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Cargo

Leading lights – December 2014

John DeBenedette has spent the past 25 years working to transform freight and logistics processes with technology. Now, DeBenedette is developing a new freight industry platform – this time for independent forwarders to collaborate electronically with each other, as well as with air and seafreight carriers. The project is called WIN, the Worldwide Information Network.
 

John DeBenedette has spent the past 25 years working to transform freight and logistics processes with technology. He has held general management, sales, marketing, and technology leadership positions in a variety of companies, including seven years with DB Schenker. He also spent 11 years building the successful ocean container shipping platform, INTTRA, which today sees more than 20% of annual worldwide containerised shipments transacted electronically.

 

Now, DeBenedette is developing a new freight industry platform – this time for independent forwarders to collaborate electronically with each other, as well as with air and seafreight carriers. The project is called WIN, the Worldwide Information Network. He also recently joined the board of TIACA.

 

What is your earliest aviation memory?

Watching small planes at a local general aviation airport as a child.

 

What attracted you to the freight industry?

I got experience early in my career, in the late 1980s, automating a retail supply chain. It opened my eyes to the opportunities for technology in logistics.

 

Would you choose the same industry again if you were starting out now?

Absolutely. I am fortunate to work at the intersection of technology and logistics:  two industries that offer cerebral challenges and plenty of action.

 

What drives you?

Having fun at work. I love the opportunity to help create a new, disruptive business model. As a leader I try to create an environment for young professionals to contribute to, as well as becoming passionate about making it work.

 

What have been your proudest moments?

Every time a customer is successful doing business in a better way using new technology.

 

And your greatest disappointments?

Anytime, for whatever reason, the chance for businesses to connect and collaborate with each other is missed.

 

What significant changes have you seen in the industry since you joined?

There are a number that come to mind, namely the rise of the integrators, the response of airlines and multinational forwarders, as well as the internet revolution and the credit crisis.

 

What frustrates you about this industry?

I’m mainly frustrated by how the positive force of the internet and the revolution of the ‘cloud’ have been taken up slowly, or missed entirely, in the air cargo industry – unlike most other B2B sectors. This is something I am working to change.

 

Which companies do you most admire and why?

Apple and Google have mastered the risks and economies of innovation to usher in new models and new platforms for B2C – and increasingly B2B – interactions. >>


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