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Transportation Operations and Sourcing

A joint venture with the Penn State Smeal College of Business' Center for Supply Chain Research. Cosponsored by the Council of Supply Chain Management Professionals.

Enhance Your Competencies with a Supply Chain Certificate!

Program Objectives

This program provides the foundational understanding to manage and optimize transportation operations. Participants learn common terminology as well as methods to effectively manage transportation operations, source carriers, and third party providers to reduce transportation cost and maintain or increase service levels.

Who Should Attend

Transportation Operations and Sourcing is designed for those new to the transportation field or new to supervising people in the transportation field. In addition, anyone looking to brush up on current transportation issues and strategies will benefit. This would include analysts as well as non-transportation personnel interested in learning more about the largest cost area in supply chain management. This program is among the options for those pursuing a Professional Certificate in Supply Chain Operations.

Program Benefits

Upon completion of Transportation Operations and Sourcing, you will have gained the knowledge to:

  • Discuss the importance of transportation in the supply chain—the second largest expense in a supply chain after cost of goods sold
  • Explain the dynamic environment of the transportation industry including economic and regulatory issues
  • Decide what modal options make the most sense for your company and its products
  • Explain how carriers price their service
  • Negotiate and arrange for your freight needs to lower costs and increase service

This program awards 1.5 CEUs. Penn State Continuing Education Units (CEUs) are available based on a standard of one unit per ten hours of classroom instruction. Upon completion of this program, each participant will be awarded a certificate for 1.5 Penn State CEUs earned.

Value Created for You and Your Company

Transportation Operations and Sourcing will provide attendees with practical information to better manage transportation operations. Content will help lower transportation costs or help maintain current rate levels in an increasing freight cost environment.

    Program Content

      Trends in Transportation

        • Domestic transportation
        • Economic trends and issues
        • Legislative/regulatory trends and issues
        • Global transportation

          Transportation Modes and Background

          • Parcel and air
          • Truckload (TL)
          • Less-than-truckload (LTL)
          • Railroad
          • Ocean/International

          Methods to Manage Transportation Operations

          Technologies to Help Optimize Transportation

          Transportation Pricing

          • Demystifying transportation pricing
          • Components of transportation cost
          • How carriers approach the bidding process

            The RFI and RFP Processes

            • Identification of potential providers
            • What is a Request for Information (RFI) and what is included?
            • What is a Request for Proposal (RFP) and what is included?
            • How to evaluate responses
            • Comparing “apples to apples” in responses and rates


            Our programs are taught by world-class faculty leaders from Penn State, as well as supply chain professionals. Each instructor has an extensive background in research and consulting, and in educating executives.  Each brings to the classroom best-practice tools and implementation processes for achieving world-class results. 

            Faculty Director

            Dr. Christopher D. Norek, Senior Partner, Chain Connectors, Inc. and Senior Instructor, Penn State

            Faculty Leaders

            Dr. Robert Novack, Associate Professor of Supply Chain Management, Penn State

            Ms. Gail Rutkowski, Executive Director, National Shippers Strategic Transportation Council


            The program fee of $2,500 includes all instructional materials, private room accommodations, meals, break service, and access to recreational facilities. Association member pricing applies:
            $2,400 for CSCMP members
            $2,000 for CSCR corporate sponsors

            Active military personnel, PSU alumni, and teams of three or more attending this program from one company are eligible for a 20% program discount. 


            Our enrollment coordinator will be happy to hold a seat for you in this program. A reservation does not commit you to the program until you submit the registration form online. Please call 814-865-3435.

            Related Programs

            This program is among the options for those pursuing a Professional Certificate in Supply Chain Operations. Participants must take two others from the topics below to complete the Certificate:

            Programs may be taken in any order over any period of time. An Executive Programs representative will be happy to help you select the appropriate program for your current level of responsibility.
              Program Dates
              There are currently no classes scheduled. Please contact us to register your interest.