2012 Regional Events

Chicago Event Provides Networking and Perspectives

Regional Meeting MSP

Shippers and providers listen to a shipper's panel at the Transportation Networking Meeting Oct. 25 at the Hyatt Lodge at McDonald's Campus in Chicago.


Shipper panelists featured Michael Cole, Kraft Foods; Brenda Marasa, The Packaging Wholesalers; Joe Lombardo, Nestle USA; and Carey Skoglund, Ace Hardware.

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More than 90 transportation and supply chain executives met at McDonald's Campus in Chicago to network and learn from other shippers.


Here are just a few highlights shared during the shipper's panel discussion from these panelists:


Michael Cole is Senior Director Transportation for Kraft Foods Inc., one of the world's largest food and beverage companies. Responsible for all transportation and customs activities, his operational team manages a network that supports over 700,000 shipments annually with budget responsibility for a $1 billion spend. One of his biggest concerns for the industry is a potential increase of upwards of 17 percent in transportation rates, driven in part by shipper advocacy issues and legislative decisions coming out of Washington.


Joe Lombardo is Group Manager Transportation for Nestle USA, and is responsible for transportation procurement, carrier development, transportation capacity planning, and transportation strategy across seven supply chains. He noted that there's a major focus on safety at Nestle, and collaborative efforts internally and externally with carriers for increased safety, efficiencies, and cost management are significant.


Carey Skoglund is National Logistics Manager for Ace Hardware, one of the nation's leading retailer-owned cooperatives with more than 4,500 domestic and international stores. He is responsible for management of the inbound aspects of the procurement, carrier relations, logistics, and transportation processes. Skoglund highlighted there continues to be opportunities for efficiencies and leaner logistics through extensive leverage of technology. In fact, he has significant experience with transportation management systems and initiatives involving a true SaaS model.


Brenda Marasa is General Manager of The Packaging Wholesalers, which is a wholesale distributor of packaging products to distributors nationwide. She discussed how her company is driven by a marketplace that doesn't want to carry inventory and emphasized the importance of developing strong partnerships with her carriers. The panelists across the board agreed with Brenda that developing dialogue with carrier partners and developing meaningful performance metrics is key to ensuring that partners know and understand what is expected of them.


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