Today's Pickup: An analyst summarizes a panel on the disruption of the brokerage industry

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Good day,

At FreightWaves, we’re still buzzing about the events of Transparency18, and the outstanding feedback we received about the event. Susquehanna transport analyst Bascome Majors published a list of “takeaways” from his visit to Transparency18, and here’s what he had to say about one panel on digital disruption in the brokerage business: “We attended a compelling panel discussion on digital freight matching that included brokers ECHO and JBHT, along with brokerage start-up Convoy and freight API start-up Project44. While stopping short of putting numbers to it, Convoy CTO Grant Goodale emphatically suggested their goal was to reduce human interactions (and their costs) with a technology-driven brokerage platform, which should enable them to operate at gross margin spreads below the historical norms in the industry. That said, the attendance and participation of brokerage industry incumbents in this event (market leader CHRW even participated in the demo day) suggests an industry that is also rapidly adopting new technology to resist disruption.”

Did you know?

The U.S. Congress has had more than 10,000 bills and resolutions introduced since the current Congress was seated in January of last year. About 1.6% of them have been enacted and some of those are utterly non-controversial resolutions. This is the hill that ELD-related legislation must climb to become law.

Quotable:

“Companies want professionals who know how to negotiate and get those bottom-line savings. There is a huge emphasis being placed on finding talent that gets global trade and global enterprise.”

--Scott Luton, managing partner with TalentStream LLC, a recruitment firm that works with large and midsize manufacturers and logistics firms, on the current squeeze for supply chain talent.

In other news:

Nebraska state troopers pick up the inspection pace

It’s been a busy week for a series of surprise inspections in the Cornhusker state. (CDL Life)

Truckers on strike in Iran

And the government looks like it is giving in. (Radio Farda)

Platooning project in the UK shrouded in mystery

Criticism of a speech on the plan says it’s long on platitudes, short on substance (The Truck Expert)

It isn’t just a trucking squeeze

Air shippers concerned about a repeat of last year’s tight capacity market in the air. (The Loadstar)

Logistics experts are in hot demand

Pay rates are rising for those who know the supply chain. (Wall Street Journal)

Final Thoughts:

There were three pieces of legislation introduced this week in Congress on both the Hours of Service and the ELD rules. You can find our stories about them here and here. And it’s good to know that elected representatives don’t stop working even as their election campaign heats up. But the reality is that unless the trucking industry breaks the pattern set by this Congress, the chances of these pieces of legislation becoming law is almost nil. The approval rate for bills and resolutions is 1.6%. Lest you think that is far off the norm, I do recall 20 years ago being shocked to learn that the approval rate of these great bipartisan days of yore was 2%. It could be that the bills introduced this week were warmups to a bigger push in the next Congress. But the fact remains that if there is going to be any sort of significant change in the relationship between driver, the hours of service rule and that little box on the dashboard recording every move, it's almost certainly going to come out of Raymond Martinez, FMCSA and the rulemaking process. It isn’t likely to come through legislation. Mr. Martinez has been talking about his listening tour. He’s going to be under pressure to make some stances on issues one of these days and get past repeated declarations that he’s listening.

Hammer down everyone!

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