Table of Experts: Distribution & Logistics


Table of Experts: Distribution & Logistics


Chrissy Geibel, COO, Dunavant Logistics. As chief operating officer, Chrissy Geibel is responsible for overseeing Dunavant’s day-to-day global operational and administrative functions. With 20 years of logistics and transportation experience, Geibel guides new divisions and teams, directs optimizations and efficiencies, and fosters internal employee recruitment and retention efforts. She received her bachelor’s degree in business administration, logistics, materials, and supply chain management from The University of Memphis.

Memphis Business Journal: How has the landscape of the supply chain industry changed over the past year?

Chrissy Geibel: The only aspect of the supply chain industry that stays the same is change. The past year brought us repercussions of the pandemic and served as another significant pressure test for the entire industry's fortitude and resilience. It’s safe to say that we all learned lessons that will prepare us for future undulations and intense tensions.

That said, the repercussions of the past several years have brought about movements in the entire supply chain on a macro level. Reshoring is a significant trend that has emerged as a part of reassessment by all parties. Geopolitical, financial, workforce labor, and port issues, coupled with consumer shifts, have seen a move from China to other locations. Vietnam, India, and Mexico particularly stand out as growing players in the manufacturing industry.

MBJ: Talk about workforce — what are the areas of opportunity or obstacles?

Geibel: Workforce within the U.S. industry has also been tested. Supply chain and logistics career opportunities have increased in recognition and awareness due to the level of mainstream reporting on the industry through the pandemic. So, while the level of interest in pursuing the industry as a career is higher, so is the demand for skilled professionals.

At Dunavant, we have always and will continue to provide a culture that sets us apart from many of our peers in the industry. We have always emphasized our culture, not only as a recruiting tool but also for retention.

As for the international workforce, we’re seeing tremendous investment in certain areas in workforce training, as well as infrastructure development. This doesn’t directly affect our domestic hiring and employment pool, but it does play a major role in the strength of our partners in the supply chain.

MBJ: What solutions has your company brought to market to alleviate new challenges?

Geibel: Dunavant is always evolving and advancing as a response to the ever-changing challenges of running a multinational organization that provides solutions for a very diverse client base.

A couple of very tangible and impactful changes in the past year have been the opening of our US-Mexico cross-border and intra-Mexico operations. Both our physical presence and tremendous experience in that area have had significant success. We have invested in additional warehouse facilities in Texas, as well, in order to better serve the growing activity south of the U.S. border.

Geibel: Change. Always change — but what exactly those changes are, one can only guess. We continue to invest in our people and technology — and remain very agile and flexible in order to make sure that whatever does happen, Dunavant continues to be seen as an authentic, committed solutions provider.

MBJ: What does business leadership in the Mid-South need to know?

Geibel: One of the most critical efforts that we are committed to in the Mid-South is the continued energy that we put behind educating the country and world on how significant Memphis is in the world of logistics. 

We are located on the third-busiest trucking corridor in the U.S., with 900 miles of interstate and highway. We are one of only four American cities with five Class 1 railroads. We are home to three Fortune 500 companies and a world-class global logistics network.

From Memphis, a business can reach more than 90% of the world’s GDP within 72 hours. And, 75% of the U.S. population lives within a two-day drive (22 hours). Plus, 430,000 tons of commodities like grain, aggregates, coal, cement, steel, and chemicals are transported through Memphis each day, with a yearly passage of 150 million tons.

Infrastructure investment has a long-term ROI for our area. River, road, rail, and runway represent some of Memphis’ greatest assets when it comes to recruiting to and growing business in Memphis.

Posted by Katie Elizabeth Carpenter at 08:53