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FOSC chat: Convoy’s CEO on building flexibility into the model

‘I’m leaning less to trying to control the volatility necessarily and finding ways to hedge against the volatility’

Craig Fuller and Dan Lewis chat at The Future of Supply Chain. (Photo: Jim Allen/FreightWaves)

This fireside chat recap is from Day 1 of FreightWaves’ The Future of Supply Chain live event being held in Rogers, Arkansas. For more information and content from the event, click here.

FIRESIDE CHAT TOPIC: Navigating volatility in freight markets.

DETAILS: Convoy’s Dan Lewis chats about managing the ups and down of the trucking markets.

SPEAKER: Lewis is the CEO and co-founder of Convoy.

BIO: Before Convoy, Lewis served as general manager of new shopping experiences at Amazon, after having product and data roles at Microsoft, Google and various startups. Lewis started his career in supply chain and strategy consulting for Oliver Wyman, working in operations across Europe, Latin America and the U.S.


On navigating volatility: “It’s like almost trying to forecast the stock market. It’s really hard to predict what’s going to happen. I’m leaning less to trying to control the volatility necessarily and finding ways to hedge against the volatility. Or, build a business model and a capacity model that is designed to adapt to different market conditions and that’s what it optimizes for.”

On building flexibility in the model: “I remember thinking when I first started Convoy, ‘We can forecast the market.’ And then I stopped thinking that at one point. Instead of trying to do that, I want to focus on building our entire business to be reactive and flexible to what’s happening in the market, in that short term, whether it’s weeks or months … and support our customers through that.”

On the rigidity of some supply chain budgets: “Shippers have an obligation to come up with a really tight budget and fixed budget. That’s just the way the procurement works and the way their CFOs expect the things to come out. I think part of this is education too around this industry might be a bit different.”  

Click for more FreightWaves articles by Todd Maiden.

Todd Maiden

Based in Richmond, VA, Todd is the finance editor at FreightWaves. Prior to joining FreightWaves, he covered the TLs, LTLs, railroads and brokers for RBC Capital Markets and BB&T Capital Markets. Todd began his career in banking and finance before moving over to transportation equity research where he provided stock recommendations for publicly traded transportation companies.