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The Future of Freight: The LaunchTN team shares takeaways from F3: the Future of Freight Festival

The Future of Freight: The LaunchTN team shares takeaways from F3: the Future of Freight Festival

Last week, LaunchTN team members Lindsey Cox, Khrys Hatch and Evan Prislovsky had the opportunity to attend F3: the Future of Freight Festival in Chattanooga, TN. 

Tennessee continues to grow as a hub for innovation in logistics, supply chain, and mobility and those verticals will be major investment themes for our team as we prepare to launch the new BuildTN Fund. 

To make sure we are well versed, we are eagerly educating ourselves on industry trends and spending time learning from industry leaders like Chattanooga’s own FreightWaves, which hosts F3. 

Because we are never ones to keep valuable information to ourselves, Lindsey, Khrys, and Evan have put together their 5 top takeaways from the Future of Freight Festival.

 

  1. Tech Adoption: The supply chain and logistics industry is ripe for innovation as many components of these industries are just now adding in technology components.

    One speaker commented that current technology advancement and adoption in the logistics industry is where fintech was 15 years ago. This highlights the many opportunities for entrepreneurs who are willing to learn the challenges of the industry and create innovative solutions. 
  2. End-to- End Visibility: This is the number one trend of the past 3 years. Visibility is the ability to track and monitor freight location and safety from origin to destination. As more technologies like Transportation Management Systems (TMS) and cloud communication portals become the norm, knowing where, how, and why freight is — or isn’t — reaching its destination has become more efficient than ever. 
  3. Macroeconomic: Shifts in the market are beginning to affect every facet of business, and the ebbs and flows of freight volume are usually a leading indicator for the overall economy. The economy is slowing, and startups will most likely need 18-24 months of runway to make it on the other side. This also affects later stage companies as having a path to profitability will be a requirement for IPO. Companies looking to go public will be required to have greater annual revenue thresholds. 
  4. Leveling the playing field: Leveraging software that increases efficiency, visibility and revenue from loads — without hiring additional staff — can be a major key for smaller carriers to gain market share. As mentioned at F3, carriers with 10 trucks or less can more easily implement software and tech, as opposed to a large, incumbent carrier.  
  5. Workforce: As in many industries right now, advancements in technology, such as robotics or automation, are changing the labor needs within the logistics industry.This affects every person in the value chain: dock workers, truckers, warehouse staff, brokers, and team leaders. Many business leaders are considering how to bring on new talent and upskill their current labor force to meet shifting business needs. 

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