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How technology can do more than provide visibility

This fireside chat recap is from Tuesday, the first day of FreightWaves’ Global Supply Chain Week.

FIRESIDE CHAT TOPIC: Trade technology for a better supply chain.

DETAILS: Bryn Heimbeck, co-founder and president of Trade Tech, discusses how cloud-based platforms can increase efficiency among shippers, carriers, freight forwarders, warehouses and other international service providers. Technology should do more than provide visibility; it should help partners execute with efficiency.


On getting the supply chain industry up to speed on technology adoption: 

“We have spent billions and trillions of dollars on decentralized computing, and that leaves us all working in our own little villages, our own environments, and unable to be consistent in what we do relative to people inside our own organizations and with people like our customers. And it’s a paradigm that doesn’t scale. And it probably worked just fine for the ’90s compared to a paper typewriter.”

“We need consistency in the movement of freight. … We should be focused on mechanization, and that will lead to automation — things we are taking away like rekeying data, sending it here, sending it there. I equate that to a virtual assembly line. If we looked at manufacturing and compared ourselves in services … we’d be at about 1820, pre-Industrial Revolution.”

On changes to the supply chain sector coming out of the pandemic:

“We’re seeing a paradigm shift to people saying, ‘I’m going to use the transit of the vessel to do the administrative work on the destination side, and I’ll be prepared for the pickup and delivery when the vessel docks. And that’s something we need to work toward on a less elitist basis and a more generic one.”