Eric Johnson

IHS Markit

Senior Editor, Technology, JOC, Maritime & Trade

Eric Johnson is the JOC's Senior Editor, Technology, where he leads coverage and analysis of technology’s impact on global logistics and trade. Johnson regularly reports on how shippers, carriers across all modes, and logistics companies use software, as well as new concepts impacting core freight transportation processes like procurement, execution, visibility, and payment. Johnson is a regular presenter and moderator at industry events and webinars. Prior to joining the JOC in May 2018, Johnson spent 13 years with American Shipper in a variety of roles, most recently covering logistics technology and leading the production of a series of benchmark studies on the logistics industry. Johnson has a bachelor’s in journalism from the University of Wisconsin and a master’s in international business from the University of Leeds, UK. He has lived and worked in Southern California, the UK, and India, and now resides in the Washington, D.C., area.

Sessions With Eric Johnson

Thursday, 24 February

  • 01:00pm - 01:15pm (PST) / 24/feb/2022 09:00 pm - 24/feb/2022 09:15 pm

    General Session

  • 01:15pm - 01:55pm (PST) / 24/feb/2022 09:15 pm - 24/feb/2022 09:55 pm

    TPMTECH STREAM: BIG THEMES

    Keynote Address

    TPMTECH STREAM: BIG THEMES
    On one end of the world of logistics, technology is an explosion of startups aiming to find their niche in the ever-complicated realm of global supply chains. But on the other end are large, all-encompassing software suites seeking to provide global shippers with all the tools they need to manage their end-to-end supply chains. For those large companies, the pandemic has provided a perfect opportunity to double down on consolidation through acquisitions of complementary niche providers and even direct competitors to build scale. This period has seen companies such as Blue Yonder and LLamasoft be acquired for billions of dollars, but no company has been busier than E2open. The Austin, Texas-based software vendor has acquired Amber Road, INTTRA, Cloud Logistics, and, most recently, BluJay Solutions in the last three years. It also went public in the first half of 2021. CEO Michael Farlekas has been at the helm during this phase of massive growth and transformation. E2open now sits atop a portfolio of solutions that were household names in the logistics industry and has a wealth of opportunity in front of it. Farlekas kicks off TPMTech with a keynote discussion and fireside chat to discuss the impact of his company’s recent moves, and why technology is so critical to the future of logistics.
  • 01:55pm - 02:25pm (PST) / 24/feb/2022 09:55 pm - 24/feb/2022 10:25 pm

    TPMTECH STREAM: BIG THEMES

    Is Global Multimodal Visibility Achievable?

    TPMTECH STREAM: BIG THEMES

    Real-time cargo visibility is no recent curiosity — companies have been building track-and-trace solutions as long as the internet has existed. What has changed during the pandemic is that predictive visibility and associated analytics have gone from luxury ambition to entry-level expectation. Also new is a more concrete realization that global supply chains are built upon shipments that encompass a number of modal legs, and that visibility of individual legs is far less useful than visibility across those legs. But that doesn’t mean the challenge of stitching together visibility across all modes and geographies has been fully met. Gathering and contextualizing data from every moving vehicle within every origin and destination is no simple task. So, given the demand for true multimodal visibility, it’s time to take stock of where suppliers re in meeting that demand. There is no shortage of capital being funneled into the space, with companies such as project44 and FourKites leading the way, but a host of newer entrants getting funding as well. This session will explore where we are and where the industry will go with an analyst, investor, and leading vendor in the market. 

  • 02:25pm - 02:55pm (PST) / 24/feb/2022 10:25 pm - 24/feb/2022 10:55 pm

    TPMTECH STREAM: BIG THEMES

    Can Technology Help the Industry Realign Its Carbon Footprint?

    TPMTECH STREAM: BIG THEMES
    Decarbonization mandates are coming for parties in the global logistics industry, whether self-imposed or developed by governmental agencies. The question now is how the industry will respond. Do the tools exist to measure and then reduce the impact of the global goods movement? The answer likely lies in tackling the problem on a granular level. In a highly fragmented industry, each party has only so much power to affect the massive change required to get shipping toward net-zero carbon emissions. Technology is clearly a major part of the puzzle, whether standalone solutions that shippers, 3PLs, and carriers can use or data-oriented solutions that plug into systems those entities already use to procure and manage freight transportation. This session will explore the challenge that lies ahead of the industry, the technologies that exist to help tackle the problem, and the role 3PLs can play in helping shippers and asset-based carriers reduce emissions
  • 03:15pm - 03:45pm (PST) / 24/feb/2022 11:15 pm - 24/feb/2022 11:45 pm

    TPMTECH STREAM: WINNING CUSTOMERS WITH TECHNOLOGY

    What's More Important, the Plumbing or the Customer Interface?

    TPMTECH STREAM: WINNING CUSTOMERS WITH TECHNOLOGY
    Logistics is an inherently unseen industry. The multitudes working in the background to physically move goods and coordinate the movement of those goods have functioned under a veneer of opacity and complexity. But things have been changing gradually over the past decade, as a horde of technology providers have focused on areas such as transparency, user interface, and overall customer experience. Those modern ideals often run headlong into the existing realities of logistics, whether entrenched legacy software, physical constraints or cultural hurdles around adopting new technology. This panel will explore a key question underpinning this evolution: What is more important to the progression of logistics technology, the user interface or the underlying plumbing that connects modes, regions, internal teams, and external partners? As customer interfaces become more sophisticated, does that mitigate or accelerate the need for investment in the underlying plumbing? 
  • 04:15pm - 04:30pm (PST) / 25/feb/2022 12:15 am - 25/feb/2022 12:30 am

    TPMTECH STREAM: WINNING CUSTOMERS WITH TECHNOLOGY

    Where Tech and People Converge to Unravel US Import Flows

    TPMTECH STREAM: WINNING CUSTOMERS WITH TECHNOLOGY
    There are broadly two camps when it comes to managing the flow of international cargo: one sees technology as the solution, generally under the guise of automation of a process; the other uses people to manage via a services-based approach. In between is an emerging emphasis on the convergence between “team and technology,” where technology isn't the only answer to all problems, but where scaling across millions of inbound containers worth of cargo is not achievable with people alone. This quickfire chat with EDRAY CEO Reade Kidd, a former logistics executive with The Home Depot, will explore this concept and how it might present a path toward navigating mounting complexity in US import gateways. 
  • 04:30pm - 04:45pm (PST) / 25/feb/2022 12:30 am - 25/feb/2022 12:45 am

    TPMTECH STREAM: WINNING CUSTOMERS WITH TECHNOLOGY

    How Can Ports Be Better Digital Nodes?

    As international companies in the container shipping industry merge, reform, and re-create themselves as supply chain operators, rather than dedicated shipping, stevedoring, or logistics groups, the impact on the nature and direction of work itself in these areas is transforming dramatically. We're now at the turning point where workflows in the respective supply chain industry silos are being merged and forced to change. Ports have a responsibility and an opportunity to create the collaborative environments necessary to push for cross-industry standards, allowing exciting innovations happening in agriculture technology, sustainability, smart cities design, and logistics technology to address critical supply chain issues. JOC Senior Technology Editor Eric Johnson will go one-on-one with Peter Creeden, a liner shipping veteran who in 2019 co-founded Future Ports 2050, an initiative to determine where government, universities, and industries could jointly address the problems facing the wider supply chain industry.
  • 04:45pm - 05:15pm (PST) / 25/feb/2022 12:45 am - 25/feb/2022 01:15 am

    TPMTECH STREAM: WINNING CUSTOMERS WITH TECHNOLOGY

    The Next Wave of Forwarding Technology

    When Flexport arrived nearly a decade ago, first with big ideas and then big venture capital investments, it heralded an era in which the world of forwarding started to gather more attention than ever. What has historically been a sector that has thrived on problem-solving, customer service, and surviving in volatile rate environments, is now adapting to a world where technology isn't a catchphrase but a base requirement. Investment into a range of digitally native forwarders such as Flexport, Forto, Zencargo, and Beacon presaged a counterwave of investment into forwarder-enabling technologies, including those focusing on improved user experiences and automation. This session will explore a trio of companies that have focused on empowering existing forwarders with modern technology to adapt and compete in a high-stakes environment. 

Friday, 25 February

  • 09:00am - 09:40am (PST) / 25/feb/2022 05:00 pm - 25/feb/2022 05:40 pm

    TPMTECH STREAM: 3PL FOCUS

  • 09:40am - 10:10am (PST) / 25/feb/2022 05:40 pm - 25/feb/2022 06:10 pm

    TPMTECH STREAM: 3PL FOCUS

    What Can 3PLs Do to Differentiate With Technology?

    TPMTECH STREAM: 3PL FOCUS

    The pandemic and subsequent congestion in North American and European ports have brought into stark relief how difficult it is to manage supply chains dependent on containerized freight. That’s been a boon for third-party logistics providers, which have seen shippers large and small turn to them for access to capacity, origin and destination services, and sourcing and modal optimization. But what exactly is it, from a technology perspective, that moves the needle for shippers and the 3PLs that cater to them? Can the market continue to support an industry with tens of thousands of players, or will software and technology platforms start to consolidate functions into fewer ecosystems? At the heart of these questions is the role technology can play in allowing 3PLs to differentiate or in creating common experiences that allow certain 3PLs to get scale.  

  • 10:10am - 10:40am (PST) / 25/feb/2022 06:10 pm - 25/feb/2022 06:40 pm

    TPMTECH STREAM: 3PL FOCUS

    How Can Technology Resolve the D&D Challenge?

    TPMTECH STREAM: 3PL FOCUS

    The assessment of detention and demurrage has long been a thorn in the side of cargo interests, predating the pandemic but made worse by crippling congestion in key US container gateways. The fees are meant to be sticks, not carrots, to incentivize shippers and their transportation and logistics partners to expedite the pickup of laden containers at terminals and the return of empties to those terminals. But is this process working as it should? Shippers and drayage operators perceive the fees as a revenue stream for shipping lines and terminal operators, while the carriers and terminals see some shippers using terminal space and containers as de facto inventory storage. The fragmented nature of entities and solutions at many US ports doesn’t help, particularly in the vital Los Angeles-Long Beach complex. This session will explore the extent to which technology can resolve these structural problems to expedite cargo flow and expedite container returns, especially during critical periods. Speakers include a drayage transportation management system provider, a visibility provider, and a technology vendor that specializes in helping cargo interests find appointments at container terminals.

  • 11:45am - 12:15pm (PST) / 25/feb/2022 07:45 pm - 25/feb/2022 08:15 pm

    TPMTECH STREAM: DATA STANDARDIZATION

    What Needs to Be Standardized in Global Shipping?

    TPMTECH STREAM: DATA STANDARDIZATION
    Three years ago at TPM, Mediterranean Shipping Co.’s Chief Digital & Information Officer Andre Simha laid out a vision for the container shipping industry to adopt common processes and data format standards to clear a path for digital innovation. The thinking was that if shipping lines made those foundational elements of their business common across all competitors, it would make them all easier to work with, and allow the industry to flourish through the development of new solutions, whether built by the lines themselves, 3PLs, or standalone software providers. Where does the industry stand three years later, and two years into a pandemic that has seen an acceleration in the uptake of digital solutions? The results are mixed. The Digital Container Shipping Association, where Simha is chairman, has been steadily releasing a range of standards through an open-source approach, but not all lines, including its own members, have fully embraced those standards. What’s holding the industry back, and in what functional areas will adoption of standards bring the industry closer to the vision that Simha described? In this session, Simha is joined by a shipper and Michele Sancricca, head of worldwide technology for supply chain and logistics at Amazon Web Services, to discuss the constraints and opportunities of driving true standardization in an industry that has long fought such initiatives.
  • 01:15pm - 01:45pm (PST) / 25/feb/2022 09:15 pm - 25/feb/2022 09:45 pm

    TPMTECH STREAM: CHANGING OCEAN FREIGHT

  • 01:45pm - 02:15pm (PST) / 25/feb/2022 09:45 pm - 25/feb/2022 10:15 pm

    TPMTECH STREAM: CHANGING OCEAN FREIGHT

    Will Shipping Lines Start Requiring Online Quotes?

    TPMTECH STREAM: CHANGING OCEAN FREIGHT
  • 02:15pm - 02:45pm (PST) / 25/feb/2022 10:15 pm - 25/feb/2022 10:45 pm

    TPMTECH STREAM: CHANGING OCEAN FREIGHT

    Can Global Logistics Reach Electronic Documentation Nirvana?

    TPMTECH STREAM: CHANGING OCEAN FREIGHT
  • 03:30pm - 04:00pm (PST) / 25/feb/2022 11:30 pm - 26/feb/2022 12:00 am

    TPMTECH STREAM: MAKING THE FUTURE REAL

    Fireside Chat: Logistics as a (Shared) Service

    TPMTECH STREAM: MAKING THE FUTURE REAL
  • 04:00pm - 04:30pm (PST) / 26/feb/2022 12:00 am - 26/feb/2022 12:30 am

    TPMTECH STREAM: MAKING THE FUTURE REAL

  • 04:30pm - 05:00pm (PST) / 26/feb/2022 12:30 am - 26/feb/2022 01:00 am

    TPMTECH STREAM: MAKING THE FUTURE REAL

  • 05:00pm - 05:15pm (PST) / 26/feb/2022 01:00 am - 26/feb/2022 01:15 am

    Closing Remarks