Chain Reaction is Sourcing Journal’s discussion series with industry executives to get their take on today’s logistics challenges and learn about ways their company is working to keep the flow of goods moving. Here, Weston LaBar, chief strategy officer of Cargomatic, discusses how Cargomatic is ramping up solutions as the needs of retailers, shippers and e-commerce companies continue to rapidly change.
Name: Weston LaBar
Title: Chief Strategy Officer
How does Cargomatic contribute to the local trucking marketplace?
Cargomatic is a digital freight solutions company for local trucking. Our local trucking marketplace offers multimodal (drayage, intermodal, LTL, FTL, etc.) trucking solutions from the time cargo enters a seaport to the time it is delivered. With our in-house product development and engineering team, we solve shippers’ pain points with data-driven solutions and a suite of technology products to provide trucking capacity, innovative solutions and supply chain visibility.
Which industries do you primarily serve? Which industry do you think has the most to teach fashion about improving supply chain logistics?
Cargomatic serves a wide array of customers including retailers, domestic shippers, e-commerce companies, ocean carriers, railroads and freight intermediaries.
The needs are rapidly changing, and many have time-sensitive product lines. The most important lesson is to take control of your supply chain through a small number of real trusted partners and leverage data and technology for both visibility and efficiency.
What are the main things brands and retailers could do (or stop doing) right now that would immediately improve logistics?
Cargomatic offers our customers a visibility portal that can be a nationwide solution for our customers, both for trucking capacity and visibility. Finding partners who can provide the necessary business intelligence may be the best thing they can do to take control of their supply chain and help mitigate unpredictable costs, such as accessories. Brands and retailers can integrate with partners, develop a control tower approach and reduce the amount of visibility gaps in your supply chain.
When it comes to supply chain logistics challenges, there are things companies can fix, and things that are beyond their control. How can the former help the latter?
Knowledge is power! By having visibility and understanding where your pain points are, shippers can make informed business decisions. Then, shippers can either augment their approach to create more sustainable and efficient supply chains or push back on unreasonable fees with the power of data to mitigate the total cost of transporting goods and products.
What areas of logistics aren’t receiving the industry attention it deserves?
Historically the trucking industry serves the nation’s seaports (drayage). Today, the most neglected part of the industry is the digital infrastructure that can tear down physical silos and create virtually integrated solutions to reduce the blind handoffs and avoidable delays the industry deals with every single day.
When it comes to creating efficiencies, there are quick wins and longer plays. What are a few things your company is doing to help its partners succeed on both fronts?
To be a successful partner in logistics, you need to be both tactical and strategic. Tactically, by working with our partners to understand their issues, we can help mitigate fires as they happen. It is actually about deep integrations and developing innovative technology solutions to prevent fires from occurring. Every day, we tackle and solve real-world challenges and develop products that create sustainable and scalable solutions for our customers.
What is your company doing to make the movement of goods more sustainable?
Leveraging Cargomatic’s AI-driven local trucking marketplace, we generate as much as a 40 percent reduction in emissions through dynamic routing, higher asset utilization and reduction in wasted miles. We also invest in clean-trucking technology and reduce idle times at ports, warehouses and stores in which we pick up and deliver cargo.
Are you optimistic about the state of supply chains in the next few years?
The supply chain is the most essential industry in the world. The challenges that have impacted the industry since the Covid-19 pandemic are not new, however, for the first time, individuals and companies felt real long-term pain due to these issues.
As a solutions company, we are optimistic about the next few years because shippers are not just looking for cheap rates, but economically sustainable solutions that reduce the total landed cost of cargo, even if that means investing in the right solutions to create a predictable, reliable and resilient supply chain.
What about the all-important holiday season? What is your forecast for getting the right amount of goods to the right places on time?
Many shippers have pivoted from a “just-in-time” to a “just-in-case” model, meaning they have ordered more goods and shipped them earlier to ensure they have product availability. This year, there should be more available goods for purchase and less out-of-stock issues; especially for the companies that have taken a more proactive approach.