As Soccer Rolls into the Spotlight, So do Supply Chains

Shannon Glunk of CH Robinson looks at how over the course of 3 worlds cups it's Managed TMS service has grown

I started playing my first real sport, soccer (or football, for anyone outside of the U.S.), when I was five. To be competitive, you need to be aggressive, agile, and seize every chance to engage with the ball. And since I was not very aggressive and wanted to avoid contact with the ball at all costs, I left soccer behind in favor of gymnastics at age seven.

I didn’t pay much attention to soccer until I met my husband—an avid soccer player and fan. Since meeting him, I’ve caught his enthusiasm for the sport. We’ve avidly watched England’s Premier League, attended several MLS games with our kids, and cheered on our favorite countries competing in the World Cup, enjoying the camaraderie around such a great event that unifies the world. And during the 2006 World Cup in Germany, we joined the world in watching Italy beat France in penalty kicks.

That same year, YouTube was the biggest innovation. Twitter had only 1,000 users. And TMC’s Managed TMS® service was managing shipments in just three countries, the U.S., Canada, and Mexico.

Fast forward to 2014. World Cup soccer balls are now equipped with sensing devices that help indicate if the ball has fully crossed the goal line. There are over 1 billion people using YouTube and 255 million monthly active Twitter users.

And TMC’s Managed TMS service? It now operates through four Global Control Tower® locations in Chicago, Amsterdam, Shanghai, and Mumbai. Through this service, we manage shipments in 147 countries—49 times more than in 2006—all on our single global technology platform (see infographic). Technology has led to incredible gains, driving innovation and change—not just in social media, but in today’s highly complex, worldwide supply chains.

You can bet that a lot will be different about the world eight years from now. But what won’t change is that to be competitive in soccer—and in your supply chain—you need to be aggressive, agile, and determined to beat the competition.

Good luck to Germany and Argentina in this weekend’s final match. You can bet I’ll be watching along with the rest of the world!

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