having her fun and we've just sat back. Rachel Pre-Macro wrote a great article about this at Freight Ways, like we've almost just gotten used to. And disruption, disruption lists yeah, that level of disruption where it's like, oh, like, there's nothing that we can do. And so I think that's the point of the visibility tools now is like, no, we need to almost create, take these tools and look at them in a more proactive space and be able to take that information and get it to our consumers in a positive manner. Right, it's like if you are airplane, right, if your flight's like, yeah, it's going to be delayed, cool, awesome, that happens. But like, when am I going to get on the next one? And that's, I think, where we are at this step of taking that data and moving it forward.

Blythe Brumleve: 5:50

Yeah, there was a gentleman on my panel. His name was Charlie Cunnion and he is the VP of Supply Chain and Customer Service at CMPC Forest Products and he was talking about how, ever since COVID, they have had to retool everything and integrate new technology, but ever since then, they feel like you know these black swan events that are becoming much more frequent than you know a typical black swan event. They feel like regular swans. Now, yeah, it feels like that, and he mentioned he was like it feels like you know the cost of doing business. Now it feels like table stakes, like that they can handle it, they can remain agile. So I thought that that was a really fascinating takeaway just from those different, different couple of conversations. Because I think you know, visibility almost like akin to digital freight brokerages it's one of those hot topics where it's a lot of VC funds that are getting behind these companies. But how can? What are the actionable next steps of what can happen after you can see your products and have it? Very simple user interface. And that's essentially what Charlie was saying is that I only want one user interface. I want to be able to log in and I want to be able to know before shit hits the fan, so I can inform my team. I don't think you have much to the you know chagrin of a lot of visibility visibility players here. I know that there's definitely some people working on that. One of the unexpected parties working on that is actually the US government. Oh yeah, and so it's a new program, a new ish called Flow, and we had a gentleman by the name of Andrew also on the panel with Charlie that was talking about how this program works, and it's basically like a Walmart and a Target. They take their data sets and they import them into their flow system. They anonymize the data, and the only incentive for them to do that is that they can get access to everybody else's data as well. So if you share your data, you get access to access to it. If you don't, you're kind of just flying blind. Well, essentially, with your own data, you know this came up at dinner.

Grace Sharkey: 7:54

I don't know if you heard the side conversation. This came up at dinner yesterday because we're talking about visibility data and visibility companies out there and I was saying, you know, this big problem I think with it is a lot of it comes down to the ports. It's not even so much like what's happening on the ocean or where my container is, et cetera. It's like, okay, once it gets to the port, where is it? At? Once it's offloaded off of that ship, where is it sitting? How quickly can I pick it up? When can I pick it up? Where are my extra charges, et cetera. And I think a big issue of us getting to a point where that is better addressed is the ports don't want to share that info. Like I think people don't understand. Like they're separate entities that work as their own businesses and they understand what that data actually. Now, a lot of times they'll come and say it's a security reason. I hope there's not like a poor guy walking around, but you know it's security. We're nervous about security and people knowing what's on these. Sure, okay, that is a concern, but a lot of it is because they know how powerful it is. So when I heard about this flow program, I immediately was excited for it because that's the incentive they need. It's like we need to get these silos broken down so we can share this information and actually get something done once these containers get to that port. Because that's literally the problem when people are like we need to figure out where these things are. It's not like we're bored and we want to know where in the middle of the Indian Ocean are containers to name. It's like no, we need a plan when that container gets picked up and we need to know how quickly things are coming in and out of the ports, and people just want to share that info.

Blythe Brumleve: 9:34

Oh well, speaking of that sort of different like, I guess visibility and sharing that data, I was reminded of the TradeView demo, which is a new product from Vision. They just announced it at Manifest and they showed all of the ships the cargo ships in the Red Sea and they're close to the shoreline and so, because they have to stay close to the shoreline to avoid getting attacked, they have to have less cargo on their ships because it's shallow water. And I was like, oh, that's just those little things that you don't even think about, but that visibility is helping to shine a light on that.

Grace Sharkey: 10:11

Well, an interesting article I did read from a website called Shipping and Frame Resource is that insurance doesn't cover this stuff. I'm allowed to do a perishable panel here in a little bit too, so this might come up but if you have something on there that has a deadline, it's not going to get covered by insurance. These things are written in there. It's very detailed. I haven't memorized, but very rarely is anything within the Red Sea scenario going to be covered if something goes wrong or that freight is taken or even down to, let's say, if you pay a ransom like that ransom, that's just not going to get refunded. So this is a scary situation to consider that too, and especially if you're a perishable shipper as well.

Blythe Brumleve: 10:58

Well, I think another aspect that was really fascinating about just the whole what visibility is trying to solve are a lot of the smaller players, and I think that that is what's lost in the discussion when we have these visibility conversations. Because if you have a program-like flow where they're collecting all of this data from these major retailers, some ports across the country, but then some other carriers as well, you're volunteering that data, but what's missing is the more than 90% of all trucking companies in the country that have two trucks are less, and who is going to be responsible for uploading that data and that's their number. If data is the number one resource, it's overtaken oil as far as the number one commodity in this world. What is the incentive for some of these smaller players to do that? They're already wearing a ton of hats, so they're not going to be uploading a CSV file to the US government's website. I'm sure there's a lot of distrust also with the US government, like what are you going to do with my data? And so they're trying to get credit to Andrew over a DOT not DOT US Department of Transportation talking on this flow program, because he's trying to address those concerns, trying to make it as easy as possible where you just upload a CSV file. But that was one of my questions is how are you accommodating some of these smaller players, especially with? Charlie on that same panel was saying we work with a majority of smaller carriers, so I need to be able to access those data points and I can't. And he's talking about it from a shipper perspective and so when you think about it from that lens, there's still a ton of work to do. I will say I met a gentleman right after that talk because he really liked that smaller player question, because he's actually trying to solve that. He says that you know, basically I haven't seen the demo yet, but basically they pull the information from your emails because that's what essentially we all rely on in this industry is the email, and so they're pulling those different data points and that's where they can take those data points from the emails, add it to a CSV automatically and then they can.

Grace Sharkey: 12:51

That, hopefully, is a prototype for getting some of the smaller player data into that full visibility system and even then, that though that goes right into the carrier sphere is that you're taking the data from me in a way that I have no idea, and it's interesting like I have no answer to it up the top of my head, but what is the incentive to especially a party right now?

Blythe Brumleve: 13:12

who's struggling to keep their doors open Right? Why are they going to upload information?

Grace Sharkey: 13:16

to. You want me. I'm barely being able to fuel up my truck, and if I'm, loads that are going to be profitable, and on top of this, you want me to, for free, share information and learn how to even make a CSV file. You know what I'm saying?

Blythe Brumleve: 13:30

Right, they're not going to make that time out of their day to do that, so there needs to be, you know, some of these automated solutions, maybe large language models that kind of plug into and sit on top of systems that you're already using. But still, I think there's got to be an additional incentive outside of just getting access to all this data, because I just don't know how relative that is for a smaller carrier to be able to see Walmart and Target's shipping data and be able to make decisions based on that. I mean, I do think that that is something that you know carriers and smaller brokers they should start to think about, because that is going to affect everyone as far as like how you're sharing your data and making decisions based on that data and trying to make it better.

Grace Sharkey: 14:12

Matt. I mean I've seen like some small brokerages back and forth, like whether it's like gift cards or 25 bucks more on a loan. I think that's all stuff that we can do, but there's got to be a way to make it work out for them and I think that's right now. We're at that point where it's. We haven't fully done it, but we haven't figured out a way for them to give out that information and then see their business run better. Maybe it's the market, but I guess I see what happens when it flips around.

Blythe Brumleve: 14:42

I think it's just one of those things that what's the incentive for them to add additional work onto their plate? And then how are they going to actually take action from that data that they're submitting and then receiving? So I think that there's definitely some questions that are going to be answered. I know it's just a new program but, you know, hopefully it's a path in the right direction. It is only US based as well. Yeah, I think ITS is another company that has started leveraging their own in-house visibility, so they have that end-to-end customer shipment and you can have access. Well, you can have access to that visibility tool like a Project 44 or like a 4Kites, where that's almost like a SaaS product. But ITS is taking a little bit of a different direction where they're using their own data, making their own visibility tool and you can pay for it on the side, but if you're a customer of theirs, you can actually get access to that information right inside their platform, no extra fee. So I think that that is an interesting play for the future or the future is today.

Grace Sharkey: 15:40

I wonder how that? Well, I would almost assume, especially ITS, knowing that they're also getting third party data, so they're making decisions off of all of it as well. That's interesting, I think that's. And then from there it's just depending on how you're building a relationship with the carrier and making them feel valued in that conversation, right, and I think, again, a cyclical business, it will flip the other way and that's probably what the data will make more sense to share, right, when they're making much better margins. So maybe that's what we need. We just need them a market to flip and then we'll see a whole different side. But, yeah, I think most people right now even though it's like we talked about this actually with Reed before too just how hard it is to build that relationship with the carrier, with it being so pregnant.

Blythe Brumleve: 16:26

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Grace Sharkey: 18:13

Well, it's going to go down that route. Honestly, I'm going to take it to the conversation. I think warehouse-leading technology is the one thing I've noticed a lot more here today than all aspects of that, down to how orders are being managed, how that's being communicated to the warehouse, how you're incentivizing the carrier, the warehouse workers. I know what you're about to touch on, which is making the job more efficient for them too. The robotics are still here as well. I haven't got to see all the robotics yet, but even down to I mean, honestly yard management, the gate go actually right now has. I'll give you some clips of it so you can put it on your show if you want to show people. They have a really cool software that when a truck comes in, they read everything off of the truck, including the truck number, the license plate, mc number all of that right off the camera. What's interesting at their booth is that they got the Apple Vision. Pro they're allowing people to use the system while using the Pro. It's just funny watching them maneuver around in the air with their fingers and typing on the board and everything. It's just really interesting to watch because shout out to the Vision and Pro. But that thing you just look at where you want to click and it can read your eyes and know what you're doing. And then that Apple Vision Pro, not to be confused with the other Vision companies. Yes, yes yes, apple Vision company with the C, but yeah, no, it's really cool. But even their technology, I think, is interesting. So it's cool to see a really interesting yard management software solution mixed with the hardware aspect and envisioning what a warehouse manager's job would be. And I mean honestly, the first thing I thought about because you look so crazy like moving his hands around and doing all this stuff is that boy that's going to be a whole different group of workers that you're going to have in your warehouse. So that's really interesting to me and I think there's a lot more of those type of companies here as well.

Blythe Brumleve: 20:21

I do wonder. Okay, because there's a company called Okado here that just bought six river systems. So warehouse robotics and I attended a webinar a couple years ago from six river systems and I'm just fascinated by warehouse robotics and how they're being used. But for their training program there's a psychological aspect that they have to involve with onboarding. So anytime they deploy a new warehouse automation robotics, something like that, a good portion of their onboarding training is talking to the employees to make sure that they see the robots as their friends and that they're helpers and not as competition not that they're going to take their job. So that's a key component of how they're training their warehouse workers. So with what you talked about, I do the same thing with chatGPT.

Grace Sharkey: 21:13

I like, please thank you Like, because my biggest fear is it will rise up against me at some point. So they're just training the reps the same way inside the warehouse perfection.

Blythe Brumleve: 21:24

Well, speaking of AI and speaking of a warehouse automation and trying to optimize that experience, there is a company here. They have a product called Moonwalkers and it's essentially these like strap on electric helis, slash roller, skate Helis that's what I was trying to never guess Helis 100%, but they have been walking around the conference with these shoes on. It's such great marketing, so shout out to them. But I was able to stop by their booth and demo the product and put the Moonwalkers on and take a little stroll and it feels you have to almost untrain yourself from the roller skating days or skiing days. So you have to, like, look up. You can't look down while you're wearing them, but if you look straight ahead and if you do, heel, toe, heel, toe. You just say that over and over again. Then you cut your steps down, marching back to life. So well, the gentleman that was at the booth that demoed it for me or helped me, he helped me demo the product. He was talking about how you know some of their customers that they've already onboarded Orange County Convention Center, a couple of different warehouses, one of them being in Jacksonville, but that a typical warehouse worker will have around 30,000 steps a day. But these shoes, wearing these Moonwalkers, helps that reduce it in half, which you have to imagine. Like these warehouse workers, 30,000 steps a day is like 15 miles, yeah, and so if you can reduce that in half, like the amount of output I think that you get from your team essentially doubles. So the ROI is already there for some of these different, you know, warehouse robotic solutions, seeing robots as your friends.

Grace Sharkey: 23:02

You could even lengthen, like how big a warehouse is, knowing that those steps are cutting half right, Like whatever distance you're going before. You could up that, even 30% and it wouldn't seem like too much. It's like you take your, you can utilize more space we talked about. I mean they look fine yeah.

Blythe Brumleve: 23:22

So they are fine. It's a little awkward stopping and turning. You have to retrain your brain from that aspect, but they're very easy to turn on. They're very easy to turn off, so you can walk in them and then you can turn it on and do the. You know the moon walking where it cuts your steps in half.

Grace Sharkey: 23:38

That's what I mean. Like I told someone I was there, like what are you? I'm taking video and I'm like where are the robots? Because that stuff is just so cool. And I mean, like you said, we've been watching them walk around all day. It's being tested. You know, you talk, you were telling us about some company that loved them and got more of them, and they're and sure they wouldn't have done that if they're emplaced and agree with it as well. And that's the. It made me laugh, because this industry is always like, especially at all these panels, we have to think about the human too, and I'm like this is a perfect example of being like how can we improve the human experience within a supply chain that is perfect for them? Like clearly it's great for the company, you're gonna get more output and as long as you're working them safe, you're probably gonna see less hurt knees and all that stuff too. So I think that's cool. I think again, it's like there's such a need for warehouse workers. There's gonna be even bigger need as we get. See how much growth grows. The economy does turn around and you have to think about, okay, if I can't employ that many people, that was the biggest thing. We had that hurdle, of course, during COVID, like who are the people working in there Speaking of robots, speaking of robots?

Blythe Brumleve: 24:54

We actually have a.

Grace Sharkey: 24:55

For those of us that we have a robot now there's a robot literally headed right to us, the auto bot, as if he has locked her. Exactly, we were talking about him. Yeah, I see you. Yeah, we see that we were just talking about you, Cute love that.

Blythe Brumleve: 25:11

So the Harbor by Luxor One is a marketplace locker and it looks pretty cool. They just sell by in front of the booth. Oh, so this delivers to you and then the locker opens.

Grace Sharkey: 25:20

It's like a we won't say it's like an item in the sun, but better, right, better, better, yeah, better than yeah. That's cool.

Blythe Brumleve: 25:32

Yeah, we're big fans of robots over here.

Grace Sharkey: 25:34

We are big fans of robots, just in case they do take over the world. They heard us and came over here.

Blythe Brumleve: 25:40

But we are big fans of the robots. Ever take over. That's awesome.

Grace Sharkey: 25:45

That's so cool. How long can that run for? Is it solar powered or? Well, it's battery powered it runs for like six hours. You said it's battery powered six hours yeah, it's like the battery. Like 10 seconds. Well, it's probably doing city runs, right, not even six hours needed.

Blythe Brumleve: 26:01

More like an urban setting, too, where you can where delivery vehicles. The large scale of them is just not very ideal.

Grace Sharkey: 26:08

The very little meme. This is like a. It's like a big box on four wheels that if you've seen a locker box before, it has a locker box full of them. So I assume we go up to it. We got the QR code. It opens it up. Have you seen the videos where people pretend to put their face next to it and see if it opens up? Nice, it comes here, yes, I love that so yeah, this is awesome, I love it. I love it.

Blythe Brumleve: 26:41

Yes, I love that I mean, this is one of those situations where you can be recording live and then you have news breaking right in front of you and it just it stuns you and your co-host.

Grace Sharkey: 26:54

The show just stops and it's just I, literally I'm trying to make sure remember this is not a visual content, but I'm just staring at this thing because it's gorgeous.

Blythe Brumleve: 27:03

Well, don't worry, I took a little video. So if you in case you're watching this on YouTube at a later date, you can kind of see. You know exactly what we're looking at as we're recording this. But what else have you seen at the conference that sort of caught your eye?

Grace Sharkey: 27:16

That thing right there. Just see if you can move in, you beautiful robot. No, I think another area too, just even looking around to be honest with you, is a lot of finance tools, a lot of financials. I mean we're right across from right here Trans-Core, hey, oh, my God, what a perfect timing, yeah, no, no, I a lot of. I mean it's we're in the market right now or it's the perfect timing for that kind of stuff. What's on everyone's mind? Cash flow, that's all the way I haven't heard. And this amount of information on shippers watching how their payment terms are and getting their own credit lines for their logistics and supply chain payments, et cetera. That ever before and it kind of makes me nervous sometimes. But there's, of course, companies that are out there trying to make that visible, right when everything is at, and finding creative ways for people to find lines of credit or at least manage their expenses in a more visible way so that they can stay on top of things. One thing that we talked about at Freightway is a lot and I still stand by we're seeing a little bit kind of seeing it get a little bit worse, but I think that's people volunteering a little bit more to leave is how well carriers have stuck in this market. We really in 2023, I apologized to all carriers so I just thought we'd fall out of this market faster than ever before and they didn't. They held on just as tight as we're seeing consumers hold on to their own finances as well, and I think that's truly because they started to look at some of their back office automation. They started to look at exactly how they were managing their expenses, how their fleets were managing their expenses. They're watching their fuel costs. They're watching how much they're putting into, of course, different aspects of the business, whether it's fixing things Hi, what's up guys. Whether it's like, of course, fixing their trucks. We talked about Strickland Heartland. Right, we saw that. They same for them. They knew when the market was bad and they sold equipment when they really probably should have maybe a little bit late, but they sold it for some good money. But yeah, I think that's another one too is I wanna kinda walk around and see some of the newer players in the space looking to help a little bit more. The financial side, yeah, yeah, at least automation right.

Blythe Brumleve: 29:50

Well, I think, for trade shows like this and events like this, they really focus on more of the enterprise level, but from what's missing are the small to medium businesses that power the entire supply chain. And so, as you're talking about the carriers that have stayed strong and stayed resilient during a lot of different, you know, really tough market conditions, brokers are also facing this as well. I actually saw this tweet earlier, ben Tershky. I sorry, I think this is the second show in a row that I mispronounced your name as far as like great friends is concerned, but he had a great post on X this morning and he took a screenshot of another 3PL broker. His name is Jason Rabin, but basically he's talking about how the surety bonds. He said my bond last year was a little under 2,500. This year, my current bond company is not renewing our policy as they are one of the exiting companies and in the open marketplace, the lowest bond quote that I've received so far is over 10 grand. One quote was eight grand but required 20K in collateral, and he says FYI, I have never had a successful claim filed. In my opinion, I am not a high-risk client, but he says we're all feeling it, every single nook and cranny, involved in the supply chain, is feeling it with these additional fees, these additional costs, especially on the smaller to mid-sized player. I mean that is a huge jump in expenses from 2,500 to 10 grand.

Grace Sharkey: 31:12

Yeah, you know you want a hot take. Should we do some hot takes? Let's do it, you know, especially because the audience around us, right, it's not too many carriers. I'm gonna speak a little bit more to the shippers. But big thing about this, right, but it's like a ton of shippers out there and I have the exact same advice to carriers as well. But, shippers out there, you better be doing the due diligence on the people that you're working with. We saw what happened with Convoy. I mean, Convoy right now has a nice lawsuit from a very large shipper, Ikea, and a number of carriers behind it Because of non-payment.

Blythe Brumleve: 31:51

it's like looking around you gotta watch your back here without me talking about these kind of things.

Grace Sharkey: 31:57

I mean, you know what? I would challenge them to come up to me and say that wasn't accurate. I mean, shippers need to be doing the same thing, because you're gonna be stuck in this space where, if you, if that broker that you're using, that logistics provider that you're using, falls out or has some financial issues, which we are seeing everywhere I'm not gonna say names because I really can't, but there are some big players out there that are just getting by and if they fall through, you are responsible for those bills. It's the law.

Blythe Brumleve: 32:29

It's the federal law and it will take months, if you're some of these smaller players, to get any access to that money, if at all. Yeah, and so if you are a cash-strapped business, if you're not looking at your cash flow and managing it appropriately for these unexpected Expenses, then it could one bad decision or one bad thing that happens that's out of your control could put you out of business.

Grace Sharkey: 32:47

Yeah, and and think of a shipper. I mean, you've got a situation where you potentially could be liable for double payments on a lot of your the shimmons that you've done depending on and here's the thing there's a lot of small, medium sized shippers. Do you have a legal force of IKEA? Ikea, I think, could win and might win. I think there's ways a lawyer could fight against it that you owe. Again, brokers eat and do that stuff all day long. You just don't realize it, because I love your business. But if they follow the market, they're not only crushing your carrier network I mean crushing, I mean literally pushing them out of the market but they're now holding you liable. And and who's moving your stuff? You know, like I kind of wonder, during those days when we saw that collapse, like how many customers were like, hey, what's going on? I depended on you and this is a happening. We talk about resilience. Right, it's full circle. Visibility, like visibility, like you want visibility, start running credit on everyone that you're using to move your stuff. And I'm again carriers yes, you should be doing that every day. But shippers, I don't think. Think shippers got comfortable knowing the the financial stability of those players during when the market was great. There's some brokers out there that are not financially well not at all and I know they've got huge accounts and I don't have the margins of the 90s and the 2000s.

Blythe Brumleve: 34:11

No, not at all.

Grace Sharkey: 34:11

And like a Bro, probably a broker independent, their size going out of business. Compared to just one carrier is like it's a ripple effect. It's the shippers that are now getting bounced back emails. It's the carriers who Needed that, that payment today, or else they wouldn't be able to fuel their trucks. So that's, I think, a hot take. Again, going back to like these financial tools, like shippers, look into those as well and make sure that you're you're doing a great job at choosing who your partners are gonna be.

Blythe Brumleve: 34:45

Another rock star that just walked by the Col Glenn, owner and founder of Kandor, expedite Ltl Queen over here. Yeah, that's just some of the people that you run into here at manifest future of supply chain and logistics. Grace, I know you said on on X the other day that you got a bunch of hot takes to share. Was that your hot take or you got no, no.

Grace Sharkey: 35:06

That, my first time taker is actually quite cooler. I know, here's my hot take. And this goes out to this goes out to the gen, this goes up the gen X is your gen X. I just was checking it, I wasn't sure. Well, you really have good skin. You never know. I just go to the gen X is stop taking selfies of yourself on your way to a, on my way in the play, on a plane. You're taking a selfie on a plane to tell us you're coming here. No, that was that was my hot take and I hoped it. What no one wants to see? Your face?

Blythe Brumleve: 35:47

You know well, I would argue that on LinkedIn. That's the only place that they're gonna get that kind of love. They're gonna get that kind of action. That's what.

Grace Sharkey: 35:55

I was on LinkedIn when I how did I know? And it's just for me. It's like, yeah, I don't know what it is. It's like look at, here's me, I'm not a plane, I'm going. How about the people around you, or not, on that selfie, you know?

Blythe Brumleve: 36:09

aren't you embarrassed. Okay, we're gonna get so far right, I would just feel part of you. So I, when I land I typically so I'm an oily face girl. Yes, whenever I don't know what the air does, pressure does to my face, but I always, even if it's a two-hour flight, my face is filled with oil. Yeah.

Grace Sharkey: 36:28

Taking pictures. I'm like if you don't get this camera off this plane, no one cares.

Blythe Brumleve: 36:34

So it's the etiquette of the selfies on the plane, Also the Last year's not taking selfies. Well, it's actually, it does don't add a ton of face tune to it. We all know, we can tell You're not fooling anyone. Just embrace it, it's fine or, you know, invest in a really good skincare routine. Yeah, exactly. We're all struggling with it. We all deal with it, or you don't have to deal with it, just be comfortable.

Grace Sharkey: 37:00

either way it's just not anyone with that. It's like I'm like when did these guys learn how to flip their phones the other way? I just like that's what I get confused by. No, that was my hot take, and I was I love that it wasn't even geared towards no women.

Blythe Brumleve: 37:16

It was geared towards men.

Grace Sharkey: 37:17

Yeah, no, it was geared a hundred percent. You know what? Hey, oh, look, here's another hot take, though I'll flip that around and make it positive. This is the most women I've seen at this event. It sends to the beginning of this starting. This might be the most women besides women in tracking, but that's unfair because it's like 90% women that I've seen at any event, and that's exciting me. I pretty much every panel I've seen has at least one woman on it, not at least the moderators but it's also a very conscious effort from manifest part that they from the onset.

Blythe Brumleve: 37:49

They launched in 2021 was their first conference, but since then they have had a really strong emphasis that they work really hard to try to diversify every single panel that they have, so not just, you know, women in men, but also people of color, which is great to see. I mean, there's a light chain, is obviously global, so you got to be able to represent that from the stage standpoint as well.

Grace Sharkey: 38:10

Yeah, and also a shout out everyone go follow me on LinkedIn. I'm sharing a daily black history month post highlighting the merit wonderful black Americans who have helped and contributed to this industry. The traffic light Garrett Morgan I didn't know that, oh interesting. No, I didn't, Because he was like the lights were just green and red and he was like maybe we should have a yellow in there. And it was very, very smart. He also created the gas mask. Yeah, oh interesting. Yes, yeah, I'm sorry. These people have had huge, huge influences in our industry and again, is that representation here? I think we're slowly getting there and it's. You're right. We had Courtney on Great Quartergales and she said she individually, for the women's luncheon, sends out individually direct emails to every man that's attending this conference. And we went to it. We've been to the luncheon before. Then we're welcome, clearly, and it's questions, I think, as the best part. There's usually a Q&A at the end of it and any clearly met out there, maybe listening. Now go to it and ask the questions, ask the tough questions. The panel and the audience will listen. Yeah, and that's why number one is like listening with an open mind and empathy. That's why I always think leadership in this industry, and any industry, is working on leading with empathy, understanding that personally, I think diversity brings more to a company than people realize. Those experiences are going to showcase to you like different outcomes, but with that comes also understanding the steps people have taken in life that you could just never understand. So I love it, I'm excited for it. Tomorrow we have great speakers Somewhere from. Chief is speaking. I think at that and it should be really good.

Blythe Brumleve: 40:04

Heck yeah. Obviously, with this industry, it's the diversity of look, but also the diversity of thought and the diversity of different, from enterprise down to small businesses and getting all players breaking down those different silos and bringing all of those perspectives together, because if we don't start breaking down some of these silos, we're not going to achieve. A lot of the things that we've talked about during this episode is the visibility, the resilience, and these aren't just buzzwords, but these are things that you can actually use all of the different tools at your disposal, to try to get to a better future.

Grace Sharkey: 40:36

Yeah, once again, what I really enjoy about this conference is just there's just so many shippers here of all sizes, and there's just so much dependent on that audience to be a part of this transition into the future and using these tools and everything that you learn here at this space today and moving forward. I think you and I both we go to a lot of conferences, but a lot of them are with our own transportation bubble. It's like people that we know, it's the type of people behind it, but at the end of the day, who are the shippers and the consumers that actually are seeing the end of these products? And I just can't really see how many people are here getting, how many shippers are here, how many different technologies are here, and I hope that these individuals leave with a really incredible idea of how they could push their company forward. Power information yeah, and that's another thing too.

Blythe Brumleve: 41:33

With this. I know we're coming to the end of this conversation, but we're reporting here live with Dell, dell Logistics. They were kind enough to and I think this is actually pretty brilliant. So they have a booth space for those who are listening and they cut off half of the booth space to put a table, some microphones, a camera. They also have our show branding up in the corner on a TV. But that's really creative marketing, because that gets people to your booth. It exposes your brand to all of those different creator audiences. And they're not the only ones doing it. There are other companies here at this conference that have done the same thing, where they split off their booth. Instead of giving away your millionth hat or Yeti cup or whatever else, they invite other creators to come in, enjoy their space as well and be able for creators who are likely not going to have a booth space, except for if you're Kevin over at the New Warehouse Podcast or if you're Romelle with Truckin' Hustle- you know, those guys are a little bit further along. They have a whole room, I think too. I think he had a whole room last year, but I think he has a booth this year. So it's one of those things that you see the way those guys move, and it's like that's the level that we're getting to as far as creating content is the demand for that kind of information and information sharing, and you have a bunch of those folks supply chain brain, I think it's also here too, don't a bunch of recordings. So it's just, it's a fantastic place to be able to not only share information but possibly record that information and turn it into a podcast like this.

Grace Sharkey: 43:01

Oh, it's talk about marketing, right? It's like that's weird to just explain to someone that like we're maybe looking at us like influencers, which is weird, but it is true. I mean like, especially the work that you're doing is like outstanding. I think you're doing a lot for the company's clue that you're working with and are sponsoring you, and I think, shout out SPI logistics and Thai software. Yes, yeah, 100% that Shop on freewayscom. Put our YouTube page like and subscribe. Make sure you sign up for the Stack Out newsletter. I go heading to freewayscom slash the stock out. I forgot what I was here. I don't work for a company too, but yeah, it's like we really want to do our best to represent the companies that are really doing incredible stuff for this industry, but also, like shout out the bullshit too. That's. That's the fun part of my job, and people hate me and love me for it. But I'll find out.

Blythe Brumleve: 43:58

I'll leave you with that? Yeah, we have. Just for folks who may not be aware, we have a thread or a pretty French thread, but a group chat that we share, a different great goss and great tea. That goes on within the space. So obviously we can't talk about a lot of that on air. But you get a few drinks into grace and maybe she'll spill the beans a little bit.

Grace Sharkey: 44:19

Yeah, and listen to our friend friends, because sometimes I do spill it.

Blythe Brumleve: 44:23

And people get mad in the email us. Yeah, they let us know, but guess what we're so gonna? Yeah, that's the point of having a podcast. Being able to scout your opinion get educated and continue to learn and share our experiences and our expertise and get a little bit better each day. But I think that's it. That's a good spot for us to end it. We both have to go and we're, we're, we're and paneling for the rest of the day. This is a big day for us. And then we got a. We got neoconcert tomorrow night. I know you guys are gonna be listening to this a month later, but you're really missing out and I hope this still gives you foam. If you're listening to this a month after the conference is ended, that's a good excuse to go ahead and book your tickets for next year's manifest. Also, f3, I know Grace is about to plug it anyways, but F3, all the all of the conferences I got to go and shout out to you. Shout out to you as well the 100 year anniversary in New Orleans that's happening in June. That's going to be a great experience as well. And any last words, any last shout outs.

Grace Sharkey: 45:15

Head to livefratelacecom. We've got some virtual events coming up, but our first in person event is in Atlanta, actually in June, and I can't say who the big speaker is, so I found out from them directly yesterday. But it's a good one. Another free call, yeah, then you're gonna want to go. So go to that in June, and then we'll of course, have our F3 event in China, tennessee. That's going to be a fun one as well, and that is going to be a little bit later. November and, like I want to say, second week of November, the week before Thanksgiving, so you can hang out with your freight family and then go home and cook for your, for your real family, exactly, mary, mary well said.

Blythe Brumleve: 45:54

And that about does it for this episode of freight friends on everything is logistics. It's been an incredible experience. Shout out to Zehl Logistics for having us. We just recently had Chris, one of their VPs, on a show and he he kind of got some people mad on the YouTube's. Check out the comment section on that, go search for everything is logistics. That's one of our top videos already. You know he's spent some time 15 years I believe at TQL so he shares a lot of those insights and a lot of drivers weren't happy in the comment section. But that's how we get more voices heard, that's how we get better as an industry. But that's just shout out to them for inviting us to come on and record. But until then, stay tuned for more insight from the manifest conferences. It'll be just one of the first of many conversations that we're recording here, we're going to be sharing with you over the course of the next few weeks. Till then, we'll see you real soon and I guess, go jazz, yeah, signing off. Signing off. I hope you enjoyed this episode of everything is logistics, a podcast for the thinkers in freight, telling the stories behind how your favorite stuff and people get from point A to B. Subscribe to the show, sign up for our newsletter and follow our socials over at everything is logisticscom. And in addition to the podcast, I also wanted to let y'all know about another company I operate and that's digital dispatch, where we help you build a better website. Now, a lot of the times, we hand this task of building a new website or refreshing a current one off to a co-worker's child, a neighbor down the street or a stranger around the world, where you probably spend more time explaining the freight industry than it takes to actually build the dang website. Well, that doesn't happen at digital dispatch. We've been building online since 2009, but we're also early adopters of AI, automation and other website tactics that help your company to be a central place to pull in all of your social media posts, recruit new employees and 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.