Transfix prides itself on the industry experts that make up our team and deliver simple, smart, and sustainable solutions for our shippers and carriers. In this interview series, we highlight different individuals and their experience in the industry, and why they believe Transfix is reimagining freight.
Below Shane Duncan, VP of Sales, discusses his 20-year experience helping hundreds of companies improve their supply chain, and why he decided to join Transfix, a digital freight brokerage.
1. What was your previous job before joining Transfix? What were your responsibilities?
Before joining Transfix, I was VP of Sales for Transplace, the largest Transportation Management System (TMS) and Managed Transportation Solutions company in North America. I worked with large and mid-size shippers to identify waste, gaps, and cost savings opportunities in their current transportation model, then implement technology and operational solutions to automate much of the transportation life cycle while reducing overall costs.
2. Why did you decide to make the change from selling TMS systems to selling capacity and technology solutions at a digital freight brokerage?
I was excited about how Transfix was adding technology and revolutionizing the freight brokerage space to make it more efficient, reduce empty miles driven, and provide shippers with visibility and data insights into their freight. It was an opportunity to impact a part of the industry that has not been updated for many years. Old habits die hard and innovation was lagging across the transportation space in general. I firmly believe the introduction of digital freight solutions enables new efficiencies for shippers. In fact, “digitizing” logistics is the new expectation to stay competitive in this industry.
3. Why did you decide to leave a long-time incumbent company and join an emerging leader like Transfix?
My previous employer is a top-tier organization and they are doing amazing things there, but I was hungry for an opportunity to be on a team that was poised for exponential growth and had a differentiated offering in an age-old industry.
I wanted to be “in the room” so to speak to help drive new products, direction and strategy, and make a major contribution to the success of the company. Transfix is creating tremendous value for both shippers and carriers, and this a true win-win for the industry. We are working each day to reduce empty miles, help carriers drive more loaded miles, and bring new levels of visibility, data insights and information to transportation trade partners to help them improve their bottom line.
4. When you were at Transplace and evaluating brokers for your customers, what did you look for? Would you have recommended Transfix?
Trying to strike the right balance between price and service is a constant dance in the brokerage space. When evaluating brokerage solutions at my prior company, we would look for network synergies that brought economic value, helped consolidate the number of providers being used, streamlined communication, and most importantly, companies that could demonstrate high service levels across demanding supply chains.
Whether you are working directly with carriers or use a 3PL to manage your freight, understanding where a particular provider fits across your network and where you fit in theirs is critical to a sustainable and equitable relationship. It’s important to share information and find those lanes and regions where the shipper’s and broker’s networks compliment each other.
Using the above requirements, Transfix would’ve been an easy recommendation due to our high service levels (98% OTP/OTD), proactive communication with our shippers, and working with our shippers to match them with dedicated carriers for their freight to create a mutually beneficial relationship.
5. Having been in the industry for close to 20 years, what do you think sets Transfix apart from similar companies in the space?
Having been at Transfix for just over a year and in talking with many of our shipper customers, they tell us Transfix has the optimal blend of transformative technology and people. Even as we continue to innovate and introduce new technology solutions, the importance of the human element is not lost here.
Transportation is a messy business, but our tech-enabled, digital solutions help remove or improve a lot of the manual work in freight brokerages. That along with our belief in keeping “humans in the loop” truly empowers our people to manage exceptions, focus on problem-solving, and build the strategic relationships needed to run an efficient network, ultimately improving our customer’s supply chains.
We make it our business to know our customers’ businesses. We aim to understand the bigger picture, engage across the entire load life cycle and address wasteful steps, non-value-add activities and drive better behaviors through data captured by our digital freight solutions.
6. Where do you see the transportation industry going? What changes do you think will be inevitable?
I believe the writing is clearly on the wall….innovate or die. Customers’ expectations are ever-increasing, constantly pushing the need for real-time information and an overall better user experience. At the same time, supply chain leaders are under tremendous pressure to meet these expectations while reducing costs. The need to reduce points of friction in the supply chain has never been more prominent than now.
Companies must find ways to integrate systems more, automate more, reduce bottlenecks and knock down disconnected silos of information. Change is the true constant; Transfix is leading the charge to innovate, create a glass pipeline with end-to-end visibility data insights, and look into the future to not only meet but anticipate future challenges for our shippers.
For example, with one customer, we found over $30,000 in unnecessary detention fees at just one site alone. With some minor tweaks in their receiving schedule, we helped them reduce unloading times by 4 hours and reduce detention accessorial charges. Our insights helped unlock new efficiencies.
7. What is your favorite part about working at Transfix?
That’s an easy one — the people. The vision and passion of the team here at Transfix is evident in our relentless pursuit to address the gaps in the transportation industry. From top-down, everyone on the team is a leader and works to provide value to our organization, our customers, and to the greater freight industry. We are constantly listening to both shippers and carriers to bring meaningful, useful, and impactful solutions to the market. I’m excited to be part of the team here and look forward to Transfix’s contributions to the industry as we execute our strategy.