July 14, 2023

Check Call: We’re going to need a bigger pipeline


Welcome to Check Call, our corner of the internet for all things 3PL, freight broker and supply chain. Check Call the podcast comes out every Tuesday at 12:30 p.m. EDT. Catch up on previous episodes here. If this was forwarded to you, sign up for Check Call the newsletter here.

In this edition: When the pipeline turns to people; reefer markets take off; and Yellow lives to see another day. 

(Image: The Daily Sales)

“What’s coming down the pipeline?” It’s a phrase synonymous with supply chain and business development. What if that approach of constantly adding to the sales pipeline carried over to other aspects of the business as well, for example talent acquisition?

It seems strange but roll with it. Talented supply chain professionals are hard to come by. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2.4 million women dropped out of the workforce during the first 12 months of the pandemic and the number of 18-year-olds joining the workforce has shrunk. Combine that with 1.1 million more people retiring than expected, according to the Pew Research Center.

According to the Harvard Business Review, “Today, almost 20,000 logisticians are expected to leave the field each year, and we have a projected growth of 56,000 new jobs over the next decade — but only 10,000 people are graduating each year with logistics degrees.”

This shortage of qualified supply chain candidates isn’t a problem that is unique to the supply chain. Major IT vendors have started offering certification courses to ensure there is enough talent to support their systems. Things like AWS training and certification are heavily marketed to aid in Amazon support as a result of talent shortages. 

Ultimately when recruiting and hiring talent, it’s about selling prospective employees on the company and why they need not look further — just like sales does to a prospective customer. By taking that approach to employee retention and recruitment, some of those long-term problems can be solved. 

Farm and grow your own talent. The same way connections can be made at a conference, offering some freight broker or supply chain basic courses through a community college or online can bring in people who might be a good fit for the organization. If they’re engaged and active in training and hungry for more, that work ethic will carry over should they work there. 

Supply chain is an industry that is undergoing a massive growth spurt. Starting to treat employee attraction like a funnel could be the answer to the supply chain talent crisis if the revolving door of new freight brokers gets too exhausting. 


Market Check. This map is a snapshot of the Reefer Outbound Tender Rejection Index for the entire country. One of the constants in both the reefer and dry van markets has been the tightening of capacity out of Houston. Imports from Mexico combined with the final dregs of harvest season have made Houston the hottest market of the summer. As import and export volumes between the U.S. and Mexico continue to increase, Houston won’t be the only market to see an increase in capacity.

(Gif: Giphy)

Who’s with whom? Yellow lives to see another day. The LTL carrier has gotten another chance at life via a new deal filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission. This deal allows Yellow the exemption to meet certain financial targets with its lenders, giving the company a stronger chance at reaching a much-needed deal with the Teamsters. But the waiver comes with many hoops to jump through. Yellow now must provide its lenders, through a third-party adviser, with a weekly “liquidity report” that will include cash on hand — used for payroll, contracts, etc. 

The fight isn’t over yet as Yellow has an uphill battle with the Teamsters to close out this year, the rollout of phase two of the “One Yellow” restructuring plan and two loans valued at $567 million and $729 million due next year. It should be quite the interesting next 12 months for the LTL carrier that continues to hang on for dear life. 

Double broker red flags 

(Image: LinkedIn)

Double broker red flag No. 7: The answer should always be no.

If there was someone so bold to straight out ask if it was OK to double broker a load, the answer should always be no. Spread the word that this conversation has come up. If the person is so freely willing to share he or she is a double broker, then imagine all the times that person hasn’t shared this information. Immediately place these people on a do not use list and report their MC numbers to the TIA Watchdog system and the FMCSA National Consumer Complaint Database.  

Got any favorite tips on avoiding the double broker? Let me know. I’d love to share them with everyone. 

The more you know 

Borderlands: New Mexico lands first major auto parts manufacturing plant 

The ‘peak’ of peak season is here 

Has the freight bubble burst? 

FreightWaves opens 2024 FreightTech nominations


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