XPO hires industry veteran Wagers as COO

Wagers comes to XPO with a vast array of experience at three distinctly different companies: Amazon.com, Dr Pepper Snapple Group, and UPS

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Global freight transportation and logistics services provider XPO Logistics Inc. announced two significant executive appointments this week, with the hiring of Kenneth Wagers as chief operating officer, a position in which he will oversee XPO’s operations in 32 countries, and former chief operating officer and transportation segment Troy Cooper earning a promotion to president, which XPO said is a newly created postion.  

Wagers comes to XPO with a vast array of experience at three distinctly different companies: Amazon.com, Dr Pepper Snapple Group, and UPS. His most recent position was at Amazon, where he oversaw Amazon’s Worldwide Transportation and Logistics business (last mile, middle mile, and air and ocean cargo), and Amazon’s China operations, Prime Now and Amazon Fresh operations.

Prior to that,  at Dr Pepper Snapple, Wagers held supply chain leadership positions in consumer packaged goods, including functional oversight of the retail business, direct store delivery operations, warehouses, manufacturing plants, procurement programs and operational controls.

And at UPS, where he worked for 17 years, Wagers played a key role in expanding Big Brown’s 3PL services, including UPS Supply Chain Solutions, which provides supply chain design and management, freight forwarding, customs brokerage, mail services, multimodal transportation, consulting and finance services to customers. Wagers was also heavily involved on the mergers and acquisitions side for UPS, including the integrations of Mail Boxes Etc. (consumer shipping), Fritz Companies (freight forwarding, customs brokerage and logistics), Overnite Corp. (less-than-truckload) and Menlo Freight Forwarding.  

“Kenny has a strong record of leading organizations during periods of rapid growth,” said XPO CEO Brad Jacobs in a statement. “His more than 20 years in global transportation and logistics — including e-commerce — give him the ideal skill set to deliver even more value to customers through our service offerings. He’s a big talent with a long history of accomplishments in our industry.” 

Jacobs also saluted Cooper, saying he has been a key member of his management teams for more than 20 years.

“He now has Kenny standing shoulder-to-shoulder with him as we continue to execute our strategy for high growth and high returns,” he stated. “I’m fortunate to have both of them by my side to lead our operations and help with the integration and optimization of future acquisitions.”

In a separate announcement, XPO said it has launched a new service offering, entitled XPO Direct, a new, nationwide shared-space distribution model for omnichannel retail and e-commerce customers.

Explaining how XPO Direct works, the company said that XPO warehouses and last mile hubs will serve as flexible stockholding sites and cross-docks utilized by multiple customers at the same time, with transportation needs supported by the company’s brokered, contracted and owned capacity. What’s more, XPO’s explained that its broad North American footprint can position goods within two days’ delivery of 95% of the U.S. population and in close proximity to retail stores for inventory replenishment.

“Retailers and e-tailers are looking for new ways to position goods more efficiently to shorten delivery transit times without adding overhead,” Jacobs said. “XPO Direct offers customers industry-leading flexibility by sharing our technology, trucks and workforce at over 100 sites, with hundreds of additional sites at the ready. In essence, we’re renting out our scale and disrupting traditional thinking about the capital-intensive, regional distribution model.”

XPO added that the omnichannel trend is a challenge for many brick-and-mortar retailers as they seek to broaden their reach through e-commerce.

“The prohibitive fixed cost of adding distribution centers can result in a trade-off of price versus speed, compromising customer service and damaging brand reputation,” it said. “XPO Direct is a highly responsive solution designed to increase service quality at a fraction of the usual cost.”

Also in the last week, XPO said it has made significant expansions to its supply chain network through the creation of roughly 5,000 new positions, coupled with the company signing more than 40 new customers in the first quarter at the beginning of the peak season for the food and beverage sector.  

“We have a lot of experience maintaining high levels of customer service during rapid growth,” said Cooper. “Our people work side-by-side with XPO technology in our warehouses, where we use predictive analytics to forecast customer volumes and plan our labor levels accordingly. This has become increasingly important as our global logistics pipeline tops $1.8 billion.”


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