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[Podcast] Building Sand Castles with Ed Burns

Season 3, Episode 2: Building Sand Castles with Ed Burns

Welcome back to The Extra Mile Podcast! In this episode, our hosts Adam Perlmutter and Teresa Ronquillo chat with a very special guest, Ed Burns, President of Burns Logistics. They have a deep conversation around the importance of building relationships with customers, industry peers, and colleagues.

Listen now:


Ed is a relationship builder who connects shippers and carriers to keep freight moving. He oversees the operations and profitability of Burns Logistics, positioning it as the premier relationship builder in the transportation space.

In his free time, Ed enjoys spending time with his family, reading books, and writing zany LinkedIn posts. He also has a passion for building sandcastles. What does he mean by that? Keep reading to hear his inspiring explanation.

Ed grew up around trucking and freight. His dad, “Big Ed”, was an LTL sales guy, so Ed quickly became familiar with sales calls and manufacturing facilities. While working in marketing for a while, even starting his own digital agency, Ed stayed involved in his father’s industry, attending conferences and offering his marketing services to trucking and freight businesses. 

A few years ago, he sold his agency to start working with his father at Burns Logistics, a transportation sales agency that is always connecting people. 

What inspires your content and fuels your creativity when posting on LinkedIn?

When he posts on LinkedIn, he tries to post intentional and thoughtful content. He mentioned: “One thing that I think is desperately missing from the world today is thoughtfulness in our conversations. There's a desperate need for cordiality and thought provoking content that engages in conversation, and I believe that social media should foremost: be social… you're establishing relationships with other human beings who are living and breathing and have thoughts and feelings and fears and hopes and dreams and failures.” 

Keeping all this in in mind is in large part what fuels Eds creativity in his social posts and beyond.

Teresa chimed in about creativity as well, explaining, “The brain is a muscle, like any other muscle, and the more you work it in different ways, the more it comes up with new ideas and just works better.”

The Theory of Building Sand Castles

If you've ever built a sandcastle, you know that eventually, the waves will wipe it away. There's all these things that want to destroy your sandcastle could be a dog running along the beach or a tractor that comes along to break it, or kids trying to kick it down. 

Similar to how ocean waves come in and out, affecting the sandcastles that we work to build and rebuild, the economy ebbs and flows in ways that can destroy your business if you're not prepared. 

“If in our work we can build something that's inspiring, and other people can see the good in what we do, and they can have a takeaway from that… we can inspire them to try to build as well. Then we're touching on creating something of significance, which is what we all want.” - Ed Burns

Ed Burns- quote

Connecting with Others

Ed believes that having a big network, relationships, and conversations are valuable in the transportation industry. If you start asking yourself, “who can I help today?”, “how can I help them?”, “who can I connect with?” or “what are their problems?” it starts getting a little bit easier. You have a point of critical mass where you can just start connecting dots together, but that takes a long time to build it. Don’t try to force it!

Ed Talks Freight Tech

Ed mentioned there's something extraordinary coming on, "A few years ago it was ‘TMS’, I would go to these conferences out here: Big Data, IOT: These were just buzzwords." But the conversation around tech in transportation and logistics has come a long way.

The issue now is that we have two main entities creating freight tech.

  1. You have the industry-specific legacy tech. This was created by industry vets who have a good understanding of what tech needs to do, but this tech is often unappealing and tends to be less user friendly. There is also room for innovation since tech is so rapidly evolving.  
  2. You have people from outside the industry coming in and sharing their own freight tech solutions. This stuff looks beautiful and it's super intuitive and easy to use, however it tends to lack the industry expertise of the former.

Once these two entities are able to work together or learn from each other to improve their own development processes and outputs, Ed believes “It’s gonna be just magical.”

What does Ed like best about working in Transportation & Logistics?

It's a great industry and the best thing about the industry is the people in it. There's an element of relationship building in this industry that is extra special. Even though it's challenging and full of problems, there's also a lot of opportunity to come in and make things easier for people. All of the industries have very similar problems, what's unique is who's involved and where we want to go with the industry.

“I think that the people in transportation, there are so many good people, caring people, smart people and fun people. It's a really special place for making lifelong connections.” - Ed Burns

Ed Burns- quote 2

FYI: Burns Logistics is working on Freightionary: The Unofficially Official Freight Dictionary. This is a free resource to define transportation terms, truck talk, logistics lingo, supply chain slang, and all the things you're afraid to ask about. They are aiming to launch this in March/April, so stay tuned! 

Learn more about Burns Logistics at  

Ed Burns can be found on LinkedIn here. And If you need even more wisdom information, you can contact Big Ed.

Interested in chatting with am industry expert from Metafora? Request a free discovery call here

**This is a special announcement!! This episode was recorded close to the Super Bowl event. Did you have the chance to watch Metafora's Super Bowl Commercial? Find it now on our LinkedIn account.

Teresa Ronquillo- quote on Eds podcast

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Metafora is the leading consulting & software development firm for transportation, logistics, and supply chain businesses. Metafora partners with carriers, shippers, and freight tech vendors to help you optimize your business and build software to fuel their growth. Welcome to the new way forward. Welcome to Metafora.

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