Login



For PLUS+ subscription assistance, contact customer service.

Not a PLUS+ Subscriber?

Become a PLUS+ Subscriber today and you'll get access to all Supply Chain Management Review premium content including:

  • Full Web Access
  • 7 Magazine Issues per Year
  • Companion Digital Editions
  • Digital Edition Archives
  • Bonus Email Newsletters

Subscribe Today!

Premium access to exclusive online content, companion digital editions, magazine issues and email newsletters.

Subscribe Now.


Become a PLUS+ subscriber and you'll get access to all Supply Chain Management Review premium content including:

  • Full Web Access. All feature articles, bonus reports and industry research through scmr.com.

  • 7 Magazine Issues per year of Supply Chain Management Review magazine.

  • Companion Digital Editions. Searchable replicas of each magazine issue. Read them in any web browser. Delivered by email faster than printed issues.

  • Digital Editions Archives. Every article, every chart and every table as it appeared in the magazine for all archive issues back to 2009.

  • Bonus email newsletters. Add convenient weekly and monthly email newsletters to your subscription to keep your finger on the pulse of the industry.

PLUS+ subscriptions start as low as $109/year*. Begin yours now.
That's less than $0.36 per day for access to information that you can use year-round to better manage your entire global supply chain.

For assistance with your PLUS+ subscription, contact customer service.

* Prices higher for subscriptions outside the USA.

PLUS+ Customer Service Support


Customer service for all PLUS+ subscribers is available Mon-Fri, 9am-5pm Eastern time.

Email: [email protected]
Phone: 1-800-598-6067 (1-508-663-1500 x294 outside USA)
Mail: PO Box 1496, Framingham MA 01701-1496, USA



You have been logged out of PLUS+


For PLUS+ subscription assistance, contact customer service.

Need to access our premium PLUS+ Content?
Upgrade your subscription now.


Our records show that you are currently receiving a free subscription to Supply Chain Management Review magazine, or your subscription has expired. To access our premium content, you need to upgrade your subscription to our PLUS+ status.

To upgrade your subscription account, please contact customer service at:

Email: [email protected] Phone: 1-800-598-6067 (1-508-663-1500 x294 outside USA)

Become a PLUS+ subscriber and you'll get access to all Supply Chain Management Review premium content including:

  • Full Web Access. All feature articles, bonus reports and industry research through scmr.com.

  • 7 Magazine Issues per year of Supply Chain Management Review magazine.

  • Companion Digital Editions. Searchable replicas of each magazine issue. Read them in any web browser. Delivered by email faster than printed issues.

  • Digital Editions Archives. Every article, every chart and every table as it appeared in the magazine for all archive issues back to 2010.

  • Bonus email newsletters. Add convenient weekly and monthly email newsletters to your subscription to keep your finger on the pulse of the industry.

PLUS+ subscriptions start as low as $129/year*. Start yours now.
That's less than $0.36 per day for access to information that you can use year-round to better manage your entire global supply chain.

This content is available for PLUS+ subscribers.


Already a PLUS+ subscriber?


To begin or upgrade your subscription, Become a PLUS+ subscriber now.

For assistance with your PLUS+ subscription, contact customer service.

Sorry, but your login to PLUS+ has failed.


Please recheck your login information and resubmit below.



For PLUS+ subscription assistance, contact customer service.

Q&A at the CSCMP conference with XPO’s Brad Jacobs

LM interviewed XPO Logistics Chairman and CEO Brad Jacobs at the Council of Supply Chain Management Professionals Annual Conference in Orlando this week.

By ·
{scmr_abstract}
By ·

LM Group News Editor Jeff Berman interviewed XPO Logistics Chairman and CEO Brad Jacobs at the Council of Supply Chain Management Professionals Annual Conference in Orlando this week. A transcript of the interview is below.  

Logistics Management (LM): How are you viewing the current state of the freight economy, as well as the overall economy?

Brad Jacobs: It is hard to say, but my best guess is that we will continue to see sluggish growth for a little while longer. I don’t see any big reasons why growth is suddenly going to pick up in a [material] way. The good news is that things are not negative and are instead slightly positive.

LM: Looking at the truckload market and truckload brokerage in regards to things like capacity and pricing, how would you describe where things are in respect to both areas?

Jacobs: In the truckload business, volumes are still soft, pricing is stable to soft, and in order to optimize profits you need to focus on cost control. And that is exactly what we have been doing, optimizing the network and taking out unnecessary costs whenever necessary. We have to be competitive from a cost structure basis as well and are making good progress on that and also getting good synergies from the back office, technology, pricing, and our LTL business.

LM: Can you please provide some other examples of taking out costs?

Jacobs: The most important thing is increasing the utilization of the fleet and decreasing empty miles and using technology that we use in other parts of our business in order to program trucks in terms of where they should be. On the brokerage side of the house, the soft trucking market actually plays to our advantage, because the vast majority of our truckload brokerage business is on one-year contracts. We line up the freight one year at a time and cover the loads all year long on a monthly basis. The market has been soft so we have been the beneficiaries of that trend.

LM: What about on the spot market side?

Jacobs: Volume is not as strong in the spot market, and the routing guides are holding up very well. In fact, usually the first provider in the routing guide is taking the load more often than not and does not even get to the second or third provider. This is a byproduct of the current capacity environment. There is a lot of capacity and not a lot of freight, with people in the routing guides taking loads.

LM: With the electronic logging device mandate rolling out in late 2017, what do you think the effects of it will be on the truckload market in regards to rates and capacity, when it kicks in?

Jacobs: It will take out single-digit percentage of capacity, which is a lot, and a big swing. It will come out through very small fleets that already have razor-thin profits. The compliance forced by ELDs will probably result in a large exodus of those small fleets. In meeting with high level representatives of some of our global supply chain customers in North America, the conversations are less about RFPs coming out for specific lanes and modes and are more about the entire supply chain a shipper has and all the modes they are using and seeing if there are ways we can take out tens of millions of dollars in cost of their global supply chain[s], which is what we love to do and is what we live for. It is a great opportunity to really partner in a true sense with very large shippers and understand their needs and bring our expertise to bear and bring together a multimodal team of solution providers. That new method of doing business is resonating and gaining traction with shippers.

LM: How are you seeing the impact of e-commerce on supply chain operations and how things are changing and evolving in regards to warehousing and distribution, too?  

Jacobs: Almost a quarter of our business is retail/e-tail so e-commerce is a big part of our business and the fastest growing part of our business in the U.S, Europe, and Asia. It is clearly a megatrend, and we are the largest e-fulfillment provider in Europe, and we are growing at twice the rate of their markets. And a big part of our U.S. supply chain business is geared towards e-commerce customers; it’s a huge growth engine. We have made a big bet on e-commerce, and it is paying off.

LM: How do you view the potential impact of the Presidential election on the markets you serve and how it relates to trade as well?

Jacobs: One of the most relevant issues for transportation is what happens to Mexico? We have around $800 million of cross-border business with Mexico mainly for intermodal, and it is a big part of our trucking business as well. If that candidate that is going to build a wall gets in, I hope there is a way to get through it to let trucks and trains in.

LM: From a customer perspective, what are things they are currently keen on, given the uneven economic landscape and demand patterns? Is it a need for more advanced technology or increased collaboration?

Jacobs: There is almost an insatiable appetite on our customers’ part for more and more advanced technology, and we are providing that as it provides an edge against the competition. We have 1,500 full-time IT professionals at XPO and spend more than $400 million per year investing in IT, so we are constantly innovating and coming up with cutting edge technology solutions for our customers all across the spectrum for transportation and contract logistics.

LM: How are the integrations of Con-way and Norbert Dentressangle going?

Jacobs: Both are going very well, and the positive numbers reflect that. The nitty gritty of the integrations are largely behind us. We are very good at integration and have a large group of people that are very experienced in integration for IT, HR, financial accounting, and more, which is all a big help in the integration process. Where we are now for both of these is in optimization for transferring best practices amongst the 750 warehouse facilities we have, cross-fertilizing engineered standards for the highest level of productivity and efficiency for our 450 cross-dock facilities on a global basis, managing our working capital better, making our technology systems globally more uniform, integrating with our customers technology so that they can have more visibility into what we are doing for them and we can have more visibility into their supply chain so we can help them. That is where we are in integration now. It is improving the network that we’ve got. We have an amazing global network that has leading positions in almost every important part of the supply chain, and we are just getting better and better every day.   


About the Author

Jeff Berman, Group News Editor
Jeff Berman is Group News Editor for Logistics Management, Modern Materials Handling, and Supply Chain Management Review. Jeff works and lives in Cape Elizabeth, Maine, where he covers all aspects of the supply chain, logistics, freight transportation, and materials handling sectors on a daily basis. Contact Jeff Berman

Subscribe to Supply Chain Management Review Magazine!

Subscribe today. Don't Miss Out!
Get in-depth coverage from industry experts with proven techniques for cutting supply chain costs and case studies in supply chain best practices.
Start Your Subscription Today!

Article Topics

All Topics
Latest Whitepaper
Third Party Risk: Too Close for Comfort
You’ve got a handle on many of the potential supply chain "disrupters" that can paralyze your business. But the real risk is embedded in areas you may have overlooked.
Download Today!
From the September-October 2017
Additive manufacturing and 3D printing promise to simplify manufacturing, reduce inventories, and streamline operations. But, to determine when and how to apply additive manufacturing, organizations need a decision model that assesses it’s market strategy, supply chain performance, and complexity.
View More From this Issue
Subscribe to Our Email Newsletter
Sign up today to receive our FREE, weekly email newsletter!


Latest Webcast
The Perfect Formula for Determining the Right Amount of Inventory
This webcast explains how the science of theoretical minimums, a new approach to inventory optimization, provides a simple and elegant way to reduce cost and increase customer service levels by monetizing time delays across the extended supply chain.
Register Today!
EDITORS' PICKS
Supply Chains in Advanced Markets Should Become More Agile, Says Atradius
Higher inflation, falling unemployment, and strengthening Purchasing Manager Indices all suggest...
Trade Trends Report Confirms E-Commerce Urgency
Because trade policies remain fluid, shippers must have the information needed to be flexible and...

Supply Chain Digitization of Ocean Cargo Gateways Examined by chainPORT
The chainPORT initiative is led by the Ports of Los Angeles and Hamburg Port Authority in Germany,...
Procurement Still Falls Behind in Digitized Supply Chains, Says Accenture
“The digital revolution has largely overlooked procurement,” says Accenture.