Top five coolest women making waves in the supply chain sector
For decades, women have been making waves within the supply chain and logistics industry, we take a look at HighJump’s top five from over the years.
1. Anna Drake
Image source: AWESOME
Anna Drake is the founder of Achieving Women’s Excellence in Supply Chain Operations, Management and Education (AWESOME). After becoming the only woman to receive a Distinguished Service Award from the Council of Supply Chain Management Professionals (CSCMP) in 2012, Drake started to reflect on why no woman had ever been recognised before. This led Drake to strive to identify the barriers preventing women from being successful in the supply chain industry.
AWESOME is a leadership initiative that strives to help women stake their claim in the industry by providing learning, mentorship and professional growth opportunities.
2. Megan Smith
Image source: LinkedIn
Megan Smith is the current CEO of Symbia Logistics. Over the years, Smith has started and sold multiple businesses, finding her niche in the logistics world building on her family’s legacy of over 150 years by propelling the Amware Logistics into a new era. Backed by the National Women Business Owners Corporation, Smith rebranded the company into Symbia Logistics building a business with gender diversity initiatives at its roots.
3. Edwina Justus
Image source: Union Pacific
In 1976, Edwina Justus, became the first black female locomotive engineer to work for Union Pacific Railroads. She started her career as a traction motor clerk, shipping livestock, airplane wings and cars to Wyoming and Colorado for the next 22 years.
4. Ellen Voie
Image source: LinkedIn
Ellen Voie is the current President and CEO of the Women in Trucking Association. According to Indeed, only 8% of truck drivers are women, as part of the Women in Trucking Association Voie is dedicated to change this statistic, by traveling around the world to give talks and empower women to join the trucking industry.
5. Melonee Wise
Image source: Fetch Robotics
Forging the future of supply chain robotics solutions, Melonee Wise is the CEO of Fetch Robotics developing autonomous mobile robotics to create more efficient warehouses when it comes to tracking, picking, finding and moving inventory.
So far the company has raised US$94mn in funding and has several hundred robots around the world.
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Uber Freight to Acquire Transplace in $2.2bn Deal
Uber Freight is to acquire logistics technology and solutions provider Transplace in a deal worth $2.25bn.
The company will pay up to $750m in common stock and the remainder in cash to TPG Capital, Transplace’s private equity owner, pending regulatory approval and closing conditions.
“This is a significant step forward, not just for Uber Freight but for the entire logistics ecosystem,” said Lior Ron, Head of Uber Freight, and former founder of the Uber-owned trucking start-up Otto.
Uber’s Big Play for Supply Chain
Transplace is one of the world's largest managed transportation and logistics networks, with 62,000 unique users on its platform and $11bn in freight under management. It offers truck brokerage and other capacity solutions, end-to-end visibility on cross border shipments, and a suite of digital solutions and consultancy services.
The purchase is the latest move by parent company Uber, which launched as a San Francisco cab-hailing app in 2011, to diversify its offering and create new revenue streams in all transport segments.
Transplace said the takeover comes amid a period of “accelerated transformation in logistics”, where globalisation, shipping and transport disruption, and widespread volatility are colliding.
Uber Freight plans to integrate the Transplace network into its own platform, which connects shippers and carriers in a dashboard that mirroring the intuitive experience found in its consumer vehicle booking and food ordering services.
“This is an opportunity to bring together complementary best-in-class technology solutions and operational excellence from two premier companies to create an industry-first shipper-to-carrier platform that will transform shippers’ entire supply chains, delivering operational resilience and reducing costs at a time when it matters most,” said Ron.
Frank McGuigan, CEO of Transplace, said the resulting merger will offer enhanced efficiency and transparency for shippers, and benefits of scale for carriers. “All in all, we expect to significantly reduce shipper and carrier empty miles to the benefit of highway and road infrastructures and the environment,” he added.
History of Uber Freight
Uber Freight was established in 2017 and separated into its own business unit the following year. In 2019 the company had expanded across the entire continental US, established a headquarters in Chicago. Later that year it launched its first international division in Europe, initially from a regional foothold in the Nertherlands, and later moving into Germany.
The logistics spinoff attracted a $500m investment from New York-based Greenbriar Equity Group in October 2020, and launched a new shipping platform for companies of all sizes in May, partly in response to a driver shortage in Canada.