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North American Supply Chain Summit to look back at 2020 disruption and ahead to 2021’s promise

FreightWaves virtual event to be held Tuesday and feature leading supply chain experts

Leading supply chain experts will share their insights on what happened to the supply chain in 2020 and look ahead to 2021 as part of FreightWaves’ North America Supply Chain Summit on Tuesday. (Photo: JIm Allen/FreightWaves)

Supply chain disruption became the norm in 2020, propelled by the COVID-19 pandemic. But global supply chains faced unprecedented pressures from other outside factors as well: Brexit, U.S.-China relations and the introduction of the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement to name a few.

The result was, in some ways, a paralyzing impact on global investment in supply chain efficiency. But in many ways, it drove increased technological development, new partnerships and innovation across the supply chain as businesses sought to protect their existing supply chain and position themselves for the future.

All these topics and more will be part of FreightWaves’ North American Supply Chain Summit virtual event on Tuesday. The one-day event, presented by headline sponsor Ryder System (NYSE: R) and regional sponsor ArcBest, kicks off at 9 a.m. EST Tuesday and will be packed with information and insight into emerging supply chain trends with a focus on what stakeholders can expect in 2021 and beyond.

The FreightWaves North American Supply Chain Summit will be streamed live and free of charge at More information on the event, including the agenda and complete list of speakers, can be found here.

Registrants will be entered to win a Stellina telescope from Vaonis. Described by Sky at Night Magazine as a “futuristic, fully automated astrophotography scope,” the Stellina takes deep-sky images – including galaxies and nebulae – with a Sony IMX 178 sensor and a resolution of 6.4 megapixels, equivalent to 3,086×2,076 pixels, the publication stated. Images are then transferred to smart device screens through a process known as “live stacking.”

Don’t miss the free North American Supply Chain Summit.

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Kendra Phillips, chief technology officer and vice president of new products for Ryder, will join Fuller for a special Fuller Speed Ahead episode.

Disruption and its impact on 2021 will be a prominent topic during several Supply Chain Summit discussions. Alison Bodor, president and CEO of the American Frozen Food Institute, will share insights on how the supply chain has been permanently changed because of COVID and where uncertainties remain as the industry heads into 2021.

FreightWaves President George Abernathy will be joined by Peter Bostorff, executive vice president of corporate development for the Association for Supply Chain Management. The pair will discuss an upcoming forecast report on the 2021 supply chain, with Bostorff sharing his expectations for the 2021 supply chain and what managers need to know.

Contract freight will take center stage in an afternoon session as Kyle Lintner, principal and managing director of K-Ratio, will be joined by Andrew Silver, CEO of MoLo Solutions, Michael Carlisle, operations director of logistics for U.S. Cold Storage, and Josh Phelan, vice president of finance for J.B. Hunt Transport. In addition to the state of contract freight in 2021, the speakers will address how innovation within the supply chain is looking to improve the system for both shippers and third-party logistics providers.

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Rapid-fire demos, a staple of FreightWaves LIVE events, will return for the North American Supply Chain Summit. Hosted by FreightWaves’ Anthony Smith, director of market experts, the demos will feature Kuebix, Cleo, OneRail and Nyshek presenting their latest technologies.

FreightWaves’ popular WHAT THE TRUCK?!? hosts, Dooner and The Dude, will conduct several live broadcasts during the event, including a must-watch question-and-answer session with Gene Seroka, executive director of the Port of Los Angeles and chief logistics officer for the city of LA.

Lori Ann LaRocco, senior editor of guests for CNBC Business News and a frequent contributor to, will join Dooner and The Dude for a special discussion on supply chains. The FreightWaves freightcasters will also present an episode of Inside the Box featuring Bestpass.

Dooner and The Dude will also welcome to WHAT THE TRUCK?!? Shannon Currier, director of philanthropy and development for the St. Christopher Truckers Relief Fund; Frank Kenney, director of market strategy for Cleo; and Drew McElroy, co-founder and chairman of Transfix.

Throughout the day will be several icebreaker networking sessions, presented by Loadsure. Icebreakers give attendees to FreightWaves virtual events a chance to step away during breaks in the action and network virtually.

Dennis Anderson, chief customer officer for ArcBest, will join Fuller for an episode of Fuller Speed Ahead. The duo will discuss best practices for managing disruption in the supply chain.

Sustainability and managing a successful supply chain will be the theme of the scheduled afternoon sessions.

Anheuser-Busch is among the leading companies building sustainable supply chains and Ingrid De Ryck, chief procurement and sustainability officer for the company, will join FreightWaves Executive Publisher Kevin Hill for a discussion on how Anheuser-Busch has done that and the approach other businesses serious about building their own sustainable supply chain can get started.

Managing inventory during times of volatility is a challenge for all businesses, and global supplier Cummins is no different. Heather Kettelhohn, executive director of global supply chain planning for Cummins, will join FreightWaves Detroit Bureau Chief Alan Adler to discuss how Cummins took control of its supply chain and inventory control when orders cratered early in 2020, only to rebound quickly to pre-pandemic levels.

Better prediction and management of supply chain disruptions can help manufacturers, distributors and consumer brands improve collaboration between the buyer and supplier and improve supply chain performance. Tom Kieley, CEO and co-founder of SourceDay, will discuss this topic with FreightWaves Chief Strategy Officer JT Engstrom.

FreightWaves’ Hill will return for a special discussion with Shawn Stewart, president and managing director of North America for CEVA Logistics. Stewart plans to discuss how 2020’s challenges have presented an opportunity to rethink supply chains.

Parcel carriers are an important but often overlooked part of the supply chain. Jeff McDermott, senior vice president of transportation management for Geodis, will discuss parcel carrier capacity challenges and the lessons learned as Americans shifted to online buying during COVID, driving up last-mile delivery needs.

Finally, attendees to the North American Supply Chain Summit will be able to see a live episode of Great Quarter, Guys. The show, one of FreightWaves’ most popular presentations, features hosts Seth Holm, senior research analyst for the FreightWaves FreightIntel Group, and Andrew Cox, FreightWaves market research analyst.

FreightWaves’ North American Supply Chain Summit begins at 9 a.m. Tuesday. All registrants will be entered to win a Stellina telescope from Vaonis. It will be streamed live and free of charge at More information on the event, including the agenda and complete list of speakers, can be found here.

Brian Straight

Brian Straight leads FreightWaves' Modern Shipper brand as Managing Editor. A journalism graduate of the University of Rhode Island, he has covered everything from a presidential election, to professional sports and Little League baseball, and for more than 10 years has covered trucking and logistics. Before joining FreightWaves, he was previously responsible for the editorial quality and production of Fleet Owner magazine and Brian lives in Connecticut with his wife and two kids and spends his time coaching his son’s baseball team, golfing with his daughter, and pursuing his never-ending quest to become a professional bowler. You can reach him at [email protected]