NEXT recently had the privilege of hosting members from the Japan America Society of Southern California for an evening of sushi, sake and an insightful panel discussion on Supply Chain Visibility.
Moderated by Nancy Hiromoto, VP of N.F. Stroth & Associates -- the panelists included experts from different factions of the logistics industry:
Bobby Napiltonia, Chief Revenue Officer, NEXT Trucking
Tracy Burdine, Director of Client Services, Yusen Terminals
Daniel Goldstein, General Manager, Yamamotoyama U.S.A. (Founded in Tokyo in 1690, Yamamotoyama is the oldest tea company.)
The discussion covered several topics on current issues facing the industry from technology & data integrations NEXT is spearheading, to how these advances are helping port drivers earn more money on the NEXT platform.
"We have a goal that every trucker can make $1000 a day in our marketplace," said Napiltonia. "We feel by changing from the bottom up, the truckers that transport goods to folks like yourself will have better experiences in terms of on-time deliveries and without a scratch."
Tracy Burdine addressed how the tariff wars are impacting overall changes to terminal business.
"We saw a 7% drop in volume last year, but more importantly, we saw a shift in peak. Usually our busiest month is January, but last year it was August, which usually isn't the case. Everyone had to be agile and make sure they were ready to deliver."
When asked what is seen as the biggest challenge facing the shipping industry in 2020, Napiltonia pinpointed it directly.
"Shipping will always face challenges because of weather and other unforeseen circumstances, but the biggest challenge today is change. The industry has not really changed in hundreds of years. At NEXT, we look at it like shipping was in black & white television and we bring a virtual reality and whole new experience. Our biggest challenge is change and acceptance."
Burdine agrees and added, "I think everyone is going to make the (digital) transformation, but it's how well you do it. Do you look at the next steps and just build what was out there last year? Or are you going to move forward with technology and advance yourself to get ahead of the market?"