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July 11, 2023
Thomas Wasson

Manny McElroy, Sr. vice president of transportation at ITS Logistics joins the show to talk about managing people, relationships, technology and assets during a down market.

How do we overcome the market? One of the big things is relationships. Relationships is normally who is yelling who at the moment and who has the ability to yell at the other person. Dive into right now given we are in the Summer doldrums, what do your relationships look like at this stage?

“So many people talk about it, that it is a shippers market right now and customers are in control. For us here at ITS, what we did last year or the year before when it was a carrier’s market is really playing out on how you are being treated from your shippers right now. That really comes from building that trust when technically carriers were in control, when rates were at a all time high and you can easily go into the slot market and capture high revenue and high margins dollars. What you put in over those years in that carrier market where you were up late at night answering those phones where you are sticking to your dedicated contacts has a lot of the opportunity to continue and take market share in a down market. It is consistently building that trust of being available for your customer.” said McElroy.

There was some cool research from the folks from MIT that talked about who remembers in terms of relationships. They called the carriers goldfish and the shippers elephants. The study showed that the shippers would typically remember over the course of years while the carrier is like “oh crap, I barely have six months ahead, I’m looking at the ground.”

In that experience, how many folks did you see try to take advantage and throw relationships away? Or was this something where being in the space, how hard was it to maintain that discipline? We know that money was just flowing out of the crevasses at this point.

“Anyone that has been in the industry for over a decade has seen the ebbs and flows of the market. I think that detrimental, you cant look over to make a quick buck in this industry and not know it is going to come full swing, to where you are going to have to have those relationships. I agree, a lot of people coming during the Covid times, everyone talks about that where there was a lot of uncertainty and then when the market started increasing in the ecomm space. A lot of people grasped on to those high paying spot loads and left a lot of the customers that gave them consistent business in the dust. I wish that everyone would be on the same page in regards to being a carrier or a shipper, just like your goldfish metaphor of those who are slow minded of not paying attention, long term and those are the ones that kind of get out in a bind in a down market.” said McElroy.

Watch the full interview here.