Zach Gilstrap

Zach Gilstrap

Zach Gilstrap heads up humanitarian operations at Coyote, and says extreme weather events are becoming both more commonplace, and dangerous

Who is Coyote Logistics?

Coyote Logistics is a state-of-the-art digital freight transportation brokerage and third-party logistics provider (3PL) with a physical presence in North America and Europe. 

We offer end-to-end solutions that span over-the-road, rail, air and ocean modes by leveraging our connections to carriers across the globe and through collaboration with our parent company UPS.

We have a long-standing history of supporting nonprofit, government and disaster relief organisations with the help and always-on dedication of our employees and the 100,000 or so carriers in our North American network. 

What does your role at Coyote involve?

I oversee Coyote’s Humanitarian Logistics and Disaster Relief team with an emphasis on nonprofit, government and disaster relief organisations. This work includes keeping a pulse on worldwide events, as well as collaborating with governmental, inter-governmental and non-governmental agencies plus outside logistics providers to ensure these organisations provide customised solutions that can make a direct impact in times of need. 

My role also encompasses information discovery, particularly around trade law at disaster sites, as well as how those rules of engagement may fluctuate during a crisis. 

I also work physically on-site in the field when it makes sense to do so in support of our humanitarian transport solutions. This includes paid and volunteer hours. 

What makes Coyote Logistics unique?

Our truly comprehensive set of service offerings sets us apart in the 3PL space. We have innovative, specialised teams who oversee offerings that include open deck freight, final mile, intermodal, drayage, Canada and Mexico cross-border freight, peak and surge season support and more.

We augment our team’s expertise with proprietary technology including the CoyoteGO digital spot freight platform, CoyoteGO Premium cloud-based TMS and My Smart Routes AI-powered route optimisation software to provide our customers and the carriers in our network with the best of both worlds.

We’re also able to tap into exclusive capacity and connections to global freight forwarders and logistics partners through our relationship with UPS.

How can you mitigate against extreme weather events?

There is growing evidence extreme weather events are becoming more frequent, more unpredictable and oftentimes greater in intensity. They can damage infrastructure and disrupt supply chains, and include hurricanes, fires, flooding, tornadoes, winter storms and extreme heat.

Mitigating the impact of these events requires both some preemptive strategies and responsive tactics.

Before severe weather strikes, you should be sure to know your supply chain comprehensively, from top to bottom, so you understand how each piece may be impacted by disruption of any other piece.

You also need to assess year-round and seasonal risks for each of your lanes, facilities and suppliers. 

Just as importantly, you need to build strong relationships with transportation providers to increase the likelihood of a positive response in times of crisis. On top of this, also source backup transportation options and identify alternative routes wherever possible throughout your supply chain.

During a weather event, be sure to communicate consistently and clearly with your end customers, to set realistic expectations for deliveries and maintain strong relationships.

Also, work with an experienced 3PL who can tap into a vast transportation network at a moment’s notice to help you control costs while meeting your evolving capacity needs.

And – if you want to be proactive about mitigation – work to reduce your carbon footprint by optimising your modal mix and eliminating empty miles. The more shippers who take direct action to cut down on emissions, the more effectively we can slow climate change and protect supply chain stability globally.

Advice to your younger self?

Start developing relationships with global organisations as early as possible and commit time and energy to keeping them up. 

The stronger and deeper these relationships are, the more reliably you can lean on them to help build a disaster response infrastructure and the more readily you can turn to them for urgent assistance in times of need.

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Make sure you check out the latest edition of Supply Chain Digital and also sign up to our global conference series - Procurement & Supply Chain 2024
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Supply Chain Digital is a BizClik brand

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