Today’s Preparation Is Priority for Tomorrow’s Risk

President’s Message
anne reinke

HAPPY SUMMER, MEMBERS! Not all of our monthly issues of 3PL Perspectives have a theme to the articles, but this issue does: how to protect your business. You all have been extraordinarily successful at finding capacity and leveraging relationships during a very unstable time. While your phone is ringing relentlessly, and freight is ample today, it may not seem such a high priority to think of tomorrow’s risks. However, a broker with an eye toward the future will prepare for tomorrow—to ensure the business is still there tomorrow.

Graham Gonzalez reminds us how important it is for brokers and 3PLs to have a relationship with an insurance company that works with your business and innovates along with your company. Noël Perry revels in the peak markets but prepares us for the trough markets too. Michael Monson reflects on an issue we all are laser-focused on right now: How to attract and hire qualified employees. Steve Kochan addresses how to assess and protect our business’s credit and financial performance. And TIA’s very own Wendy Emerson teaches us how best to use and leverage TIA Watchdog reports, to ensure that your organization uses companies that operate ethically.

While freight volumes continue to be strong, though less elevated than the last two years, the destabilizing forces abound: labor unrest at West Coast ports and among the freight railroads, the great resignation and labor shortages, continued impacts of COVID-19, chip and other raw material shortages, and last but certainly not least, inflation. Will inflation torpedo freight volumes, or simply rationalize them? Whatever your prognostication, the environment has changed, and you need to anticipate and protect the business you have built and innovate to ensure you aren’t operating in yesterday’s environment.

I will close with this thought: As you strive to protect your business through innovation, strategic thinking, and risk analysis you also have to remember the impact of federal laws and regulations that can affect your operations. It is a business imperative to be educated about the current legislative and regulatory environment and how it could change brokerage operations. September 19-21, we will have our annual Policy Fly-in, and I urge you to come and speak to members of Congress about what affects our industry the most: the lack of a motor carrier safety selection standard, the persistent and out-of-touch focus on broker “transparency,” and the real potential for the end of the independent contractor model as we know it. All three of these issues can irrevocably change our industry and your companies. Members of Congress need to hear from you about how. Please reach out to Chris Burroughs if you are interested in registering.

As always, we appreciate all that you do for the industry and for TIA. Thank you for your membership.