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
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 — TruckStop.com 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
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.
TruckYeah! — With the average carrier spending nearly $120,000 per truck on business- and vehicle-related costs each year, carriers and owner-operators are looking for ways to save costs and grow their bottom lines. Convoy, a digital freight network, is making it easier for carriers to save money through its industry-leading TruckYeah Savings program that offers small fleets and owner-operators access to discounts typically reserved for large fleets that can save them up to $35,000 per truck per year. Bruce Custer of Insight Trucking recently began using the Convoy Fuel Card offered through TruckYeah Savings and says, “Since signing up for the Convoy fuel card three months ago, I have saved over $3,000.”
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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