Top 10 Logistics Leaders: Clark Ponthier
Ponthier is the Senior Vice President of Supply Chain at Union Pacific. He is an experienced executive with broad supply chain, manufacturing and engineering experience at Fortune 500 companies.
In his role, Ponthier is responsible for overall leadership on strategic sourcing, warehousing, planning, supplier quality, fueling operations and wastewater treatment operations. He leads Union Pacific’s overall continuous improvement journey (lean manufacturing) across the company, and also serves as an environmental leader for the organisation.
Ponthier is focused and passionate about recruiting, guiding and retaining world-class teams of managers and cross functional staff.
Prior to joining Union Pacific in May 2018, Ponthier worked in leadership roles at Ingersoll Rand, Dell and General Electric and he holds a Bachelor’s degree in chemical engineering from the University of Louisiana at Lafayette.
Upon his appointment, Lance Fritz, Union Pacific chairman, president and CEO, said: "Clark brings exceptional supply chain and process improvement leadership experience to this important role at Union Pacific. We believe his work will strenthen our ability to create value for employees, customers, communities and shareholders."
About Union Pacific
As one of the most recognisable logistics companies in the United States, Union Pacific connects 23 states in the western two-thirds of the country by rail, providing a vital link in the global supply chain.
The railroad’s diversified business mix is classified into its Agricultural Products, Energy, and Industrial and Premium business groups. Union Pacific serves a range of the fastest-growing US population centres, operating from major West Coast and Gulf Coast ports to eastern gateways, connecting with Canada’s rail systems and is the only railroad that serves all six major Mexico gateways.
Want to know what other logistics leaders made our Top 10? Click here!
Cainiao Network Launches Customer-Centric Logistics
As the logistics division of the Alibaba Group, Cainiao Smart Logistics Network has decided to provide its Southeast Asian customers with unsurpassed service during its annual shopping festival. Based on customer feedback surveys, the company will expand its real-time customer service support and speed up delivery times. ‘By expanding and deepening our services, we aim to provide a stronger logistics infrastructure that can bolster the booming eCommerce sector, support merchants’ expansion into new markets and diversify retail options for consumers’, said Chris Fan, Head of Cross-Border, Singapore, Cainiao Network.
Who Is Cainiao?
According to TIME Magazine, Cainiao ‘is far from a typical logistics firm’. The company controls an open platform that allows it to collaborate with 3,000 logistics partners and 3 million couriers. This means that merchants can choose the least expensive and most efficient shipping options, based on Cainiao’s real-time logistics analytics. The company’s goal is to ship packages anywhere in the world in under 72 hours—and for less than US$3.00.
For countless small business owners around the world, from coffee-growers to textile-weavers, this could change everything. Usually, it costs about US$100 to ship a DHL envelope from Shanghai to London in five days. Cainiao aims to change that. Said its CEO Wan Lin: ‘The biggest barrier to globalisation is logistics’.
What’s Part of the Upgrade?
Throughout the Tmall festival, Cainiao’s logistics upgrade will be divided into four critical segments:
- Real-time customer service support. Cainiao has launched a direct WhatsApp channel for customers to receive logistics updates and ask questions.
- Expansion of air freight parcel size and weight limits. Packages can now be up to 30 kilograms or 1-metre x 1.6 meters to help ship large items such as furniture.
- Daily air and sea freight connections. Shipping frequency will almost double to seven times weekly to maintain resilience and efficiency.
- Compensation for lost or damaged packages. Customers will be reimbursed up to RMB 2,000 (US$311).
Where is the Company Headed?
From June 1st to June 20th, the finale of Tmall, Cainiao will ensure that its customers feel confident in the company’s ability to deliver their packages. Despite global shipping delays due to COVID, the show will go on. Said Fan: ‘This series of customer-centric logistics upgrades reaffirms our goal of pursuing value-added services to enhance customers’ shopping experience while mitigating challenges posed by external factors’.
Furthermore, Cainiao has recently expanded its Southeast Asian operations, achieving revenue growth of 68% year-over-year. In Malaysia, the logistics operation has partnered with BEST Inc. and Yunda; in Singapore, the company has partnered with Roadbull, Park & Parcel, and the Singapore Post. And if its recent measures help retain and grow its customer base, the company will be well-poised to lead the industry in resilient and customer-centric global logistics. ‘COVID-19 made everyone realise how important the logistics infrastructure backbone is’, said Wan. ‘And it gave us a peek at what Cainiao should look like in three years’.