152: What Does Intermodal Mean to You: The Workforce

This is the fourth and final show in our “What Does Intermodal Mean to You” series, in partnership with IANA.

In last week’s episode, ‘The Technology,’ I was joined by Phil Shook, Vice President at C.H. Robinson, to talk about exactly what kinds of tech is used in the industry; the importance of connectivity and partnerships; why technology companies themselves are attracted to the intermodal industry – and the role IANA thinks tech will play in the industry moving forward.

Today in Episode 4, ‘The Workforce,’ I’m joined by Mark McKendry, Vice President North American Intermodal at NFI, to shine a light on workforce development: the trends, the skills, the challenges – and what the future will look like for people in supply chain.


[01.14] Mark’s role at NFI and a key misconception about intermodal.

“The perception of intermodal is that it’s a minor player compared to truck.”

[02.19] e-commerce acceleration, a major supply chain trend affecting the workforce right now.

[03.57] From smaller, local warehouses to staff who work remotely, the current trends in decentralised workforces.

“The pandemic has brought us 10 years into the future, to show us what decentralised work can really look like.”

[5.15] From truck driving shortages to curiosity and a willingness to learn, the skills that are needed in intermodal right now.

“Being curious can get you into a leadership role in this industry.”

[11.12] Technology within intermodal – its impact, and current gaps.

“There are far too many pieces of proprietary technology – there’s no real dominant player”

[15.57] The challenges to entering intermodal, and the benefits of being a generalist.

[18.09] What is an IMC, and their benefits.

[19.33] Developing workforces for the future.

[23.10] Whether a certain level of education is needed to enter supply chain.

“There’s a strong argument for not needing college degrees for many of the roles in our industry.



Head over to IANA’s website now to find out more and discover how they could help you too.

Check out our other podcasts HERE.

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