A Podcast Brought To You By Old Dominion Freight Line

Cargo Shorts® tackles all things related to the transportation of goods. Each episode digs into a key issue facing North American surface transportation with expert insights from economics, automation, and logistics professionals. Learn more about the complexities in the supply chain you’re facing in your business.

Episode 11: How Can Shippers Use Data to Guide Their Decision-Making?

The findings from Mastio’s annual study of LTL carriers help shippers evaluate carriers based on many important attributes.

Shippers need to choose the right partner when selecting a carrier. Shippers want to ensure that their freight will make it to their customers on time and damage-free. What tools are available to help shippers choose the right carrier for their business? How can collecting independent, third-party logistics data assist them with the decisions?

Host Jonathan Betz speaks with Kevin Huntsman, the president of Mastio & Company, a market research consulting firm that conducts independent customer experience research across various industries. For over 20 years, Mastio & Company has been surveying shippers annually about their needs and what they look for in a carrier. On today's episode, Kevin shares insights on how Mastio & Company conducts the survey and what it means for the industry. Old Dominion was named the number one national LTL carrier for quality for the 14th consecutive year. Marty Freeman, president and CEO of Old Dominion Freight Line shares why this award means so much to the organization and how Old Dominion uses the data to improve service for their customers continuously. 

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Episode 10: Unpacking the Freight Classification System

Understanding changes in the classification system, proper packaging, and communication with carriers is key for shippers.

Understanding freight classification is a critical part of the shipping process. If freight is not properly classified or wrong item numbers are used, the most accurate rates may not be applied, which can lead to an unwelcome surprise on the final bill. Understanding these classifications is critical to a business, but why is it a struggle for some, and what can be done to improve the system to streamline LTL shipments?

In this episode, hear from Old Dominion’s Director of Pricing Services, Erin Topper. Erin spent 18 years at the National Motor Freight Traffic Association (NMFTA), where she was responsible for managing the classification development process, including reviewing and updating packaging-related content and writing proposals to amend the National Motor Freight Classification. She joined OD in 2023.

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Episode 9: Holiday Shipping Season Expectations

Customer expectations are growing as economic stress factors remain, giving rise to an uncertain holiday season.

Retailers face their peak period during this season of shopping and shipping. This year appears to be shaping up like few others. Inflation remains a concern, interest rates continue to rise, and retailers are worried about weakened spending. So, where do things stand now? Do shippers expect this season to be naughty or nice?

In this episode, hear from the Assistant Professor of Professional Practice at Rutgers Business School, Dr. Tony Bell. Dr. Bell has 30 years of experience in supply chain operations and management with Johnson & Johnson, the Coca-Cola company, Whirlpool, and Maersk. And Old Dominion’s Senior VP of Sales, Steve Hartsell. Steve has over 20 years of experience and has held multiple positions, including Director of OD Expedited and Service Center Manager.

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Episode 8: Navigating Retail Supply Chains

How can carriers evolve to navigate retail supply chain complexities and future consumer expectations?

The pandemic caused a seismic shift in the industry and resulted in systemic changes to traditional retail supply chain strategies. What lessons did we learn and where have we landed to better meet customer demands?

In this episode hear from Joe Metzger, former Executive Vice President of Supply Chain Operations at Walmart and 30 year veteran in consumer product goods supply chain leadership at Kraft Foods and The Kellogg Company. Greg Plemmons is the Executive VP & Chief Operations Officer at Old Dominion Freight Line. Greg has over three decades of experience working in LTL and transportation.

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Episode 7: Digitization Brings Transparency, Efficiency, & Trust

Are digital scorecards the key to creating flow within the transportation industry?

There are many reasons for shippers and carriers to share information including better planning, better pricing, and cost savings. It benefits all parties to work together to improve transparency, efficiency, and trust. Business expectations are rapidly changing, therefore it is important to come together to talk about using digitalization in transportation and how it can lead to enhanced visibility and transparency.

Joining host Jonathan Betz are Todd Polen, the VP of Pricing Services for Old Dominion Freight Line, and Scooter Sayers, President of Sayers Logistics, an LTL Consultancy. In this discussion, they address how clarity can lead to benefits such as improved planning, better communication or sharing of information, and most importantly increased trust between companies and customers.

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Episode 6: Customer Loyalty Begins with Employee Loyalty

A deep dive into how to deliver exceptional customer service.

Anyone who buys goods and services knows how important customer service is, but how can companies deliver it successfully and consistently? What is the difference between service and a truly unique customer experience? We are always looking for ways to understand the needs and challenges of the customer to deliver exceptional service.

Scott Deming is a sought-after consultant, speaker, customer service expert, and author. Scott worked in corporate America for more than three decades in a wide variety of positions. He ran his own national advertising and marketing agency for more than 20 years, working with Fortune 500 companies as well as small, independent companies across the country, helping his clients grow beyond their industry averages. 

Greg Plemmons is the senior vice president of sales for Old Dominion Freight Line and the incoming Chief Operating Officer. He’s been with the company for more than 25 years and has more than 30 years of experience in the transportation industry. Greg is responsible for OD’s sales strategy, national accounts, global services, and field sales. He was promoted to COO earlier this year and will work alongside Marty Freeman, OD’s incoming CEO, to continue OD’s strong, profitable growth as a premium LTL carrier.

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Episode 5: Maintaining Brand Value for Long Term Success

Maintaining brand value during economic ebbs and flows.

Well-known, established companies have successfully navigated downturns by focusing on their foundational principles and values. Maintaining relevance in their markets had little to do with competition or price. In this episode of Cargo Shorts®, we focus on understanding the brand value in the market and how building good relationships with partners drives business success.

Thom Albrecht is the Chief Revenue Officer and CFO of Reliance Partners, with more than 30 years of experience in surface transportation and studying freight trends. Thom has a rich and varied career as an equity analyst for BB&T Capital Markets and Stephens Inc. He has consulted on initial public offerings, mergers and acquisitions, and advisory work to boards, carriers, and shippers.  

Chip Overbey is the senior vice president of strategic planning for Old Dominion Freight Line and a 35-year veteran in the surface transportation industry. Chip oversees OD’s strategic planning, real estate team, OD Technology, marketing, travel, and customer service teams. He joined OD in 1995 and has since helped the carrier become one of the industry’s most respected, profitable, and operationally driven LTL carriers through long-term investment and building capacity. Chip spent time leading national account sales and global services for OD.

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Episode 4: Keeping Our Domestic Supply Chains Operating During Disruption

Reducing volatility to maintain business continuity.

During 2022, the industry has continued to experience global supply chain challenges and the effect it has had on the American economy. The pandemic disrupted global supply chains and it tested the resilience and flexibility of supply chain leaders. While COVID-19 was not a typical risk event, it underscored the need for organizations to reexamine and manage their supply chains to ensure business continuity and growth for the future.

Professor Jeffrey Bergstrand is Professor of Finance in the Mendoza College of Business at the University of Notre Dame. He has taught macroeconomics, microeconomics, and international finance in the undergraduate, MBA, and Executive MBA programs since 1986. He has his B.A. in economics and political science from Northwestern University and his M.A. and Ph.D. in Economics from the University of Wisconsin. He has authored over 50 papers on determinants of international trade flows, foreign direct investment, multinational firm behavior, and real exchange rates. 

Chip Overbey is the senior vice president of strategic planning for Old Dominion Freight Line and a 35-year veteran in the surface transportation industry. Chip oversees OD’s strategic planning, real estate team, OD Technology, marketing, travel, and customer service teams. He joined OD in 1995 and has since helped the carrier become one of the industry’s most respected, profitable, and operationally driven LTL carriers through long-term investment and building capacity. Chip spent time leading national account sales and global services for OD. 

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Episode 3: The Future Of Freight Payment & The Race Towards Automation

It takes collaboration between the shipper and the carrier to make transformation happen.

The trucking industry, specifically less than truckload carriers, has reached an inflection point where digitization and automation are critical parts of the industry’s future. But who will drive that transformation? Like most things we experience in life and business, change takes time and leadership. As manual processes are being replaced by automation, this leads to many downstream benefits for both the shipper and carrier.

Curtis Garrett is the senior vice president of LTL at Freight Plus, and the founder of Understand LTL. Curtis is a consultant whose goal is to bring transparency, automation, and common sense to the less-than-truckload industry. He also spent some time at Old Dominion earlier in his career. 

Todd Polen is the vice president of pricing services for Old Dominion Freight Line and has spent more than 35 years in the LTL industry, including 32 years with Old Dominion. He’s served as an executive for OD since 2008. Todd oversees rating and auditing, weights and inspections, pricing, and yield management. He is a former board member of the National Motor Freight Traffic Association (NMFTA).

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Episode 2: Creating Resilience In Your Logistics Operations

How to calculate your total cost of transportation and strengthening the shipper-carrier relationship.

The rising cost of transportation bottlenecks and service delays have left logistics managers with much to manage. Calculating the total cost of these issues is difficult when only addressing a predetermined price per transaction. Strategic partnerships between shippers and carriers can mitigate pain points and lead to a better customer experience. But, how can logistics partners improve the supply chain and reduce cost in today’s operating environment and create resilience in logistic operations?

Lisa Anderson is the Founder and President of LMA Consulting Group. LMA Consulting provides expertise and advice on end-to-end supply chain strategy and business transformation. She’s the author of three books, including Future Proofing Manufacturing & Supply Chain Post Covid-19, and I’ve Been Thinking. Turning Everyday Interactions into Profitable Opportunities.

Ed Garner is the Director of National Accounts at Old Dominion Freight Line and has been in the transportation industry for more than 35 years. Ed lead’s OD’s National Accounts team and is responsible for growing and fostering the relationships with OD’s top shippers. He is passionate about the shipper-carrier relationship and problem-solving the most complex LTL shipping challenges. 

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Episode 1: Just-In-Time When Supply Chains Are Backlogged

The domestic supply chain and how manufacturers are navigating today’s complexities.

For decades, companies have used a just-in-time inventory model to reduce excess supply and create a lean production process. But recently, we’ve seen firms take a more conservative approach with a just-in-case supply used to avoid running out of stock. The pandemic-induced devastation of supply chains put a spotlight on some of the challenges we face and exposed vulnerabilities in the just-in-time model. Does this mean the just-in-time process is no more? What lessons have we learned and what more needs to be done to ensure reliable, on-time delivery of goods?

Bob Costello is the American Trucking Associations’ Chief Economist and senior vice president of international trade policy and cross-border operations, the trucking industry’s national trade association. As Chief Economist, he manages all of the ATA’s collection, analysis and dissemination of trucking economic information

Greg Plemmons is the senior vice president of sales for Old Dominion Freight Line. He’s been with the company for more than 25 years and has more than 30 years of experience in the transportation industry. Greg is responsible for OD’s sales strategy, national accounts, global services, and field sales.

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Need More Information?

Contact us by email or simply call 1-800-235-5569 to be connected to an Old Dominion customer service representative.