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WTT?!?: Risk management, COVID vaccines and the benefits of tech (with video)

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Dooner and The Dude talk risk management with Travelers and learn how Pfizer hopes to change the world with its COVID vaccine.

After an exciting week talking tech advancements at the FreightTech Venture Summit and life with logistics during the FreightWaves LIVE @HOME event, Dooner and Michael Vincent are back with Monday’s episode of WHAT THE TRUCK?!?

Understanding risk with Travelers

Mitigating risk and minimizing loss should be a top priority for any company and Adam Sellars, risk control specialist for Travelers, joined the show to explain how his company supports independent clients. 

Sellars manages customers’ risk by analyzing their companies to provide “innovative and effective solutions.”

Sellars said it’s important for companies to utilize services like those that Travelers provides because they can supply a deep understanding of the current regulatory environment so customers can gauge their level of risk. 

According to Travelers, logistics companies face the biggest losses to profit in mechanical failures, improper loading, load shifts and spoilage; specific opportunities within those categories can be identified by using Sellars’ services. 

Sellars also said driver selection is a huge opportunity to minimize loss and carriers can use driver scorecards to “distinguish drivers based on their behavior.” This allows companies to understand which drivers are good, which are great and which need more attention by management to develop into great drivers. 

FreightWaves columnist LaRocco talks Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine announcement

Pharmaceutical company Pfizer opened up Monday morning by announcing its COVID-19 vaccine, still in its phase 3 trial, has been found to have a 90% efficacy rate in preventing virus contraction. 

This news helped stocks make a huge jump at the opening bell. 

Lori Ann LaRocco, CNBC senior editor of guests and maritime trade columnist for FreightWaves, gave an in-depth explanation of what this announcement could mean for the freight and logistics industry, especially when it comes to distribution. 

Because Pfizer is not an integrated part of the U.S government’s Operation Warp Speed, it will be in charge of its own independent production and distribution of the vaccine

Pfizer is currently finishing up the phase 3 trial and is expected to apply for emergency FDA approval by the end of November. On the company’s timeline, a vaccine could be ready to be administered to front-line medical personnel by the beginning of 2021. 

As it stands, Pfizer’s vaccine takes two doses and 28 days to provide protection from COVID-19. That means production would need to be doubled to provide enough supply to cover the population. 

LaRocco said if everything goes according to plan, “every American, should they want the vaccine, should be able to have access to one by June.”

Understanding what tech can do for you

The benefits of technology can be difficult to understand, but people like Chris Seeds, sales director at Bridge Logistics Inc., can make it easier to navigate. 

He joined WHAT THE TRUCK?!? To talk about what he’s doing for Bridge Logistics customers. 

Seeds created “What Not to Miss with Chris” as an effort to engage with his customers and inform them about using technology like FreightWaves SONAR in a way that works for them. 

The goal is to “explain the why behind the what,” Seeds said; he hopes to get his customers understanding logistics tech and terms through simple language and clear forecasting. 

However, tech isn’t always the key for a company to thrive. 

Eric Cerda, vice president of marketing and business development at RZL Logistics, found this out for himself after starting his company during the March COVID outbreak. 

Cerda started RZL (publicly known as Valor) with two of his fellow Marine combat veterans. They currently operate on a very small scale but succeed in providing excellent personal service. 

Cerda said they understand that technology could be an asset, but Valor is not currently big enough for it to be cost-effective. 

Instead Cerda said they pride themselves on “being calm in stressful situations.”

You can find more WHAT THE TRUCK?!? recaps and recaps for all our shows here.

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Kaylee Nix

Kaylee Nix is a meteorologist and reporter for FreightWaves. She joined the company in November of 2020 after spending two years as a broadcast meteorologist for a local television channel in Chattanooga, Tennessee. Kaylee graduated from the University of Oklahoma in 2018 and immediately made the Tennessee Valley her home. Kaylee creates written summaries of FreightWaves live podcasts and cultivates the social media for FreightWaves TV.