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Cold Chain Summit: Wabash National’s composite tech chilling the trailer business

Trailer manufacturer helping businesses meet sustainability demands

FreightWaves Detroit Bureau Chief Alan Adler interviews Wabash National CEO Brent Yeagy in a fireside chat during the FreightWaves Cold Chain Summit.

This fireside chat recap is from FreightWaves’ Cold Chain Summit on Wednesday.

FIRESIDE CHAT TOPIC: How composite technology is changing trailer manufacturing

DETAILS: Wabash National is best known as a manufacturer of dry vans. But it is putting a focus on first- to final-mile products by use of molded structural composite that it is applying across its equipment offerings.

SPEAKER: Brent Yeagy, president and CEO, Wabash National Corp.

BIO: Yeagy has been president of Wabash National for the past five years and CEO for the past three. He has overseen a makeover of Wabash’s business through acquisitions and divestitures to position Wabash as a provider of first- to last-mile trailers and upfits, all making greater use of composite material that retains heat and cold better than steel and aluminum.

KEY QUOTES FROM YEAGY:

“We looked at cold chain as being an area of growth five, six, seven years ago. We saw it from a traditional market standpoint, and we looked at it before e-commerce really accelerated the home delivery market. We saw changes in people demographics, asset changes, and we saw technology starting to come online that we thought we could leverage.”

“The pandemic just made it very clear in the consumer and the shipper, or the grocery stores and the foodservice companies, that this is a trend that is staying and only accelerating.

“We are talking to some of the largest carriers and shippers in the country about how Wabash National ups their ESG  [environmental, social and governance] scores through their management supply chain scoring processes. We’re able to have unique conversations that others cannot have based on the products that we have and the way we understand sustainability.”

Brent Yeagy, president and CEO, Wabash National Corp.

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Click for more FreightWaves articles by Alan Adler.

Alan Adler

Alan Adler is an award-winning journalist who worked for The Associated Press and the Detroit Free Press. He also spent two decades in domestic and international media relations and executive communications with General Motors.