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Today’s Pickup: FourKites announces virtual sustainability summit

Many conferences have been cancelled because of COVID-19, but some companies are turning to virtual conferences to continue to engage with customers. (Photo: Shutterstock)

Good day,

FourKites has joined the virtual event crowd as businesses that typically host events are finding new ways to engage with their audiences.

FourKites said it will host a virtual summit from March 31 to April 2 titled, “The Future of Supply Chain Sustainability.” Among the presenters will be Dr. Dirk Holbach, corporate senior vice president of Henkel Global Supply Chain B.V.; Meghan Stasz, vice president, packaging & sustainability at the Consumer Brands Association; Dustin Braun, senior director of logistics at Land O’Lakes, Inc.; Rob Haddock, group director planning & logistics at Coca-Cola North America; Mike Turner, former vice president of sales at UPS; and Rick Blasgen, president & CEO of the Council of Supply Chain Management Professionals.

The presenters will share their visions on how businesses can optimize operations to support sustainability.

“We all grew up in an era when the complexity of most supply chains made it nearly impossible to identify waste and inefficiency,” said Mathew Elenjickal, FourKites CEO. “Supply chain visibility software is now changing this for the better, and we have an opportunity and a responsibility to make a positive impact on this global issue.”

FreightWaves had previously announced it would be switching its FreightWaves LIVE Atlanta event to a virtual event.

Leveraging the robust and growing FreightWaves TV platform, FreightWaves CEO Craig Fuller announced the Atlanta event, set for May 5-6, 2020, will become FreightWaves @ Home and be held virtually.

“We know how important FreightWaves LIVE events are to the freight community. Startups and large enterprises alike depend on FreightWaves LIVE to showcase their technology, network with industry buyers, and meet up with potential investors,” Fuller said when making the announcement on March 16.

“We discovered that FreightWaves LIVE is the type of event that thrives in a virtual setting, primarily because we center the content around live demos, keynotes, fireside chats and even town halls,” Fuller added. “We plan on keeping these formats, but will do them virtually, including for speakers and demo companies. Town halls will be converted to live chat.”

More details on the FreightWaves @ Home event will be announced soon.

Did you know?

Convey said that, as of Thursday, 40% of retail and supply chain leaders were seeing disruptions upstream in the supply chain, and another 26% expected to see disruptions as the COVID-19 situation continues to unfold.


“I chatted with my mom and dad to see if it would be a good idea to use my allowance money to feed hungry truck drivers.”

– Logan Miller, a 13-year-old West Virginia son of a trucker, who is donating his allowance money to truck drivers to ensure they are getting meals.

In other news:

Who has fruits and veggies? Suppliers do

The closure of restaurants throughout the world is leaving suppliers with unsold food, creating a lot of questions. (Bloomberg)

NFI CEO says its time to move forward

NFI CEO Sid Brown says that leaders need to forget about what happened with COVID-19 preparations and focus on moving forward. (Philadelphia Inquirer)

Teen gives allowance money to truckers

A teenager in West Virginia is doing his part to ensure truck drivers are able to eat as more restaurants close, so he has been giving his allowance money to drivers. (Metro News)

Toyota to build fuel cell truck with Hino

Toyota has said it will work with Hino to develop a hydrogen fuel cell truck with a range of 600 kilometers. (H2)

Trucking company explains how it is helping suppliers

A local trucking company in Tennessee said it is running lanes it usually doesn’t run in an effort to help keep store shelves stocked. (WNBJ TV)

Final thoughts

As more states start to shut down in an effort to slow the spread of COVID-19, the impact will begin to ripple across the freight markets, and that ripple will likely end up costing some truck drivers their jobs. While grocery and other essential stores need to be stocked, the closing of malls and manufacturers will result in less freight moving to those locations. The question is how much less and for how long? For trucking, which operates on such slim margins, keeping drivers employed when there is no freight might not be possible. And once it returns, there will be a massive hiring spree. The question is, will there be drivers?  

Hammer down, everyone!

One Comment

  1. DT

    I think virtual meetings or trade shows will be near impossible to make work for anything more than an hour or two. People are not going to sit in front of their PC for 1 to 3 days “pretending” to be at a trade show. You need to physically be there. That’s the entire point – to remove yourself from your regular daily work environment which forces you to interact, learn, mix and mingle.

    Virtual trade shows have been proven not to work otherwise all trade shows would already be virtual as they are so much easier to pull off and a lot less expensive to put on. Just think about how a trade show or trade meeting works in reality. How do you replicate that? How to you replicate all the side discussions and meetings? How to you replicate the bar? lol

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Brian Straight

Brian Straight leads FreightWaves' Modern Shipper brand as Managing Editor. A journalism graduate of the University of Rhode Island, he has covered everything from a presidential election, to professional sports and Little League baseball, and for more than 10 years has covered trucking and logistics. Before joining FreightWaves, he was previously responsible for the editorial quality and production of Fleet Owner magazine and Brian lives in Connecticut with his wife and two kids and spends his time coaching his son’s baseball team, golfing with his daughter, and pursuing his never-ending quest to become a professional bowler. You can reach him at [email protected]