Mac Sullivan is Head of Technology and Digital Promotion at NNR Global logistics (USA).
While teaching Business English at university-level in Shanghai, he met his present boss Jeff McDonald, who introduced him to the world of international logistics. “I hit the ground running, with zero background in international business and started learning how to move freight around the world,” says Sullivan – and he has come a long way since.
The issue of technological disruption for supply chain and logistics is one that he has been turning over in his mind for some time now.
On the dire state of the outmoded logistics industry as a whole, he says: “Imagine I have cargo that I need to send from Dallas to London. In order to figure out all the different ways that I can get it there, all of the relevant contracts – as well as all the potentially different routes – have to be centralised to a specific location. What we've found is that logistics as a whole has been way, way behind in its modus operandi. A great many logistics companies have, up until now, been working with paper-based (literally ‘written-down’) information. This goes all the way through from the tracking of orders to the recording of sales receipts and information,” he says.
Intuiting that digitisation is absolutely key to the industry, Sullivan has been working on NNR’s digital transformation, propelling it beyond many of its competitors.