Highlights of Shipper Symposium 2018

May 14 / US
Highlights of Shipper Symposium 2018

It was a stellar three days at the 16th annual Shipper Symposium in Frisco, Texas last week! We heard from some terrific keynote speakers and breakout presenters sharing important industry insight with our partners, sponsors, carriers and shippers in attendance at the event.

The first afternoon started off on the right note as attendees had the opportunity to take a tour of The Star – the Dallas Cowboys World Corporate Headquarters – attend the Women in Logistics Baubles & Brunch and tee off in the Golf Classic Scramble!


The evening was capped off with a welcome dinner poolside at The Omni Frisco Hotel overlooking The Star. Participants spent the evening enjoying fantastic food and live music while networking with the supply chain and transportation industry’s best and brightest.

On day two, Frank McGuigan, CEO of Transplace, kicked off the educational portion of the event bright and early by welcoming attendees and introducing the first speaker of the day, Ken Hughes, one of the world’s leading consumer and shopper behavioralists.

In his keynote address, Hughes highlighted how the next generation of shoppers are becoming much more demanding when it comes to personalization and experience – even in how their goods are delivered. He explained that, “The way we talk to consumers is so important. We have to be contextual. It’s not enough to know who they are, we need to know what they’re doing, where they are and what they might need next. If you get the context right, you build loyalty forever.”

The morning breakout sessions had the attendees picking from one of three discussions: “Bridging the Gap Between Hype and Reality” (moderated by Adrian Gonzalez of Talking Logistics), “Cargo Security Challenges and Solutions” and “What’s Next for NAFTA?”

Following the educational breakout sessions, speaker Josh Linkner, serial entrepreneur and innovator, shared his five core mindsets of innovation that can help companies meet the ever-changing needs of consumers and tap into their most important technology – human creativity. He noted that when we think about the future of the supply chain, we should try and think about flipping it upside down and experimenting with new things, challenging assumptions and leaning in to what’s next.


The afternoon held a number of other great networking opportunities, as well as six more educational breakout sessions to choose from. The closing keynote speaker of the day was particularly exciting for this Dallas-based crowd: Mr. Drew Pearson, former wide receiver for the Cowboys and Superbowl XII champion.

Pearson told attendees, “This Shipper Symposium is just like your training camp. Learn in this atmosphere and talk about successes and failures to take back to your companies!” He also shared some of the important lessons he’s learned throughout his career, including that if you surround yourself with successful people, you have a chance to be successful yourself.

 The day concluded with a special dinner and silent auction at The Star. Attendees were able to try their hand at punting, passing and kicking on the Cowboys’ practice field while also bidding on silent auction items to benefit local charity Kidd’s Kids – and the auction raised $20,000 for this wonderful cause. Thanks to all who participated for your incredible support!

On the last morning of the Symposium, attendees participated in a packed program, including the Transplace State of the Business from CEO Frank McGuigan, a technology update from CTO Mike Dieter, an operational update from CCO Vincent Chiodo and highlights of the human resources program from SVP of HR Jessica Lynch.

Executive board member Tom Sanderson then took the stage with SVP of Engineering & Strategic Carrier Management Ben Cubitt and David Ross, Managing Director, Global Transportation & Logistics at STIFEL. Ross noted that when capacity is tight, collaboration is key — and 3PL partners can help incorporate best practices into the network in addition to helping shippers source capacity and diversify the supply chain network.

We concluded the event with a discussion with economist Alan Beaulieu of ITR Economics, who shared his near-and-long-term economic forecast. He said, “Your world is going to be a busy world, a demanding world and you’re going to be challenged. There will be downturns and recessions, but they will be mild. You’ll look back on the 2020s and be happy.” He noted that “Many big successful companies don’t pay enough attention to the economy!” and that it’s important to keep track of potential change.

 Thank you to all who attended this year’s event, and we hope to see you again next year in Dallas!

What was your favorite part of Shipper Symposium 2018?

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