FreightWaves Radio launched its fourth national show on Saturday, March 16 on SiriusXM’s Road Dog Channel 146. Unlike other industry-specific radio shows that often have particular messaging or lobbying aims, FreightWaves Radio is an independent, data-driven look at what’s really going on in the freight world, and the episode proved just that. Hosts Chad Prevost and John Kingston kicked things off from both the SiriusXM studios in Rockefeller Center in downtown Manhattan, and from Chattanooga, Tennessee’s Freight Alley studio.
How is data sourced, supplied, analyzed and, finally, made actionable? We discussed this topic with our guests Chris Henry, Todd Amen and Martin Lew.
Quotable from Chris Henry, program manager of the Truckload Carriers Association (TCA) inGauge:
“The Truckload Profitability Program [TPP] is two things. First, it’s is an online benchmarking program that allows carriers of all sizes – our smallest fleet is 13 units and our largest is 7,000. What this platform allows companies to do is to compare their financial and operational performance on a monthly basis. It could be revenue per truck per week, or it could be their equipment financing cost as a percentage of revenue. We have 245 KPIs that you can track, all depending on how much data you can provide us. That platform can be used in an anonymous format, so you can see how you’re doing compared to other carriers based on the number of population filters and then secondly, if you’re in what is called a Best Practice Group, you can see how you are doing with your fellow group members on a non-anonymous basis. The Best Practice Groups is kind of taking it to another level. It allows companies to get not just the what, but the how. So these companies that are vetted, so there are no direct competitors, they get together two to three times a year. They share best practices, network and also talk about what you should avoid doing.”
Quotable from John Gallagher, FreightWaves’ Washington correspondent:
“Just this past week in the wake of what’s come up with this LNG [liquid natural gas] waiver, Mike Lee, a Republican Senator from Utah, proposed a bill to repeal the Jones Act altogether, citing the higher cost of moving cargo to Alaska, Hawaii and Puerto Rico. The argument supporting the Jones Act comes from a powerful lobby here in Washington, which is maritime labor. An argument against jobs of any kind in Congress – it’s always a difficult position to put yourself in. There’s no doubt that the Jones Act has a very strong American jobs argument to make. And, John [Kingston], you mention economic analysis, while it’s true it’s hard to argue against a pure economic theory, when you have more competition for a service it lowers the cost for everyone. Supporters of the Jones Act would argue that if you repeal it entirely, you would pretty much deplete the U.S. merchant fleet, because suddenly you’d have to be competing with shipbuilders in China who are heavily subsidized, and merchant mariners that come from the Philippines, India and Greece that tend to be paid much less than U.S. mariners, and you’d have to deal with that as well.”