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Change on the horizon: A personal journey

By Bart De Muynck

The views expressed here are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of FreightWaves or its affiliates.

Change is all around us. You can’t open your email or grab the newspaper — if you’re still subscribed to one — without reading about all the disruptions that are affecting us on a daily basis. Those disruptions have created change in pretty much any company in any region across all industries around the world.

When I started working in the logistics industry in the 1990s, my manager would tell me, “Bart, the only constant is change.” That definitely has been true in the last 30 years, as I changed from the 3PL and asset-based side to work for a couple of technology startups in the early 2000s during the dot-com height and bust to working for one of the most recognized brands in the world with PepsiCo and later joining Gartner, where I was a research analyst in the transportation tech space for eight years.

In early 2022, I joined project44, a company that has been named No. 1 on FreightWaves’ FreightTech 25 the last two years. Little did I realize when I joined project44 that the world was going to change yet again. 

In February 2022, the war in Ukraine erupted and, soon after, world economics took a turn with high inflation, lower consumer demand and high interest rates. Just another change you might say, but one that affected companies both on the customer side as well as the carrier and 3PL side. It also reverberated in the technology industry.

As we start August 2023, I turn onto another fork in the road and start taking a slightly different course. I don’t say goodbye to project44, rather become a strategic adviser to CEO Jett McCandless and the executive team. This allows me the opportunity to advise other companies in the industry — up-and-coming technology companies like Mojix, Optym, OneRail, Shipium or logistics-focused venture company Venture53. 

My goal is to increase my industry purview and provide more companies with the valuable insights and experience I’ve gathered over the last 30-plus years.

The future is bright. Logistics might be challenged right now, but let’s not forget that logistics has been in the limelight more than any other function in the supply chain in the last three years. There is more opportunity in logistics than in any other area of business. 

I truly believe that working united in the industry and with the industry, together we can make a monumental change, one that will last for decades. People will look back and say that the early 2020s were the turning point for how logistics was viewed upon — and how the industry started changing into the efficient, collaborative, modernized and technology-enabled industry it has become.

And as I turn on this new journey, I’m filled with happy thoughts. I look forward to working with all the great people in this industry to provide insights, to learn from each other, to make things happen, but most of all to make a difference.

Look for more articles from me every Friday on FreightWaves.com.

About the author

Bart De Muynck is an industry thought leader with over 30 years of supply chain and logistics experience. He has worked for major international companies, including EY, GE Capital, Penske Logistics and PepsiCo, as well as several tech companies. He also spent eight years as a vice president of research at Gartner and, most recently, served as chief industry officer at project44. He is a member of the Forbes Technology Council and CSCMP’s Executive Inner Circle.

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