December 23, 2022

Q&A With SemiCab’s New Director of Operations, Stephen Cabral

Our first Director of Operations, Stephen Cabral, is an elite operations leader with multiple transformational rollouts in the freight industry under his belt, including Senior Manager of Brokerage Operations at Convoy. He has steered massive operations at Colgate-Palmolive, Coca-Cola, and Georgia-Pacific within financial services, supply chain, and fleet operations areas. The expertise he brings to the SemiCab team is paramount, and we are eager to see what his analytical mind brings to the table. He will be using his decades of know-how to create optimal carrier network capacity within targeted domicile networks, including dedicated and private fleets, and traditional asset carrier partners. 

Read on for Stephen’s thoughts on the freight industry and how he believes SemiCab will change it for the better.

What opportunities do you see in the industry?

Imagine a world where shippers, both large and small, not only bring their networks together to take advantage of commonalities but continuously work together to share insights and solve ever-changing problems together. That’s what the market needs today. By leveraging the power and economies of scale through collaboration, both the shipper and carrier sides of the marketplace stand to benefit from working together. This is how the industry as a whole can eliminate waste, improve driver quality of life, and foster true transparency between all participants. This is how we all win, together. 

What are the top three challenges the industry faces?

In many ways, we’re still learning as we go when it comes to effectively navigating the post-pandemic supply chain. The main challenges, as I see them are: 

  • Understanding the post-pandemic supply chain, and how to address it.  
  • The ability to consistently develop and implement agile strategies to sustainably and profitably shift with the changing dynamics of the economy and marketplace. 
  • The ability to foster collaboration in an effort to gain transparency.

If we want improvement in the transportation industry, then we need to change how we work within it, and I believe that starts with fostering trust between all participants in the name of collaboration. With that, we will be unstoppable. 

How do you see SemiCab solving these challenges?

Shippers and carriers gain benefits through collaboration. It all starts by building a community. Successfully solving problems starts with people coming together to develop meaningful, value-added partnerships. Once we come together, we benefit from sharing cross-industry insights, diving into both common and unique challenges, and working collectively to create new and innovative solutions. 

Powered by the SemiCab Collaborative Transportation Platform, we can design customized, agile, and efficient networks that allow us to leverage the scale of our community, share our resources, eliminate waste, deliver transformational solutions, learn from our losses, and celebrate our wins. Together.  

What do you believe is affecting industry efficiency and productivity?

I’m not the first one to say this, but I sure hope I’m one of the last. The lack of interconnectivity across the industry is a real burden. Unfortunately, one of the most powerful deterrents is a fear of change, and I think that’s been holding us back. The “this is how it’s always been done” mentality has interfered with our desire to enact real change. It’s time for us to connect across platforms — we have the technology to do it now and to do it right. We need to standardize processes, language, and data exchange to facilitate coordination between all. It is only by facing our fear of change that we will do what’s needed to bring network-wide efficiencies.

What made you choose to work with SemiCab?

I was excited to work with revolutionary technology that brings powerful and unlimited future potential. It was SemiCab’s core belief in collaboration and the collective power of people and resources that hooked me. And once I learned about their team and community of thought leaders assembled to solve one of our biggest problems, I had to become a part of it. 

How does your background complement SemiCab's mission?

I’ve always had a knack for breaking things, and that’s what SemiCab is poised to do. They’re here to break the current model to build one that’s better: reliable, collaborative, and sustainable.

I spent the first 20 years of my career leading teams with a focus on studying, understanding, and solving complex business problems — like freight inefficiencies. If you want to solve a problem, you need to observe it from all angles, to determine the best approach to solve it. I’m now ready and eager to put that experience to the test in solving our freight dilemma, and SemiCab’s technology was designed exactly for that purpose.  

We may not have had the technology for this kind of change in the past, but we do now with SemiCab. There are no more excuses!

What will be your first tasks as Director of Operations?

More often than not, the best way to make change is to make way for it. Similar to how farmers burn their crops to clear stubble, weeds, and waste before sowing a new crop - we need to do the same, but we need to do it together. Many of the past solutions attempted to provide band-aids for issues downstream, but I believe we need to rebuild it from scratch, we need to look at how we can address the issues upstream.

The first order of business is to pilot a partnership program and to start experimenting with others in the industry to break the mold together. We’re creating a pool of organized chaos, and we’re all jumping in to make sense of it all, and to build a newer, better system. I'm excited to see where SemiCab takes us.

To learn more about Stephen Cabral, connect with him on LinkedIn. We’re so pleased to have him on our team!


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