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FreightWaves LIVE recap: Making complex supply chain innovation more accessible

‘You’ve got to be much more comfortable working with early-stage startups, working with emerging tech’

FreightWaves Executive Publisher Kevin Hill (left) chats with ArcBest Technologies Chief Innovation Officer and President Michael Newcity. (FreightWaves)

This fireside chat recap is from Day 2 of FreightWaves LIVE @HOME.

FIRESIDE CHAT TOPIC: How technology and innovation are key to navigating today’s supply chain 

DETAILS: Necessity is the mother of all invention and innovation, and the past year is likely to be the seed for hyper-innovation over the next five to 10 years. ArcBest Technologies’ Michael Newcity and FreightWaves Executive Publisher Kevin Hill discuss these innovation seeds in this fireside chat.

SPEAKER: Newcity is the chief innovation officer and president of ArcBest Technologies.

BIO: Newcity has served ArcBest in a variety of roles, including tenures as director of economic analysis and chief financial officer. He has been ArcBest’s chief innovation officer and president since January 2014. Newcity has also served as director of e-systems and emerging technologies at ABF Freight System.


“When I think about strategic supply chain innovation, I think about making the very complex more accessible — more easily accessible to those depending on it, engaging in it. And to me that’s the journey that ArcBest has been on — trying to help shippers and capacity providers navigate this complex landscape.” 

“You got to really think openly about your partnerships. You’ve got to be much more comfortable working with early-stage startups, working with emerging tech.”

“There’s a significant gap in technology adoption. And it’s not necessarily between shippers or logistics companies. I think the adoption differences exist among shippers on their own as well as logistics companies on their own. … When you have such a difference between some folks on their adoption, it really creates complexity for the shippers and the logistics companies. And quite honestly, it’s why you see so much interest from the startup community in our space, because of those inefficiencies.” 

“When I think about the near term, the next five years, I think we’re going to see a significant percentage of tasks today that can become automated … where the decisions can be augmented. And it’s not about replacing people. It’s kind of like mind and machine doing better together than what they could do separate.” 

Joanna Marsh

Joanna is a Washington, DC-based writer covering the freight railroad industry. She has worked for Argus Media as a contributing reporter for Argus Rail Business and as a market reporter for Argus Coal Daily.