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When you’re running a global procurement team, finding time to discover new and innovative strategies can be tough. But it’s the leaders who keep up with the latest ideas and are always learning who come out on top, especially in today’s complex freight procurement market!

There’s no better source of new ideas than TED Talks. Only the most innovative thinkers are invited to speak – so it’s the perfect place to access world-quality thought leadership.

We’ve pulled together the best TED Talks for freight procurement leaders to help you innovate your strategy.

1. On how to build adaptable freight procurement teams 

3 ways to measure your adaptability - and how to improve it

The number one challenge your team is facing right now is volatility. Whether it’s fluctuating freight rates, sudden port congestion or even a blockage in the Suez Canal – you need your team to be ready for anything.

In this Ted Talk, Venture Investor Natalie Fratto discusses how each of us can become more adaptable. She advocates for increasing your ability to adapt through training. As she puts it, “think of adaptability like a muscle, it’s got to be exercised”.

So how do you “exercise” your adaptability muscle? Natalie lays out the ‘What if’ questions that will train your team to become more adaptable, so they can face anything the market throws at them.

2. On thinking differently about supply chain challenges

What if we used the problem as part of the solution

Your team undoubtedly faces some significant hurdles to get your goods from point A to B. But do they have to arrange for someone to wade through a lake carrying your cargo on their head?

Well, this is something teams delivering vaccines to remote parts of the world sometimes face. The hurdles involved in these remote deliveries mean around 50% of the vaccines don’t make it to their destination in a usable condition.

But this doesn’t dishearten logistics expert Katie Francfort. Instead, she uses this challenge to inspire us all to think more boldly. In her TED Talk-cum-thought experiment, she asks: “What if mosquitoes could have a role to play in the supply chain of vaccine delivery?”. In asking this question, she pushes us to look at challenges as a potential solution.

This TED Talk is the perfect inspiration if you face significant hurdles to deliver your goods. It invites you to look at your challenges in a new light and think outside the box.

3. On how you can globalize your shipping strategy more!

Actually, the world isnt flat

When you’re managing a global freight procurement strategy, the world probably seems very interconnected. Well, according to globalisation researcher Pankaj Ghemawat, it’s not!

In this TED Talk, he argues we’re not living in a truly globalized society – he thinks we’re not even close.

He breaks down the facts and figures to show there’s plenty more opportunity for globalization. He argues if more of us recognized this, we could find new ways to innovate. This is especially worth thinking about when you’re working within the global supply chain, as a more globalized world makes moving goods easier.

This TED Talk is the perfect inspiration if you’re looking for new opportunities to innovate your supply chain, and it’s a great reminder that you can always go further than you think.

4. On how to become a better freight procurement leader

What it takes to be a great leader

Whether you’re managing a large or a small procurement team – your leadership skills will have a massive impact on your team’s success. It’s you who’s ultimately responsible for the success of your shipping strategy, so guiding your team to success is crucial.

Leadership expert Roselinde Torres discusses what it takes to be a great leader. She lays out the simple but crucial questions you need to ask yourself to determine whether your leadership skills are up to scratch in our technological world.

This TED Talk is also perfect if you’re training future team leads in your business, so you can help them develop the skills they need to thrive in their role.

5. On understanding the size of shipping’s sustainability challenge

Inside the secret shipping industry

We all know Maersk, but it might surprise you to learn that most people don’t.


In this Ted Talk, Journalist Rose George discusses how little the average person knows about the shipping industry – in fact, they barely think about it at all. She calls this ‘sea blindness’ and highlights how this phenomenon means very few people recognise the negative impacts of the shipping industry. From seafarers taken hostage by pirates to dirty bunker fuel emissions, there’s a lot that goes unnoticed.


She calls for the shipping industry to become more transparent and for consumers to also increase their awareness of the problem. So why is this important for you? We’re all wondering why sustainability has suddenly become the hot topic in shipping - well it’s because consumers are losing their sea blindness. This TED Talk lays out why our industry has been able to fly under that radar for so long, but it’s also a stark reminder that time is over and we need to start making positive changes.


6. On the future of supply chain transparency


How supply chain transparency can help the planet

Cracking the code of sustainable shipping can feel impossible. There are just so many cogs in the wheel and few of them offer any transparency. But you don’t need to despair! Entrepreneur Markus Mutz shows us, using technology, you can create a truly transparent supply chain and make sustainable choices possible.

Get ready to be inspired by how advanced supply chain technology is today. And discover how it’s making what was once an impossible challenge achievable.

Your freight procurement team can also achieve transparency into your emissions using technology today. Click here to learn how ShipstaPLANET makes measuring and reducing your transport CO2 emissions simple, no matter how much you’re shipping.

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SHIPSTA is a digital platform that connects shippers and carriers to ensure a frictionless procurement process for spot and contract buying. It automates complex tasks, provides unrivalled visibility and supports fast data-driven decision making.

Designed and built by experts in logistics procurement, SHIPSTA is bringing transparency, automation and efficiency to the global logistics industry. Some of the world's largest companies use SHIPSTA to respond to market volatility, control freight costs and manage risk. The company was founded in 2015 and is based in Mertert, Luxembourg and Hamburg, Germany