Podcast: Tips for LSPs Navigating Changing Shipper Needs in 2024 with Rose Smith

In this episode of supply chain connections, we're sharing a recording from a recent webinar hosted by Brian Glick, CEO, and Rose Smith, VP of Customer Success, at Chain.io. Brian and Rose explain the evolving shipper needs LSPs should be aware of as we move into 2024.

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navigating changing shipper needs in 2024

In this episode of supply chain connections, we're sharing a recording from a recent webinar hosted by Brian Glick, CEO, and Rose Smith, VP of Customer Success, at Chain.io. Brian and Rose explain the evolving shipper needs LSPs should be aware of as we move into 2024, including a deep dive into the segmented expectations based on shipper size—from small businesses to large enterprises—and complexity.

Topics discussed include:

  • The different requirements of shippers based on their size and complexity
  • What shippers are focused on post-pandemic
  • The importance of maintaining relationships during a downturn
  • Innovation, sustainability, and compliance across supply chains
  • Three main motivations for shipper sustainability
  • Trade compliance challenges and opportunities for LSPs

Rose Smith recently joined Chain.io as our VP of Customer Success, where she leverages her supply chain expertise building large scale digital solutions to drive innovation with our customers. Prior to joining Chain.io, Rose held pivotal leadership roles as Senior Director of Supply Chain Operations for iRobot and Head of Supply Chain Development for the LEGO Group. In these roles, Rose played an instrumental role in strategizing, implementing, and evolving supply chain frameworks.

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Episode Transcript

Brian Glick  00:05

Welcome to supply chain connections. I'm Brian Glick, founder and CEO at chain IO. This episode we're gonna do something a little bit different. This is a recording of a webinar that we did recently, where I discussed with Rose Smith, who is our head of client success, all about the expectations that shippers have going into 2024 from their freight forwarders. So this one is going to be a little bit more content heavy and a little story light. If you're interested, I hope you enjoy the episode. Rose has an incredible background coming from different shippers like Lego and Lowe's and iRobot. So really interesting stuff, and we hope you enjoy it.

Molly Evola  00:56

Everyone, thanks so much for joining today. We're gonna go ahead and get started. I'm Molly Evola. I'm the marketing manager here at chain IO. And we're really excited to talk about everything you need to know to meet shipper expectations and 2024. Today, you're going to hear from our CEO, Brian Glick and our VP of Customer Success, Rose Smith, I'm going to go ahead and pass it over to Brian introduce himself and kick this thing off.

Brian Glick  01:20

Hi, everybody. So I'm Brian Glick. I'm the founder and CEO here at chain. And I won't go through my whole history. But you know, important for this is that I spend a lot of time out in the industry, talking with our customers, our customers customers, and trying to get a gauge on on what's going on, not just the technology, but also how forwarders need to talk with shippers. And so I'll let rose introduce herself, who is our standard for shippers today.

Rose Smith  01:47

Thank you so much, Brian. Yes, I'm row Smith, have joined chain IO recently, and so happy to be here. My history spans from many retailers and manufacturers. So hopefully I can give a really great perspective going into 2024. First thing we're going to talk about is something that's probably on the top of everyone's minds. And that is rates. Funny thing is we're actually not going to talk about rates today, because obviously this is something that is mostly a concern and more of the obvious answer. So we've got rates than rates than rates

Brian Glick  02:23

don't, just very quickly before we dive into the topics, and we've promised this as the only part of this, that's anything about us just to give a little context of why we're in a position to have this conversation. So as a supply chain integration network, we spend our days talking to, you know, these various software companies and transportation providers and all these different packages and companies that we're connected to, which just gives us a unique perspective on getting this very cross cutting view of the industry. So our job in the industry is to be neutral, and is to help all of these companies work with each other and with shippers and with forwarders and carriers. So the only thing we're going to talk about today about chain, so we can move on very quickly from that. So this slide just an aisle rows, kind of dig in a little bit here. But you know, just like there are no two forwarders that are the same and you know, approaching a one office forwarder and asking for a similar thing that you would get from Maersk logistics would seem silly. We can't talk about shippers as if they're one giant group of people. So we think of them really, in these three segments. The numbers of shipments is a very kind of arbitrary, but there's a moment I like to think of it as the ones that just have a spreadsheet, the ones that are struggling to grow, and then the ones that have a whole process. So rose do want to talk a little bit about kind of your thoughts in these categories. Yeah,

Rose Smith  03:50

one of the things that we were discussing in preparation for this is how different shippers have different requirements and therefore different expectations. So there are going to be those that are potentially smaller. Like Brian said, we can't always just go to size but potentially smaller that just want things on time and easy. And that's their main concern. Where are they probably are doing this off of spreadsheet or even just using their phone. And then there's the slightly larger shipper who is more concerned usually with cost optimization, going back to that rate conversation. And they just want things to execute. And they want it to be somewhat seamless. This is where we get into more connectivity, but still there is additional connectivity and absolute connectivity involved with the larger shippers who are not able to look at that single shipment or make sure that special thing is getting there. They need everything to get there and they need it to be where they're not worried about any single one of them unless absolutely necessary, as well. They're looking at forecasting and understanding The long term horizon instead of just the immediate future, so we sorted them into these three categories just for some simplification.

Brian Glick  05:09

And so add a little bit of layer on top of that, when it comes to the ones in the first category that the small ones the on time and easy. This is where the investments in the websites, the portals, the online booking and quoting, really pays off. Right? So when we look at it investment strategies with our customers across, you know, the first question we always ask is, who are your customers, right, and if your customers are in that smaller segment, than giving them that omni channel experience, giving them that ability, and really the consumerization of that omni channel experience becomes really important where, you know, as we get to the right, this is where being able to say, hey, we're going to do Pio based exception management. And we're going to do advanced analytics and network design, planning and mode shifting. And all of these things that all of us freight nerds love to talk about are great. I have a personal experience with a friend of mine who had a you know, does, maybe 100 containers a year tops. And she's gone to forwarders, who have started with that conversation. And she's just like, she wants the FedEx parcel experience, right? And she wants to be able to just say, I have this factory that gets me my stuff. And can you just get it there, and I need it in Target needs it on July 3, so can you please make sure it's a target on July 3, and just promise me that's gonna happen. And I never want to speak to you again. And so it's important to remember who you want to sell to in positioning your conversations next year, and potentially varying your roadmap that you're showing your customers based on which pieces of it are important to them. So I'll take the beginning of this. And rose, we'll take the end, I think, you know, we wanted to put a little bit of perspective on the last few years. Because there was this period in 2018 2019, we were all very excited about technologies and industry. But we were excited about that in a world that was relatively stable. You know, we had the beginnings of the sort of trade wars with China, in the US starting but nothing like what we found out we were going to experience and so conversations with customers are very much about how do you differentiate yourself when everything feels the same? And then we hit chaos, right? So we hit the beginning of 2020. And the lockdowns and certainly things I don't need to remind everyone of and our conversations with our customers or your conversations with your customers more specifically, we're just navigate me through this chaos, get me capacity, get me space, I want you to innovate. But I don't want to hear about your innovation for innovation sake. I just want and Molly pictus, this nice dumpster fire icon for us. I just want you to put the dumpster fire out the roads. Do you want to maybe pick up the second half here?

Rose Smith  07:52

Yeah, exactly. So coming out of that period of chaos. And even as a consumer, it felt pretty chaotic, not knowing if you're gonna get your package on time. Even worse for the larger shippers who wanted to be able to service the customer and their consumers in a timely fashion. We then went into this downturn where the economy started to assemble. And the need for capacity wasn't quite slowing. It was more just like up and down, up and down, up and down. What do we do, we built all this capacity in a lot of people changed suppliers for further logistics providers. And now they're in a situation where they're potentially in a new relationship. And then it went back to how do we go back to feeling the status quo? How do we go back to that, okay, things are starting to smooth out a little bit, not necessarily in a positive way, with the demand going down. But then how do we manage all of this? How do we make sure we can start to give those forecasts to the logistics providers to make sure that they don't over underestimate the amount of capacity necessary, or even the amount of truck drivers they need to have. And right now we see ourselves going into a period of recovery, where it is starting to feel like relationships are being rebuilt, expectations are being set at a much calmer pace than they were during the pandemic. And there's overall starting to be an evening of demand. And hopefully, obviously, we all hope that that recovers truly and comes back up, but that there isn't so much chaos going into the future.

Brian Glick  09:30

And I think what this means if you're out there talking to your customers about next year is that this the ones that you've retained through the downturn, right. So we did a presentation a couple of years ago at TPM with a shipper and myself where we were discussing how she had gone from like three folders to I don't remember the exact number but it was more than 10 folders that she was using. And as you know I talked to her intervene Hang, you know, through the downturn, share that number back. So everyone saw their kind of number of customers increase in their master data, and then probably contract again. But the ones that have stayed, the ones that you've been able to maintain the key now is to make sure that those investments become the 20 year customers. And so we start thinking, again, the way we were thinking in 2018, about going out to your customers, and talking about long term projects and long term value again, and getting out of this firefighting mode. Right. And so you know what, we have to be careful about it, you know, and I'll be the first time we mentioned AI, and we'll see if it's the last time and this but like, not just walking into these customers who have gone now through this downturn in this chaos period, and are a little smarter than they were in 2018. Not just walking in and going, Hey, AI becoming, here's the value that we want to bring to improve your on time in full and how we're going to use a technology like AI to solve that. So I think the market and the buyers at the customers, from a technology perspective, at least, they've gotten smarter about you can't just wave the buzzwords at them. It used to be you could say API, and then not really even know what that meant as a salesperson. And it was okay. And they were like ooh, API, yes, you must be modern. Now they're saying, Okay, what's the ROI on that because I'm either in or coming out of a downturn. And I have to go back to my CFO and talk about my spend, and why I want to pay this freight forwarder more than this other freight forwarder, because they're bringing this added value. And you have to help them understand how to tell that story to their CFO, right to say, Okay, we have chosen to spend more money. And as the British trying to jump in, so I'll let you finish the thought for us.

Rose Smith  11:49

Yeah, I was just thinking about the initial slide we started with as well, because one of the things we didn't highlight there yet was, as the maturity has come about in the industry, because of the chaos, right? Like you said, Brian, now everyone has a bit more experience, they have more knowledge, they're more focus on ROI. But there's also this need for the customers to, they all at least want to know where their stuff is. And that is whether they're shipping 10 Things attention and a year or, you know, 100,000, they all want to know that one thing, where is it? Is it going to be on time am I going to be able to service the retailer or their own customer, their own consumer on time. And I think that is where that innovation and sort of support that maybe previously wasn't immediately offered is a massive benefit here because it's almost like a relief, especially when it is then going to serve as the customer's customer. No one wants to answer Walmart, when they ask Where's my stuff, that's not a good position to be in. And I think that there used to be a lot more flexibility in that space for suppliers to sort of be like, Okay, you're a smaller supplier, therefore, we'll give you a little bit of wiggle room. But now, it's just the fact of the matter. Everybody wants to know where it is, at the very least, and being able to provide that on behalf of the logistics provider customers in order to so that they can pass it along to their customers.

Brian Glick  13:20

And I think where that especially jumps in is when we're talking about that segmentation. It's that middle segment that really is struggling, and where as logistics service providers, not just freight forwarders, where we can really in the coming year, help in that visibility space is those mid market customers, right, the big ones are going to assume you can do it and they're going to you know, and as capacity and schedule reliability has normalised on you know, both air and ocean error is definitely at a high overcapacity situation right now. So should not be hard to move things on time via plane, and ocean blank sailings all of these things, it's always a little challenging, but it's certainly we're not at down in those 10 and 20%, schedule reliability that we were at. The big guys are just gonna assume you can do it and they're just gonna yell at you, if you can. Those mid market customers who don't quite have their heads around how to work with their bigger customers. They're the ones that you can go to and say, you've now grown out of using our website and logging into our website 20 times a day, let's get a connection. Let us connect to your customer on your behalf. Now you've got a stickier customer, you've got a long term customer, you've got some great resiliency in your contract, because you've got that integration. So moving those customers that are in that transition period is where we think, you know, those will be your large customers 10 years from now.

Rose Smith  14:49

Yeah, and it supports the growth of everyone involved and it allows that to grow at all really, because if they didn't have the capability in the past then and then they do It's just a better situation for everybody.

Brian Glick  15:01

I think that was our cue that we have to keep moving. Because rosin, I'll do this for a long time, the one topic that doesn't wedge into anything else, and that we think, if you want to be out ahead of your customers demands, especially in North America, is sustainability and emissions, you know, the understanding in the customer base around emissions is very uneven right now. So California is implementing new regulations that are going in within the next two years. And you know, the dates sometimes shifts on these things. Some things are saying as early as next year, some are saying is latest 2026. But emissions reporting is going to be a real thing. And it's going to be required in California, it is absolutely required in Europe, it is theoretically going to be required by the SEC, for all publicly traded companies. I had a I posted this on LinkedIn the other day, but I had an executive at a company who was a multi 100 million dollar company, say to me that this wasn't relevant to them yet, because they're not a billion dollar company. And that's sort of the California standard, as people understand it today. You know, I said, What are your customers, billion dollar companies? You know, are you selling into Amazon? Are you selling into Target? Are you selling, you know, are you a tier two manufacturer for Ford, right? This is going to have a cascading effect. And that's really all on the left. So that's the compliance side of the house. Whereas Do you want to talk for a second about the difference between our talk thinking about compliance and brand when it comes to this? Absolutely.

Rose Smith  16:38

So when we talk about just the compliance, like Brian just mentioned, it's there, it's already there. I think when we think about compliance, oftentimes, when I was previously a shipper, we just wanted to know that it was already taken care of. It's one of those things similar to where Brian said, you know, we would hear the word API and just be like, Okay, you must be great at this. That feeling and understanding that it will be taken care of, if we were to use that LSP is foundationally, something that I think is just a good thing. On the other side of house, there are other brands out there. And I can speak from experience here having come from the LEGO Group, where there was a inherent heartfelt desire to actually be a sustainable brand. And that is both because they truly cared about the environment. But also, because they wanted to get ahead of all of this compliance, yes, we would always comply with things. But we wanted to do even more with that. And I think knowing the difference in your customer base, this kind of goes back to that original slide, where we segmented into three, there's going to be some that are just wanting to grow as a company, and they want to make sure that compliance is there. And then there's others that are either larger brands, or maybe specific to a generation that their product is for. And they want to show that they are ahead of the curve in the sustainability area. And having the ability to do that and at least report on it, I think, is the start of where we think LSPs would really benefit. And

Brian Glick  18:12

putting some specifics around that and things that we're doing with our customers today. You know, we have customers on the compliance side forwarders, who are hearing different things from shippers, and this has clearly not shaken out in the market as far as best practices. And we're actually in the middle of we're going to publish a report on this, we're doing a lot of information gathering right now between shippers who want very accurate transportation data much, much more granular than they've ever had it before. So that even if you're doing a door to door move for them, they want transit legs, and you know exactly where it's picked up and what mode was used? And did you put it on the rail? Did you not put it on the rail, so that they can do their own co2 calculations? There are others and this has no correlation to company size and the conversation we've had, who are saying, I want you to tell me the emissions reporting on my shipments, just tell me the co2 numbers, right. And you need to be prepared to have that compliance conversation. And a I have a strong position as a company to what you think but also be prepared for some of the customers are going to say I want your data. And some are going to say I want you to calculate the answer and hand me and you really have to be there for both of those scenarios. If I have two conversations at this point, I'm pretty much betting that they're going to be 5050 between those two approaches. But in either case, if you're not doing the operational groundwork to make sure that your underlying transit leg data, which often has been a little spotty because it's not a compliance issue, you don't really you know, for those of you who use a large TMS, you know, sometimes what you have exactly in the leg information doesn't really matter. As long as the bill of lading moves, that matters now, and the thing to get ahead of is D Get a quality because those companies are going to start putting this into an audit regime. And it's going to be similar to customs compliance, where you're going to have to show your work. And you're going to have to expect everyone to as if the customer is sitting over your shoulder 24 hours a day. On the brand side, it's very different story. And this is a softer thing, but the ones who are looking for the brand recognition, if you can help them tell a story, you help them relocate a facility to reduce the mileage for their deliveries, you help them with a mode shifting challenge that you know, a save the money, but also moved air to ocean for you know, X amount of carbon, helping them to build that narrative will get them executive recognition within their companies that they're contributing to that brand story. So all the data in the world is one thing. Being able to use your technology to craft a narrative for them, will make your sponsor into a rock star at their company, you bring that to a company who's only taking a compliance perspective, they're just gonna say why you wasting my time. So again, know your customer. Yeah,

Rose Smith  21:10

it's a perfect example also where it borders on that, going from the tactical to strategic, just like you said, Brian, if those that are more motivated from a brand perspective can start choosing mode, because they're ahead of the curve, they have their forecasting, right, and they can put it on the ocean versus air, in order to have less co2 emissions, they're going to do it. It's just what's going to happen. And the ability to see that and understand it, and then have the data, when it is on the ocean to make sure it's going to be there on time is golden.

Brian Glick  21:41

So we have a Audience Question for forwarders and LSPs? How do you persuade SMBs? To start with their sustainability? Currently, from what I see there are companies that are really ahead of the game and those that haven't started at all? How do you show the ROI from implementing sustainable logistics solutions, and quantify the relevant value, I'll take a first pass of this rose and jump in if you like, I think there's a couple of things. One, you can't force the issue if they really don't care. But you can start to educate, you know, coming from someone who started a software company doing, you know, kind of this multi integration thing in 2016. before most people kind of understood it, they had to be very patient with educating why this was a problem explaining that their customers are going to ask for it, and not necessarily asking them to sign something today or buy something from you today. So you know, starting to just interject a this is how we're thinking about sustainability as a forwarder. In a low pressure environment, we'll turn into a good conversation next year. The other and this is always, to me been the key was sustainability. The number one thing that every company can do to lower their emissions is mode shifting air to ocean like Nothing even comes close to not moving air freight. And that saves money, too. So almost anything you do in sustainability, also has a cost benefit. And so sometimes it's just about kind of getting back saying, Okay, we think sustainability is important. We want to help you be more sustainable. But we want you to go to your boss and say, hey, if we do this pure management thing with you, we think we can take 500 Air shipments that you moved on an emergency basis out of your supply chain and move them to ocean, right and then just tell them the ROI is the savings on their frayed right not to mention more on time deliveries, like this is my favourite part about sustainability is that it actually has an ROI. And nobody on this call, I think is in the position of trying to figure out the ROI of you know, moving an entire container ship the methane or moving entire container ship the hydrogen. We're trying to figure out biofuels for aeroplanes, I had the pleasure of listening to some of those conversations that's like those are hard ROIs from a freight forwarder shipper relationship perspective, just make their supply chains more efficient, and sustainability is the bonus. Now I

Rose Smith  24:13

have nothing to add to that. I 100%. Agree. I wish it was the same with like eating healthy, you know, I could get the same bag of groceries.

Brian Glick  24:22

Just so cheap, the healthy foods. That's what we're selling. So this is a bit of a grab bag of other things that we think you should be talking to your customers about, you know, and why they're hot. So I think Rosa and I can kind of wander through these together. I'll start with the emissions reporting and ETs. Obviously, we just had a whole slide on sustainability. But one of the things that everyone should educate themselves on is the new surcharges that are going to be coming in from the carriers on ETS which is the carbon trading programme in Europe. So the carriers have announced kind of relatively blanket surcharges can be this much per container. They're all trying to figure out what this means your ability to help your customers interpret that and also to potentially guide them at the larger end of the scale in how to negotiate with the carriers on those topics. Everything publicly says, Oh, this will be blanket, it will be across the board. And I think any of us have done this for a long time, No, nothing's blanket and nothing's across the board, once you get into that room at TPM with the carrier, especially when there's over capacity in the market. So being able to show those customers exactly what vessels and voyages they moved on. And, you know, being able to have them go into their contract negotiations, or your negotiations and envio and have the data to have a strong and principal position with the carriers. On. Look, I know this is your blanket surcharge. But you know, we are one of your most efficient customers. Right, and you know, the lanes, we move on in the vessels, you move on those lanes, and therefore we're not accepting this is going to be an interesting and I don't know where those conversations end. But I know if you're a good guide for your customer through them, they will appreciate that as a partner, whereas you want to pick one. Yeah,

Rose Smith  26:13

I was gonna pick to management and visibility. I think with this one more and more, even as I worked in various places, not even dependent on size. Again, this is where this can sometimes be lacking for any customer manufacturer. And they really rely on the either logistics provider or three PL to tell them what's happening with their own Pio. I last week, I Robot and there were so orders being sent via email. You know, in that case, there's only visibility to the folks that are on the email. And I think that these are the types of things we're just moving that even to any ability to see is better than none. And having that capability, having it as an offering is a massive value add to those companies who may have fallen away from something they previously had, or are really a need to see this, especially once something is moving,

Brian Glick  27:16

I'll jump in, I'm gonna pick basic sprayed automation, or 1000, Alex. So we have a customer, who I'm not going to call out by name, but they're many, many, many billions of dollars in revenue kind of customer. And we're doing a project with them right now where we're helping them implement ASN into one of their facilities, which is a reminder that everybody has the basic problems still, there is almost no company on earth, there are ones whose marketing would tell you otherwise. But when you get down into it, there are still like I said, robot companies who are emailing POS and major manufacturers who don't know what showing up at their facility today, you know, and are manually putting things away. And often it's not their main line product or their core. It's you know, stuff coming, you know, ancillary suppliers where they've got a DDP programme mixed in with the freight they manage, or they've got, you know, something where you can go in and say, there's a very clear ROI. To us coming in and helping you automate bookings, we had one of the largest exporters out of the US, we just spent a year with them getting their spreadsheet into an automated process, so they could get it over to their forwarders. A little more effectively. There was though one spreadsheet for their 10s and 1000s of containers a year. So don't forget to go ask your customers about the basics and to poke and prod when you're seeing inefficiencies in their processes. Because oftentimes, you don't need to bring them blockchain or AI or an API, you just need to be like, Why is this one person in this one facility emailing us four times a day? And can we help with that? And they will often say yes, and then you're a partner instead of a supplier.

Rose Smith  29:07

And I think that partnership is really key and supporting your customers customers. This is where obviously, you know, the beauty of supply chain is that hopefully there's an endless customer until it gets into someone's home or otherwise. So this goes to those folks that are actual vendors that are manufacturing a component of something, making sure that there's an understanding of what their manufacturers are actually asking for and what they need, all the way through to then that manufacturer or servicing the retailer, and then of course, the retailer servicing the end consumer. And in this, the needs are different. And just like Brian said, There's so large need for that basic rate automation that we see in the industry as a whole. And it's usually something as simple as that, but just having the visibility in and asking or anticipating based on experience with other customers is the right way to go about it and be that partner.

Brian Glick  30:06

We have another question. Let's jump over to that for a second. How do you see AI being implemented with sustainability? Any opinion or view? To what extent can AI be utilised for making supply chain decarbonisation happen? Specifically our perspective as a software provider? You got any thoughts on that one? Yeah,

Rose Smith  30:25

I think there's a number of ways. So I think the first is doing some sort of advancement in collecting the data that is existing, and then allowing that to forecast future. I would say that's probably where my mind just goes to, from a strategic standpoint, it kind of goes to what Brian was talking about in the larger scale of you know, is a hydrogen containership going to be in our future, right? And just understanding the inner workings, from a mechanical standpoint, but then also from that data set that says, What has travelled across the ocean? Where can things be optimised? And combined, and things like that? Yeah.

Brian Glick  31:08

Okay, I think we're in the middle of a hype cycle. And I, so I'm gonna put a word of caution, I'm gonna be the damp towel on this one a little bit. Every single person on this call is gonna get a call from a vendor, sometime in the next week or a day or hour saying I have an AI solution, and then some things, right, and they're just gonna assume that because they said, AI, you're gonna buy from them. I think AI and machine learning will certainly fall into the decarbonisation world somewhere. I don't think it is the leader there, I think what you're gonna see a lot of and blue yonder, who I'm not super familiar with, but I know they do a lot of marketing around sort of AI based processes in sales and operations, planning, and getting the orders right and getting where you're not shipping things you don't need and where you're not shipping air and where you're not, again, being inefficient. I think that's a huge piece. The other is, you know, potentially filling in data that doesn't exist, but should, right, and like, one of the things that continues to amaze me is how, as I type on my phone now, or even voice dictate, it knows the next word, or it's sometimes it even knows the word I meant to say, and on the voice dictation, we'll type in what I meant, not what I said, and the ability to look at spotty supply chain data and use AI and things that look like chat GPT feeling things to fill in some of that missing data so that you can get a more continuous reporting view over what's going on and not be fighting with that spotty data. So there's just some ideas. But again, I think, at the end of the day, the basics always win. Right. And whether it's AI or blockchain or, you know, API's or XML files, 20 years ago, the technology has to be the second half of the sentence. And if there's one takeaway from any buzzword, if it's the first word out of the salespersons mouth, don't buy the product, if it's the thing they're using, and the first word is the business value, then you probably should evaluate that technology. So I

Rose Smith  33:24

was just going to add to that last one, because I think, even when we were thinking through the how much space was being utilised on a truck, those are the things that machine learning AI and things like that can help with as well. But again, it's more of like, you don't necessarily need AI to look at a truck and say, Okay, there's error here. I mean, so I think that's also a take on it, sometimes going back to just like common sense, human can be maybe at least a faster implementation than the AI Tradewinds is our last one. Brian, you want to take that one? Sure.

Brian Glick  33:55

So on the trade compliance side, one of the things that is going on right now in the world is that we are in a period of low stability and comparison to most of our careers. I would say, if you were working in the last period of very low stability, you probably should be thinking about retiring because it was like a 30 to 40 year swing. So you know, whether it's, you know, the recent events in the Middle East, whether it's Ukraine, whether it's the you know, decoupling of China in the US, whether it's forced labour targeting, these things are interrelated and they are increasing the burden on trade compliance professionals. Right. So it's no longer just let me get the tariff number, right. And then if I have time, we'll go figure out about free trade agreements. And if we have time after that, we'll look at an FTC. It's now you know, am I going to be targeted for forced labour? Is my tier three supplier going to be targeted for forced labour? You know, are we moving product through a potential cause? conflict zone that we never thought of as a conflict zone before? Do we have a software vendor who's headquartered in a conflict zone? Right? And if so, do they have a continuity plan? All of these things become trade compliance concerns at a certain point, you know, and the stakes have never been higher, because these trade compliance issues in 2023 versus 1993, when our brand become brand issues very quickly, so where you can help your customers, you know, target their shipments and their suppliers in the same way that the government's are going to, you know, so that they can be aware and act on things proactively. It's not just did I clear customs? And did I pay the lowest possible duty rate, which for most of my career, was the only two things that anyone ever asked me about trade compliance, you know, it is now are we putting our company at risk? And are we paying the lowest duty rate? And did you clear customs, so we don't get to skip those things. But I think anyone who's doing anything with minerals, batteries, apparel, those things in particular, there is just huge amounts of issues. I was talking to somebody this morning about dry bulk market and wheat and how that affects Ukraine. And I'm not qualified to talk about those things. But it's almost any commodity. And asking your customers what they're concerned about. And, again, this is where a lot of AI can be helpful is mining through those large amounts of data to find that needle in the haystack.

Rose Smith  36:30

To answer this, and just say also, especially for those that may have been around since 93, you know, there is sort of a sort of nice to have maybe slight expectation that sort of the OGS in the industry have an opinion on this, especially as we see manufacturing move to other countries outside of AIPAC directly, some moving back to the United States even and the differences there and some of the pluses and minuses that someone might not be able to see when they're just doing their cost analysis on something. That's also helpful.

Brian Glick  37:03

Yeah, one thing that just popped into my head to kind of put a little fear into your customer, sometimes about trade compliance is they'll say, Okay, I'm shifting my production back to the US is okay, but are you doing that by using a supplier in the US who may be sourcing materials overseas? And all you've done now is really shifted yourself to feel much more like a DDP programme, where you no longer have visibility to things you had before? And, you know, is that supplier now moving raw materials on a ship that maybe is, you know, being targeted for, you know, like things that we don't even think about and supply chain everyday, but like, you know, issues of ships that are being diverted to Russia, or issues of labour practices on the vessels? If they're not using a large carrier? You know, are they clearing customs properly? And do they have compliance issues? Or are they about to be targeted because you've shifted your manufacturing, but you've also shifted the responsibility onto a local provider for something that you had much more visibility on before. Because if the raw materials, whether it's a seed or mineral did not come out of the ground in the United States, somebody's importing something somewhere. And so you don't get a pass just because you're buying from a US supplier.

Molly Evola  38:20

There's a couple more minutes if you want to add any questions into the q&a, but I just wanted to kind of get your closing thoughts. Brian, I'll start with you, Rose, we'll go next. What is your one piece of advice for LSPs? Looking to align their strategies with shippers? For 2024? What would you recommend?

Brian Glick  38:35

I think it's really to put our minds back into the pre COVID world where we have to show creative value that has a real ROI and a real business value other than the rate and other than the fact that I can just get your container there and getting back into this. We're going to help you be a better company. And that's why you should stay with us for many years. Awesome. Yeah,

Rose Smith  39:00

I'm gonna directly piggyback off that and just say, it's all about the value and being a partner, whether it's a small company or a large company, anticipating their needs, which are going to be different and truly showing up with that value. Perfect.

Molly Evola  39:14

Well, I don't see any other questions in the chat. Thank you all for participating for being here for this discussion. We're going to send out some follow ups. After this. We'll send out the slides and a recording as well. But thank you, Brian. Thank you rose for your time, and thanks for being here. Thanks, everyone.

Brian Glick  39:30

Thanks to rose for taking us through all of that. As you can tell, she and I have worked together for a very long time and she's a person I have great respect for in this industry. Hope you enjoyed the episode. And make sure to check out chain IO on LinkedIn and on our blog for more informative content through the end of the year on this topic and a whole bunch of others. Thank you

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written on November 8, 2023
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