Meet Rob Movshin, Regional Manager-Northeast of ContainerPort Group. The Army veteran (he served a tour in Afghanistan) and father of three boys recently shared what the average person might not know about the logistics and supply chain industry, and what about his work gets him up in the morning.
When did you begin working at CPG and what attracted you to the company?
“I started working at CPG in September of 2014. I liked the direction they were going. I was particularly sold on the company by (President) Russ Graef. Russ told me they were almost phoenix-like; getting aggressive again to attain the company’s position at the top of the industry. They were refocusing to continue to become intermodal’s best by achieving excellence in all we do.”
How did you get your start in this industry?
“I became a trainee with Maersk back in 1997. It was right after the Army. I went to their trucking division and I spent 12 years with BTT (Bridge Terminal Transports). I got my start in terminal and depot operations in Georgia, Illinois and Ohio.”
What kind of work did you do in the Army?
“I was in Army logistics. I’m actually still in the National Guard. I took a break from trucking in 2009 and went back full time in the army until 2012. I specialized in multifunctional logistics and combat logistic patrols – in other words, moving man and material around the battlefield. I served in OEF-Afghanistan between 2011 and 2012.”
In your role as Regional Manager (overseeing New York, New Jersey and Pennsylvania), what does your typical workday look like?
“In logistics, there’s no such thing as a typical day. You’re working with dispatch and staff to understand DOT regulations, you’re working on different retention and recruiting techniques, you’re involved with customers, sales and safety. You’re making sure to meet the company’s goals – you’re wearing of many hats.”
What about your work gets you up in the morning? Best things?
“Every day is a new day. There is no Groundhog Day in trucking. It’s an absolute brand new start. There are similar scenarios day in and day out, but you’ll have different obstacles and different challenges. Every day is like starting the day looking at a 1,000-word crossword puzzle and finishing the day with a complete picture.”
What projects are you most proud of?
“I’m proud of increasing the fleet size in the Northeast. Trucking can be tough – we have to deal with bad roads and congestion, yet we continued to grow in the region. In Buffalo we are up 10 percent, in Newark we are up 20 percent. It’s a total team concept, we are invested in our fleets’ success.”
What do you love about the logistics and supply chain industry?
“It’s funny, it’s real Discovery Channel [stuff]. When you look at these huge vessels – and I’m a student of this industry – when you look at a box that was loaded in somewhere in Asia, gets loaded onto a container vessel the size of Sears Tower, then it sails across the ocean to a US ocean terminal where a monster crane got it off a ship to a random stack, then onto a truck with a chassis, then driven over the road to get to its final destination… It’s pretty cool to understand where you fall in logistics and total supply chain.
One of my favorite customers is Medline. They import hospital and medical supplies. My wife recently had had surgery on her foot. She needed to keep her foot bandaged and iced, so I got her an ice pack and when I looked at it, I noticed it was a Medline ice pack. Talk about cradle to grave. There was a very good chance that that ice pack was packed and shipped from overseas and CPG delivered it to the DC, that got it to the hospital, that issued it to us.”
What are some things the average person doesn’t know about your industry?
“How regulated it is. People want say that we’re just the dumb truckers. But our owner operators are trained professionals. They are not just steering wheel holders. They are titans of the industry and they have a very difficult job. Your average person may see trucks as impediments on the road, but in fact that truck is delivering commerce and he cares about getting freight to the customer. If you’re eating it wearing it or using it, it probably came on a truck.”
What are some things your co-workers might not know about you?
“Unfortunately I’m an open book. My co-workers might not know that I actually do care. I do care about these owner operators, I take every failure to heart because I know we can do better.”
Do you have a mentor? Tell us about him or her.
“Bob Leef, is a mentor. As is Russ Graef, Ron Drogan and Peter Pace. And there are my military mentors. I’m blessed that I’ve had great examples of leadership and development. I’ve taken advantage of learning from the best.”
What are the most important characteristics to succeed in business/life?
“Willingness to take on a challenge. Unwillingness to accept no for an answer.”