This fireside chat recap is from Day 1 of FreightWaves’ Future of Supply Chain live event in Rogers, Arkansas. For more information and content from the event, click here
FIRESIDE CHAT TOPIC: Ocean import strategies and inland distribution
DETAILS: Supply chain developments through the eyes of online furniture retailer Wayfair.
SPEAKER: Jack Echeverria, senior manager global logistics, Wayfair
BIO: Before joining Wayfair two years ago, Echeverria was director of operations for the Florida East Coast Railway. He also has seven years of experience as a regional ramp and pricing manager at J.B. Hunt Transport.
KEY QUOTES FROM ECHEVERRIA:
“The one market I’m really intrigued by is Africa. It’s going to be a little bit less for labor. The infrastructure needs to be built up. There are some geopolitical issues there also. Over time that could be a market that may actually rise up with the location being closer to North America and Europe. Logistics-wise it would make sense.”
“We’ve been fortunate that we had a strong fulfillment center on the East Coast. We have fulfillment centers on the West Coast also. And we’re continuing to penetrate more inland in North America. So it’s having a plan so that if something goes wrong you have another course of action. For inland markets we’re not just going to come in through one port of entry. We’re going to have two or three solutions.”
“We love to work with asset providers. But over the last 12 to 18 months we did pivot more to using brokers. You did see a lot of owner-operators go out and gain their own authority. My fear is with the downturn in volume right now, can they maintain their business. Are they going to begin to give up their authority and go back to another agent or are they just going to retire? The next eight to 12 weeks are going to be very telling on the dray market. … Once the ports open up in Asia, we’re expecting a surge of volume and that’s where we’re going to need those one or two trucks. … We feel secure with the way we allocated our volume. We’re not going to be able to fully mitigate the issues we experience, but we should be in a good position to provide good service.”