Leaf Speaks at the National Defense University

Published June 16, 2022

Truckload transportation is critical and complicated – for both the public and private sectors. Leaf recently had the honor of discussing these transportation complexities with senior government and military officials at the National Defense University’s (NDU) Eisenhower School for National Security and Resource Strategy. 

Leaf’s CEO, Anshu Prasad, and Head of Product, Chuck Toye, met with participants in the Executive Master’s degree program focused on the intersection of government and industry. The class is composed of O5/O6 level officers from the US Army, Navy, and Air Force; GS-15 level professionals from Departments of Commerce, Homeland Security, and Defense; as well as International Fellows from Germany, Poland, and Ghana. These supply chain experts were keen to discuss the current state of affairs in transportation, the short-term patches being applied to today’s strains, and learn about longer-term solutions to the fragile and unreliable transportation grid.

The discussion revealed interesting observations about the differences between transportation in the private and public sectors. While Leaf leaders presented on the challenges facing the private sector in terms of unenforceable RFP contracts and an opaque view of true supply and demand, the NDU students noted how much more smoothly this works in the public sector where they control both the supply and demand. However, the participants admitted that their streamlined and reliable military transportation planning process does break down when the military has to operate in a “public-private” situation. In those scenarios, these same military leaders have to procure for-hire private trucking capacity for their domestic bases, and compete with private sector shippers in an opaque and less-than-reliable market for transportation services.

Further work needs to be done to understand the structural, longer-term changes that can be made to have a lasting and sustainable impact on the transportation industry. Policy makers and industry leaders can work together to chart longer-term, structural changes that will benefit supply chains in a lasting and sustainable way. An independent, neutral coordination solution could have a transformative impact on reducing waste in the industry that comes in the form of scope 3 emissions associated with unnecessary empty miles. 

Two truck drivers having a meeting using a tablet computer.

Leaf is building a future where all companies and government entities can transact transportation services with the ease of plugging into a power grid. By removing the difficulties presented by the current siloed transportation industry, Leaf is already a leading force for change. 

We’re working to make transportation planning more predictable and reliable. Using machine learning, Leaf creates efficient circuits that remove empty miles across the industry and the associated carbon emissions. Logistics service providers can move more freight in fewer miles so that they can maximize their asset utilization, while shippers realize a lower cost structure. 

All of the students in the NDU program have been serving our government honorably for a number of years, and it was a privilege to speak with them and discuss the current state of the transportation industry and help inform their year-end theses for the class. We also enjoyed hearing from some of the participants who had driven trucks during their careers. It was entertaining to listen to a Colonel describe the last time they drove a truck! 

Thank you, NDU!


LogisticsSupply ChainTransportationTransportation Management