TMSA’s Transportation 101 Webinar Introduces Today’s Fastest Moving Industry


Even before the pandemic gave transportation companies hero status, the industry was on a roll. In July 2019, transportation jobs rose 49%, officially making it the fastest growing industry in America.  

Whether you’re new to transportation, curious about how goods get to market or want to know where the jobs are, TMSA’s Transportation 101 webinar captures the essence of the industry, its role in the supply chain and the trends ahead. 

TMSA members are able to watch the presentation for even more insights. Curious about becoming a TMSA member? We’d love to tell you. Contact us today.  

Transportation touches every product, service and aspect of life.

The message of how dependent we are as consumers and professionals on smooth-flowing transportation and supply chains was driven home during the pandemic. But the truth has always been that effective transportation management is central to the success of almost every business in any industry. When optimized, it results in lower costs and faster production.

“Most companies provide transportation as their core service. Whether it’s truck, air, ocean and the added logistics services that are wrapped around them,” stated Courtney Keenan, customer experience and marketing manager of RLS Logistics. 

Know the essential transportation modes and ways of managing them. 

At its simplest level, transportation makes the critical connections across the supply chain. As the industry has evolved, new connections and modes of transportation have added complexity. Two examples are supply chains requiring multiple trucks to move goods from long haul to last mile and warehouses being fitted to perform pick, pack and ship services.  

Managing these many connections and permutations is the job of technology like transportation management systems and warehouse management systems. Jennifer Karpus-Romain, the director of marketing & industry outreach at Faye Business Systems Group sees technology as the prime force driving transportation to its current speed. On land, driverless trucks are just around the corner and talk of coming drone deliveries is in the air. 

As much as the modes of transportation are transforming, Karpus-Romain said the four models for managing them endure. Shippers today align with either an internal model, transactional model, contractual model, or turnkey outsourced model.  

Transportation encompasses a major market with many players. 

Collectively the expanding modes of transportation and the providers who manage them create a $2 trillion dollar market — 8% of the U.S. GDP — according to Jeff Price, marketing director of Jacksonville Port Authority JAXPORT. 

Decisions made in transportation are primarily influenced by cost. Understanding the principles of transportation costs is critical for companies — and countries — competitiveness. 

Price explained: “As you move from transportation mode to transportation mode, you can increase your costs. Ocean transportation is, generally speaking, the cheapest mode of transportation, then followed by rail. So rail is more expensive than ocean and trucking is more expensive than rail. And finally, the most expensive is air transportation. That, and final mile by truck, also represents a very expensive part of the transportation chain.”  

Understanding the main players in transportation is also important. In an industry with seemingly endless functions and job descriptions. These are the roles Price believes are especially key to know now:

  • Asset-based carriers perform the actual physical movement of goods
  • Non-asset based freight brokers who handle freight but don’t actually own assets, instead drawing from a network of carriers they work with
  • Third party logistics providers (3PLs) who handle all of a shipper’s logistics from A to Z
  • Customs brokers who assist importers in meeting U.S. trade regulations 
  • Freight forwarders who assist importers in meeting U.S. trade regulations as well as performing the export side of the function
  • Warehousing providers who work closely with commercial real estate companies today
  • Supply chain consultants that help add bench strength and fill knowledge gaps for shippers
  • Technology partners providing tech stacks that optimize transportation plans and supply chains

Keep your eyes on these 5 transportation trends.

Although transportation is a big and established industry, it’s changing all the time. Holly LaBoda, partner and co-founder of Luminaries Consulting lists five need-to-know trends for anyone in transportation: technologies like cloud, AI and big data; electronic and autonomous trucks; the driver shortage; driver performance tracking; and blockchain-driven advances visibility.  

Want to learn more about the top transportation trends? Check out this TMSA blog post for more information.

Stay ahead of an industry in motion through sales and marketing.

Of the 3.5 million truckers out there, many of them work for small truck fleets of 6-20 people. In companies like this, the boss is often one of the drivers as well as the individual who is selling and marketing the company, too, explained Denny Grim, president & CEO of Business to Business Communications Inc. For individuals like that, sales and marketing acumen is survival, starting with listening to the voice of your prospect. Grim said, “You have to figure out who the buyer is. Is the decision maker a logistics manager? Or is it the guy on the dock who has tremendous influence over what carriers will be used?” 

In addition to knowing who the buyer is, companies also need to know their unique differentiator. “If you can get into NYC better, quicker or cheaper than anyone else, is that your niche?” Grim asked. 

Customer focus is the key to business development efforts in transportation. Grim said looking at personas that relate to your ideal customer is a way of figuring the direction to go; then it becomes a question of connecting customer needs with what you do. TMSA’ research indicates that digital marketing, content marketing and event marketing are the primary ways that transportation companies are making those connections today. 

As businesses in this industry answer the question of how best to connect with customers, TMSA offers details on they can focus efforts to best impact buyers. Resources include studies, training programs and videos designed to help professionals develop their marketing 101 and sales prowess. 

Whether you’re new to the industry or a sales and marketing leader, TMSA can help you make the right moves in an industry with opportunities unlike any other. Learn more about the benefits of membership and join here.

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