This fireside chat recap is from Day 2 of FreightWaves Live @HOME.

FIRESIDE CHAT TOPIC: Navigating through volatile times

DETAILS: Navigating ships through volatile times is challenging, but it’s where great companies position themselves for the future. Derek Leathers of Werner Enterprises discusses the past year and the industry trends he sees coming together with FreightWaves President George Abernathy.

SPEAKER: Leathers is the president, CEO and chairman of Werner Enterprises.

BIO: Throughout Leathers’ 22-year tenure at Werner, he has held integral roles in many facets of the organization, including the establishment of Werner’s Mexico operations, oversight for all the asset operating groups and leading the launch of Werner Global Logistics, encompassing transportation management and freight movement within intermodal, ocean, air and brokerage.



“We live in a short news cycle, kind of an ADD culture as it relates to moving on to the next issue or topic, and we forget about some of these grounding principles. It was pretty dire out there. Drivers showed up. Mechanics showed up. So, we’re trying to keep that spirit alive and make sure we understand and appreciate our drivers every day.”

“Most importantly, we kept [drivers] safe. Our [COVID-19] infection rate was far below the national average. And these folks are out there on the front lines every day. I think it speaks to their discipline, their professionalism.”

“In the medium to long term, there’s a lot of change coming. We know drivers of technology are advancing rapidly. We know there is a push toward autonomous deployment in certain niche applications around the country over time. We know that electrification and other propulsion systems [are coming], whether it be hydrogen or CNG-battery combination approaches, and we’re trying to stay at the forefront of all of the above.”

Related articles:

Leathers named chairman at Werner; CL Werner is chairman emeritus

Werner raises rate-per-mile guidance

Cummins, Navistar developing fuel cell truck for Werner testing

Click for more FreightWaves articles by Alan Adler.