The Silicon Review
Transplace was started in 2000 by merging the non-asset-based logistics services of J.B. Hunt Transport Services, Werner Enterprises, Swift Transportation, M.S. Carriers, U.S. Xpress Enterprises and Covenant Transport. The joint initiative was intended to be an Internet-driven “transportation supermarket,” offering shippers and carriers mega-purchasing power for transportation services and supplies. The company then pivoted to a broader mission to provide a logistics technology platform and execution services for global shippers. Transplace has become the premier and largest North American provider of managed transportation services and technology and continues to expand its offerings through technology enhancements and strategic acquisitions.
In conversation with Frank McGuigan, CEO:
Q. What do you think propelled Transplace to be recognized in the 50 topmost trustworthy companies?
Transplace’s origin and DNA has been focused on providing shippers value through transparent and collaborative relationships. This has resulted in strong relationships, as well as loyal and longstanding customers. In addition to this, Transplace has never oversold its size or capability along the way. This has led to a customer base that is pleasantly surprised when we exceed their expectations in our engagements. More than 50% of our customers have come from our competitors, and they have mentioned that these trust attributes are differentiating.
Q. What kind of responses have you received from your consumers?
Our customers are living in a changing world that requires more insight, visibility, data and cost savings. This drives us to constantly seek growth and technological advancements, as well as partner closely with our customers to drive continuous improvement throughout their supply chain. Transplace strives to develop deeper, collaborative partnerships with our customers. Our investments in infrastructure, data science, engineering and technology process improvements leverages a shippers information with the our scale and create actionable data and reporting through the Transplace Think Tank, a group of transportation experts and data scientists. Strategically important is our commitment and investment in human capital, which allows us to bring in the industry’s best and brightest supply chain practitioners as well as develop talent through our Professional Development Program. By establishing quarterly business reviews and a customer advisory board, we’re able to solicit insightful feedback for continuously improving our processes, tools and services to provide greater benefits to our customers.
Q. Is it true that striving for both ‘ethics’ and ‘success’ in a business is a tough feat?
Not at all. In fact, we believe that culture eats strategy and that it is so much more impactful and natural, and ultimately sustainable, to align our culture to define success as customer improvement in an ethical way. It’s an important commitment that we make that aligns with our mission and core values. We challenge ourselves to improve in all facets of our business through metrics, measurements and our continuous improvement tools so that we can add value each and every day to both our business and that of our customers.
Q. What do you feel are the reasons behind your company’s reputation?
As mentioned in the prior question, Transplace’s legacy of success has much to do with our culture and our people. There is a very strong commitment to providing excellent service and information-based business improvement every single day in an environment of trust and transparency.
Q. What is the future roadmap of your company?
Modern transportation will be experiencing major changes thanks to transformative transportation technologies like drones, self-driving trucks, and hyperloop technologies to name a few. The details are still taking shape, but what I can say is that in several years future transport systems will be even more highly connected, data-driven, and automated. Many will be preparing for, if not already leveraging, some of these new technologies. At the same time, customs and regulations will likely be even more complex and globally interconnected. The need for intelligence will be all the more critical to ensure the supply chains are managed effectively and ecologically.
Transplace will have a major role in providing intelligence, automation, and control tower visibility in this evolving, more digitized, and globally connected world. I am excited about Transplace’s future and how we will evolve to meet the future needs of our customers. Our strategic themes or pillars of success over the next several years will be customer focus, innovation, and operational excellence. I also believe one of our most important imperatives is to maintain our speed, agility, and adaptability to meet unforeseen future needs. Toward this end, we will continue to expand our offerings through innovative technology enhancements and acquisition strategies to further support our commitment to meet the needs of our growing and evolving customer base.
Frank McGuigan is the CEO at Transplace and has more than 25 years of experience in executive, operational and commercial leadership. Prior to his role as CEO, Frank served as president and chief operating officer at Transplace, where he led sales and operations for the company’s transportation management, international and brokerage businesses. Frank joined Transplace via its acquisition of SCO Logistics in April 2011, where he was president and CEO. Prior to SCO Logistics, he was with Penske Logistics for more than eight years. Frank has GE certifications in Six Sigma and Project Management. He is a graduate of the United States Merchant Marine Academy at Kings Point and is a retired Lieutenant in the United States Naval Reserve.