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Supply chain roles become major destination for executives

Welcome to the WHAT THE TRUCK?!? Newsletter presented by ODFL. In this issue, why Flexport brought on Dave Clark; sriracha and tampon shortages; fuel is Morbin.

Flexport lands Amazon consumer chief as future CEO

Kind of a big deal — On Wednesday morning, Flexport CEO Ryan Petersen sent out the tweet heard round the world. The 41-year-old CEO of the $8 billion dollar logistics giant that he founded in 2013 will be transitioning to an executive chairman role by next spring. Petersen told Forbes, “My big fear for Flexport is just that we’re not good enough to reach our potential.” A brave admission for any CEO, especially one who stood out as logistics leading man when freight went mainstream last year.

Landing a key Amazonian — Meet the new boss: Dave Clark is a 23-year Amazon veteran who is credited with transforming the e-tailer into a shipping and logistics powerhouse. The same year Flexport was founded, Amazon had a disastrous holiday peak season that put them at odds with UPS service levels. FreightWaves’ Mark Solomon reports, “Clark led the rapid-fire building of sortation centers, acquisition of trailers and recruitment of drivers.” Just last week, Clark shocked the business world with his abrupt resignation from his prime position … now we know why.

“In five years, Flexport will be known, hands down, as the best supply chain company in the world.” — Dave Clark to Ryan Petersen during an interview for the role

The search for an entrepreneur — Flexport has been very successful, growing from $2 million in revenue in 2014 to over $3 billion last year. So why make a change? Petersen tweeted, “The more we learn about our markets — and learning about the world economy is the best part of working at Flexport — the more we realize the opportunity in front of us is enormous.” Petersen believes Clark can be the entrepreneur they seek to grow and grow big.

Roar — Not for nothing, but ever since Ryan Petersen took on the DALL-E lion as Flexport’s unofficial mascot, great things have come.

Fuel is still Morbing

Suckin’ the blood out of your wallet Trucks can’t move without fuel and moving trucks has gotten significantly more expensive as the year has gone on. While the national average DOE Diesel Price Per Gallon is over $5.70, many areas have reported much higher signs at the pump. Just to add some insult to injury: Dry van spot rates are down a penny this week ::facepalm::

“Spot gasoline markets pushing higher again, up 8-12c/gal while diesel spots up 13c/gal.” – Gas Buddy’s Patrick De Haan

California Screamin’ — Drivers headed through San Francisco were welcomed with gas prices over $7! Rooster reports on Back The Truck Up, “With West Texas Intermediate (WTI) and Brent Sea crude both at or near $120 a barrel (and summer vacation season on full tilt), there’s no logical reason for it to go down.”

Baby formula, tampons and sriracha all in short supply

From bad to worse — We all know about the baby formula crisis by this point, but that’s not the only thing shoppers and women in need can’t find. Redditors, Facebookers and Time magazine have reported tampon shortages across the U.S. According to Time, Procter & Gamble claims that the shortage is due to an Amy Schumer commercial that has caused demand to explode. At least they didn’t blame her Netflix special. In reality, the raw material cost for tampons has gone up 300% during the pandemic and feminine hygiene products are up over 10% from a year ago.

Mild sauce — Huy Fong Foods is warning of a sriracha shortage and it has nothing to do with this guy drinking 3 pounds of it. The condiment company has curtailed all orders submitted after April 19 and pushed them to after Labor Day. Why? Weather has led to a severe chili pepper shortage. Looking for a substitute (I know, there isn’t one), Trader Joe’s Chili Pepper Sauce has done well by me. Want to learn more about sriracha? Check out this documentary.

WTT Friday

Trucking and deathmatches — Get ready to rumble this Friday on WHAT THE TRUCK?!? We’re talking to some of the most interesting and electric people in freight. Alex from The Asian Mai show talks about turning his life as an owner-operator into a YouTube channel with over 300,000 subscribers. Pro wrestler and freight broker Gunner Miller takes the stage a few short hours before his next deathmatch. We’ll learn all about the ins and outs of the squared circle and how those lessons translate to freight. Surge Transportation founder and CEO Omar Singh talks about challenges implementing FreightTech. Plus, all the latest headlines and news of the weird.

Catch new shows live at noon ET Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays on FreightWavesTV, FreightWaves LinkedIn and Facebook, or on demand by looking up WHAT THE TRUCK?!? on your favorite podcast player.

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Next week

Stacked card — Drivers unite! You’re the backbone of this industry and the people who keep shelves stocked across the country. In addition to being a driver, you’re a business owner, managing your own books day-in and day-out. This one-day virtual summit is designed to provide you with the knowledge and insights to improve your operations. Hear from other owner-operators and safety personnel who can help you keep your truck in tip-top shape, ready for the challenges that the road will always present. Register for this free event here.

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Timothy Dooner

Dooner is an award-winning podcaster who hosts and produces FreightWaves' WHAT THE TRUCK?!? In under a year he helped build FreightCasts, the world’s largest logistics and supply chain podcast network in media. WTT is ranked in Apple Podcasts top-20 Business News podcasts. He also writes a newsletter of the same title with over 15k subscribers in the supply chain and trucking niche. Dooner has been in freight since 2005 and has held directors positions in operations, sales, consulting, and marketing. He has worked with FedEx, Reebok, Adidas, L.L. Bean, Hasbro, Louis Vuitton, and many more high level clients across the full spectrum of the supply chain. He was a featured speaker at TEDx Chattanooga.