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Supply chain turkey of the year ’21

Welcome to the WHAT THE TRUCK?!? newsletter presented by Convoy. In this issue, supply chain turkey of the year; are inventory leftovers the next crisis; help decorate the WTT Christmas tree; and where truckers can eat this Thanksgiving.

Your ornament here


A Very WTT Christmas — Howdy, Pilgrim. We’re getting to that time of the year when belts get tight and shipping windows get even tighter. This season we’re reaching out to readers of this newsletter as well as the freight community to help us decorate the WTT Christmas tree. This beautiful conifer is 100% real and 100% needs your company’s logo ornaments on it. Get featured on our upcoming broadcasts and of course during our last episode of the year, “A very WHAT THE TRUCK?!? Christmas,” on Dec. 17. Email me for where to send the decorations. 

But wait, there’s more — We’re also looking for videos from offices wishing the freight community happy holidays. Whip out your iPhone, deliver some cheer and email it to me to be part of our special on Dec. 17. Songs are welcome too. Deadline for ornaments and cheer videos is Dec. 13. 

Need some inspiration? — Rewatch last year’s A Very WTT Christmas to see some of the incredible performances that the freight world delivered. 

Truckers’ guide on where to eat this Thanksgiving

Boise Stage Stop

A tradition unlike any other Once again, Boise Stage Stop is offering drivers with a valid CDL free Thanksgiving dinner on Thursday. The truck stop posted on Facebook, “We are celebrating 17 years of giving all CDL drivers a downhome Traditional turkey dinner. There will be door prizes and lots of fun and camaraderie. I’m looking forward to seeing everyone.”

“When the supply chain was disrupted, truckers and the important work they perform were rightfully applauded. We established what we hope to become an annual holiday, Truckersgiving, to praise and thank truck drivers for all they do, including the acknowledgement that many are away from their families during the holiday season.” — William Culpepper, vice president of marketing at Chester’s Chicken

Truckersgiving Last week, Love’s and Chester’s came together at the table to offer truckers the opportunity to gobble up some free swag at their inaugural Truckersgiving event. Drivers who stopped by the pit stop on Thursday were treated to a free limited edition trucker hat and a side of Chester’s mac and cheese. 

Side items has published its top-five stops for drivers this Thanksgiving. It suggests Bob Evans for all-day dine-in and curbside pickup, Cracker Barrel for its traditional feast (especially if you like salt), Iowa 80 Kitchen for a well-rounded selection of all of your needs, as well as The Greater Chicago I-55 Truck Plaza for its offer of a free meal to all CDL holders. 

Turkey of the Year

Billy Coker

A cornucopia of issues — This year has been one full of angst and anguish amongst the shipping community as rates rocketed up 5-10x and delays extended from weeks to months. With that has come a lot of finger pointing. But who was the biggest turkey of them all? I decided to ask NavigateB2B host Steve Ferriera and “Mr. Supply Chain” Daniel Stanton.

Steve’s TOTY — “Government. I just feel that when the government came out and said, ‘Hey, we’re going to run these ports 24/7,’ that’s the first thing the American public sees. That the government is really taking the bull by the horns. The reality is that the government had a big stick and started whacking people around, but I think it’s the private sector that has helped to mitigate containergeddon.”  

Mr. Supply Chain’s TOTY — “It could be LA/Long Beach but the problem with LA/Long Beach is that it doesn’t really feel like it’s anybody’s fault. It feels like it is all of us failing to see the big picture and do the right stuff. So maybe that’s the turkey there, is that we all depended on this and instead of getting together to figure out the constraints and work on how to fix it … we keep pointing at the other guy and we’re just not making the progress. And we may not even be measuring the right stuff to get us to where we need to be.” 

What are we thankful for? — Steve, Mr. Supply Chain, The Dude and myself all agree that the one positive in all of this has been the tremendous amount of mainstream awareness about supply chain that we’ve seen, especially over the past few months. When is the last time any of us got asked about what we do at work and how it relates to the world? Go have your shining moment at the dinner table this Thursday and regale your relatives with your elite supply chain knowledge!



Bullwhip — Too much Tupperware but never enough lids is everyone’s own personal inventory crisis, but now the company behind the convenient food coffins is feeling the crack of the supply chain bullwhip. While retailers raced to fill inventory shortfalls, Tuppereware is finding itself with too many containers and not enough buyers. On its most recent earnings call, the company said, “the investment in inventory was to improve service while mitigating global supply chain conditions.” 

Demand cycles — Unfortunately for Tupperware, consumer buying behavior of its products has shifted. Even worse is that the company made these buying decisions while resin was at nosebleed prices. Could many other retailers find themselves in a similar situation next year? Liquidation buyers may want to save their appetite this Thanksgiving and wait to feast on bloated inventories in the new year.

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Now on demand

Importance of pets in the office and the cab

Death to noncompetes

Days of wine and roses

Whine about it — A shipping container filled with over 20,000 liters of wine was punctured at a port. Ever wonder what that looks like? Take a look!

P.S. — Don’t forget to send those ornaments. Email me for full details. No WTT on Wednesday or Friday this week. Enjoy the holiday. We’ll be back Monday. 

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Timothy Dooner

Dooner is an award-winning podcaster, content producer and host who is currently the director of audio at FreightWaves and the creative director of Back The Truck Up. In under a year he helped build FreightCasts, the world’s largest logistics and supply chain podcast network in media. He produces and co-hosts the hit podcast and FreightWavesTV show, WHAT THE TRUCK?!? WTT is ranked in Apple Podcasts top-20 Business News podcasts. He also writes a newsletter of the same title with over 10k 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.