Ep. 16: Building a skill stack for success | Thomas Wasson of FreightWaves

February 16, 2024

Drive Insight into Your Day

Welcome to Optym's premier podcast, where we discuss genuine insights and practical wisdom from industry veterans, who have dedicated their careers to the transportation sector. Tune in to Semi-Related to tap into the valuable expertise that has shaped the industry's evolution.

Thomas Wasson shares his journey in the transportation and logistics industry, starting from his entry-level role as a dispatcher to his current position as Enterprise Trucking Carrier Expert at FreightWaves.

Wasson discusses the challenges and lessons he learned along the way, including the importance of managing relationships, balancing emotional and analytical skills, and prioritizing tasks. Thomas also highlights the significance of understanding the needs of drivers and customers, as well as the value of building trust and maintaining open communication within the organization and more.


• Building strong relationships and effective communication are crucial in the transportation and logistics industry.

• Balancing emotional and analytical skills is essential for success in roles such as load planning and network design.

• Understanding the needs of drivers and customers is key to making informed decisions and providing excellent service.

• Managing stress and prioritizing tasks are important skills for navigating the fast-paced and demanding nature of the industry.

• Transitioning to a brokerage role requires building relationships and adapting to the fast-paced environment.

• Working at a small carrier provides a more personal connection with drivers and a deeper understanding of the industry.

• Transitioning to a media role involves learning new skills, such as writing and podcasting, and finding your unique voice.

• Analyzing market rates and providing commentary allows for a deeper understanding of industry trends and insights.

• Freight analysts play a crucial role in providing information and education about the trucking industry.



00:00 – Introduction and Background

01:22 – Starting in Trucking Operations

05:21 – The Challenges of Trucking Operations

07:00 – Moving Up in the Organization

10:25 – Transitioning to Load Planning

12:39 – Becoming a Freight Analyst

16:53 – Truckload Network Design

23:29 – Balancing Emotional and Analytical Skills

33:10 – Selling Tough Loads and Building Trust

38:15 – Managing Stress and Prioritizing

40:54 – The Importance of Communication with Drivers

43:27 – Transitioning to a Brokerage Role

55:54 – Working at a Small Carrier

01:11:49 – Transitioning to a Media Role

01:20:24 – Analyzing Market Rates and Providing Commentary

01:21:18 – The Role of a Freight Analyst

01:27:28 – Current Market Trends

01:35:37 – Bold Predictions for the Future of Trucking

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