2015 NASSTRAC Part 1: Key Highlights from This Year’s Conference

After seven years of attending NASSTRAC Annual Shippers Conference & Transportation Expo, I have noticed in the past couple of years the conference has been adding more unique educational sessions called Learning Labs. These have been growing in popularity and I managed to attend many myself. This year one of the Learning Labs discussed the different strategies that shippers can use for parcel shipping. How can you use regional parcel carriers and USPS to combat dimensional weight pricing that is now in effect with UPS and FedEx? If you read our post in March, you can see how ShipLinx TMS is able to facilitate the use of these strategies.

Shippers Need to Become More Strategic

The trucking industry is facing several challenges. One challenge is how do they attract drivers? Also on a macro level, the fleet needs to be recapitalized, the country’s supply chain infrastructure needs to be fixed and many more events need to happen. Because of all of these challenges, it will become increasingly important for shippers to become more strategic with their transportation spend.

Delivering What the Customer Really Needs

Not only did I have the chance to attend the Learning Lab sessions, I also managed to make it to all of the interesting Keynote and informational sessions available. The opening Keynote ‘Let’s Get Real or Let’s Not Play’ Transforming the Buyer Seller Relationship was great and it reinforced some supply chain relationship behaviors I’ve always valued. The presenter, Joe Thomas, told stories that revealed that it is so important to listen to our customers and to make sure that we are delivering what they really need. The best way to do this is through asking questions and actually listening to the answers. It’s hard to know how we can help if we are doing all the talking.

Key Highlights from 2015 NASSTRAC

  • During The Wall Street Perspectives Panel it was stated that the Truckload spot market is expected to stay weak through the year. This is good news for our customers using the Auction Module.
  • The Transportation Provider CEO Panel Discussion covered the use of twin 33s trailers. This would extend the length of each trailer that is part of a twin-trailer configuration from 28 feet to 33 feet.
  • During the Washington Update, John Cutler covered that there is virtually no chance for the transport funding bill to be passed by Congress by the May 31 deadline. This is the law that funds highway and mass transit projects.
  • ‘Is the LTL Industry Ready for Density-Based Pricing’ session covered the LTL industry and how it is moving closer and closer to density-based pricing. I found this to be the most interesting because of the impact it will have on the industry. I think it will become more prevalent in the next couple of years.

Stay tuned for Part Two of our 2015 NASSTRAC recap which will cover the ‘Is the LTL Industry Ready for Density-Based Pricing’ session more in-depth. We’ll tackle four key challenges shippers are facing with dimension-weight pricing for freight. If you have any questions in the meantime, feel free to email me or leave a question in the comments below.