Dan Calabrese Interviews Richard Watson, Director, Cross Border Operations at TA Services

Recognized as a 2024 Rock Star of the Supply Chain by Supply & Demand Chain Executive for the Rising Stars category, Rick is a young influencer in the cross-border supply chain space. Rick graduated from Purdue University’s School of Aviation and Transportation Technology with a degree in Aviation Management and a Capstone in Air Traffic Control and began his career in the supply chain industry almost immediately afterward.

In 2015, Rick was promoted to Supply Chain Manager where he used data and Six Sigma concepts to drive efficiencies and make process improvements. Utilizing TMS knowledge to enhance/modify existing reports to better suit supply chain needs, Rick successfully facilitated several launches, and improved year-to-date metrics. In 2018, Rick earned the title of Supply Chain Leader where he was responsible for $40 million in freight spending. Finally, in 2021, Rick was promoted to his current role as Director of Cross-Border Operations at TA Services where he is now responsible for network development, design consolidation of products, creating a better shipper experience through TMS and Power BI applications, and analyzing business processes to sync U.S. and Mexico operations, expectations, and customer experience.

Connect with Rick on LinkedIn

Dan Calabrese has been a professional writer since 1984, a business writer since 1992 and a writer for trucking/supply chain/logistics since 2006 – when he joined Transport Topics as a contributing writer. Since then he has also written for Inbound Logistics, Inside Supply Management and a variety of state trucking magazines. Dan also owns and operates North Star Marketing Content, and assists clients such as the National Motor Freight Traffic Association as well as carriers, 3PLs and tech providers to the industry. He is based in the Detroit area.

Connect with Dan on LinkedIn

Interview questions:

Q1: First of all, congratulations to you, Rick, on being named one of the 2024 Pros to Know in the Rising Stars category by Supply & Demand Chain Executive. That’s quite an honor.

  • What have you prioritized in your career so far to get you to this point?

Q2: A director of cross-border operations, you’re operating in an interesting time right now – particularly with respect to the U.S./Mexico border.

  • What are the most critical things you’re doing for clients to help them operate amidst all the challenges there?

Q3: With all the attention China gets, a lot of people don’t realize that Mexico is actually our biggest trading partner – and that’s growing, largely as a result of nearshoring.

  • What should the carrier community understand about the nearshoring trend, and how are you helping them with that?

Q4: One of the things Supply & Demand Chain noted was your work in centralizing the line-haul planning team out of TA’s office in Indianapolis.

  • Tell me about that, and why that effort makes a difference for your clients and for the supply chain broadly?

Q5: I know much of your focus is on LTL carriers.

  • When it comes to cross-border operations, are there priorities or actions steps that are particularly important for LTL, maybe more so than for truckload carriers?

Q6: What is it about TA Services that makes it a good home for you at this stage of your career?

With 20+ strategically situated facilities across North America for maximum geographic coverage, TA Services, Inc has been a trusted, full-service premier integrated solutions provider for a wide range of domestic and international third-party logistics services since 1986. Offering 3PL services such as Multimodal Freight BrokerageManaged TransportationThird-Party Warehousing & Fulfillment, and Cross-Border Logistics, TA Services is headquartered in Mansfield, TX, and is a division of Birmingham-based PS Logistics. For more information: www.taservices.com.

Recent News: https://www.taservices.com/about/news-press/

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