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SMC³ online education paves way to brighter LTL future

On-demand training and live sessions cover every aspect of today’s LTL sector to help share valuable supply chain industry expertise and insights.

Navigating the intricate world of less than truckload freight transportation can be daunting. With its numerous movements and classifications, LTL requires a great deal of training and experience. Seasoned professionals and industry newcomers alike have discovered that no matter how much time they spend in the LTL freight industry, there’s always more to learn.

Those who want to expand their career opportunities and refine their knowledge — regardless of their career stage — are turning to transportation technology leader SMC³ for its online LTL education and certification program. The curriculum consists of five self-paced on-demand courses and classroom-style lectures covering every aspect of LTL freight, including its fundamentals, operations, carrier pricing and costing, transportation laws and regulations and business analytics.

Organizers say the hybrid live/on-demand courses are designed to help today’s shippers, carriers, 3PLs, freight forwarders and other supply chain professionals with direct access to the knowledge they need and a convenient way to gain LTL essential skills. 

“We’re bringing a lot of people into the industry that have a wide variety of diverse backgrounds, many of which have very little to do with transportation,” said Dr. Karl B. Manrodt, a professor of logistics at Georgia College who helped develop the program in partnership with SMC³.

Manrodt acknowledges that there’s long been an education gap when it comes to learning about LTL freight — one that he said universities haven’t filled. Colleges have made strides toward teaching global supply chain management, but specialized domestic freight, including the LTL sector, remains largely underserved in education.

That lack of standard curriculum presents a particular challenge in today’s dynamic LTL market. The “Great Resignation” and widespread career change are accelerating driver shortages, leading to loss of institutional knowledge when professionals leave the sector; the pandemic-led e-commerce boom is changing the concept of final-mile and reverse logistics; emerging technologies put even greater pressure on the LTL sector to move faster and increase efficiency; and modern supply chain challenges underscore the need for a successful professional to understand multiple modes of transportation.

Many feel that the LTL space needs educational leadership to help today’s workforce succeed in this ever-changing landscape, attract the next generation of supply chain professionals and prepare them to lead the future of supply chain management.

According to Dr. Manrodt, that’s why SMC³, in partnership with, developed the courses. “They were designed exactly for that person who feels that LTL is a daunting challenge to understand,” he said. The content of the courses is informed by the latest supply chain developments and challenges for up-to-date insights and thought leadership.

The SMC³ online education courses are unique in that they provide both on-demand and hybrid learning options. The hybrid curriculum allows participants to pursue certification at their own pace online, while scheduled livestream sessions allow students to interact with instructors and have their complex questions answered in real time by LTL thought leaders.

Students who pass a comprehensive course exam have the opportunity to earn their LTL certification (CLTL), the industry’s only certification of LTL expertise. Supply chain professionals from across the country have credited the CLTL in opening doors to new career opportunities. Manrodt noted that he’s had as many as 90 participants in one of his classes. 

All five courses are offered in a hybrid setting, where students take the courses given their schedule, and then join over 15 Zoom meeting with key industry leaders to discuss current trends impacting LTL. Options are available for individual, team and corporate learning, as well as course bundles.

In addition to online courses, SMC³ hosts two annual supply chain educational conferences showcasing LTL innovations and best practices: Jump Start in January and Connections in June. Both are three-day events featuring LTL seminars, presentations and networking opportunities for professionals and stakeholders from across the entire supply chain.

“If you’re going to be a professional in this industry, you need to manage your knowledge base,” Manrodt said. “We need to make sure that all of us are getting better all the time. We just can’t sit on our laurels and say, ‘Well, back in ’93 we did it this way.’ It’s just not going to cut it.”

Registration is open now for SMC³’sLTL Operations from Dock to Stock,” which begins April 7. The unique hybrid course features on-demand and live sessions with industry experts from AAACooper, FourKites, Ryder and FragilePAK. Enroll today!

This article originally appeared on by writer Jack Glenn.

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Categories: Education, LTL